The 9th East Asia Forum was held in Chengdu, China on 15-17 September 2011, with the theme ‘Accelerating Regional Integration: Internal Growth Engine of East Asia.’ The forum was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and attended by about 100 government officials, business representatives and scholars from ASEAN Member States, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, and representative from the ASEAN Secretariat. His Excellency Mr. Abdulahat Abdulrixit, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, was the forum’s keynote speaker. A panel of esteemed government officials from Viet Nam, Republic of Korea, Japan, and Indonesia also delivered speeches during the opening ceremony. In his keynote speech, H.E. Mr. Abdulahat Abdulrixit acknowledged how EAF has become an important platform for the APT countries to ‘seek consultation, build consensus and enhance cooperation’ in the region. He also emphasized the APT countries should ‘make consistent efforts to ensure their role as the main vehicle in advancing East Asian cooperation towards an East Asia community.’

Network of East Asian Think-Tanks

The Network of East Asian Think-tanks

     
Officially recognized at the “10+3" summit meeting, Network of East Asian Think-tanks (NEAT) is a mechanism for research and academic exchange, and a platform for the second-track diplomacy in the regional cooperation among “10+3" countries in East Asia. It aims at integrating the research resources in East Asia, promoting the academic exchanges and providing intellectual support for East Asian cooperation. To be more specific, by establishing a network among East Asian think-tanks, governments and enterprises and promoting the interaction of these three circles, it intends to study the key issues related to East Asian cooperation, work out strategic ideas and concrete policy suggestions for the regional integration and submit research reports to the “10+3" summit meeting.
 
In 2002, East Asian Studies Group (EASG), the second-track in the mechanism of East Asian cooperation, suggested 17 short-term measures to be taken for closer cooperation among East Asian nations, among which was establishing “Network of East Asian Think-tanks" (NEAT) within the framework of “10+3" regional cooperation. The suggestion was adopted at the informal meeting of “10+3"leaders held in Phnom PenhCambodia in September 2002.
 
The activities of NEAT fall into the following categories: 1) Hold annual conferences of NEAT members to promote exchanges among East Asian think tanks and submit an annual work report to the informal meeting of “10+3" leaders on the basis of the research of the key issues in East Asian integration process; 2) Set up a website of NEAT, bridging the governments with the academic circles, promoting the academic exchanges among scholars about East Asia, and educating the masses in the region; 3) Hold irregular international seminars on East Asian cooperation so as to facilitate the theoretic research on the integration and community building of East Asia and help to shape the theoretic framework, strategies and specific policies conducive to the regional cooperation in East Asia. 4) Cooperate in the research of the key issues in regional cooperation and figure out the solutions.
 
The founding as well as the first annual conference of NEAT was held in Beijing from September 29 to 30, 2003. There were delegates from the think tanks of all the member states at the conference. The three topics discussed were “Towards East Asian Cooperation", Important Steps Leading to East Asian Cooperation" and “Key Areas in East Asia Cooperation". The conference report was not only published, but also distributed at the “10+3" leaders meeting in 2003.