MANILA – The Chinese prime minister advocated the creation of an economic community, comprising China, Japan, South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in Manila on Tuesday.
Speaking at the ASEAN+3 meet held between the Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, within the framework of the ASEAN summit, Li Keqiang said that deglobalization and protectionism are on the rise, according to an ASEAN statement.
“I hope that through this Summit, we can build a consensus and send a positive signal that we firmly support regional integration and advance East Asia Economic Community or EAEC so as to benefit the people and the country in the region,” Li added.
Calls for economic integration comes at a time when the President of the United States, Donald Trump, who had attended meetings in Manila, had made it clear that he favors bilateral rather than multilateral agreements.
ASEAN was founded in 1967 and is made up of Myanmar, Brunei, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, countries with a combined population of more than 620 million people.