2023 IFTC Recap Video
July 03, 2023
Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (Referred to as TCS hereafter) hosted the International Forum for Trilateral Cooperation (IFTC) 2023 on Monday, July 3, 2023, under the theme “Revitalizing Trilateral Cooperation in the Post-Covid Era: Communication, Connectivity and Community”. As the first offline IFTC since 2020, the IFTC 2023 was co-organized by China Public Diplomacy Association and Qingdao Municipal People’s Government, attracting more than 300 audience. 

H.E. Wang Yi, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, attended the Forum and delivered a speech entitled "Taking the Right Direction and Revitalizing Asia Jointly." In his remarks, he underscored the important role of trilateral cooperation in addressing regional challenges, driving economic growth, and fostering understanding among the people of China, Japan, and the ROK. H.E WANG YI acknowledged the significant changes the world is currently experiencing and highlighted the leading roles that the three countries play in shaping the future of Northeast Asia. He emphasized that the lasting peace and prosperity of the region require collective efforts and support from the three countries. To achieve this, H.E WANG YI put forward several suggestions for revitalizing trilateral cooperation. Firstly, he stressed the need for the three countries to build up mutual trust and create a positive environment for the resumption of the Trilateral Summit. Secondly, he emphasized the importance of enhancing reciprocity to drive economic growth and advance CJK + X Cooperation modality. As major global economies, the three countries should also strengthen connectivity to promote regional economic integration, including speeding up the negotiations of the CJK FTA and taking the lead in implementing the RCEP. Additionally, he called on the three countries to cooperate in addressing common challenges such as an aging population and clean energy. Lastly, he highlighted the significance of cultivating positive public opinion through cultural and people-to-people exchanges, particularly among young people and media, to foster closer ties between the three countries. 

H.E KANG Chang Hee, Chairman of Woonkyung Foundation and Former Speaker of the National Assembly of the ROK delivered remarks at the opening session. He noted the geographical proximity and historical connections between China, Japan, and the ROK, highlighting the need for trilateral cooperation and mutual understanding among the three countries in the face of global challenges. Furthermore, he emphasized the remarkable advantages that the three countries have gained from decades of cooperation and exchange, encompassing trade, investment, cultural engagement, and tourism. Recognizing the concerning decline in mutual perception among the CJK people, H.E Kang Chang Hee placed particular emphasis on the value of face-to-face exchanges, with a special focus on engaging the younger generation. 

KONDO Seiichi, Former Commissioner of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan, and Director of the Kondo Institute for Culture and Diplomacy attended the forum online and delivered remarks with an emphasis on enhancing empathy by the people of the three countries to achieve real communication and cooperation. He proposed enhancing people-to-people exchanges through various activities including cultural, youth-related programs. He further suggested that the three countries should spare no efforts in reviving trilateral cooperation from now on, strengthening empathy, and building mutual trust. 

H.E. PARK Jin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the ROK, and H.E. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, delivered video congratulatory messages on the opening of IFTC 2023. H.E PARK Jin spoke highly of the endeavors and progress of the trilateral cooperation made throughout the years and stressed that the ROK will make positive efforts to resume trilateral summit. H.E. HAYASHI also stressed the importance and necessity of advancing trilateral cooperation to cope with various challenges confronting the world. 

In the opening session, TCS Secretary-General OU Boqian delivered opening remarks. She stressed that Trilateral Cooperation is not only vital to the peace and stability in Northeast Asia, but also of great significance to the prosperity and development of the world. She emphasized the importance of further promoting trilateral cooperation despite the challenges and difficulties facing the region. In particular, the more difficulties and challenges facing the region, the greater efforts the three countries need to put in. Lastly, she called on all the stakeholders to uphold the original aspiration of jointly launching the Trilateral Cooperation and respect each other's core interests and concerns, consolidate the political will and elevate mutual political trust, strengthen the sense of community and work together to meet common challenges. 

In addition, LU Zhiyuan, Deputy Secretary of Shandong Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Secretary of the CPC Qingdao Municipal Committee delivered opening remarks. 

In the three sessions that followed, veteran politicians and diplomats, prominent scholars, and representatives of leading economic and cultural organizations shared insights and engaged with in-depth discussions on the revitalization of trilateral cooperation in the post-covid era. 

Session 1 “Public Diplomacy and Mass Communication: Mutual Perception among China, Japan, and Korea” addressed the role of public diplomacy & media in promoting mutual understanding and trust between the three nations and explored ways to increase cooperation and coordination. 

Session 2 “From Exclusion to Inclusion: Connecting the Digitalized World”, in collaboration with Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), analyzed the virtuous cycle between digital economy and the ageing society and explored how the aged population can contribute to economic growth of the region and vice versa study how digital economy can improve their access to infrastructure, policy, and economic opportunities. 

Session 3 “Mutual Perception Improvement: From the Lens of Local Community Exchanges” discussed practical ways in which local government exchanges can be facilitated and strengthened between China, Japan, and Korea.  

Since 2011, the IFTC is one of the annual flagship projects of the TCS to raise the public awareness of the trilateral cooperation, as well as to provide in-depth policy references on advancing the trilateral cooperation to the three governments. The Forum was sponsored by the prominent media of the three countries –People’s Daily, Chosun Ilbo and Asahi Shimbun.  

▲Remarks by H.E WANG Yi 

Remarks by H.E KANG Chang Hee 

Remarks by H.E. KONDO Seiichi 

Congratulatory message by H.E. PARK Jin 

Congratulatory message by H.E. HAYASHI 

Remarks by SG OU 

Remarks by LU Zhiyuan 

Session 1 “Public Diplomacy and Mass Communication: Mutual Perception among China, Japan, and Korea” 

Session 2 “From Exclusion to Inclusion: Connecting the Digitalized World” 

Session 3 “Mutual Perception Improvement: From the Lens of Local Community Exchanges”

▲Group Photo