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Chinese premier's ASEAN attendance helps consolidate friendship, East Asian cooperation

BEIJING, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's active engagement at a series of meetings for East Asian leaders in Bali, Indonesia, has helped boost China-ASEAN traditional friendship and East Asian cooperation, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Monday.

During his stay in Bali, Wen attended the 14th summit between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the 14th summit between ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea, the sixth East Asia Summit, as well as a trilateral summit that included China, Japan and South Korea.

Following the meetings, Wen paid an official visit to Brunei and held talks with Bruneian Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on bilateral ties and issues of common concern.

Wen's visit to Brunei and his attendance at the series of meetings for East Asian leaders were conducive to deepening friendly relations with Brunei and other East Asian nations, Yang said.

Wen's activities, Yang said, demonstrated the image of China as a confident, open and responsible country and created a favorable external environment and a favorable neighboring environment in particular.


The 14th summit between China and ASEAN marked the 20th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations and was thus of great importance, Yang said.

Confronted with a harsh and complex external environment, it is the common aspiration of China and ASEAN members as well as in the interests of various parties to boost mutual trust, deepen cooperation and promote development, he said.

Lauding the achievements in the development of China-ASEAN relations at his speeches at the meetings, Wen noted that as strategic partners for peace and prosperity, the two sides have engaged in exchanges and cooperation in wide-ranging areas and at a level unseen in the past, and have thus formed a community of common destiny sharing a common stake.

China and ASEAN should be both confident and sober-minded, seize opportunities to enhance cooperation and jointly tackle challenges, the premier said. China and ASEAN, Wen said, also should keep their destiny firmly in their hands and not slacken pace or waver in their advance in the direction they have set to pursue their goals.

To promote the future growth of China-ASEAN practical cooperation, Wen outlined a six-point proposal: expand cooperation in trade and investment;give high priority to connectivity and other infrastructural development; deepen financial cooperation; expand practical maritime cooperation;advance cooperation in science, technology and sustainable development;work harder to promote cooperation in social areas and areas important to people's livelihood.


Over the years, East Asia has witnessed the simultaneous development of various mechanisms including ASEAN, 10+1, 10+3, the trilateral summit between China, Japan and South Asia, and the East Asian Summit, Yang said.

During Wen's attendance at the series of meetings, the premier repeatedly stressed that East Asian nations should regard ASEAN as the dominant power of cooperation, highlight the theme of development, mutual benefit and win-win results, and strengthen the cohesion and momentum of development for the mechanisms of 10+1 and 10+3, Yang said.

Wen also put forward a number of important initiatives concerning the region's pragmatic cooperation, which were well lauded by participants at the meetings, Yang said.

Speaking at the 14th ASEAN Plus Three Summit, Wen lauded the important role of 10+3 cooperation in successfully navigating the international financial crisis, maintaining fairly fast economic growth and financial stability, and deepening economic integration in East Asia.

Meanwhile, he put forward a four-point proposal on 10+3 cooperation: accelerating trade liberalization and facilitation in East Asia; raising financial and monetary cooperation to a higher level; increasing input in East Asia connectivity to lay the foundation for East Asia integration; and shifting the growth model and promoting sustainable development in East Asia.

When attending the trilateral summit of leaders of China, Japan and South Korea, Wen spoke highly of the sound momentum of trilateral cooperation, and made proposals on cooperation in such fields as trade, investment, economy, finance, sustainable development, and cultural and people-people exchanges.

He also discussed regional and international issues of common concern with the other two leaders.

Addressing the sixth East Asia Summit, Wen said that coping with the international economic and financial crisis should continue to be regarded as a regional priority.

The region should encourage expansion of investment, increase investor confidence, and boost the inner drive for its development, he said.

Wen called for prioritizing sustainable development as a long-term cooperative goal, and urged overcoming challenges brought by non-traditional security threats to create a better environment for growth.

He stressed that under the new situation, the East Asia Summit should be maintained as a leader's strategic forum, continue to regard ASEAN as the dominant power of cooperation, and make efforts to seek and expand interest junctions.

