In his speech addressing a business forum in Singapore on Tuesday, Premier Li Keqiang struck a resonant note on multilateralism, stressing that the world should not shun the principles of multilateralism and free trade, and neither does it need to reinvent the wheel.
Indeed, with some countries embracing unilateralism and protectionism, the world needs to shore up the spirit of multilateralism and win-win cooperation more than ever. In this regard, it is heartening to see Li and other regional leaders attending the series of meetings on East Asia cooperation in Singapore this week showing a shared commitment to regional cooperation and integration.
Like the other parts of the world, East Asia has been a beneficiary of globalization. The blueprint of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for building the ASEAN Economic Community, with the support of its regional partners including China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, is itself a reflection of the region’s desire to ride the wave of globalization and free trade.