Chinese president delivers message of peace, openness

Last Updated: Sunday, April 7, 2013 - 13:44

Beijing: President Xi Jinping said China will make contributions toward peace and development in Asia and the world at an international forum that opened on Sunday.

China will vigorously promote development and prosperity in both Asia and the world, Xi said when delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2013 in Boao, a coastal town in south China`s Hainan Province.

His appearance is the first that he has made at a multilateral diplomatic meeting in China since he was elected president in March.

"The more China grows, the more development opportunities it will create for the rest of Asia and the world," Xi said.

In the coming five years, the country`s imports will reach about 10 trillion U.S. dollars and its outbound investment will reach 500 billion dollars, according to the president.

Its number of outbound tourists may exceed 400 million, he said.

Xi said China will continue to properly handle differences and frictions with relevant nations.

While upholding its sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, China will maintain good relations with its neighbors, as well as maintain overall peace and stability in the region, he said.

"Countries, whether big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, should all contribute their share in maintaining and enhancing peace," Xi said.

No one should be allowed to throw a region into chaos for selfish gains, he said.

Although growing interactions inevitably lead to friction, it is important that countries resolve their differences through dialogue in the larger interest of the sound growth of their relations, he said.

China will increase connectivity with its neighbors through various means, including building a regional financing platform and advancing economic integration within Asia, he said.

The president also pledged that China will promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, step up bilateral investment and explore new areas of cooperation with other countries.

Xi`s speech was in line with similar remarks he made when meeting foreign experts in December last year. At their meeting, Xi said China`s progress will never be detrimental to other countries.

" China will never seek hegemony or expansionism," he said.

As a non-governmental and non-profit international organization founded in 2001, the BFA works to promote regional economic integration and bring Asian countries closer to their development goals.

The largest forum to be held in the event`s history, the 2013 forum is being held under the theme of "Asia Seeking Development for All: Restructuring, Responsibility and Cooperation," attracting more than 2,500 people from around the globe.

Xi reiterated his vision of an international community in which everyone shares the same fate and can stick together in times of difficulty.

Xi said the global village should be a stage for common development, rather than "an arena where gladiators fight each other," calling for the international community to advocate a vision of comprehensive, common and cooperative security.

In pursuing their own development, countries should promote the common development of all and expand common interests, he said.

Xi called for a dynamic environment in which Asia and other regions enjoy mutually reinforced progress.

In the past 10 years, trade within Asia has increased from 800 billion U.S. dollars to 3 trillion U.S. dollars, while its trade with other regions has grown from 1.5 trillion to 4.8 trillion U.S. dollars.

"This shows that cooperation in Asia is open and goes hand in hand with Asia`s cooperation with other regions," Xi said. "Asia should welcome non-Asian countries to play a constructive role in ensuring stability and development in the region. Non-Asian countries should respect Asia`s diversity and its long-standing tradition of cooperation."

In his speech, Xi called for Asian countries to better cooperate and explore development paths suited to their national conditions.

Asia needs to "enhance mutual understanding, build a consensus and enrich cooperation so as to strike a balance among the interests of various parties," Xi said.

The global economy has entered a period of profound readjustment and its recovery remains elusive. The international financial sector is fraught with risk and protectionism is on the rise, Xi warned.

While emerging as an important engine driving world economic recovery and growth, the continent needs to transform and upgrade its development model, adjust its economic structure, make development more cost-effective and make life better for its people, he said.

Sustaining development is still of paramount importance to Asia, because development is the key to solving the major problems and difficulties it faces, he said.

"Achieving common development for all countries remains an uphill battle," he said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, April 7, 2013 - 11:29

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