China was willing to work with all sides to make the summit more fruitful and benefit more countries and peoples, the premier said.

On China's stance on the South China Sea, Wen stressed that the East Asia summit was not the right forum to discuss the issue.

A resolution among directly related countries through friendly negotiation and consultation in a peaceful way was a consensus reached in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, signed by China and ASEAN countries in 2002, Wen said.

He expressed China's hope that relevant parties would take into consideration the overall situation of regional peace and stability, and do something more conducive to mutual trust and cooperation.


Premier Wen also exchanged views on bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual concern with many foreign leaders during the meetings in order to promote China's ties with those nations, said Yang.

While meeting Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the two leaders reached important agreement concerning the promotion of cooperation within East Asia and China-Indonesia ties.

Premier Wen put forward proposals regarding strengthening bilateral cooperation in such sectors as infrastructure and energy.

Susilo appreciated the active part played by Chinese enterprises in participating in building Indonesia's six economic corridors, adding that Indonesia would like to work with China in improving bilateral cooperation in the energy, industry, defense and maritime sectors.

The two leaders also pledged to closely coordinate with each other in promoting east Asian cooperation and the China-Indonesia strategic partnership, the foreign minister said.

While meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, Wen said it was in the interests of China, the United States and the world to maintain steady and sound development of bilateral ties.

China would like to join the United States in actively implementing the important consensus reached between the top leaders of the two countries and unswervingly promote development of the China-U.S. cooperative partnership, Wen said.

The premier also stated China's position concerning China-U.S. trade ties and Chinese currency exchange rates, said Yang.

Obama said U.S.-China relations are one of the most important relationships for both the United States and China, and for the world as well.

The two sides should, in a spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding, continue to promote the settlement of differences in the economy and trade and other fields, and promote continued progress in the relationship, which was of important strategic significance, Obama said.

Wen also met with Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as well as other foreign leaders on the sidelines of the meetings, said Yang.

Wen and those leaders have reached broad consensus in promoting bilateral ties, regional cooperation, communications and coordination in regional and international affairs.

The leaders spoke highly of the active role China is playing in regional and international affairs, saying that they are willing to further enhance political mutual trust and cooperation with China, jointly maintain peace in East Asia and boost common development, Yang said.


Yang said Brunei is a friendly neighbor of China and both countries share a long history of friendship. China-Brunei relations have developed smoothly and yielded fruitful results since the two countries established diplomatic relations 20 years ago, he added.

Yang said Wen met with Bruneian Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and other royal members, exchanged views on deepening bilateral friendly cooperation in all fields and other common concerns, and outlined the future of China-Brunei relations.

Wen's visit intensified good-neighborliness between the two countries and improved bilateral pragmatic cooperation in all areas, Yang said.

Wen highly hailed the significant results achieved in bilateral cooperation and said under the principles of mutual respect, equality and friendship, China-Brunei relations were constantly injected impetus and vitality and both sides have contributed to facilitating regional peace, stability and prosperity.

As to the future of bilateral ties, Wen said China is willing to maintain high-level communication with Brunei, enhance political mutual trust, intensify cooperation in trade and investment and push forward bilateral relations to achieve new developments. Both sides should promote traditional friendship, further develop exchanges in the fields of education, tourism, media and youth, the premier added.

Hassanal highly appreciated China's contribution to regional peace and development, saying Brunei is willing to work with China to comprehensively push pragmatic cooperation so as to lift bilateral relations to a new high and benefit both peoples.

During Wen's visit, the two countries signed a series of cooperation documents that cover such fields as energy, forestry and health.

Yang also mentioned Wen's visit to the University of Brunei Darussalam, saying the premier extended his hope that the youth of the two countries learn from each other and intensify communications so as to make contributions to the friendship between China and Brunei.

Yang said Wen's ASEAN attendance and visit to Brunei fulfilled the goals of improving mutual trust, pushing cooperation and facilitating development, and they will significantly boost the regional long-lasting peace and common prosperity.

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