The ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+1 Ministerial Meetings with China and Japan in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, on June 30, as part of the AMM-46, suggested working together more comprehensively in politics and security to tackle traditional and non-traditional security challenges.

At the ASEAN+3 meeting with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK), the ministers said that they were very satisfied with regional cooperation in various spheres, including economics, trade, investment, finance, security and politics.

They stressed the need to implement the ASEAN+3 Working Plan for the 2017-2013 period in a more effective way to further deepen ASEAN+3 cooperation.

The ministers agreed to speed up the implementation of the Statement on ASEAN+3 partnership on connectivity; a working plan for the Asian Bond Market and Infrastructure Financing Bond Development Initiative; and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

At the ASEAN+1 Ministerial Meeting with China, the two sides spoke highly of the 10 th anniversary of their strategic partnership and the outcomes reached during the implementation of the 2011-2015 Action Plan. They hailed the the establishment of the ASEAN-China technology transfer centre, the ASEAN-China Maritime Cooperation Fund and the signing of the ASEAN-China memorandum of understanding on health care cooperation.

They recommended further strengthening cooperation in major fields like trade, investment, connectivity, traffic and energy and food security.

Participants consented to hold activities this year to mark the 10 th anniversary of bilateral strategic partnership, including the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in August in China, and an ASEAN economic ministers’ tour of China.

The two sides emphasised that ASEAN and China should continue fully realising commitments stated in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on the 10 th anniversary of the DOC as well as boost consultations for the prompt formulation of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

At the event, they were unanimous in launching official consultations at the ASEAN-China Senior Official’ Meeting (SOM) on the COC. Accordingly, the sixth ASEAN-China SOM and the ninth ASEAN-China Working Group’s Meeting will take place in China this September.

At the ASEAN-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the two sides vowed to devise the Agreement on Trade in Services and Investment soon, which lays a foundation for the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

ASEAN hailed Japan for its support of the bloc’s central role in regional structures and the implementation of a Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and the Initiative on ASEAN Connectivity.

Both sides will work together to celebrate the 40 th anniversary of their dialogue relations in Tokyo on December 13-15.

The same day, the sixth Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the third Mekong-RoK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting got underway.

The Mekong and Japanese foreign ministers reviewed the implementation of the Mekong-Japan Action Plan to realise the Tokyo Strategy for the 2013-2015 period and increase connectivity in the Mekong region and narrow the development gap in ASEAN.

The fifth Mekong-Japan Summit is slated to take place in Tokyo later this year.

Meanwhile, the Mekong and RoK ministers reviewed their cooperation since 2011 and put forth initiatives to cement bilateral links in the time to come, namely the establishment of a cooperation fund financed by the RoK, activities during the Mekong-RoK Exchange Year 2014 and the Mekong-RoK Business Forum.-VNA