The Hot Zone
China's newly announced air defense identification zone over the East China Sea aims to shore up national security
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

Government Documents
Government Documents
UPDATED: January 25, 2011 NO. 4 JANUARY 27, 2011
Shape the Future of Asia Pacific With Confidence and Cooperation
Address by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at the First Lanting Forum, December 1, 2010


Business representatives,

Friends from the academia and the press,

I am delighted to attend the first Lanting Forum. Lanting, as you may know, means the blue hall in Chinese. This Forum is called Lanting Forum because people naturally associate the blue color with the sea and the sky. It symbolizes inclusiveness, passion and vitality, and it accords to the philosophy of harmonious coexistence, openness and win-win progress. It shows that we will adopt an inclusive approach, pool together the wisdom of various sectors and deepen dialogue and exchanges. It also means that we will take a global perspective, keep pace with the times and work together for development. I believe that with the interactions taking place here, the Lanting Forum will serve as a bridge connecting diplomats with the general public, and China with the world. The general public and the whole world will therefore gain a better understanding of China's diplomacy.

The theme for today's Forum, Situation in the Asia Pacific and China's Policy, is a highly significant one. The development in the Asia Pacific has attracted worldwide attention and China is a member of this region. We should intensify discussions on the relevant issues concerning the region, as this will help us enhance mutual trust and build consensus. I look forward to exchanging views with you on this important topic.

There were different views about the Asia Pacific in the 21st century. Some believed that rich human resources and cultural diversity held out great potential and bright prospects for the Asia-Pacific region, while others thought this region was beset with problems and troubles and could hardly offer any reason for optimism. Now the first decade of the 21st century is coming to an end. When we look back on the journey that the region has traveled, I believe we can come to the following conclusions: Despite the various problems and challenges due to reasons both of the past and present, peace, stability, cooperation and development represent the shared aspiration of the people and the trend of the times. What has happened shows that the Asia Pacific is transforming into a dynamic, vibrant and promising region.

The Asia Pacific's strategic status has never been more important.

In the past 10 years, the status of the Asia Pacific in the global architecture has continued to rise. The region has seen expanding international influence, notable growth of emerging economies and active development of regional cooperation mechanisms. APEC's 21 member economies take up 40 percent of the world population, 54 percent of the economy and 44 percent of the trade. They have developed all-dimensional, multi-tiered and wide-ranging cooperation mechanisms, which have played a positive role in promoting common prosperity. Various regional cooperation mechanisms have flourished and new initiatives and ideas have mushroomed, giving full expression to the strong desire of all parties to meet challenges through cooperation. As the underlying impact of the international financial crisis on the economy in the Asia Pacific persists, regional hotspots flare up from time to time, and global issues become more pronounced, the Asia Pacific faces daunting challenges in its development. However, the economy of the Asia-Pacific countries as a whole is on an upward trajectory. One after another, countries in the region have begun to transform development patterns in the post-crisis era. With their rising international status, they will play an increasingly important role in promoting world peace and development.

Asia's growth momentum has never been stronger.

In the past 10 years, Asia, an important part of the Asia-Pacific region, has achieved fast growth. It has become one of the fastest growing and most dynamic regions and played a bigger role in powering world economic growth. During the two financial crises, Asian countries united as one for greater strength. Relying mainly on their own efforts, they have not only maintained economic stability, but also laid a more solid foundation for future development. Asian countries have learned one valuable thing from tackling the crises: We need to explore development paths suited to ourselves and enhance domestic sources of economic growth in light of our own national circumstances. At the same time, Asia has adopted an open approach. It has actively expanded practical cooperation with Europe, Africa, North America and Latin America and speeded up the building of free trade areas. As a result, it has achieved fresh progress and leapfrog development.

I wish to illustrate Asia's development with three "50-percents." First, Asia's overall economic strength has grown remarkably. Asia's GDP accounted for 50 percent of the world's total in the 19th century and had since gone downhill. Starting from the 20th century, Asian countries have made unyielding efforts to catch up and return to the fast track of economic development. In 2009, Asia's overall economy accounted for nearly one third of the world economy. Some authoritative international economic organizations have made the forecast that by the middle of this century, Asia will once again take up 50 percent of the world economy. Second, economic integration of East Asia is moving faster. Five years ago, intra-regional trade in East Asia already totaled almost $3 trillion, making up more than 50 percent of the region's total foreign trade. East Asia regional cooperation has made tremendous achievements. ASEAN, 10+1, 10+3, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK), East Asia Summit and other mechanisms have continued to improve. It is gratifying to note that these mechanisms are drawing on each other's strengths and moving forward in parallel. Third, Asian countries have great potential in human resources, culture, science and technology and their soft power continues to strengthen. This has offered strong backing for Asia's sustainable development. According to the latest figures of UNESCO, Asia had 41.4 percent of the world's scientific researchers in 2007, up from 35.7 percent in 2002. And the figure is very likely to further increase to 50 percent in the coming years. In short, we are seeing before us a thriving Asia enjoying peaceful development.

China's relationship with the Asia Pacific has never been closer.

