Let me begin by thanking our host,
the Indonesian government for its warm hospitality and
thoughtful arrangement. As I served as
Chinas first ASEM Senior Official, todays event
is like a joyful home-returning for me, to meet old friends
and make new ones.
Our world today presents a
mixed picture. Peace and development are the
common aspiration of all peoples while world
multipolarization and economic globalisation continue to
surge on. Neither the worlds basic structure
nor its development direction has changed.
has seen progress in political and security dialogue and
intra-regional economic cooperation. The outbreak
of SARS is now under effective control. Europe has
come to a new historical period for its integration, and the
EU is assuming an increasing role in world politics and
economy. However, international uncertainties have
gone up. Unilateral tendency is gaining ground.
The Iraq war has cast a long shadow.
Terrorism and other trans-boundary problems appear
more deadly. Certain regional hotspots are flaring
up again. The global economy remains in doldrums.
All these factors on the downside pose a grave
challenge to the stability and prosperity of Asia and
Europe, and indeed, the world as a whole.
build a new type of equal partnership between Asia and
Europe and maintain and promote stability and prosperity in
our regions and the rest of the world is the purpose of
ASEM, which is of profound immediate significance and
long-term strategic importance. The complex and
fluid international situation has made it all the more
necessary and urgent for Asia and Europe to step up
dialogue, interaction and cooperation.
being major international forces making for world
multipolarization, Asia and Europe share broad consensus on
many important world issues. Democracy is what
nations want for themselves at home; it is more relevant
when it comes to relations between them. All
countries ought to have the right to participate in deciding
how international affairs should be conducted.
Disputes between countries should be resolved
through consultation, dialogue and cooperation on an equal
footing. Both Asia and Europe are in favour of a
leading role of the UN in international affairs, with its
authority well maintained and the purposes and principles of
its Charter duly complied with. Asia-Europe
consultation and coordination in international and regional
affairs serve the interests of not only the peoples of the
two continents but also those in other parts of the world.
China supports an early start of the ASEM Ad hoc
Informal Consultative Mechanism. It is hoped that
a fair and rational new international political order can be
facilitated through closer Asia-Europe cooperation in the
spirit of mutual respect, consensus, and seeking common
ground while putting aside differences.
foundation for this new type of equal partnership is trade
and economic cooperation between Asia and Europe.
It is imperative for our two sides to take
advantage of our mutually complementary edges in market,
resources and technological know-how and work for our
sustainable development and a global economic revival.
In particular, we should
implement the ASEM Trade Facilitation Action Plan and ASEM
Investment Promotion Action Plan;
handle the problems arising in Asia-Europe trade and
economic interactions; and
--Join hand in
moving ahead the WTO Doha Development Agenda (DDA)
negotiations, while being sensitive to the concerns of all
parties, particularly those of developing countries, with a
view to bringing about a more open and fair multilateral
The establishment of the ASEM
Task Force for Closer Economic Partnership Between Asia and
Europe gives expression to the shared desire for closer
Asia-Europe economic partnership. The Chinese side
wishes to see both forward-looking and down-to-earth
proposals from the Task Force so as to facilitate
substantive progress in this regard.
and Europe are cradles of worlds civilizations with a
great deal of commonalities and individualities.
Our world is a diverse place. And its
civilizations of one kind or another are the common legacy
of humanity. It is the cultural diversity that
constantly moves societies forward and changes them for the
better. Different civilizations should live with
one another as equals rather than rivals, they should have
frank dialogues rather than confrontations, and they should
reach out in mutually beneficial interactions rather than
shut themselves up behind closed doors. Only so
can they live and prosper together.
year, China will host in Beijing the ASEM Conference on
Cultures and Civilizations. We hope this
Conference will enhance the mutual understanding between
Asians and Europeans, safeguard the diversity of our world
and promote common progress for all.
diseases such as SARS pose a tremendous threat to human
health and are a common challenge to international
community. The fight against SARS in China and
other Asian countries received Europes support, which
we highly appreciate. Though SARS has been brought
under effective control, mankinds war against
infectious diseases remains protracted and arduous.
We should take anti-SARS campaign as an
opportunity to step up Asia-Europe cooperation in public
health. Contingency response is a critical link in
containing the spread of contagious diseases, and ASEM
members have accumulated valuable experience in this regard.
I wish to propose an ASEM Seminar on the
Management of Public Health Emergency in October in Beijing
where we can compare notes on how to best cope with our
Since its inception, ASEM
has achieved remarkable results in political dialogue, trade
and economic cooperation, and social and cultural exchanges.
The Chinese side is pleased to see so many
membership requests. We support the enlargement of
ASEM under the agreed principles, and maintain that the
imbalance between Asian and European partners needs a proper
solution by giving priority consideration to membership
requests from Asian countries. The Asia-Europe
Foundation (ASEF), the only permanent institution under the
ASEM framework, has played a positive role in strengthening
the intelletual, cultural and personnel exchanges between
Asia and Europe. The Chinese side stands for a
consensus-based solution to the issue of ASEF financial
sustainability while taking into account the capacity of all
relevant parties to pay. ASEF can always count on
Chinese government is now concentrating on economic
development. On the international front, China
pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and works
vigorously for world peace, stability and greater common
Chinas development requires
a surrounding and international environment of prolonged
peace and stability. To cultivate friendly ties
with countries in Asia and Europe is an important part of
Chinas foreign policy. We will live in amity
and harmony with surrounding countries and strive to make
progress together. We will advance our relations
with the EU and its members and deepen the China-EU
all-round partnership. We will continue to
strengthen consultation with ASEM partners, expand our
consensus and work unremittingly for stronger Asia-Europe