BEIJING - The recent speeches made by President Hu Jintao at the BRICS Leaders Meeting and Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) have attracted a lot of attention from the international community.
The Chinese president chaired the BRICS Leaders' Meeting in southern China's resort city of Sanya on April 14, and gave a speech under the theme of "Broad Vision, Shared Prosperity".
In his speech, he said that China has made remarkable achievements in its development over the past 30 years and more since its reform and opening-up.
Hu said that, in the past decade, China imported $687 billion of goods on average every year, creating more than 14 million jobs in related countries and regions. This fully showed that China's development was part of global development, and the more China developed, the greater the contribution it would make to the world.
China's rise as an economic power is widely regarded as bringing prosperity to other developing countries in the region, said Fidel V. Ramos, former Philippine president and BFA chairman.
Ramos said China is playing an increasingly important role in the economic growth of Asia and the world at large.
China's closer integration into the world economy will benefit East Asian economies such as South Korea, Singapore and Japan, Ramos said.
Mkumbwa Ally, acting managing editor of Tanzania Standard Newspapers, said that Hu's remarks showed that China seeks not only its own development but also cooperation with other countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and America so as to achieve shared economic growth and prosperity.
The Chinese president also delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2011 BFA annual meeting last Friday. The theme of his speech was "Toward Common Development and a Harmonious Asia".
During his speech, Hu briefed the participants about China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), which lists the main tasks for the next five years.
In the next five years, Hu said China will make great efforts to implement the strategy of boosting domestic demand, pursue the strategy of "going global", participate in global economic governance and regional cooperation, and build a resource-conserving and environmentally friendly society.
Former French prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said that stimulating domestic consumption is a major element of the Chinese government's 12th Five-Year Plan, which has given full consideration to the country's economic security and the people's welfare.
The 10-year-old BFA has been an important force in building consensus in the region, promoting Asia's voice and boosting Asian cooperation.
Over the decade, China has established various cooperative partnerships with almost all other Asian countries, and has become the largest trading partner and export market for many of them.
"China cannot achieve development and prosperity without Asia, and Asia needs China for development and prosperity," Hu said in his speech at the opening ceremony of this year's forum.
Ramos, one of the founders of the BFA, said it is the first Asia-based international forum that aims to promote the Asian countries' interest through economic integration, transregional cooperation and cross-cultural interaction.
This year's BFA forum was held under the theme of "Inclusive Development: Common Agenda and New Challenges".
Noting that the people of Asia have a shared mission to promote common development and build a harmonious Asia, Hu made a five-point proposal to achieve the goal, namely respecting the diversity of civilizations, transforming the development pattern, sharing development opportunities, seeking common ground while putting aside differences, and championing mutual benefit.
The Associated Press reported last Friday that through the proposal, the Chinese leader was calling for Asian nations to better cooperate in security matters in the region increasingly beset by rival territorial claims.
Meanwhile, the Singaporean newspaper Lianhe Zaobao said on Monday in an editorial that, as China is ready to adopt an open strategy that is more active in the next five years to create and enhance benefits in Asia, it will also be committed to resolving disputes with its neighboring countries through peaceful means.
Over the past decade, Asia has achieved rapid economic growth and flourishing regional cooperation, which Hu considered a result of the unyielding spirit of seeking self-improvement, the innovative spirit of breaking new ground, the open and inclusive spirit of learning from others, as well as the spirit of helping each other in difficult times - all values shared by the Asian people.
The four values named by the Chinese leader were hailed by media across the region such as the Indonesia-based International Daily News, which said all Asian countries should cherish the hard-won historic opportunities to promote cooperation and build a harmonious Asia.
When chairing a meeting of the BRICS leaders in Sanya, Hu put forth China's proposals on how to bring about a peaceful and tranquil 21st century in which humanity can enjoy common prosperity.
The proposals include trying to maintain world peace and stability, to promote common development of all countries, to bolster international exchanges and cooperation and to strengthen the BRICS partnership for common development.
The proposals have attracted a lot of attention and have been widely praised as "presenting new notions for development in international relations", reflecting the ambition of mutual assistance in South-South cooperation and "a voice for cooperation in global governance".
Ivor Ichikowitz, executive chairman of South Africa's Paramount Group, believes that Hu's speech sent a clear message to the international community: The BRICS countries are joining hands to advance together, carry out pragmatic cooperation and promote the common prosperity of the world.
The French newspaper Le Monde said in an article on Saturday that Hu praised the cooperation mechanism among the new rising markets, represented by BRICS, as "a new model of global economic cooperation and an important practice of multilateralism".
The BRICS, comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and as of recently, South Africa, would restructure international economic and diplomatic relations in the next 10 to 15 years, said Mariano Turzi, professor at Torcuato De Tella University in Buenos Aires.
BRICS' rise would be difficult to reverse in 10 to 15 years, and it would restructure the global pattern of economy, trade and diplomacy, Turzi said on Monday.
"Whatever they (BRICS nations) decide will affect everybody, from the United States to Ethiopia, and from France to Haiti," he said.
Luciano Coutinho, president of the Brazilian National Economic and Social Development Bank, said that the Sanya summit marked a major breakthrough for the BRICS countries in economic cooperation and made the group more and more like a substantial international organization.
(China Daily 04/22/2011 page11)