May 13, 2012
The fifth meeting of the leaders of China, Japan and South Korea has opened in Beijing. The establishment of a free trade area across the region is high on the agenda of the meeting.
The meeting is chaired by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and attended by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.
At the start of the meeting, Wen Jiabao said facts prove that cooperation between China, Japan and the South Korea is in the fundamental interests of the three nations and their peoples. But there are still many unstable, uncertain and unpredictable factors in Northeast and East Asia.
During the two-day meeting, the leaders are expected to review the progress of trilateral cooperation and lay out plans for the future. These include the possibility of establishing a free trade area and a timetable for it. Leaders will also exchange views on global and regional issues of common concern.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan ties and the Year of China-Japan Friendly Exchanges, as well as the 20th anniversary of China-South Korea diplomatic relations and the Year of China-South Korea Friendly Exchanges.