CHINA expects to make this week’s Asian summit a milestone in its history, Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said yesterday.
At a press conference ahead of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Cheng said hosting the summit in Shanghai and taking over as host from 2014 to 2016 was an indication of the great importance China attaches to it.
He said the nation, as a founding CICA member and a positive participant in its development, had made its due contribution to enhancing cooperation, solidarity and trust between Asian countries.
He described the three targets of the two-day Shanghai summit, which opens tomorrow, as promoting communication and trust, gathering consensus and wisdom, and discussing ways to solve pressing issues.
“Through the summit, we hope to offer a platform for countries to exchange views on Asian security and cooperation,” he said.
CICA member states are expected to issue a Shanghai Declaration elaborating on their common aspirations and commitments to strengthening strategic coordination and building an integrated security environment, Cheng said.
It will also expound on plans for CICA development over the next 10 years.
Shanghai was chosen to host the summit because it is a window showcasing the fruits of China’s reform and opening-up, Cheng said.
“It is a political decision of careful consideration to choose Shanghai,” Cheng told reporters. “Shanghai has been a pioneer in accelerating China’s reforms. It is the place where China’s very first pilot free trade zone is located, and the city will continue to stand at the forefront of China’s reforms.”
To date, 46 state leaders and heads or representatives of international organizations have confirmed attendance, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, President Almazbek Atambayev of Kyrgyzstan, and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran will also be taking the opportunity to pay state visits to China, Cheng said.
President Xi Jinping will chair the summit and tomorrow evening host a welcome banquet with his wife Peng Liyuan. The next morning, Xi will deliver a speech on China’s view of the security situation in Asia, and to put forward China’s position on strengthening security dialogue and cooperation.