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Remarks by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at EAS
2012/07/11

I wish to thank Cambodia for the thoughtful preparations and arrangements it has made for this meeting.

I wish to share with you some observations on the development of the EAS. As a leaders-led strategic forum in this region, the EAS should focus its attention on the most common and major concerns of the region. It should be strategic and forward-looking, so as to offer effective guidance to major issues concerning durable peace and common prosperity in the region. China proposes to promote sound and steady development of the EAS in the following three areas.

First, focus on development.

Since the turn of the century, the Asia-Pacific, East Asia in particular, has sustained rapid growth, bringing huge benefits to people in the region and boosting the status of East Asia in the world. It is also in this context that the EAS has come into being and grown steadily. The Asia-Pacific is face with such challenges as the acute European debt crises, mounting downward pressure in the world economy and prominent non-traditional security issues, and increasing uncertainties. Given the situation, we should stick to development,work for better and faster development in this region, expand common interests, and let the people in this region enjoy the development dividends.

China contributes over 58% to the Asian economic growth. China is the largest trading partner and export market for many countries in the region. It plays a positive role in promoting regional development. We are also grateful to other countries for their assistance in China's development. We will enhance macro-economic policy coordination with and provide assistance to regional countries to the best of its capabilities, promote balanced economic and social development in regional countries, narrow development gaps among the regional members, and achieve common development and prosperity in the region.

Second, focus on cooperation

The Asia-Pacific is highly diverse and complex. Only by respecting the values, culture, traditions and development paths of different countries can we step up coordination and cooperation on the basis of equality and turn diversity into vitality and driving force for regional development and progress. We should uphold the approach of East Asia cooperation featuring ASEAN centrality, gradualism, consensus, and accommodating the comfort level of all parties.

China takes an active part in the six priority areas of cooperation identified by the EAS. We focus on connectivity in our cooperation with ASEAN. We have set up a 10-billion-dollar China- ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund and announced 25-billion-dollar credit to support infrastructure and other cooperation with ASEAN. We support the inclusion of ASEAN connectivity into the priority areas of cooperation of the EAS. We will continue to promote ASEAN connectivity through China-ASEAN economic, trade, transport and financial cooperation. We will also enhance communication with other EAS members and gradually extend connectivity to the entire East Asia.

China, together with ASEAN, Japan and the ROK, have been vigorously promoting CMIM, established a foreign exchanges reserve pool worth 240 billion US dollars and strengthened the resilience of East Asian countries against financial risks. We have jointly set up the regional Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility worth 700 million US dollars. This will play a constructive role in promoting the Asian Bond Market. China supports ASEAN's initiative of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and will work with ASEAN and other relevant parties to push forward the process to create conditions for regional economic integration.

China believes that the EAS should enhance cooperation on non-traditional security issues, including natural disasters, communicable diseases and transnational crimes. The EAS should give priority to information and experience sharing, human resources training and capacity building in our cooperation. Over the years, China has hosted close to 1,000 exchange and training programs and workshops under the 10+1, 10+3 and ARF frameworks in these above-mentioned areas, and is gradually expanding such cooperation to the EAS framework. Since last year, China has held the EAS Symposium on Post-Disaster Psychological Care in Beijing, and co-sponsored the EAS Exercise on Emergency Response to Earthquake in Padang, West Sumatra of Indonesia. China is making active preparations for the EAS Forum on New Energy and the third EAS Seminar on Climate Change Adaptation Capacity Building. China will take an active part in cooperation on control of malaria and other communicable diseases and organize human resource training programs on public health for EAS countries to help raise regional capacity for disease control.

Third, work together to uphold regional peace and stability.

The interest of Asia-Pacific countries are closely entwined. There are quite a few hotspot issues, and some differences and frictions in this region. We believe that countries in the region should accommodate each other's security concerns, show maximum goodwill, wisdom and patience and continue to resolve differences through dialogue and consultations. Countries in the region should gradually expand common ground, iron out differences, push forward cooperation and work together for an open, transparent and equal security architecture in the Asia-Pacific.

The Declaration of the East Asia Summit on the Principles for Muturally Beneficial Relations adopted at the EAS last year should be implemented. Facts have proven that it is in the common interest of countries in the region to stick to the nature of EAS as a "leaders-led" strategic forum and pesist in advancing cooperation in the six priority areas.

As a responsible members of the Asia-Pacific family, China is ready to enhance mutual trust and cooperation with other parties in a spirit of mutual respect, and seeking common ground while shelving differences, and make greater efforts for building a peaceful, growing, prosperous and harmonious East Asia and the Asia-Pacific.

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