On China-ASEAN Co-development Path---First ASEAN Development Forum Held in Hong Kong
Ju Mengjun gives speech on ASEAN Development Forum.
The first ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Development Forum, hosted by the AsiaPacific Branch of Xinhua News Agency, was held in Hong Kong on December 13th. The forum was attended by government officials, experts, scholars, and business people from the ten ASEAN countries, as well as representatives of Hong Kong’s business community and related experts and scholars from the mainland of China. Focusing on the theme ofBuilding a mutuallytrusted community with common destiny, the participants made speeches and discussions on issues of common concern.
Ju Mengjun, director of Xinhua News Agency AsiaPacific Regional Bureau, said in his speech that the objective of proposing and hosting this forum is to build a platform for guests from different countries to communicate with each other.
The first ASEAN Development Forum, withbuilding a mutuallytrusted community with common destinyas the theme, aims at enhancing exchanges and understanding. By absorbing the wisdom and brand new concepts of the times, it facilitates the building of a community with common destiny based on mutual trust, close cooperation and mutual benefits.
Director Ju said that nowadays development is the theme, cooperation is the prerequisite and mutualtrust is the fundamental. It is obvious that the most active and effective cooperation in the world is the regional one among friendly neighboring countries, such as that among the ASEAN countries. Following the blueprint of ASEAN Charter, this distinctive community speeds up its unification and demonstrates its increasing international influence. The ASEAN countries now communicate and coordinate more with each other, and with other Asian countries and the whole world, which marks a great progress of international relationship and human society for more countries are discussing together to solve their common problems.
The Chinese attendees said that ASEAN is the largest international organization on the periphery of China. The friendly relationship between the two is a banner of Asian regional cooperation. The ChinaASEAN mutuallybeneficial strategic partnership, after ten years ofGold Cooperationhas entered a new historical phase, extending in both depth and width. It is the political will of the two parties and the common aspiration of all people in this region to upgrade ChinaASEAN Free Trade Area, to build the 21st century Maritime Silk Road for easier communication, and to open a new ten years of strategicDiamond Cooperationcovering all areas. It is believed that our mutually trusted and beneficial cooperation is bound to bear sweet fruits.
The forum was composed of four main subjects, namely, to build a mutually trusted community with common destiny through promoting mutual trust; to upgrade ChinaASEAN Free Trade Area through deepening economic and trade cooperation; to build the Maritime Silk Road through enhancing communication; and to construct the ASEAN Community through accelerating practical cooperation.
Among those giving keynote speeches on the forum were Ms. Yang Xiuping, Chinese ambassador to ASEAN; Mr. Korn Dabbaransi, former deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, and President of ThaiChinese Association; Mr. Jacky Foo Kong Seng, ConsulGeneral of the Republic of Singapore to Hong Kong. In addition, H.E. Soegeng Rahardjo, Indonesian ambassador to China, sent his greetings and a representative read the speech on his behalf .
With ChinaASEAN mutuallybeneficial strategic partnership deepening in both depth and width, it is commonly held that ChinaASEAN relation is now at a new historical starting point. However, against the background of changing geographical politics, some unkind voices are heard now and then in this region. That some controversial regional issues are heated from time to time has, to some extent, impeded the regional unification and the mutual trust and cooperation between China and the ASEAN countries.
It is jointly believed that how the regional cooperation mechanisms like APEC (the AsiaPacific Economic Cooperation), TPP (the TransPacific Partnership Agreement) and RCEP (Regional comprehensive economic partnership) complement with each other for coordinated development and how they avoid distractions to build mutual trust are essential to furthering the development of ChinaASEAN relation. Moreover, they are of great significance in peacefully handling the regional hotspot issues, in maintaining the regional stability and economic prosperity. China and the ASEAN countries need to face these challenges together and cope with them through consultation.
Experts, scholars and people from the business circles attending this forum made explorations on issues like how to give full play to Hong Kong’s advantages in upgrading China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, how to help Hong Kong better integrate into the mainland as well as the outside world, and how to maintain its international competitiveness.