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Print Edition> World
UPDATED: October 29, 2012 NO. 44 NOVEMBER 1, 2012
Spelling Out China's Asia Policy
Senior official calls for closer regional cooperation at a pan-Asian summit
By Ding Ying

While current international and regional developments are complex and fluid, Asia has generally maintained peace and stability. "Promoting good neighborly relations, dialogue, cooperation and common development are prominent features in the policies adopted by countries in our region," said Sun Jiazheng, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's top political advisory body. He made the remarks while addressing the first summit of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) convened in Kuwait in mid-October as a special representative of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

The ACD, initiated by Thailand in 2002, now has 32 member states and is the only platform for inter-governmental dialogue and cooperation covering all of Asia. At the Kuwait summit, ACD leaders reached broad consensus on deepening pan-Asian cooperation and enhancing Asia's influence.

Asia is now an important engine driving global growth and a key player in global affairs. "But we still have a long way to go in pursuing the new rise of Asia. To strengthen win-win cooperation and promote development is the sure way to make Asia strong and prosperous," Sun stressed.

There are also many difficulties and challenges confronting Asia cooperation, Sun pointed out. Asian countries are highly diverse in terms of religions, cultures and political systems. The foundation for cooperation is still weak. The region faces many issues left over from history, and some hot-spot problems and disputes have yet to be resolved. Sun said that all these factors hinder the speedy progress of cooperation in the region, and all countries in Asia need to work harder to broaden and deepen Asia cooperation.

Sun said Asian countries should build consensus and express the views of Asia on major issues such as global economic governance, reform of the international financial system, climate change, the UN Millennium Development Goals as well as food and energy security.

Sun proposed taking three steps to reach this goal—fostering Asian awareness to build a harmonious Asia, making cooperation more efficient to accelerate Asia's development and building an Asian consensus to increase the region's influence.

It is important to integrate resources and focus on carrying out result-oriented cooperation in areas of common interest of developing countries such as food security, energy security, connectivity, finance, education and poverty alleviation, he said.

Sun also made note of China's current economic situation and policy of peaceful development. China will be a trustworthy and reliable cooperation partner of other Asian countries, he said, promising that China will always be a staunch force for upholding peace and stability in both Asia and the world.

"The more progress China makes in development and the closer its links with other parts of Asia and the world become, the more important it is for China to have a stable regional environment and a peaceful international environment," he said. "We are deeply aware of the importance of development and the value of peace. And this makes us all the more determined to pursue peaceful development, follow the win-win strategy of opening up, and implement the policy of fostering friendship and partnership with neighbors," he continued.

 Email us at: dingying@bjreview.com

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