World leaders for Silk Road talks

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)

World leaders for Silk Road talks

The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held from May 14 to 15 in Beijing and President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony and host the round table summit of the leaders, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said yesterday.

Xi has championed the “One Belt, One Road” initiative to build a new Silk Road linking Asia, Africa and Europe, a landmark program to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects.

China has dedicated US$40 billion to a Silk Road Fund and the idea was the driving force behind the establishment of the US$50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Among those attending will be Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Indonesian President Joko Widodo will also be attending the forum.

British finance minister Philip Hammond will come as Prime Minister Theresa May’s representative, while Germany and France will send high-level representatives.

Wang confirmed Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte as one of the leaders coming, along with the Spanish, Greek, Hungarian, Serb and Polish prime ministers and Swiss and Czech presidents.

“This is an economic cooperation forum, an international cooperation platform that everyone is paying attention to, supports and hopes to participate in,” Wang said.

“One Belt, One Road is to date the most important public good China has given to the world, first proposed by China but for all countries to enjoy,” said.

“The culture and historical genes of One Belt, One Road come from the old Silk Road, so it takes Eurasia as its main region,” he said, adding that representatives of 110 countries would attend the forum.

A section of the New Silk Road is in Pakistan, where some projects run through the disputed Kashmir region.

Wang dismissed concerns, saying the Pakistan project had no direct connection to the dispute and India was welcome to participate in the New Silk Road.

“Indian friends have said to us that One Belt, One Road is a very good suggestion,” he said.

During the forum, China is expected to sign cooperative documents with nearly 20 countries and more than 20 international organizations, Wang told reporters.

China will work with countries along the route on action plans concerning infrastructure, energy and resources, production capacity, trade and investment, which will help to turn the grand blueprint into a clear roadmap, he said.

Another task of the forum will be to push forward delivery of cooperative projects, Wang said.

During the forum, parties will identify major cooperative projects, set up working groups and establish an investment cooperation center.

China will also work with all parties on a set of measures that will include improved financial cooperation, a cooperation platform for science, technology and environmental protection, and enhanced exchanges and training of talent.

Participants will sign financing agreements to support their cooperative projects, Wang said.

China will use the forum to build a more open and efficient international cooperation platform; a closer, stronger partnership network; and to push for a more just, reasonable and balanced international governance system, Wang said.

China’s Version Of Cooperation With Other Asian Countries In The South China Sea

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News Paper)

Asian, China code for sea encounters

LEADERS from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China issued a joint statement yesterday on the application of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea in the South China Sea.

The statement was issued after the two sides held the 19th Asia-China Summit in Laotian capital Vientiane and commemorated the 25th anniversary of relations between Asia and China.

The document reaffirmed commitment to the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the Joint Statement of the Foreign Ministers of Asian Member States and China on the Full and Effective Implementation of the DOC, including the importance of the freedom of navigation and overflight.

It said the two sides recognized that maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea region serves the fundamental interests of Asian member states and China as well as the international community.

The joint statement recognized that Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and China are members of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium and have adopted CUES.

CUES, as a coordinated means of communication to maximize safety at sea, offers a means by which navies may develop mutually rewarding international cooperation and transparency, according to the document.

Leaders from the two sides reaffirmed in the statement their commitment to CUES in order to improve operational safety of naval ships and naval aircraft in air and at sea, and ensure mutual trust.

The document said the leaders agreed to use the safety and communication procedures for the safety of all the naval ships and naval aircraft, as set out in CUES, when they encounter each other in the South China Sea.

Premier Li Keqiang said relations between China and Asia have made great strides and promoted regional peace, stability and prosperity.

China and Asia have valued the development and cooperation of the principle of mutual respect, understanding, trust and support since 1991, when they established the dialogue relations, he said.

“The past 25 years have seen growing mutual trust and pragmatic achievements made between China and Asia,” he said yesterday.

The premier added that China has always regarded Asia as an important force in safeguarding regional peace and stability and in promoting regional integration and world multi-polarization.

Li also pledged to give Asia a priority in China’s drive to develop its relations with neighboring countries.

He said China will support the building of an Asian community, Asia’s central role in regional cooperation, and its growing part to play in international and regional affairs.

China is willing to work with Asian nations to cement the strategic communication between the two sides, advance the 2+7 cooperation framework, and energetically promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges, he said.

Asian leaders, who praised the amazing achievements the two sides have made in the past 25 years, echoed the premier’s thoughts and expressed confidence for their relations in future.

Asian leaders said the development of relations with China would benefit Asian nations and are conducive to building an Asian community.

Asia is ready to cement the relations and tap new potential in promoting mutual political trust, deepening economic and trade cooperation, and expanding people-to-people and cultural exchanges with China, they said.

They looked forward to lifting China-Asian relations to a new level to promote regional peace and development.

In the ceremony held at the National Convention Center in Vientiane, Li and Asian leaders watched a short film chronicling China’s growing relations with Asia in the last quarter of a century and looking into their bright prospects in the future.

Li and Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith also inaugurated a handbook titled “25 Years of Asian-China Dialogue and Cooperation: Facts and Figures.”

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, whose country is the coordinator of China-Asian relations, joined them to cut a commemorative cake.