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Promotion of inter-connectivity for new Asia-Europe cooperation

Xinhua News Agency | Mon,2016-07-18

Twenty years after the creation of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) mechanism, regional leaders attending the 11th ASEM summit charted a new course for bi-continental cooperation in the next decade through promotion of inter-connectivity.

The two-day summit concluded Saturday with the adoption of an Ulan Bator Declaration that stresses the need to promote inter-connectivity.

"As ASEM begins its third decade, all members should bear in mind the mission of building a new type of comprehensive partnership" and actively seek new paths to further promote Asia-Europe cooperation, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in a keynote speech.

Li noted the need for the 53-member ASEM to re-orientate itself amid  deepening changes in the global and regional situation, while hailing unprecedented bi-continental cooperation thanks to the ASEM mechanism.

Its inauguration in 1996 in Bangkok, Thailand, ushered in a new era of equal dialogue, all-round cooperation and joint action against challenges for its members.

As a backbone for maintaining global peace and stability, the Eurasian continent should and can do more, with confidence from a broad prospect for development and cooperation, said the Chinese premier.

His statement also indicates continued contribution and leading role of China with its experiences, ideas and actions.

During the summit, held in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator, the Chinese premier urged joint actions against terrorism to root out the global scourge after a deadly truck attack claimed more than 80 lives in Nice, France, last Thursday.

Terrorism poses a common challenge for all countries to tackle for the sake of building open and inclusive society, Li noted, marking China's push for a strong response from ASEM to turmoils and instabilities in the world.

To this end, the ASEM summit issued a chair's statement that pledges strengthened cooperation in fighting terrorism in all forms.

Li made clear the stand of China facing a sluggish recovery of the global economy and setbacks in globalization and regional integration, highlighted particularly by risks and uncertainties from the British exit from the European Union (EU) and the refugee crisis.

On the Brexit issue, Li reiterated China's intention to see a prosperous and stable EU and Britain, and willingness to strengthen coordination with countries to manage risks, stabilize the international capital market and push global economic recovery.

For ASEM members in efforts to steady growth, restructure the economy and create more jobs, Li proposed closer economic and trade ties among them. Measures therefor include faster building of an open and inclusive Eurasian mega-market, freer trade with more facilitations to reject protectionism and trade wars, as well as joint safeguarding of fair and a non-discriminatory trade and investment order.

China looks forward to resuming the ASEM economic ministers meeting in 2017 after a decade-long break, Li said, who proposed the resumption two years ago.

To promote "partnership for the future through inter-connectivity", this year's ASEM summit established an inter-connectivity working group on the basis of a consensus secured by China over the past three years.

According to Li, the Eurasian continent, bordering both the Pacific and the Atlantic, would enjoy a bigger world if turned into a huge passage across it from the east to the west for transportation, telecommunication and energy.

China is expected to host a high-level forum on digital inter-connectivity in its further effort to promote Asia-Europe inter-connectivity in order to pool driving forces for regional economic growth and innovation cooperation.

The ASEM summit also saw common wishes override an attempt by a few countries to divert it to the ill-grounded award in the case of the South China Sea arbitration issued days before it opened. 


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