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Asian political parties pledge co-operation
By Zhong Lian (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-06 08:59

Representatives of political parties from across Asia wound up a conference in Beijing Sunday, vowing to co-operate in the battles against terrorism and poverty, strengthen energy security and achieve sustainable development.

The Beijing Declaration, agreed at the conclusion of the Third International Conference of Asian Political Parties, said terrorism, separatism and extremism have already become plagues that harm humanity, and strongly condemned and opposed all forms of terrorism.

"We advocate strengthening co-operation among sovereign countries and between regional organizations against terrorism, taking steps to eliminate the root causes of terrorism while giving full play to the role of the United Nations," the declaration says.

Liu Yunshan, chairman of the conference's organizing committee, said: "Improving regional co-operation, safeguarding regional security, and promoting sustainable development and common prosperity in Asia benefits all Asian countries and political parties and is their common responsibility."

Multilateral co-operation is an effective way to preserve regional security, Liu said at yesterday's closing ceremony, calling on all countries to act constructively, trust each other, and establish a new concept of security based on mutual trust and benefit, equality and co-operation.

Recognizing that historical, geographical, religious, cultural, political and ideological problems abound throughout Asia, participants called on Asian countries and political parties to peacefully resolve regional conflicts and crises, and advocated turning areas of dispute into areas of co-operation.

"Strengthening international exchanges between political parties and learning from other countries' and parties' experiences of development and political wisdom is an important way in which political parties in all countries can maintain their political vitality and become more able to run or participate in their state affairs," said Liu.

Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), said after the closing ceremony that the conference showed a clear willingness to enhance exchange and to seek common interests.

"Co-operation in energy can become an important component of Asian regional co-operation," says the Beijing Declaration.

"Countries in the region should expand dialogue and co-operation on the basis of the principles of mutual benefit and win-win solutions and jointly promote sustainable development in Asia."

It added: "We believe that all Asian countries should choose their own development path and development model in accordance with local conditions."

The three-day meeting was attended by 81 political parties from 35 countries. It was the first of its kind to be hosted by the Communist Party of China (CPC). Chinese President and General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Hu Jintao said at a banquet for the delegates on Friday night that China will always work for harmonious relations with its neighbours, sharing security with them and helping them prosper.

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