Li to detail plans that are wrapped in silk

Updated: 2014-10-10 07:32

By Fu Jing (China Daily Europe)

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Li to detail plans that are wrapped in silk

Chinese Ambassador to EU Yang Yanyi speaks at the re-launching ceremony of the EU-China Friendship Group within the European Parliament on Oct 8. It is chaired by member of parliament Nirj Deva, who is standing behind her. Fu Jing / China Daily

Premier will add impetus for greater ASia-europe collaboration, ambassador to EU says

China will spell out for Asian and European leaders its concept of peaceful and inclusive development and its plans for a Silk Road economic belt and maritime Silk Road, says China's Ambassador to the EU Yang Yanyi.

Premier Li Keqiang will present the proposals at the Asia-Europe Meeting being held in Milan from Oct 16 to 17, Yang says.

"Li will inject new impetus into ASEM," a forum that leaders give high priority to, she says.

More than 40 heads of state and government will attend the talks, which take as their motto, "Responsible partnership for growth and security."

"The summit is likely to set the course for ASEM's development," Yang says.

Last autumn President Xi Jinping set out the five aspects of the "One Belt and One Road" initiative: communicating policy, transport connectivity, unimpeded trade, currency circulation and amity.

"The initiatives have been welcomed worldwide," Yang says. "We have designed the framework, made a strategic plan and now we have begun to implement them."

Transport connectivity, making trade and investment easier and promoting cultural exchanges have top priority, she says.

ASEM members have similar priorities, so they are keen to coordinate their efforts in improving national connections with the One Belt and One Road initiative to promote regional economic integration, she says.

"The fact that connectivity is high on the agenda of ASEM illustrates the fact that members are like-minded on this issue."

Yang says Li will put forward proposals on improving connections between Asia and Europe and promoting sustainable and inclusive development. Over the years, China, a founding member of ASEM, has worked vigorously to champion and advance cooperation between Asia and Europe, she says.

In the 18 years since ASEM's inception, China has initiated and hosted many important events, including the seventh ASEM summit in Beijing in 2008 and an ASEM foreign ministers' meeting in 2001.

China has also supported the development of the Asia-Europe Foundation and taken part in its activities, Yang says.

"China has paid its contributions to the foundation in full and on time and worked with it on initiatives in culture, education, environmental protection, sustainable development and youth affairs."

Trade between China and other ASEM members accounts for almost half of China's overall foreign trade, and about half of foreign investment in China comes from ASEM members, Yang says.

ASEM is still a young mechanism for intergovernmental dialogue and cooperation, she says, "but it has tremendous potential.

"It has grown in size and influence, and has become the major forum for dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe."

Its membership has almost doubled, from 26 to 51, and the economic output of its members is about 55 percent of the world's total.

ASEM acted promptly amid the 1998 financial crisis in Asia, and the recent global financial crisis and the EU sovereign debt crisis. It established emergency funds and coordinated financial policies of member states and thus made a significant contribution to overcoming the crises, Yang says.

Asia and Europe have a lot to offer each other in terms of market, labor force, capital and technology, she says.

(China Daily European Weekly 10/10/2014 page12)