Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Attends and Addresses the Opening Ceremony of the Seventh Asia and Europe People's Forum (AEPF)
On October 13, 2008, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi attended the opening ceremony of the seventh Asia and Europe People's Forum (AEPF), where he delivered a speech.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Yang said in the new century, the world has undergone extensive, profound and complex changes. “We are facing rare development opportunities as well as unprecedented risks and challenges,” said Yang, adding that the international community should make joint efforts to meet the challenges. To further enhance Asia-Europe cooperation is of greater realistic and long-term strategic significance, he said. The Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) will be held from October 24 to 25 in Beijing. "The Chinese side attaches great importance to the summit and is making active preparations for it," Yang said. "We hope the summit will help increase mutual understanding and trust, enhance multilateralism, advance the process of sustainable development and push globalization for mutual benefit and a win-win outcome so as to contribute to the peace and development of the world and the well being of the people of both Asia and Europe," he noted. Yang expressed belief that the summit would score fruitful results with the joint efforts of all ASEM members.
Yang emphasized that the ASEM process is not only aimed at pushing forward inter-governmental cooperation among countries in Asia and Europe, but also at promoting their people-to-people exchanges. He hoped that the participants of the seventh Asia and Europe People's Forum (AEPF) would follow the principle of equality and mutual respect, fully exchange views on subjects related to the theme of the meeting, seek common ground while putting aside differences, increase consensus, make constructive contributions and work together to make the event fruitful. He also expressed hope that the participants of the forum will play a positive role in advancing the ASEM process and make a unique contribution to world peace, stability and prosperity.
"The Chinese government supports social organizations in China in their effort to fully participate in the activities of this forum, express the aspiration of China's social organizations, offer good opinions and suggestions and make constructive contribution to greater mutual understanding and friendship among people in Asia and Europe, closer solidarity and cooperation between Asia and Europe and in-depth growth of a new type of comprehensive partnership between the two regions." The government would continue to give vigorous support to Chinese social organizations in conducting closer exchanges and cooperation with their counterparts from across the world and to facilitate their participation in international exchanges so they can play an even greater role in promoting mutual understanding and friendship between Chinese and people of other countries and in the building of a harmonious world, Yang noted.