In the past 10 years, China and the rest of the Asia Pacific have grown together and supported each other's development. Together, we have opened a new era of development in this part of the world. As a member of the Asia-Pacific community, China and other countries in the region shoulder the important mission of promoting regional prosperity and stability. We are keenly aware that without a sound regional environment, China can hardly achieve sustainable development. At the same time, China's development is a strong boost to the development of the Asia Pacific. China is committed to the path of peaceful development and the mutually beneficial strategy of opening up. China pursues a policy of developing good-neighborly ties and partnerships with its neighbors. China wants to engage in friendly cooperation with all countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, in a joint endeavor to build a regional environment featuring peace and stability, equality and mutual trust, cooperation and win-win outcomes. Relations between China and its neighboring countries are anchored not only in time-honored traditional friendship, but also growing common interests. By countering crises together, China and other Asia-Pacific countries have fostered deeper mutual trust in the last 10 years. By drawing on each other's strengths, we have enhanced mutually beneficial cooperation in a comprehensive way. Indeed, we have made fresh and important headway in our cooperation across the board.

China's exchanges with other Asia-Pacific countries in the political field have become closer. We have established various forms of partnership and conducted fruitful political dialogue. This year alone, we have had over 60 high-level mutual visits and exchanges with Asian countries, involving almost all the countries in the region. Nearly 50 Asian political leaders came to China for the World Expo Shanghai 2010 and the Guangzhou Asian Games. Departments at various levels have engaged in extensive exchanges and dialogues with their Asian counterparts.

China's economic cooperation with other Asia-Pacific countries has been deepening. Over the past decade, China's trade with Asia-Pacific countries has kept growing. Of China's top 10 trading partners, eight are in the Asia Pacific. China's trade with Asian countries has grown by nearly three times during this period. For several years in a row, China has been Asia's largest import market and the largest trading partner for Japan, the ROK, India, Viet Nam and Mongolia. During China's 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-10), over 60 percent of China's overseas non-financial direct investment has gone to its neighbors. Asia now hosts more of China's overseas companies than any other region. China has actively expanded fiscal and financial cooperation with Asia-Pacific countries. We have set up a China-APEC Cooperation Fund totaling $20 million and signed bilateral currency swap agreements totaling 360 billion yuan with Malaysia, Indonesia and the ROK. In the fight against the international financial crisis, China and other Asia-Pacific countries have worked together and supported each other. This has further deepened practical cooperation and boosted the economic recovery and development in the region.

China's security cooperation with other Asia-Pacific countries has been expanding. China is committed to resolving disputes through peaceful negotiations. We have made great effort to push forward the Six-Party Talks process and played a constructive role in addressing hot issues. We have been actively involved in the ASEAN Regional Forum and other security dialogue mechanisms and carried out security cooperation with regional countries in counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, combating transnational crimes and public health. China is committed to appropriately handling and addressing territorial and maritime disputes through dialogue and negotiations on the basis of facts and in keeping with the basic norms governing international relations. The Chinese people cherish friendly sentiments towards people in the region. When natural disasters like the Indian Ocean Tsunami and the floods in Pakistan struck, we showed sympathy for the affected population and promptly offered disaster-relief assistance.

People-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and other Asia-Pacific countries have been more extensive. China has vigorously promoted people-to-people exchanges in the context of APEC, advanced human resources development cooperation and strengthened educational and cultural exchanges and dialogue. Over the past 10 years, the number of Asian students coming to China has been growing year by year. Last year, it exceeded 160,000, accounting for three fourths of foreign students in China. We have set up more than 100 Confucius institutes and classrooms in Asia, and established China culture centers in the ROK, Japan and Mongolia. We have organized training courses for people from other Asian developing countries. We have trained over 14,000 professionals in various fields for ASEAN countries over the past five years.

China is committed to building regional cooperation mechanisms together with other Asia-Pacific countries. The Asia Pacific is a region of diversity. And to build cooperation mechanisms in such a region, we must follow the principles of building consensus, seeking incremental progress, focusing on easier issues before moving to more difficult ones and being open and inclusive. We should keep the existing mechanisms as the platform and encourage different mechanisms to complement and reinforce each other in order to advance regional cooperation. Last January, the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area was fully established, providing an unprecedented favorable environment for stronger trade and investment cooperation between China and ASEAN nations. It will bring tangible benefits to nearly one third of the world's population. China supports the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and will work with the countries involved to build roads, railways, water routes and ports. The ASEAN plus Three cooperation has shown great strength in countering the financial crisis. The Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) was realized and regional foreign exchange reserve pool totaling $120 billion and the regional Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF) totaling $700 million were established. New steps were also taken in China-Japan-ROK cooperation. The three countries have set out the goal of completing the joint study on an FTA (free trade area) among them by 2012. China has actively promoted trade and investment liberalization and facilitation in the Asia-Pacific region. We support regional economic integration and the effort to make APEC an important platform for regional economic and trade cooperation. China welcomes a constructive role by relevant countries in regional cooperation. We are open to and we welcome any cooperation initiative that contributes to regional economic integration and common prosperity.

1   2   Next  

Top Story
-Protecting Ocean Rights
-Partners in Defense
-Fighting HIV+'s Stigma
-HIV: Privacy VS. Protection
-Setting the Tone
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved