On May 21-22, the Ministerial Conference of the RCEP was held in Hanoi Vietnam. 16 trade ministers from the 10 ASEAN countries, China, Australia, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand attended the conference. Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan led the Chinese government delegation to participate in the conference.
Zhong said in his statement that Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the silk road spirit of "peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit and win-win result" at the Belt and Road Forum from International Cooperation, emphasizing that efforts should be made to promote to build a fair, reasonable and transparent international trade and economic investment rule system, promote the construction of free trade area, and join hands to construct an extensive interests community. The RCEP works on reaching a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and reciprocal free trade agreement which is highly echoes the silk and road spirit.
Zhong pointed out that the RCEP negotiation marks the most dynamic regional free trade negotiation, covering most of the population and regions with the most diverse members in the world. In order to accelerate negotiation process, China put forward three suggestions:
First is to support the ASEAN to take the lead to expand the consensus. China will always firmly support the leading position of the ASEAN. As a strong supporter and pusher of the RCEP, China is willing to make the utmost efforts to jointly accelerate promoting negotiations in all fields with all parties. China has submitted its revised offer of commercial trade, service and investment.
Second is to seize the opportunity to end the negotiation as soon as possible. This year coincides with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the ASEAN. The ASEAN puts forward to practically end the negotiation within the year. All parties should seize the opportunity, strive to make breakthrough in the three fields such as goods, service and investment, and try to realize the goal instructed by all leaders to quickly end the negotiation.
Third is to give consideration to the appeals of all parties to practically promote the negotiation. The RCEP members have great differences in aspects such as political system, development stage, economic volume and opening level. All parties should show greater tolerance and dexterity, jointly overcome the core difficulties and strive to reach a free trade negotiation which reflects the characteristics of all parties and realizes mutual benefit and win-win results.
Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen attended the conference.