|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wen said tackling the global financial crisis is still the top priority for countries in the region, and East Asian countries should remain firm in their resolve to tackle the crisis, and their relevant policies should remain unchanged, and efforts not to be weakened.
Meanwhile, the countries in the region should be ready for a long-term battle against the crisis and should not give up easily, Wen said.
He also proposed that these countries try to facilitate trade and investment, expand trade and investment within the region and urged them to keep abreast with the latest global industrial revolution, and enhance cooperation in green economy, recycling economy, modern agriculture and manufacturing industry.
Wen said he hoped the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization(CMIM), a 120-billion-dollar regional reserve pool aimed at providing emergency liquidity for countries in financial crisis, could be launched by the end of this year.
He pledged 200 million dollars to the region's credit guarantee and investment fund.
Countries in the region should also step up efforts to develop the Asian bond market and establish regional economic surveillance organizations, in a bid to enhance their ability to prevent and manage risks in the region, he said.
Yang said infrastructure construction was both the bottleneck of regional development and a new economic growth point.
Wen proposed that countries make use of their cutting edge in capital, technology and labor to make better planning and coordination and set up easily accessible and highly-efficient infrastructure networks in the region, and provide strong support for East Asian integration.
Leaders at the summit gave a positive response to Wen's proposals and spoke highly of China's important role in pushing forward cooperation in the region. They expressed readiness to join hands to usher in an even greater future of regional cooperation in East Asia, Yang noted.
ENHANCING BILATERAL TIES WITH NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES
Yang said that during the meeting, Premier Wen has held a series of bilateral meetings, and reached many significant consensuses.
While meeting with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, the two premiers agreed to push forward the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries. They agreed that the two countries should welcome each other's development rather than consider each other as a threat, Yang said.
The two countries pledged to adhere to good-neighboring relations, maintain high-level interactions, enhancing mutual political trust and expand cooperation of mutual benefit. They will also strengthen coordination in tackling the pressing issues such as the global financial crisis and the climate change.
On the border issue between the two countries, Wen and Singh agreed that the two sides should continue their frank and candid dialogues, and try to make headway through negotiations on the basis of the existing guiding political principles until reaching a fair and reasonable solution acceptable to both sides. Meanwhile, both the countries should ensure stability and peace in their border areas.
When meeting with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Wen said the two countries should handle their bilateral ties on the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and seeking common ground while reserving differences. The two countries should respect and take care of each other's core interest and major concerns. They should also intensify dialogues and cooperation, steadily enriching the meanings of Sino-Australian ties of all-round cooperation.
Sharing Wen's views, Rudd said Australia will firmly pursue the one-China policy, respecting the integrity of China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. He also pledged Australia's readiness to enhance strategic cooperation with China in all areas.
On the free trade accord between China and Australia, the two premiers reiterated that the two countries should unremittingly push ahead the negotiations to strive for a high-quality, all-round framework acceptable to both sides.
Wen has also met with premiers from Thailand, New Zealand and Myanmar.
Yang described Wen's visit as fruitful and significant, which fully demonstrated China's policy toward its neighboring countries. Or as Premier Wen put it, with all its sincerity, resolve and confidence, China will join hands with other East Asian countries and make unremitting efforts for common, sustained and harmonious development.