Chinese premier calls for solid efforts to advance Asia-Europe cooperation

09:18, October 05, 2010      

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Monday that ASEM members should work together and take solid steps to advance Asia-Europe cooperation.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attends the opening ceremony of the eighth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Brussels, Belgium, Oct. 4, 2010. Wen Jiabao delivered a speech at the opening ceremony. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

In an address at the opening ceremony of the eighth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Brussels, Wen made a five-point proposal on advancing Asia-Europe cooperation from a strategic and long-term perspective.

"With the joining of Australia, New Zealand and Russia, ASEM partners have formed a close-knit community of interests, covering the entire Eurasian continent from east to west," Wen said.

"We must seize the opportunities, keep up with the times, and take solid steps to advance Asia-Europe cooperation from a strategic and long-term perspective," he said.

ASEM partners must work together to promote world economic growth, Wen pointed out.

"We should intensify macroeconomic policy coordination, manage with caution the timing and pace of an exit strategy from economic stimulus, and keep the exchange rates of major reserve currencies relatively stable," he said.

Asian and European countries should strive to ensure steady recovery of the world economy, Wen said, adding that they also need to promote economic restructuring, gradually remove the systemic and structural risks, enhance fiscal sustainability and build internal drivers of economic growth.

ASEM partners must work together to reform the international economic and financial systems, the premier noted.

"Global economic governance reform is of fundamental importance in overcoming the financial crisis and we must explore ways to establish a more effective global economic governance system," he said.

Efforts are needed to improve the decision-making process and mechanism of the international financial institutions, increase the representation and voice of developing countries, encourage wider participation and fully accommodate each other's interests and concerns, Wen said.

He called for stepped-up cooperation on international financial supervision and regulation. "We must be steadfast in advocating and supporting free trade, resolutely oppose protectionism, and work for early, equitable and balanced outcomes of the Doha Round negotiations on the basis of the existing text."

ASEM partners must work together to address global challenges, Wen said.

"We must make concerted efforts to meet the climate challenge under the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities," he said. "We should pay equal attention to economic development and environmental protection, actively engage in cooperation in clean energy conservation and environmental protection."

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (2nd L) is welcomed by Belgian King Albert II (C), Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme (2nd R), President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy (1st L) and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso prior to the opening ceremony of the eighth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Brussels, Belgium, Oct. 4, 2010. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

Efforts should also be made to jointly fight terrorism and piracy to maintain maritime transport safety and normal trade between Asia and Europe, and strengthen cooperation in disaster preparedness and reduction, he said.

ASEM partners must work together to facilitate exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, the premier stressed.

Cultural exchanges play an important role in advancing human progress, he said, adding that both the Eastern learning spreading westward and the Western learning spreading eastward have contributed to the prosperity and progress of the two civilizations.

ASEM nations should embrace diversity in civilizations and religious beliefs and respect their difference, he said. "We must also respect different development models and the right of all countries to independently choose their development paths."

"It is necessary to give stronger support to the Asia-Europe Foundation and enable it to play an even bigger role in strengthening academic, cultural and people-to-people exchanges between Asia and Europe."0 ASEM partners must work together to uphold peace and stability in Asia and Europe, the Chinese premier said.

Wen urged ASEM countries to "adhere to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, intensify political interactions and strategic coordination, and enhance mutual understanding and trust."

"We should vigorously advocate a philosophy that values peace above everything else, seek peaceful solutions to regional hot-spot issues, put an end to turmoil and warfare, and lay the foundation for long-term prosperity," he said.

Wen said the past 14 years of cooperation between Asia and Europe has demonstrated that trust comes from dialogue and cooperation leads to win-win outcomes.

"On the way toward global economic recovery, we must continue to help each other and move forward hand-in-hand. Let us work together to shape a prosperous and harmonious future for Asia and Europe," Wen said.

Wen arrived here from Greece earlier in the day. He is also scheduled to attend the 13th China-European Union (EU) summit in Brussels and pay visits to Italy and Turkey.

Source: Xinhua


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