Li highlights unity as key to prosperity

By Cao Desheng in Jakarta (China Daily) 08:53, September 08, 2023

Premier Li Qiang attends the 18th East Asia Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sept 7, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

Premier calls for promoting building of Asia-Pacific free trade area at summit

Premier Li Qiang called for adhering to economic globalization and striving to promote the construction of the Asia-Pacific free trade area on Thursday at the 18th East Asia Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The premier said that in the past few decades, East Asia has seized the opportunities of economic globalization, firmly embarked on the path of open development and win-win cooperation, and become an important engine for promoting global development.

"We deeply understand the difficulties in development, the necessity of openness and the value of peace, and also truly understand that unity leads to prosperity while division leads to decline," he said.

In the face of new circumstances and new challenges, the East Asia Summit should play a greater role in achieving long-term stability and sustainable prosperity in the region, Li said.

He underlined the need for regional countries to better promote development and stimulate regional growth vitality, calling for more wisdom and strength to seek cooperation and promote development.

The premier called for improving the role of strategic dialogue to enhance mutual understanding and trust among all countries. "China is willing to conduct more in-depth dialogue and cooperation with all parties, promote the common values for humanity, and implement the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, all proposed by President Xi Jinping."

Li underscored the leading role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in promoting inclusive and mutually beneficial cooperation among regional countries. "We should take into full consideration the concerns and interests of all parties, and better achieve complementarity and cohesion," he added.

As China and ASEAN members are actively promoting consultations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, the premier expressed hope that countries outside the region would fully respect their efforts in upholding peace and stability in the South China Sea.

The impact of marine pollution is far-reaching, and countries should protect the marine ecological environment in a responsible manner, he said.

Li emphasized that China will adhere to the fundamental national policy of opening-up and continue to share development opportunities with other countries. All parties are welcome to actively participate in the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which will be held in October, he said.

Leaders attending the East Asia Summit said that regional countries should uphold the role of the summit as a strategic forum, practice multilateralism, comply with the United Nations Charter and international law, strengthen constructive dialogue and join hands to address global challenges such as climate change, public health, energy and food security.

The leaders' statement on maintaining and promoting the region as a growth center was adopted during the summit.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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