Remarks by State Councilor Dai Bingguo at the Third Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia
Istanbul, 8 June 2010
Your Excellency President Abdullah Gul,
It is a great pleasure to join you at the Third Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in the beautiful city of Istanbul as the Special Representative of President Hu Jintao. Let me extend to Turkey warm congratulations on assuming the CICA chairmanship and sincere thanks for its careful preparations and thoughtful arrangements for the successful convocation of the Summit. I would like to especially convey, the cordial greetings and good wishes form President HU Jintao to all the leaders present here today.
Eighteen years ago, shortly after the nearly half-a–century long Cold War came to the end, President Nazarbayev proposed the idea of CICA in line with the common desire of people in Asia for peace, security and cooperation.
Over the 18 years, along with the solid steps of regional development and progress in Asia, CICA, with its member states working hand in hand, has continued to grow and played a unique role as a useful platform for enhancing mutual understanding and confidence among Asian countries, safeguarding regional security and stability, and promoting regional exchanges and cooperation. Since the Second Summit in 2006, dozens of meetings of senior officials and experts as well as seminars have been held on energy, agriculture, police service and tourism under the framework of CICA. Over a dozen initiatives and action plans of cooperation are either implemented or in the making, covering such areas as drug control, tourism, ecology, cultural and people-to-people exchange, information technology, development of small and medium-sized enterprises, and meeting new threats and challenges. CICA has signed memoranda of cooperation with Economic Cooperation Organization, Eurasian Economic Community and other organizations, and admitted Vietnam and Iraq as new members and Bangladesh as a new observer. CICA is growing stronger and more mature. Its purposes and principles are widely recognized by Asian countries.
As a founding member, China is truly delighted to see CICA making remarkable achievements. We deeply admire the political wisdom, far-sightedness and vision of President Nazarbayev, the founding father of CICA, and highly appreciate the tremendous work Kazakhstan has done during its CICA chairmanship. Turkey boasts a rich culture and brilliant civilization, and enjoys fast development and growing role and influence in Asia and beyond. China believes that in the months and years to come, with the personal commitment of President Gul and the relentless efforts of our Turkish colleagues, CICA will make new and big progress.
Asia is an important part of our world that is undergoing major development, adjustment and transformation different from that of 18 years ago. The world today is still far form being tranquil. Yet the force of peace and development has never before been so powerful, the trend towards multi-polarity never so clear, destines of countries never so closely connected, the call for international cooperation and greater democracy in international relations never so strong. Where we live today is a world witnessing growing trends toward pluralism, diversity and multi-polarity, a world adapting to globalized allocation of resources and movement of capital, goods and people, and a world experiencing fast political, economic, cultural and social development and progress. Such a world can no longer tolerate hegemony of any forms or a single value system. The days are gone when one or two, or a handful of countries dominated world affairs.
Eighteen years on, Asia that once contributed to world progress with its resplendent civilization, despite multiple complex problems and challenges, shows greater dynamism and potential than the rest of the world and is making increasingly significant contribution to world peace, development and progress with abundant human resources, diverse culture, fast growth and regional cooperation. As Asians, we have every reason to feel proud.
Looking ahead, economic globalization, multi-polarity and regional integration will gain further momentum. Countries will be more interdependent and inseparable with their interests closely interwoven. There will be more and more common issues and global challenges. The transformation of the international system and institution-building for global governance are accelerating. International competition and cooperation will take place at higher levels and in broader areas. Asia, as part of the global village, faces unprecedented development opportunities and multiple options of regional cooperation. At the same time, it is also plagued by quite a number of hot-spot issues and security threats. Maintaining peace and stability, promoting economic development and improving people's will-being remain a long-standing and arduous task.
To create a good regional environment, it is important to make full use of CICA and other regional mechanisms of multilateral exchanges and cooperation. This serves the interests and meets the common needs of all countries. CICA members should focus on the post-financial-crisis era, increase trust and coordination and unswervingly pursue the following:
First, work together for a secure and stable Asia. We should stay committed to the new security concept of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, which requires us to not only value our respective national security, but also accommodate the legitimate security concerns of other countries and respect each other's core interests. We should respect the rights of all countries to safeguard national unity, territorial integrity and ethnic solidarity, respect the rights of all countries to independently choose development paths and formulate domestic and foreign policies and respect the equal rights of all countries to participate in international affairs and seek development. We should commit ourselves to peaceful approaches to disputes and differences and firm and joint response to all kinds of threats and challenges, including terrorism, separatism, extremism, drug trafficking and organized transnational crimes, so as to maintain long-term security and stability in the region.
Second, work together for a developed and prosperous Asia. Development is a fundamental issue that is essential to the welfare and security of the people in all Asian countries. Right now, most countries in Asia are developing countries and two thirds of the world's poor are found in Asia. It is therefore important that all Asian countries should adhere to the policy of mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation, strengthen coordination of macro economic policies and actively explore their unique advantages and potential. It is important to gradually advance regional cooperation and free trade arrangements, and continuously expand and deepen practical cooperation in various fields, such as economy, trade, science and technology, investment, energy, resources, transportation and communications. It is important to value, pursue and uphold as well as increase and substantiate our common interests so as to keep up Asia's momentum of vigorous growth and make joint efforts to raise development level and living standards for all Asian countries.
Third, work together for harmony and progress in Asia. The rich variety of civilizations and cultures in Asia is a precious asset of all mankind, and more importantly, an inexhaustible driving force for the development and progress of all Asian countries. As ancient Chinese philosophers said of the importance of inclusiveness, "the sea is so inclusive that it holds the water from hundreds of rivers". We should treat each other with sincerity, good-will and an open and inclusive mind, and we should allow different countries, nations, faiths and civilizations to live in harmony and move forward together through mutual learning. We should build a colorful and harmonious Asia.
China is a member of the great family of Asia. The Chinese people and people in other Asian countries shared the same historical experiences and have together travelled a difficult and tortuous path towards development. We are deeply aware that China's prosperity, development, security and stability would not be possible without the revitalization, peace and tranquility of Asia, and Asia's prosperity, development, security and stability would not be possible without the development and stability of China. Already, as a matter of fact, we stand together in weal or woe, peril or safety, as we have shared interests and a shared future. I would like to solemnly affirm that China is country that is responsible towards the Chinese people, towards Asia and towards the world. China loves peace, values stability, pursues cooperation and commits to development. China will continue to unremittingly consolidate and strengthen good-neighborly and friendly relations with all countries in Asia, expand and deepen mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation and offer help where help is needed in good faith within the realm of its ability. China will actively participate in and support the development of regional and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms and makes its due contributions to a more prosperous, stable and secure Asia. I also want to say that China is still a developing country in the process of seeking revitalization. This is a long journey, and lot of difficult challenges lie ahead. Even if one day we complete the journey and become developed, we will remain committed to the path of peaceful development of Asia and the whole world. China will never seek to be superpower and will never seek hegemony in Asia or the world. This is not our tradition, not our desire, and still less, our policy. In addition, I want to say that as a founding member of CICA, China will as always take an active part in the implementation of CICA's confidence-building measures in various fields, provide strong support for CICA's long-term development, including continued financial contributions to it, and help CICA to improve.
We have entered the second decade of the 21st century. It is believed by some that experience of the past few centuries shows that major events in the first two decades usually determine or influence the direction of world history for a century. China is ready to work together with all Asian countries to reaffirm our commitment to cooperation, improve our cooperation mechanisms and enhance our cooperation practices. Let us make joint efforts to manage Asian affairs well for the next decade and make the 21st century a century of cooperation, security and prosperity for Asia.