The trade ministers of China, Japan and South Korea agreed to work towards a regional trade pact and a trilateral free-trade deal on Sunday, reported the South China Morning Post.
The agreement was reached despite the recent bitter quarrel between Tokyo and Seoul and the uncertainty caused by China’s ongoing trade negotiations with the US, as well as the threat of North Korea resuming nuclear tests.
The ministers did not announce any concrete results after Sunday’s talks in Beijing, but they voiced their willingness to continue discussions on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership – which also includes the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia, India and New Zealand – as well as the three-way free-trade deal.
Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said China was willing to work with South Korea and Japan to “oppose unilateralism and protectionism,” and to support a global multilateral trade system. He added that the three countries should “jointly maintain regional peace and stability and promote an open world economy.”