Wen's speech at China-ASEAN summit

Updated: 2006-10-30 16:54

Dear Colleagues,

In the four decades since its establishment, ASEAN has made remarkable progress in strengthening itself through unity and grown into an important regional and global force for peace and development. The "ASEAN Way" that advocates consensus building and non-interference in other's internal affairs has both consolidated unity in the organization and enhanced state-to-state relations in the region. Guided by the principle of flexibility, pragmatism and gradualism, ASEAN has made solid progress in community building and become a successful example of cooperation among developing countries. By being open and inclusive and taking new initiatives, ASEAN has initiated and advanced regional cooperation, becoming a major driving force for cooperation in Asia.

We in China have great admiration for the achievements of ASEAN and sincerely wish you greater success in development.

China supports ASEAN in accelerating integration and community building and its leading role in regional cooperation. We are convinced that a strong, proud, independent, united, stable and prosperous ASEAN will make greater contribution to world peace and development. To support ASEAN's development, the Chinese Government will donate one million U.S. dollars to the ASEAN Development Fund and provide funding assistance of one million U.S. dollars for the relevant projects under the Initiative for ASEAN Integration. China also offers to train 8,000 ASEAN professionals in different fields in the next five years and invites 1,000 young people from ASEAN countries to visit China.

Dear Colleagues,

To consolidate and enhance China-ASEAN friendship and cooperation is our shared objective. We should seize the opportunity to strengthen and enrich our cooperation and explore new ways to usher our bilateral relations in a new stage. To this end, I propose that we take the following steps:

First, enhance strategic coordination. We should maintain regular high-level exchange of visits and expand links between governments, parliaments and political parties to increase mutual trust. We should keep close coordination and cooperation on major regional and international issues and ensure that ASEAN remain at the core of East Asia cooperation and that 10 + 3 serve as the main vehicle in East Asia cooperation. We should uphold the authority and role of the United Nations and work together to makethe international political and economic order a more just and equitable one.

Second, enrich bilateral cooperation. We should consider signing a follow-up agreement on expanding economic and trade tiesas well as the relevant institutional arrangement, on the basis ofthe Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between China and ASEAN. The Agreement on Trade in Goods should befully implemented and negotiation on trade in service and investment should be accelerated to speed up the process of establishing the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area. We should press ahead with the construction of the Kunming-Singapore Railway and the Asia highway network, launch energy cooperation and advance result-oriented cooperation in the ten priority areas.

Third, ensure common security. We should expand military dialogue and exchanges, conduct and institutionalize defense cooperation, continue to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and promote joint development ofthe South China Sea. China supports the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Southeast Asia and is ready to sign the Protocol to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone at an early date. We should also step up cooperation on cross-border issues concerning counter-terrorism, transnational crimes, maritime security, rescue operation and disaster relief.

Fourth, foster closer people-to-people exchanges. We should enhance cooperation in science and technology, culture and education and sports, strengthen links between social groups, media, and educational and research institutes, conduct regular cultural, art and sports events and increase exchanges between local communities. Young people are our hope and future. They should be encouraged to work in each other's countries as volunteers to deepen mutual understanding and friendship and this will enable our friendship to pass on from generation to generation.

China is committed to good neighborly relations, friendship and cooperation with ASEAN countries and China-ASEAN strategic partnership. We will adhere to the policies of "pursuing good neighborly relations and partnership with neighbors" and "fostering a harmonious, secure and prosperous neighborly environment". China will remain a good neighbor, good partner and good friend of ASEAN.

Today, we are opening a new page in China-ASEAN relations, and we have full confidence about our future. Let us redouble effort to lift China-ASEAN strategic partnership to a higher level, enhance development of East Asia and promote peace, security and prosperity both in Asia and the whole world.

Thank you.