Address by Sun Jiazheng, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference at the First Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit
Kuwait, 16 October 2012
Your Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah,
Amir of the State of Kuwait,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very glad to come to the beautiful Kuwait city to attend the first Summit of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) on behalf of Chinese President Hu Jintao. I wish to extend sincere thanks to you, Amir Al-Sabah, and the government of Kuwait for your thoughtful arrangements and gracious hospitality. I'd like to take this opportunity to warmly welcome Afghanistan as a new member of the ACD.
Asia is the world's biggest continent. Covering close to 30 percent of the world's landmass, home to 60 percent of the global population and accounting for one quarter of the world economy, Asia should and can make outstanding contribution to world peace and development. Asia has a time-honored and glorious history and culture and is one of the cradles of human civilization. In modern history, Asia endured much suffering. The people of Asian countries made unremitting efforts to pursue liberation and development and have scored resounding success. But we still have a long way to go to achieve the new rise of Asia. To strengthen win-win cooperation and promote development is the sure way to make Asia strong and prosperous.
A decade ago, the ACD came into being in response to the call of Asian countries to strengthen unity, deepen cooperation and pursue development and prosperity. The ACD's birth was in keeping with the trends towards globalization and regional integration in an increasingly multi-polar world. Over the past decade, the Asian countries have forged ahead with determination, and more and more of them have achieved economic take-off and robust growth. Over the past decade, the Asian countries have worked together as equals. We have enjoyed growing mutual understanding and trust, ever closer business ties and frequent cultural and people-to-people exchanges. All this has led to deeper interdependence among the Asian countries. Over the past decade, regional, sub-regional and cross-region cooperation in Asia has grown rapidly, with new cooperation mechanisms emerging and areas of cooperation expanding. Regional cooperation now has a stronger momentum of growth and promising future. In short, great progress has been made in Asia cooperation over the past decade, which has laid a solid foundation for promoting our cooperation.
On the other hand, we should remain soberly aware of the many difficulties and challenges confronting Asia cooperation. The Asian countries are highly diversified in terms of civilization, religion, culture and political system. The foundation for cooperation is still weak. Our region still faces many issues left from history, and some hot-spot problems and disputes have yet to be resolved. The Asian countries are not in the same stage of economic and social development, and all these factors hinder the fast progress of cooperation in our region. All the countries in Asia need to work harder to broaden and deepen Asia cooperation and strengthen its mechanisms.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The current international and regional development is complex and fluid. The underlying impact of the international financial crisis persists; regional hot-spot issues keep emerging; and turmoil continues in West Asia and North Africa. Asia and the world at large are thus facing a lot of destabilizing factors and uncertainty in development. On the other hand, Asia has generally maintained peace and stability. Promoting good-neighborly relations, dialogue, cooperation and common development features prominently in the policies adopted by countries in our region. The majority of Asian countries maintain steady and robust economic growth. Asia is now an important engine driving global growth and a key player in global affairs. With a growing appreciation of the need to strengthen ourselves through unity, the Asian countries are endeavoring to promote pan-Asian cooperation. Therefore, despite the challenging and volatile external environment, Asia still has an unprecedented opportunity for growth.
The convening of the ACD Summit marks a new historical starting point for Asia cooperation. We should take this opportunity to take stock of the past progress and draw a blueprint for future Asia cooperation. We should discuss the goal for pan-Asian cooperation, chart the course for future cooperation, adopt specific steps to improve and accelerate Asia cooperation, deliver real benefits to countries and peoples in our region, and thus contribute to the development of Asia and the whole world. To this end, I propose that we focus our efforts on the following three areas: