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Wen: More opportunities than challenges
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-11-06 00:44

Peace, progress and co-operation have become the general course of development in the Asia-Pacific region, says Premier Wen Jiabao.

With more opportunities than challenges, the situation in the area is stable, Wen said on Friday when meeting with defence leaders at the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Security Policy Conference (ASPC) in Beijing.

"Progress needs peace and co-operation requires dialogue," said Wen. "Meanwhile, dialogue should be based on mutual respect, seeking common points while reserving differences and debate."

China, which is committed to economic development, is an important force to maintain stability and peace of the world, Wen said.

For that purpose, China will work to maintain a peaceful and stable international environment as well the good neighbourly surroundings in this region, Wen said. Despite its fast development, China does not, and will never, seek hegemonism.

Wen expressed his hope that the member states of the ARF and parties attending the ASPC will work more closely together, especially in security, and push forward regional peace and stability through dialogue and exchanges.

Representatives exchanged experiences in facing non-traditional security issues, which include the fight against terrorism, trans-national crime, weapons smuggling, drug trafficking, illegal immigration and money laundering, said Major General Sudrajat, chairman of the ASPC and head of Indonesian delegation, at a press release after the conference.

States attending the ASPC agreed on the use of military force to counter non-traditional security issues, he noted.

Besides, the members have agreed to promote co-operation on intelligence, capacity building and sharing of experiences, he said.

He said that the ASPC would be held annually in the future.

Defence and security officials from ARF's 24 members attended the event, which will end on Tuesday.

ARF is composed of ASEAN members, ASEAN dialogue partners, Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Pakistan.

The security policy session was proposed by China at the 10th ARF foreign ministers' meeting in 2003 and approved by the 11th ARF foreign ministers' meeting in 2004.

The three-day meeting, hosted by China and chaired by Indonesia, ASEAN's current chair, was the highest level of its kind ever held within the framework of ARF.

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