About Summit

Draw on Mutual Strength to Promote Common Development

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 AI-Ahmad AI-Jaber AI-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends,

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 would 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 % of the world's landmass, home to 60 % 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 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:

First, we should foster Asian awareness to build a harmonious Asia. Given the rich diversity in Asia, our cooperation should start with fostering Asian awareness. In conducting Asia cooperation, we should respect the diversity among the member countries, observe the principle of voluntary participation and building consensus, be open and inclusive and make gradual progress. Priority should be given to boosting dialogue and understanding and enhancing unity among Asian countries. With this in mind, the ACD may conduct dialogues among different religions and civilizations and cultural exchanges in various forms through multiple channels. It should expand cooperation in tourism and education, encourage and promote friendly exchanges among young people; and it should fully leverage the role of the business community, academia, media organizations and non-governmental groups so as to provide strong intellectual and public support for Asia cooperation.

Second, we should make our cooperation more efficient to accelerate Asia's development. The rich diversity of Asian countries also means strong complementarily among us. Asia cooperation has vast potential and a bright future. The ACD should ensure implementation of proposals and initiatives agreed upon and deepen pragmatic cooperation so that the cooperation will create concrete progress. The ACD should integrate resources and focus on carrying out result-oriented cooperation in areas of common interest of developing countries, namely, food security, energy security, connectivity, finance, education and poverty alleviation, so as to make Asia cooperation more effective. The ACD should build platforms and open up channels for participation in regional cooperation by business community, academic institutes and other nongovernmental groups. The ACD should enhance institutional building, improve the cooperation mechanism and make Asia cooperation more coordinated, consistent, coherent and effective.

Third, we should build Asian consensus to increase Asia's influence. The rich diversity of Asian countries reflects the wide-ranging views of the countries. To a great extent, consensus reached among Asian countries may represent what the vast majority of countries in the world have agreed on. On major issues which are of great concern to the international community such as global economic governance, reform of the international financial system, climate change, Millennium Development Goals as well as food and energy security, the Asian countries should exercise their increasing influence and use platforms such as the ACD to build consensus, express the views of Asia and shape discussions of international hotspot issues.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China over 60 years ago and particularly since the launching of the reform and opening-up program over 30 years ago, China has made world renowned progress in its modernization drive. Still, China has remained the world's largest developing country. China's independent foreign policy of peace has remained unchanged, and China's basic state policy of peaceful development and opening to the outside world has also remained unchanged.

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. China went through much suffering and hardships in modem history, and it was through arduous struggle that we won liberation, independence and people's freedom. 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 partnerships with neighbors. China will always be a staunch force for upholding peace and stability in both Asia and the world. On the basis of firmly safeguarding China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, we are committed to resolving disputes with our neighbors concerning territorial land, territorial sea and maritime rights and interests peacefully through friendly negotiations. China will never seek hegemony. China will always be a trustworthy and reliable cooperation partner of the other Asian people.

Currently, China's economy is generally sound. We have full confidence in our ability to speed up the shift of growth model, ensure stable external demand, expand domestic demand and build in an all-round way a society of initial prosperity at a higher level that benefits the over one billion Chinese people. In the second decade of this century, China will continue to open its economy in an all-round way. We are committed to promoting mutually beneficial cooperation with developed countries, strengthening comprehensive cooperation with other developing countries and deepening and expanding result-oriented cooperation with our neighbors. China will deepen the opening of its coastal regions, accelerate the opening of its inland and border regions and seek common development with its neighbors. China's sustained growth and prosperity have created and will continue to create an important opportunity of development for other Asian countries.

China values the role the ACD plays and has actively participated in its cooperation in various fields and at multiple levels. Over the past decade and more, China has hosted a number of ACD-related activities, including the Third ACD Ministerial Meeting, the Workshop for Agricultural Ministers and the seminars for poverty reduction, thus making active contribution to pan-Asian cooperation. China is ready to take this ACD Summit as an opportunity to deepen cooperation with other member countries and make new and bigger contribution to the development and prosperity of Asia and the world and to improving the wellbeing of our peoples.

Asia is our shared home. Asia cooperation is our joint cause, and to build a better Asia is our common aspiration. We should remain true to the vision of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation and the goal of achieving common development through cooperation in a mutually accommodating and step-by-step way. I am confident that by doing so, we can certainly create an even brighter future for Asia!

Thank you!

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