Address by Wen Jiabao, Premier of the State Council of
The People's Republic of China at the Second East Asia Summit
Cebu, the Philippines, 15 January 2007
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,
I am glad to meet you again. Thanks to the joint efforts of all parties, the East Asia Summit has achieved important progress during the past year. We have identified five priority areas for cooperation and had good discussions on the further growth of the Summit. Thus, a solid foundation has been laid for our future cooperation. The East Asia Summit, though in its early stage of growth, is full of vitality and has a bright future.
Now, we need to focus our efforts on an important issue. That is, we should make good use of the strategic platform of the East Asia Summit, build consensus and boost the strength of all countries in the region, enhance unity and cooperation among us, overcome difficulties and meet challenges and promote peace, stability and prosperity of the region. With this in mind, I wish to put forward the following views for your consideration:
--- East Asia cooperation should enhance common development and prosperity of the region. We should start such cooperation in areas in which the parties have extensive common interest and agreement. Priority should be given to sharing development practice and advanced information and other technologies to enable the participating countries to benefit from cooperation and thus build up confidence in and momentum of cooperation. We should ensure that East Asia cooperation grow in a balanced way and bring benefits to all, so that we can, through practical cooperation at bilateral and multilateral levels, build strong economic and trade linkages and put in place a cooperation framework based on mutual benefit and drawing on mutual strength.
--- East Asia cooperation should lead to harmony among all countries in the region. We should create a new community of common destiny whose members enjoy common development in times of peace and meet challenges together in times of crisis. The goal of our cooperation is to promote peace, stability and development of the region. To achieve this goal, we should foster a regional security environment of mutual trust and enduring stability by bridging differences through dialogue on an equal footing and resolving disputes through friendly consultation.
--- East Asia cooperation should respect diversified development of social systems and cultures. We should bear in mind the particular national conditions of and uneven development in East Asian countries, respect each other and accommodate the needs and capabilities of different countries and advance cooperation step by step. Our cooperation should be open. Participation by countries and organizations outside the region should be welcome to widen the scope and reinforce the foundation of our cooperation. China supports ASEAN in continuing to play a leading role in East Asia cooperation.
Energy security, finance, education, avian influenza and disaster reduction top the agenda of this Summit. Closer cooperation in these areas will enhance the interests of our countries and the well-being of our people. Here, I wish to state China's position on these issues:
1. Develop a new thinking on energy and ensure energy security. The accelerating economic globalization has brought the energy issue into sharper focus. Energy security calls for the concerted efforts of the international community, and an approach to energy security, featuring mutually beneficial cooperation, diversified development and ensuring supply through coordination, should be developed and pursued. In particular, we should give priority to the following three tasks:
First, strengthen dialogue and policy coordination in energy security among energy consumers and between energy consumers and producers in the interest of stability of the energy market in the region.
Second, raise energy efficiency and conserve energy, speed up R&D and extension of clean energy, alternative energy and new energy technologies, and establish a clean, secure, economical and reliable regional energy supply system.
Third, ensure energy shipping security through bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
China attaches great importance to energy security and energy cooperation. The Chinese Government pursues an energy policy that calls for giving priority to conservation, relying mainly on domestic supply, diversifying energy development, protecting the environment and strengthening mutually beneficial international cooperation. China will continue to rely on itself to meet its energy need, and priority will be given to raising energy efficiency. Our goal is to meet the target of a 20% reduction in energy consumption per unit of GDP in 2010. We are prepared to take an active part in international cooperation to ensure stability of the regional and global energy market.
2. Strengthen coordination to ensure effective prevention and control of avian influenza. We should enhance capacity building, take scientific and standard steps, and share research advances and experience in prevention and control of communicable diseases. At present, priority should be to prevent the transmission of avian influenza to human-beings. We should intensify cooperation in technological exchanges, personnel training, information sharing, vaccine research and development, and prevention and control of cross-border transmission. The Chinese Government takes the prevention and control of avian influenza seriously. It runs an open and transparent information releasing system and is successful and timely in preventing the spread of avian influenza. We are ready to work with other countries in the region to effectively resolve the avian influenza issue.
3. Improve cooperation mechanisms and ensure financial security. Financial security is an important guarantee for steady economic development in our region. Countries in Asia are engaged in effective cooperation and have made good progress in regional currency swap arrangement and the Asian Bond Market. We should continue to have bilateral and multilateral dialogue on financial policies, carry out cooperation in human resources development and institutional capacity building, strengthen the regional financial market, develop early-warning mechanisms, intensify monitoring of hot money, and enhance the capacity of risk management of countries in the region. We should also consider ways to use the abundant foreign exchange reserve in the region to promote regional financial stability and economic growth.
4. Deepen educational cooperation in an all-round way to promote long-term development. Education is fundamental to a country's enduring prosperity. It is necessary for us all to intensify exchanges and cooperation between educational and academic institutions, expand linkages between institutions of higher learning and carry out youth, cultural and sports exchanges in diverse forms. In particular, we should increase educational assistance to less developed countries, promote two-way flow of educational resources and raise the educational level of our region.
5. Strengthen international cooperation in disaster reduction and relief in the spirit of helping those in need and assisting those in difficulty. As natural disasters know no national boundaries, they must be managed by cooperative efforts. In recent years, we have laid a good foundation of cooperation in responding to the sudden strike of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and other major disasters. We should step up cooperation in developing a disaster early-warning system, sharing disaster information and reduction technology and enhancing disaster reduction capacity building to bring about harmony between social and economic development and the preservation of natural resources and the ecological environment.
China has made remarkable achievements in economic development in close to three decades since the adoption of reform and opening-up policy. We have embarked upon a sound path, the path of peaceful development. It means that China pursues development through peaceful cooperation and endeavors to uphold world peace as it develops itself. It also means that China is committed to promoting both its own development and the common prosperity and progress of the international community.
By developing itself and opening its market, China has made important contribution to economic stability and prosperity of Asia. We will expand trade with and investment in other Asian countries and provide more assistance to them. We will also work to expand common interests of China and these countries to promote mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.
On the other hand, China faces many challenges in its development endeavor. Although China leads many countries in terms of overall economic strength, it has a population of 1.3 billion and its per capita GDP ranks behind the 100th place in the world. In China, there is serious imbalance between urban and rural areas, between different regions and between economic and social development. For many years to come, development will remain a top priority for us. To develop ourselves, we need peace, friendship and more importantly, cooperation.
China's relations with its neighbors are now in great shape. China's policy of good-neighborliness and friendship has served the common interests of all the countries concerned. This policy will remain unchanged. We will continue to promote friendship and partnership with our neighbors to foster an amicable, peaceful and prosperous neighborhood and work with other countries to turn Asia into a harmonious, prosperous and beautiful home for us all.