Tripartite strength

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Tripartite strength

The Korea-China-Japan summit held on Saturday in Fukuoka has provided a firm foundation to boost trilateral cooperation. Leaders of the three nations met in the region for the first time.

In the past, they briefly met “in a separate room” at the Asean+3 summit meeting. The leaders of Korea, China and Japan agreed to hold regular summit talks in the region, and meet next year in China and in Korea in 2010. In this regard, a solid basis for the acceleration of trilateral cooperation in a variety of areas has been arranged by establishing a dialogue channel among the three countries.

The need for bolstering trilateral cooperation is still growing, as the combined GDP of the three countries will account for 16.7 percent of the global total. The three nations are highly dependent on each other from an economic perspective to the extent that half their trade volume comes from the region. Structurally, if a fire breaks out in one country, the flames will spread to the other two.

South Korea ranks as the world’s sixth-largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. China tops the list, followed by Japan. This serves as a catalyst to cope collectively with the financial turmoil. It is imperative that Korea, China and Japan strengthen their ties so that they can greatly contribute to developing more active global consultations designed for Asian regional integration led by Asean countries.

In this vein, it is of great significance that the three leaders adopted the “joint statement for building a tripartite partnership” and the “joint statement on global finance and economics” in Fukuoka.

The former offered a basic direction for tripartite cooperation, while the latter declared their firm determination to tackle the global financial crisis.

In particular, the size of the Korea?Japan and the Korea?China currency swap has been expanded to $30 billion.

It can be duly understood that the countries have realized a strong willingness to take joint action to deal with the financial crisis.

It is regrettable that there was no mention about stabilizing currency exchanges among the three nations to guarantee less troubled trade and exchange. But this issue will be dealt with in earnest in the regularized financial ministerial meetings and central bank governors’ meetings in the years to come.

The chief executives of the three nations will shoulder the responsibility of accumulating concrete achievements, drawing on the tripartite partnership.
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