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ASEAN Plus Three vow to step up fight against trade protectionism; Moon, Li Keqiang to expedite restoration of THAAD-hit ties Updated: 2017-11-14 17:59:51 KST

"This is the Philippine International Convention Center, the venue of the 2017 Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and related meetings.
The area in and around the venue had been locked down for days leading up to the main event AND Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has made an executive order declaring the three days of the ASEAN Summit special non-working days; schools and offices in the Metro Manila area are closed today to ensure safety, security, and convenience for leaders and delegations visiting this country for the summit."

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in is one of the eighteen plus leaders attending the international summit.
On the second and final day of the summit, Mr. Moon, along with the leaders of the ten ASEAN members and China and Japan, called for joint efforts to further liberalize trade and deepen economic integration.

"Let us build a community of peace, prosperity and development in the East Asian region. Let's together overcome the multiple challenges we face today such as trade protectionism, nationalism, polarization, aging society, and climate change."
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AND, of course security challenges including the growing threat of North Korea's missile and nuclear program.

"As are other multilateral or international meetings, the ASEAN 2017 is also being used as a venue for numerous sideline one-on-ones. For South Korean President Moon Jae-in, that includes Chinese Premier Li Keqiang."

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One of the most highly anticipated meetings on Mr. Moon's agenda in Manila: a rendezvous with Premier Li Keqiang especially coming on the heels of a breakthrough bilateral summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping just a few days ago.

"I hope our talks today will serve as a valuable opportunity to discuss specific ways to expand our cooperation on issues of mutual interest and normalize our practical cooperation in areas ranging from economy and trade to cultural and personnel exchanges that deteriorated in the past year."
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"The two sides have made great progress in the past while to take care of the sensitive issue step-by-step. China, South Korea relations are already seeing positive changes."

The Blue House interpretation of the encounter extremely optimistic.

"Premier Li Keqiang said although it's inevitable that the two countries run into sensitive issues as the relationship develops further, his forecast of China-South Korea practical cooperation is very bright and that he was confident about the future of their bilateral ties as the industrial structures are highly complementary."

"Let's put the past behind and move on. So, the agreement has been made and reconfirmed at the highest levels between Seoul and Beijing. Experts remain divided on how smooth the relationship will proceed from here on out, but what's for sure is that it's too soon to tell and we'll definitely find more out in a couple of weeks' time when South Korean President Moon makes that Beijing visit to face his Chinese counterpart in December.
Moon Connyoung, Arirang News, Manila."

President Moon made a surprise visit to the makeshift Cheongwadae briefing room just a little while ago.
The liberal leader reportedly conducted a self-assessment of his eight-day overseas trip touching on the regional support for his North Korea policy and his meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
We will have more updates in our later newscast when we connect back to Moon Connyoung, our chief correspondent there.
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