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While China drew much media attention by declaring its bid to conclude a free-trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations within 10 years, the creation of an even bigger Asian community including ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea has turned up as a hot topic.

A group of experts from all of the countries participating in the annual “ASEAN plus three” meeting in November presented a list of proposals to their leaders, calling not only for trade liberalization, but also for cooperation in the political, security, social and cultural arenas to create a regional community.

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