Text Version
RSS Feeds
Home Forum Photos Features Newsletter Archive Employment
About US Help Site Map
SEARCH   About US FAQ Site Map Site News
  -Text Version
  -RSS Feeds
  -News Archive
  -Give us feedback
  -Voices of Readers
  -Online community
  -China Biz info
  What's new
Further reciprocal cooperation to build a harmonious East Asia
+ -
14:23, May 26, 2008

 Related Channel News
· The Second 10+3 Media Cooperation Forum
 Comment  Tell A Friend
 Print Format  Save Article

--- Speech by Mr. Yi Xiaozhun, Vice Minister of Commerce of China, at the Second 10+3 Media Cooperation Forum

Tianjin, May 19, 2008

Respected Mr. Zhang Gaoli, Secretary of CPC Tianjin Party Committee, respected President Zhang Yannong of People’s Daily, honorable guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

It is a great pleasure for me to be here at this forum. The forum which has translated Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s initiative at the 10+3 Summit last year into practice will certainly promote the exchange and cooperation between media in the East Asian region. On behalf of the Ministry of Commerce of China, I hereof would like to express our congratulations for the inauguration of the forum and our warm welcome to media representatives present at the event.

As required by our host, my speech will focus on the economic cooperation in the East Asian region.

The world economy is experiencing fundamental changes. The economic globalization and regional cooperation are deepening. The flow of production factors and the transfer of industries are accelerating. A new round of scientific revolution is booming. Those facts combine to make a historic opportunity of a leap-forward development for East Asia.

Over the past couple of decades, East Asian countries have achieved remarkable progress both economically and socially by restructuring their economies, opening up further, and pushing regional cooperation forward to adapt to the economic globalization.

The World Bank statistics show a ten percent economic growth in East Asia in 2007, which is 6 percentage points higher than that of the global economy. The economy and trade of East Asia account for some 40 percent of the world’s total and the region holds more than 60 percent of the world’s foreign exchange reserve. Economies within the region are increasingly interdependent and the ratio of trade between economies within the region has risen to more than 55 percent. The East Asia, along with Europe and North America, has become an important driving force for the world economy.

The launch of the East Asian cooperation can be directly attributed to the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. The process of the East Asian cooperation has been consolidated day by day since then. Now the cooperation is based on a multi-layered, multi-facaded structure with the ASEAN as the core, the three 10+1 frameworks (ASEAN plus China, Japan and South Korea respectively) as the basis, the 10+3 framework as the main channel and the East Asian Summit as an important complement.

The ASEAN has decided to speed up its integration and agreed to build the ASEAN Community by 2015. The ASEAN Charter signed by leaders of the member countries in Nov. 2007 is an important mark that ASEAN has grown to be a more united, more efficient and more rule-based regional organization. On the top of that, the ASEAN has progressed with the construction of free trade zones with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea respectively. The vision of an East Asian Community is shared by countries in the region. The Second Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation signed at the 11th ASEAN Plus Three Summit and the Singapore Declaration on Climate Change, Energy and Environment signed at the Third East Asia Summit last year represent the desire and commitment of East Asian countries on further cooperation to face challenges together.

Meanwhile, concrete progress has been made on the regional financial cooperation which is reflected by the Chiang Mai Initiative and the Asian Bond Market. Recently financial ministers of the 10+3 countries have agreed to raise at lease 80 billion USD to prepare for the mutual foreign exchange reserve funds to ward off possible future financial crisis.

In addition, East Asian countries have been beefing up their exchanges and cooperation on poverty alleviation, disaster mitigation and culture.

In a word, the past ten years has witnessed how the East Asia began, developed and boosted the regional cooperation and how East Asia as a whole became an emerging power in the world.

Ladies and gentlemen

The Olympic Games will be held in China this year. The year also marks the 30th anniversary of China’s policy of reform and opening up. Over the past 30 years, China’s economy has been growing at a rapid pace of more than 9 percent annually and accounted for 5 percent of the world’s total economic volume in 2007, compared with merely 1 percent in 1978. China is the fourth largest economy in the world now. It was the 11th in 1978.

Thirty years ago, the Chinese people were suffered from insufficient food and shelters. Now the community is generally enjoying a well-off life. The impoverished population in the rural areas has reduced to some 10 million from 250 million.

The imports in and exports from China have increased to 8 percent of the world’s total in 2007, compared with less than 1 percent in 1978. China is the third largest trading country in the world.

The development of China has boosted the world economy and trade. China contributes more than ten percent to the world economy and more than 12 percent to the growth of the world trade. The international capital has found a massive market in China. The actual use of foreign capital has come to more than 780 billion USD. Foreign investment has not only become an important integral part of the national economy, but also recognized as one of the important sources of tax revenue, job opportunities and economic growth. In the mean time, China’s overseas investment has also entered into a new era. By the end of 2007, China had made nearly a hundred billion USD of investment on the international market.

However, we should also bear in mind the fact that, with its largest population in the world and less developed economy, China is still the largest developing country in the world. With a huge economic volume, China still lags behind more than 100 countries in terms of per capita GDP. It faces the challenges of unbalanced development between urban and rural areas and between different regions, growing employment pressure and the mounting resource and environment pressure under the rapid economic and social development.

Uncertainties and potential risks in the world economic situation have been increasing since the beginning of this year due to the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the U.S., the depreciation of the USD, the soaring oil and food prices.

Given all of those reasons, it is definitely crucial for us to be clear-minded and always be aware of the possible risks. For China, there is still a long way to go before it can realize its ambition of building a modernized and comprehensive well-off society for its 1.3 billion people.

Standing at a new historical starting point, China will stick to its idea of scientific outlook of development to achieve a balance between urban and rural development, between different regions, between the economic and social development, between the human and nature, and between the domestic development and opening to the rest of the world. Only through development and reform can we solve the problems arising from the process of modernization.

