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Chinese premier's attendance at ASEAN-related meetings of great significance: FM

 

BEIJING, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao played a major role in ensuring the success of the meetings related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by putting forward proposals to tackle the financial crisis and enhance regional cooperation, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Sunday.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attends the 4th East Asia Summit (EAS) in the southern Thai resort town of Hua Hin, Oct. 25, 2009. The 4th East Asia Summit (EAS) opened here on Sunday, where ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) leaders and their counterparts from China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, and New Zealand met to discuss regional cooperation topics.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attends the 4th East Asia Summit (EAS) in the southern Thai resort town of Hua Hin, Oct. 25, 2009. The 4th East Asia Summit (EAS) opened here on Sunday, where ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) leaders and their counterparts from China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, and New Zealand met to discuss regional cooperation topics.(Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
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Wen returned to Beijing Sunday evening after attending the meetings, including the 12th summit between the ASEAN and China (10+1), the 12th summit between the ASEAN and China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (10+3), the fourth East Asia Summit, in Hua Hin of Thailand from Oct. 23 to Oct. 25.

Yang noted that Premier Wen put forward a number of proposals and measures, which both tackle the immediate urgent tasks and issues of common concern and take into account long-term strategic planning. These proposals fully indicated China's goodwill, sincerity, and its confidence and willingness for cooperation.

PROMOTING CHINA-ASEAN COOPERATION

China, a firm advocate for regional cooperation, has launched a series of initiatives to strengthen cooperation with the ASEAN, especially following the global financial crisis, said Yang.

Wen announced in April that the Chinese government would set up a 10-billion-U.S. dollar "China-ASEAN Fund on Investment Cooperation" to support infrastructure development in the region.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (6th L) poses for a group photo with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states in Hua Hin, Thailand, on Oct. 24, 2009. The 12th ASEAN-China Summit was held here on Saturday. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (6th L) poses for a group photo with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states in Hua Hin, Thailand, on Oct. 24, 2009. The 12th ASEAN-China Summit was held here on Saturday. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
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China also plans to offer a credit of 15 billion dollars to ASEAN countries and 270 million yuan (39.5 million dollars) in special aid to less-developed ASEAN countries.

During the meetings in Thailand, Wen said the China-ASEAN fund will be available by the end of this year as the fundraising of 1 billion dollars for the first phase is almost completed, said Yang.

These and other policy measures will provide timely assistance for ASEAN countries, which were hit hard by the current global financial crisis, added Yang. 
Meanwhile, the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area would be put in place by 2010 as planned, said Yang.

Wen urged the two sides to make the most of it and promote exchanges and cooperation in various sectors between the two sides. For this end, China will host a China-ASEAN Free Trade Area forum next year, set up a portal website with the ASEAN nations, establish economic cooperation zones in the ASEAN nations and remove technical trade barriers, Yang noted.

The Chinese premier also raised proposals on enhancing cooperation in various sectors, including infrastructure construction, agriculture, environment protection, new and renewable energies, prevention and control of A/H1N1 influenza as well as promoting social and cultural exchanges, said Yang.

The leaders attending the meetings expressed high appreciation of China's commitment to good-neighborly and friendly policies and cooperation with ASEAN countries.

They noted that China, taking practical actions to help ASEAN countries overcome difficulties and meet challenges, has served as a major force in maintaining financial and economic stability in the region, and promoting peace and development, said Yang.

Therefore, many ASEAN countries expressed willingness to further cooperation with China, he said.

 

PUSHING FORWARD EAST ASIA COOPERATION

Yang said China is among the first countries to promote and support cooperation among East Asian nations.

Wen noted that East Asian countries, with a large population, diverse cultures and varied development levels, have various cooperation mechanisms all at once.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has a working lunch with leaders attending the fourth East Asia Summit in the southern Thai resort town of Hua Hin, Oct. 25, 2009. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has a working lunch with leaders attending the fourth East Asia Summit in the southern Thai resort town of Hua Hin, Oct. 25, 2009. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
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He urged countries in the region to seek common ground while reserving differences, properly solve differences in a joint effort to safeguard stability and peace and ensure the sustainable and sound socio-economic development in the region.

He also said the countries should enhance diversity and harmonious coexistence of civilizations.

He proposed that taking the ASEAN+1 mechanism as the basis, and ASEAN+3 mechanism as the major channel, the countries in the region draw on each other's strengths and help each other further develop and move toward the long-term goal of establishing an East Asian community.

Yang said the regional economy had shown positive signs of recovery, but there was still a long way to go to realize relatively rapid economic growth.

Leaders pose for photos for the 4th East Asia Summit (EAS) in the southern Thai resort town of Hua Hin, Oct. 25, 2009. The 4th East Asia Summit (EAS) opened here on Sunday, where ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) leaders and their counterparts from China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, and New Zealand met to discuss regional cooperation topics.