By THE EMBASSY OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Apr 7 2017 (Manila Times)
China has always regarded the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) as a high priority in its neighborhood diplomacy. We firmly support Asean community building, its centrality in regional cooperation and the commemoration of its 50th anniversary. We stand ready to work with Asean for a closer China-Asean community of shared future. This year also marks the 25th anniversary of China’s diplomatic ties with central Asian countries. We support their efforts to follow a development path compatible with their national conditions and to uphold their independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will build a circle of close partnership with central Asia and set good examples of a new type of state-to-state relations. We will continue to expand trade and investment with South Asian countries, enhance people-to-people exchanges, build platforms for mutually beneficial cooperation and contribute our share to the development of South Asia.
China is a strong advocate of and contributor to regional cooperation and supports the Asian Way of mutual respect, consensus building and accommodating each other’s comfort level in advancing regional cooperation. We stand ready to work with the parties to follow through on the outcomes of the upgraded China-Asean Free Trade Area as soon as possible and bring Asean Plus Three cooperation to a higher level. We are willing to help China-Japan-ROK cooperation to overcome obstacles, build consensus and move toward the goal of realizing an East Asia economic community by 2020. We will take solid steps to advance the result-oriented and efficient Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) and build an LMC corridor and an LMC community of shared future at a speed that produces progress every day and outcomes every month. We hope to accelerate the negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and strive to conclude the negotiations by the end of the year to demonstrate the region’s resolve in promoting trade liberalization. We will encourage the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the East Asia Summit, the Asean Regional Forum and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia to make fresh contributions to regional peace and development.
Differences created by history
As for the differences with some of our neighbors created by history, we are ready to address them properly through dialogue and negotiation in the spirit of good-neighborliness. Last year, foreign ministers of Asean member states and China issued the Joint Statement on the Full and Effective Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), at the core of which is the agreement that disputes over the Nansha islands and reefs should be peacefully addressed through dialogue and negotiation by the parties directly concerned and that stability in the South China Sea should be maintained by China and Asean countries together. Thanks to the joint efforts of China and Asean countries, consultations on the “code of conduct in the South China Sea” are making new progress. China is ready to work with Asean countries to develop, by consensus, binding regional rules on the basis of the DOC, thereby demonstrating that we in this region are fully capable of managing our differences and safeguarding regional stability. Every unbiased observer can see that tension in the South China Sea has cooled down significantly. It is important to cherish this hard-won result and not allow ill-intentioned forces to stir up trouble again.
We will enhance partnership with other developing countries to support each other for common development and progress. The developing world is the foundation of China’s diplomacy as well as a sincere partner in pursuing peaceful development. We will vigorously deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with other developing countries following President Xi Jinping’s enlightened view on moral principles, and friendship on the one hand and practical interests on the other, which prioritizes the former over the latter. China will, as always, remain committed to non-interference, attach no political conditions, never impose its views on others, abide by local laws and regulations, respect local customs, and pursue green, shared and sustainable cooperation, so that the future and destinies of China and fellow developing countries will be more closely connected.
China remains a member of the developing world. We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with other developing countries and resolutely safeguard our common interests. In September this year, China will host the ninth BRICS summit in Xiamen. We have extended invitations to leaders of various emerging economies and developing countries representing their regions and leaders of some international organizations as well as BRICS leaders for a dialogue between emerging markets and developing countries. The Xiamen summit is an opportunity to draw the cooperation blueprint for the second decade of BRICS, enhance the quality of BRICS cooperation, build a global platform of South-South cooperation and further increase the voice of emerging markets and developing countries in global governance.
We will keep deepening the partnerships with countries along the Belt and Road and others for common development. The Belt and Road Initiative put forward by President Xi is the most important public good that China has provided to the world and an important effort by China to build partnerships. Following the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the Initiative encourages partner countries and others to combine comparative advantages, narrow development gaps, accelerate regional integration and achieve common development and prosperity by promoting the connectivity of policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people.
Belt and Road forum
In May this year, China will hold the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, where we will work with the participants to plan our cooperation, revive the splendor of the Silk Road and share enduring prosperity. Together with the relevant countries and international organizations, we will further consolidate cooperation consensus, set out cooperation measures, enhance strategic complementarity, link China’s economic transformation and upgrading with the industrialization, modernization and infrastructure development of other countries, and open up new space for and lend new impetus to the development of all. We will promote cooperation on production capacity and equipment manufacturing with other countries, improve cross-border connectivity, enhance trade and investment cooperation and create new opportunities for global growth. By pooling our ideas and resources, we will explore the establishment of a long-term cooperation mechanism, a win-win cooperation network and a new cooperation model, thus drawing a blueprint for the continued progress of the Initiative.
As President Xi has pointed out with great insight, countries, with or without agreement, could all be partners. China will continue to improve partnerships with countries world-wide with a more open and inclusive approach and, on this basis, make unremitting efforts to accelerate the building of a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation and ultimately achieve the long-term goal of building a community of shared future for humankind. China is taking a journey that is in keeping with the call of the times and the course of human progress. We are convinced that, as time passes, China’s thinking and vision will find resonance with more and more countries, and they will all join us in this journey forward.
This story was originally published by The Manila Times, Philippines