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Work Together To Build an East Asia of Peace, Prosperity and Harmony
2007/01/14

Wen Jiabao

Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China

The 10th ASEAN Plus Three Summit

Cebu, the Philippines, 14 January 2007

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to meet with you again and to discuss ways of promoting 10+3 cooperation in this beautiful coastal city of Cebu. I wish to take this opportunity to express my heart-felt thanks to you, President Arroyo, and the Philippine Government for your hospitality.

Since the last Summit, 10+3 cooperation has made encouraging progress. The joint feasibility study report on East Asia Free Trade Area (FTA) has been concluded and submitted to 10+3 Economic Ministers Meeting. The bilateral currency swap arrangement under the Chiang Mai Initiative has been significantly expanded. A collective decision making mechanism on currency swap is taking shape. The process of setting up an Asian bond market is being accelerated. Rural development and poverty alleviation, women affairs, disaster reduction and relief and mineral resource development have been identified as new areas of 10+3 cooperation, and cultural exchanges have been active. In short, 10+3 cooperation has become more focused and substantive, and its mechanism is being enhanced.

Over the past year, China has hosted four activities that I proposed at the last 10+3 meeting, namely, the ASEAN Cultural Week, the 10+3 Training Program on Cooperation for Cultural Human Resource Development, the 10+3 High Level Workshop on Poverty Alleviation and the Shooting Game of 10+3 Armed Forces. With regard to the proposed Asian regional catastrophe research center, we are conducting inter-agency coordination and hope that the center will be set up at an early date on the basis of soliciting opinions from all parties.

Dear Colleagues,

In the past decade, with our concerted efforts, 10+3 cooperation, being a main vehicle for East Asia cooperation, has maintained a good momentum of growth and strong dynamism. The growth of 10+3 cooperation has increased our mutual understanding and trust, boosted economic growth and social progress, promoted stability and development and enhanced the international standing of East Asia.

To build a harmonious East Asia that features political mutual trust and coexistence, mutual economic benefit, mutual security and mutual cultural enrichment, we need to build the following consensus:

First, political mutual trust and harmonious coexistence. Without a harmonious regional environment, there will be no social stability to speak of, let alone development and progress. We should embrace the concept of harmony, respect each other, treat each other as equals and seek common ground while shelving differences. We should resolve differences through dialogue, defuse tension through consultation, and increase mutual understanding and trust to ensure security and stability in East Asia.

Second, common development through win-win economic cooperation. We should, bearing in mind the particular conditions and people's fundamental needs in different countries, boost productivity, eliminate poverty and improve living standards. Given the different stages and levels of development of countries in East Asia, we should vigorously promote cooperation based on equality and mutual benefit, advance regional economic integration, narrow the development gap and accelerate common development.

Third, mutual assistance, solidarity and cooperation in security. In the face of both traditional and non-traditional security threats, no country can effectively respond to such threats on its own. We should develop a strong sense of collective security, support and cooperate with each other and jointly meet challenges.

Fourth, mutual cultural enrichment. East Asian countries have a long history and distinctive cultures. By drawing on each other's strength, we can enhance friendship and promote progress. Development of East Asia cannot be achieved without global development. We should be open, pragmatic and inclusive, draw on other cultures and benefit from the development experience of other countries and regions.

To enhance 10+3 cooperation, I propose that we take the following steps:

First, strengthen strategic planning

This year will be the 10th anniversary of 10+3 cooperation, and the 10+3 Summit at the end of the year will issue the second Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation, a key document guiding future East Asia cooperation. It is important that the Statement should review and summarize the major achievements and experience of 10+3 cooperation in the past decade, reaffirm 10+3 as the main vehicle for East Asia cooperation, examine opportunities and challenges for East Asia cooperation, especially for 10+3, recommend actions to be taken and set future objectives. China will work closely with other countries to ensure that the Statement will provide long-term and strategic guidance for future 10+3 cooperation.

Second, deepen economic, trade and financial cooperation

It is generally recognized that the establishment of an East Asia free trade area will facilitate the economic development in East Asian countries. We should accelerate the process toward free trade between ASEAN and China, Japan and the ROK. Ten plus Three financial cooperation has got off to a good start. We should encourage more countries to take the Chiang Mai Initiative, speed up the building of an Asian bond market, facilitate the establishment of a regional investment and credit guarantee mechanism, improve the financing and investment environment in the region and enhance financial risk management. In order to strengthen financial market in East Asia and facilitate experience-sharing on developing bond market, China will host a 10+3 symposium on corporate bond market this year.

Third, advance security cooperation

Terrorism, trans-national crimes and severe natural disasters are threats we all face. Ten plus Three cooperation should take bigger steps in the security field. China proposes making full use of the existing cooperation mechanisms to strengthen dialogue and cooperation on major regional security issues. To facilitate military exchanges in disaster response and relief, China is ready to host a 10+3 military workshop on international disaster relief this year.

Fourth, expand social and cultural cooperation

Poverty alleviation and women affairs are new areas for 10+3 cooperation. To share experience in poverty alleviation, promote regional poverty alleviation cooperation and discuss ways of enhancing women's role in promoting economic development and social progress, China will hold this year a training course for officials for poverty alleviation and another one on women affairs for 10+3 countries. Ten plus Three cooperation cannot move forward without public participation and support. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the influence of East Asia through media exchanges and cooperation. In this connection, China will host the first 10+3 seminar on media cooperation this year. The first 10+3 Training Program on Cooperation for Cultural Human Resource Development was successful and China is ready to host the second training program this year.

Fifth, increase cooperation in public health

Thanks to our joint efforts, cross-border spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza has been effectively contained. However, there are still outbreaks in some areas which threaten people's life and health. To strengthen cooperation in the prevention and control of avian influenza and newly emerging communicable diseases, China proposes that a regional disease monitoring network be set up to enhance the capacity of East Asian countries to prevent and control diseases and to respond to public health emergencies.

Dear Colleagues,

China is a member of East Asia. China's future is inextricably linked to that of other East Asian countries. Stability and prosperity in East Asia provide an important guarantee for China's development, and China's development also offers opportunities to other East Asian countries. China remains committed to peaceful development and friendship with other East Asian countries. We will continue to implement the opening-up strategy based on mutual benefit, enhance economic and technical cooperation with other countries and strive for common development in East Asia. China remains committed to East Asia cooperation and will work with other countries to promote peace and development and build an East Asia of peace, prosperity and harmony.

Thank you all!

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