Our goals include doubled per capita GDP in 2010 over that of 2000, an economy with 4 trillion USD and 3,000 USD per capital GDP in 2020. Realization of those goals will eventually make a comprehensive well-off society.

Ladies and gentlemen
The world, and the East Asia in particular, is indispensable for the development of China. In 2007, 42 percent of China’s imports and exports came from East Asian countries and regions while 60 percent of its foreign investment came from East Asian countries and regions like Hong Kong SAR, South Korea, Japan and Singapore.

The development of China has not only benefited the 1.3 billion Chinese people, but also provided opportunities for other countries in the region. Since 1978, China’s imports have been growing at an annual rate of 16.7 percent, making China the world’s third largest and Asia’s largest import market. In 2007, China imported 460 billion USD from the East Asian countries and regions, representing 48 percent of China’s total imports that year. In the next five years to come, China will expand its market to the world with more than 2 trillion USD of imports from Asia.

There has been increasing visible benefits of the free trade zone arrangement since China and ASEAN signed the Agreement on Trade in Goods in 2004 and the Agreement on Trade in Service in 2007. In 2007, trade between ASEAN and China amounted to 202.5 billion USD, meaning that the trade goals set by the leaders of the two sides had been achieved three years earlier than as scheduled. Among them, imports from ASEAN to China registered 108.4 billion USD, which was 1.3 times as many as that in 2003 before the tariff cuts were implemented.

In addition to that, China has provided financial, technological and market support to the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) economic cooperation. As a development partner of BIMP-EAGA, China has built a batch of projects in this growth area. And China has unilaterally offered special favorable tariffs to some 1,000 products from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, remitted government debts in maturity for the least developed countries in the region, and personnel training involving 500 people from ASEAN.

Ladies and gentlemen
China will unswervingly stick to its road of peaceful development and practice its opening strategy under the principle of reciprocity and win-win prospect. East Asian countries are China’s friendly neighbors. China constantly implements its good-neighborhood and partnership policy with the aims of contributing to create an amiable, peaceful and prosperous neighborhood in the region. China will continue its participation into the East Asian cooperation, develop itself through further opening up and in turn boost the East Asian development.

I will hereinafter share with you my three views about the East Asian cooperation.

Firstly, take the real situation into consideration and develop a open, inclusive outlook to realize the long-term prospect of an East Asian Community through a gradual process. As the situations and development level vary among countries in East Asia, the diversity of the region has to be taken into account and the concerns of different countries have to be addressed. Several cooperation mechanisms have been established in the East Asia, like the three 10+1, the 10+3, the East Asia Summit, etc. It is necessary for any one of us to be ready to respect the diversity, to hold an inclusive attitude, to complement with each other, to seek common ground while reserving differences and to proceed step by step.

China respects the ASEAN’s leading role in the East Asian cooperation, supports ASEAN’s efforts on balancing its development within the region, and is willing to offer our help in our ability to promote the integration of the ASEAN.

China proposes that the East Asian cooperation be pushed forward in a positive and steady way with the 10+1 framework as the basis, the 10+3 mechanism as the major channel and the East Asia Summit as an important complement. The vision of the East Asian Community will be materialized by matching and combining our advantages well.

Secondly, improve the competitiveness of the East Asia as a whole by more mutual investment and further industrial integration in the region. East Asian countries are geographically and culturally close to each other and economically complementary to each other. The Chinese government will continue to encourage and support eligible Chinese enterprises to make investment and cooperation in the East Asian countries, building economic and trade cooperation zones which have well-equipped infrastructure, full-fledged industrial chains, highly correlated sectors, and contribute to promote the local economy. Chinese enterprises are also encouraged to make investment in a collective way and on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefits so that common development can be achieved.

East Asian countries can also joint hands on research and drafting bilateral or regional cooperation and development planning, drawing up blueprints for the industrial integration and structural upgrading to improve the regional economic competitiveness. All of that will lead to a sound foundation for the East Asian Community.

Thirdly, build an economic corridor by interconnecting the infrastructure and facilitating trade within the region. East Asian countries should step up their coordination on the issues of construction technical standards, laws and regulations. It will be very helpful if a traffic network including roads, railways, waterways, aviation and information can be put into place in the region. Stakeholders and international financial institutions like the Asian Development Bank (ADB) can sit together and seek the possibility of co-funding an investment entity which offers financial support to interconnect infrastructure in a market-oriented way within the region. As a result, a convenient traffic corridor will facilitate the transportation and trade and attract participation of cities and enterprises along the corridor. When cooperation on trade, investment and industries is promoted, the traffic corridor will make an economic corridor into reality. And there will be growing economic interdependence between East Asian countries.

Ladies and gentlemen
The East Asia cooperation process was launched ten years ago thanks to the joint efforts of the countries in the region. A spirit of seeking for the common ground while reserving the differences and sincere cooperation is particularly important at this new stage of the East Asia cooperation. The active participation of the media is of course indispensable. The construction of the East Asian Community is not only the responsibility of governments and enterprises. The recognition and engagement of the people of East Asia is more important. In this increasingly information-oriented era, the role of media is keeping extending and expanding. The media represents the public trust and the most important source of information for the public. Therefore, media is a significant bridge. I do hope we make joint efforts to build East Asia into a region of peace, harmony and prosperity.

Thanks for your attention.

  Your Message:   Most Commented:
Western media are giving us a "lecture"
CNN president apologizes for Jack Cafferty's remarks on China
Poll: Bush most unpopular president
Overseas netizens express sympathy and blessings to quake-hit Chinese

|About Peopledaily.com.cn | Advertise on site | Contact us | Site map | Job offer|
Copyright by People's Daily Online, All Rights Reserved