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Cooperation key to a bright future of East Asia

(People's Daily Online)

16:10, July 23, 2012

It is reported that Japan and the United States have already reached an agreement that officials from Japan self-defense force will be stationed permanently in Pentagon around 2013, so as to respond promptly to emergencies in Asia Pacific. Is the security situation in the region spinning out of control?

The shift of the U.S. military focus back to Asia Pacific and Japan’s increasingly active role in building a new security landscape in East Asia easily remind people of a Chinese proverb " The disturbed create trouble for themselves when peace reigns in the world."

The overall security situation in East Asia remains stable at present. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted in April that China and India will continue to maintain robust growth while the five Southeast Asian economies, including Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam will be expected to grow by 6.2 percent in 2013. Southeast Asia is becoming a heaven for stock investors, Bloomberg reported.

East Asia enters a new period of unprecedented cooperation and development. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is expected to establish a unified large market by 2015, which has been in a crucial period. China has always been supporting ASEAN's internal integration and actively promoting such cooperative mechanisms as "ASEAN plus China" (10+1) and "ASEAN plus China, Japan, and South Korea"(10+3).

The Financial Times recently reported that since two years ago when the U.S. Secretary of State began to participate in the ASEAN Regional Forum Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the forum has turned into a platform for nations to discuss the controversial islands disputes in the South China Sea. Under such a circumstance that the overall security situation is stable in East Asia, the United States divert the attention of East Asian countries to the so-called security issue, which interfere with the progress of East Asia development.

Maintenance of regional stability not only serves the fundamental interests of East Asian countries, but also requires their concerted efforts. There really are some sensitive and complicated historical issues among East Asian countries which require time and mutual trust to resolve. Exaggeration of these issues or attempting to take advantage of restless external powers may lead to loss of hard-won fruit of cooperation among East Asian countries.

East Asian countries have established effective cooperative mechanisms in various fields such as economy, trade, finance and grain reserves, and will be able to carry out practical cooperation in more fields. Development is of overriding importance and cooperation is the key to a bright future for East Asia.

Read the Chinese version: 合作是把握东亚未来的关键, source: People's Daily, author: Zhong Sheng

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