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|Wednesday, September 12, 2001, updated at 03:02(GMT+8)|
China's Development Conducive to Stability in AsiaChina's development is conducive to the stability and prosperity of Asia. This is a common view held by former noted political figures attending the on-going International Forum on China and the World in the 21st Century.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Kasem S. Kasemsri of Thailand said that the development of China into an economic powerhouse does not form any threat to other Asian countries. The economic relations between China and other Asian countries have already promoted the liquidity of trade and investment in the region. Statistics show that foreign investment to China and other Asian countries has always been complementary.
He said that in the medium and short term, Asian countries will be affected by China's economic development, but from the long- term point of view, China's economic prosperity will undoubtedly benefit Asia as a whole.
Former Australian Primer Minister Paul Keating said that China has significant influence on all aspects of Asia. In the new century, China's increasingly stronger economic strength will put the country in a more advantageous strategic position and increase its political confidence.
He said that one of the good results of the Asian Financial Crisis is that it offered an opportunity for China to display its constructive role of leadership. China gave its support to the aid package of the International Monetary Fund, and it managed to maintain the value of Renminbi when its neighbors were temporarily hit by difficulties.
Instead, he said, China focused its efforts on expanding domestic demand to promote economic growth, and made financial efforts to fix-up the region in preparation for future risks. These factors have been welcomed by its neighbors, which shows that China is able to play a leading role in the region.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu said that the practice of opening and reform of China has reinforced its economic relations with the outside world, and its coastal areas are forging ahead side by side with the regional economy.
He said China's imminent access into the World Trade Organization is of great significance, it will strengthen China's interdependence with the international community and promote the country's economic development. This is not only critical for China itself, but also important for the Asian-Pacific and the global economy.
Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke said that the Chinese people wish for a peaceful environment for implementing reforms and maintaining a sustained economic development, which conforms not only to China's own interest, but also to the region' s and the world's interest.
The forum, sponsored by the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, is being participated in by over 200 noted former political figures of other countries, Chinese government officials, experts and scholars.
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