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Premier Calls for Win-Win Development Path for Asia

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Sunday that to create a win-win situation through closer cooperation and stronger efforts for development is the only way to make Asia's renewal possible.

"It is also where the fundamental interests of Asian peoples lie," said Wen at the second annual conference of the Boao Forum which opened Sunday at the island town of southernmost China's Hainan Province.

With the theme of Asia Searching for Win-Win: Development through Cooperation, the two-day meeting brings together more than 1200 delegates worldwide, including incumbent and former heads of state and government, entrepreneurs and scholars.

"The new situation in this new century has provided Asia with many new opportunities for development," Wen said.

Peace and development remains the main themes of the era, he said, adding that with an international environment of overall peace, Asia enjoys some favorable external conditions for its development.

Surging economic globalization, rapidly advancing technological revolution, and quickening pace in the reshuffle of international production factors and transfer of industries are helpful for Asian countries to utilize foreign capital, absorb production know-how, penetrate deeper into the global market and promote economic growth at home, he said.

"With abundant natural resources and broad market, Asia is the world's most dynamic region economically and has a vast potential for development," the premier noted.

Meanwhile, Asia is also faced with new challenges, and impediments to peace and development still exist.

Traditional and non-traditional threats are interwoven and make the security situation a lot more complicated, he said.

"The unfair and inequitable old international political and economic order remains largely intact," Wen said, adding that economic, scientific and technological competitions among countries have become increasingly heated.

"The on-going economic recovery in the world is not only slow-paced but laden with risks," he said.

In addition, many Asian countries face some tough fights at home in terms of economic structure, financial system, environment and international competitiveness.

To maintain peace and stability is the basic prerequisite for a win-win Asia, the premier said, stressing, "Without a peaceful environment, without social stability, there can be no development to speak of, and the opportunities are likely to slip through our fingers."

"We should proceed from the larger interests of Asia's development, cultivate a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation, and conduct ourselves in such spirits as mutual respect, amicable coexistence and seeking common ground while setting aside differences."

"We should opt for dialog in resolving disputes, step up cooperation in maintaining security, and bring about lasting peace and stability in Asia through the establishment of a new international political and economic order that is fair and rational," Wen said.

To promote development and prosperity is an important foundation for a win-win Asia, the premier said.

Noting Asian countries differ from one another in national condition, economic development level and cultural tradition, Wen said, "Their choices for the paths and mode of development should be fully respected since they were made in the light of the diversity."

Asian countries should give scope to their respective strengths, open their markets to each other, draw upon each other's advantages amid competition and achieve common development through cooperation.

The developed countries should provide more funds and technical support to the developing countries, helping them to achieve growth and enhance their capacity to participate in international economic cooperation and competition, he said.

Noting that to step up regional cooperation and exchanges is an effective way to achieve a win-win situation in Asia, Wen said, "We should deepen regional and sub-regional cooperation in keeping with such principles as diversity in forms, mutual benefit, reciprocity and gradual progress."

He said that in recent years, thanks to concerted efforts by Asian countries, cooperation of multiple forms has grown stronger, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus China (10+1), ASEAN plus China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) (10+3), China, Japan and ROK, ASEAN and India, Asia Cooperation Dialogue and other mechanisms.

"A gratifying situation of sound, mutually beneficial and open cooperation is in the offing in Asia," he added.

The premier stressed that Asian countries should build on the existing cooperation mechanisms, explore new ones and expand the scope of cooperation while improving the quality of cooperation.

To persist in openness and cooperation with the rest of the world is a must for a win-win Asia, he said.

"Asia cannot rejuvenate in isolation of the world, and the world also needs Asia for prosperity and progress," Wen said.

Describing the world as a colorful place of diversity, Wen said Asia should open herself to the finest achievements of all civilizations and draw upon the successful experience of development of others in order to achieve development.

"We have to admit that it is the regions and countries outside Asia that have led the world at the economic, scientific and technological fronts in modern times."

"We should learn from them while taking advantage of the ongoing economic globalization," said Wen, who called on Asian counties to do a better job in promoting their development and progress by opening to the rest of the world and engaging them with closer cooperation.

The premier said the sustained and rapid growth of the Chinese economy has not only benefited the Chinese people, but also made the people in the rest of Asia and other parts of the world more prosperous.

Having overcome the difficulties caused by the SARS outbreak and serious natural disasters, China enjoys an impressive economic growth and all-round progress in all its undertakings.

Between January and September this year, China's GDP grew by 8.5 percent compared with the same period of last year.

Foreign trade also went up substantially, with export jumping 32.3 percent to 307.7 billion US dollars and import soaring 40.5 percent to 298.6 billion dollars.

"Our total import from the rest of Asia increased by 43.1 percent, with imports from Japan, the Republic of Korea, India and ASEAN countries growing by 39.7 percent, 52.8 percent, 85.3 percent, and 54.5 percent respectively," Wen said.

"China is an important member of Asia," the premier noted.

Since the founding of New China in 1949, especially since the adoption of reform and opening-up policy 25 years ago, China has sustained a rapid economic development, increased its overall national strength remarkably and delivered, by and large, a comfortable living standard for its citizens.

The weight of China's economy in Asian and global economies has increased steadily, and since much of its import and export trade is conducted within Asia, China is playing an increasing role in Asia's economic development, he said.

It is the consistent policy of the Chinese government to work for an Asia that enjoys development, rejuvenation, peace and stability, the premier said.

China's Asia policy is aimed at achieving peace, security, cooperation and prosperity, said Wen. To promote cooperation, development and a win-win situation in Asia, China will:

-- engage the fellow Asian countries, in a spirit of mutual respect and equality, in cultivating a regional political environment where all countries, big or small, can live with one another in peace and tranquility;

-- deepen cooperation with the fellow Asian countries, strive for common development and create a regional development environment where all can enjoy prosperity;

-- strengthen mutual trust and coordination with the fellow Asian countries and shape a regional security environment of lasting stability; and

-- intensify exchanges and emulations with the fellow Asian countries, and bring about a regional cultural environment of rich diversity.

"One has every reason to believe that a dynamic, strong and prosperous China, a China that is dedicated to world peace and development and a China that never seeks hegemony for itself, will make fresh contributions to Asia's rejuvenation and renewal," he concluded.

(Xinhua News Agency November 2, 2003)

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