World / Asia-Pacific

President Xi calls for better regional cooperation

By ZHAO SHENGNAN in Boao, Hainan ( Updated: 2015-03-28 13:55

President Xi Jinping called for greater Asian cooperation and sought to allay concerns about China's rising during the opening ceremony of a major regional development forum on Saturday.

China has suffered from turbulence and war for more than a century since modern times, and the Chinese people would never want to inflict the same tragedy on other countries or peoples, Xi said during his keynote speech at the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference in Boao, Hainan province.

What China needs most is a harmonious and stable domestic environment and a peaceful and tranquil international environment, and turbulence or war runs against the fundamental interests of the Chinese people, he added. This marked Xi's second appearance at the forum since he took over the presidency of the world's second largest economy in 2013.

During the past two years, Beijing has proposed a slew of initiatives to promote regional development including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which strengthened the links between China and the rest of the world.

Addressing leaders from more than a dozen foreign countries and hundreds of delegates from around the globe, the president said being a big country means shouldering greater responsibilities.

Asia's economic volume accounts for one third of the global economy, but it still faces numerous challenges, among which some are the old issues left over from history and others are new ones associated with current disputes, said the president. The ties between China and some of its neighbors have been particularly strained over territorial and historical issues, while tension has began to ease recently.

China stands ready to sign treaties of good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation with all its neighbors, said Xi, highlighting Beijing's key agenda of fostering neighborhood diplomacy.

China has signed such treaties with eight of its neighbors and is holding discussions to sign the same treaty with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, he said.

Xi also voiced opposition to interference into the other countries' internal affairs or messing up regional situation for selfish reasons, and urged countries to discard the Cold War mentality and nurture new security concepts as Asia explores a path to ensure security.

This year marks a historic juncture to reflect on the past and look to the future, said Xi, referring to the 70th anniversary of the end of the World Anti-Fascist War, the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the founding of the United Nations.

China has decided to hold activities, including a military parade in September, to celebrate the victory of the war.

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