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Home >> China
UPDATED: 08:23, September 11, 2006
Premier Wen makes eight-point proposal on new Asia-Europe ties
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, in a keynote speech delivered at the sixth summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) on Sunday in Helsinki, put forward an eight-point proposal aimed at further developing new Asia-Europe relations.

The proposal was raised to "consolidate and further develop the new Asia-Europe partnership in the interest of global peace and prosperity," Wen told the two-day sixth ASEM summit that opened here in the day.

Asian and European countries should deepen their cooperation to jointly meet new challenges facing the two continents, he said, adding ASEM has become a strategic platform for Asia and Europe to strengthen coordination, further cooperation and pursue common development.

ENHANCING POLITICAL DIALOGUE, BETTER RESPONDING TO SECURITY THREATS

Wen said ASEM members should increase consultation in multilateral mechanisms and support the leading role of the United Nations in international affairs.

He called on countries to intensify efforts in solving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue, the Middle East crisis and other regional issues.

On better responding to traditional security threats, Wen said Asia and Europe should intensify cooperation in practical terms infighting terrorism and proliferation, and combating transnational crimes in a joint effort to maintain global peace and security.

DEEPENING CULTURAL EXCHANGES TO PROMOTE HARMONIOUS CO-EXISTENCE

The ASEM Declaration on Dialogue among Cultures and Civilizations adopted at the fifth ASEM Summit is of guiding importance in promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogues, Wen said.

"We ASEM members should respect diversity in our cultural traditions, values and development models, conduct candid exchanges on an equal footing and make joint progress by drawing upon each other's strengths and expanding common understanding while setting aside differences."

Wen urged ASEM members to expand educational and cultural interactions to build an Asia-Europe partnership of peace, amity and harmony.

INTENSIFYING FINANCIAL COOPERATION TO PROMOTE BALANCED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Financial security is crucial for ensuring steady economic development in Asia and Europe, said the premier, stressing that developing countries should be given a greater say in the international financial system.

"We should work for the reform of the international monetary system, enhance regional monetary cooperation and improve the capacity to ward off risks," he said.

High priority should be given to boosting cooperation in human resources development and capacity building in the financial sector, especially financial capacity building for developing countries, Wen said.

EXPANDING DIALOGUE, COOPERATION TO ENSURE ENERGY SECURITY

Energy security has become an increasingly pressing issue directly affecting global economic stability and prosperity, he said.

"ASEM members should, through enhanced dialogue and cooperation, work to improve the global energy market mechanism, develop traditional energies in a rational way and vigorously develop renewable energies," said Wen.

He called on ASEM members to boost the research, development and application of advanced energy technologies to enhance energy conservation and efficiency.

The premier proposed the establishment of a proper technology transfer system to help developing countries use energy more efficiently.

A sound political environment should be ensured for energy security and stability, he said, noting that geopolitical disputes should not block the global energy supply and energy issues should not be politicized.

SUPPORTING MULTILATERAL TRADING SYSTEM TO ACHIEVE COMMON DEVELOPMENT

Maintaining order in global trade is in the interest of both Asia and Europe, Wen said.

"Suspension of the Doha Round (talks under the World Trade Organization) is in no one's interests," he said.

He called on the major developed countries to show their political will and demonstrate greater flexibility in cutting agricultural subsidies and tariffs to create conditions for resuming the talks.

As Asian and European economies enjoy respective strengths and complement each other, all ASEM members should fight protectionism, properly handle trade disputes, refrain from politicizing trade issues, improve trade and investment environment, enhance economic cooperation and realize common development, Wen said.

ENCOURAGING BUSINESS PARTICIPATION, EXPANDING CHANNELS OF COOPERATION

As the importance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Asian and European economies is increasing, there is a growing call for more government support, the premier said.

"We ASEM members should enhance inter-governmental cooperation and give key support to SMEc in international exchanges," he said." We should bring into play the role of non-governmental institutions and encourage the Asia-Europe Business Forum to serve as a bridge for SME cooperation."

He called for better public services to SMEs and expansion of channels of consultation and cooperation between governments and the business community.

ADDRESSING NON-TRADITIONAL SECURITY ISSUES

Communicable diseases and other non-traditional security threats greatly undermine the economic and social development of all countries, Wen said.

He said ASEM members should take part in extensive international cooperation, promote the building of a global communicable diseases surveillance and early-warning system and further enhance the international community's capacity in early-warning and emergency response.

"We should also support the initiatives taken by the United Nations and the World Health Organization, strengthen policy coordination and provide greater financial and technical support for developing countries," Wen said.

NARROWING URBAN-RURAL GAP FOR BALANCED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Underdevelopment in rural areas is a problem in quite a number of Asian and European countries, Wen said.

"We ASEM members should formulate comprehensive strategies for rural development in light of their national conditions to meet targets set for the Millennium Development Goals," he said.

Wen urged developed countries to adopt measure more favorable to developing countries in agricultural trade policies.

"China also proposes to host the ASEM Forum on Rural Development at an appropriate time to share experience in achieving coordinated development between urban and rural areas," he said.

At the end of the speech, Wen elaborated China's policy on economy, defense and anti-terrorism, pledging that China will continue to develop friendly relations and cooperation with our Asian and European partners and other countries in the world and work with them to build "a world of harmony, durable peace and common prosperity."

Wen arrived in Helsinki on Saturday for the two-day summit, which also marks ASEM's 10th anniversary and has gathered heads of state or government from 13 Asian countries and 25 member states of the European Union.

Source: Xinhua


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