Leaders from ASEAN, Japan, China and South Korea, known as ASEAN Plus Three (APT), pledged to enhance regional cooperation and address emerging issues during the 26th ASEAN+3 summit held in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, alongside the 43rd ASEAN Summit.

According to a news briefing by the ASEAN Secretariat on September 6, the leaders reaffirmed their dedication to deepening the APT process, which plays a pivotal role in regional collaboration and in tackling emerging challenges.

The summit also saw discussions on the successful implementation of the APT work plan for 2023-27 and highlighted areas for future joint efforts. Additionally, the leaders endorsed a statement on the development of an electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem.

Separately, the ASEAN-Japan summit issued a joint statement establishing a comprehensive strategic partnership on the same day. Both sides anticipate positive outcomes from the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit scheduled to be held in Tokyo this December, the ASEAN Secretariat stated.

The ASEAN-South Korea summit also took place, reviewing the countries’ state of relations and reaffirming their commitment to strengthen the partnership. Both sides are currently preparing for their 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2024. A shared declaration was released to reinforce cooperation in four key areas under the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) policy.

The ASEAN-China summit issued a joint statement focusing on mutually beneficial cooperation, also based on the AOIP. The statement supported ASEAN-led mechanisms for building mutual trust and an open, transparent regional architecture based on international law. It emphasised ASEAN’s central role in the evolving landscape and committed to collectively responding to regional and global challenges.

Both ASEAN and Chinese leaders agreed to enhance maritime cooperation through various means, including the promotion of blue economy partnerships, marine environmental protection and exploratory projects in nautical science, technology and connectivity.