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President Jiang Zemin's Keynote Speech at the Informal APEC Leadership Meeting

2000-11-15 14:16
Bogor, Indonesia

l 5 November 1994

Your Excellency Respected President Soeharto,


First of all, I would like to offer my thanks to President Soeharto for his kind invitation and to our host, the government of Indonesia, for the elaborate arrangements. May I also take this opportunity to welcome and greet the leaders of new members among us - President Frei of Chile, President Salinas of Mexico and Prime Minister Julius Chan of Papua New Guinea.

It is now five years since APEC came into being. The world has undergone tumultuous changes. Multipolarization has accelerated and international relations are in a complex state of flux. All nations of thc world are confronted with both opportunities and challenges. How can we more effectively ensure international peace and enhance economic development in the few remaining years of the century so as to usher a peaceful, thriving and splendid world into the 2lst century? This is a question over which all people are seriously pondering. This also means that as leaders of the current period we will be assuming a momentous historical mission.

It should be noted that the world is still plagued by contradictions and conflicts. Turbulence and unpredictable events are on the rise. Some countries and regions have even succumbed to internecine wars entailing disastrous consequences. How can development be envisaged in such a chaos? Maintenance of stability is an essential prerequisite for the ship of history to successfully sail into the new century. The world needs stability and this is true with all regions and nations. Without a stable environment nothing can be accomplished, and even what has been accomplished will be lost. All the people of the world cry out for peace, stability, development and cooperation. This presupposes that in this widely diversified and fast-changing world there must be accommodation instead of exclusion, friendly co-existence instead of resorting to bullying or confrontation, seeking common ground while reserving differences instead of indulging in acts of intervention. An important reason why the economies of East Asia have developed so rapidly all these years is that those countries have maintained stability, have respected each other and have pursued equal and mutually beneficial economic cooperation. All this has laid down the foundation for regional cooperation and ensured the vigour of the continuously growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Peaceful negotiations are the only correct approach to resolve state-to-state disputes. The Middle East peace process has attested to this point. The recent frame-work agreement between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is also a case in point. We welcome those positive developments and hope that peaceful negotiations will be even more frequently used in the settlement of international disputes.

It is now a world trend to accord priority to economy. This is determined by the progress of times and stage of historical development. Economic development is on the top of the agenda of every country. It is vital not only to any country's existence and long-term security, but also to world peace and security. Indeed, the economic factor is increasingly playing the overriding and pivotal role in international relations. In order to promote economic development and common prosperity, all nations must intensify cooperation and coordination as well as broadening the scope of complementing and leaning from each other in accordance with the principle of equality and mutual benefit. An important basis will thus be laid for the maintenance of world peace. The international community should make special efforts to narrow the gap of wealth between developed and developing countries by encouraging them to complement each other's comparative advantages so as to ensure sustained, balanced and steady growth of the world economy. This is not only demanded by the developing countries but is a necessary condition for the developed countries to sustain their economic growth.

We are pleased to note that amidst the tidal changes of the world, the Asia-Pacific region has been able to maintain a good momentum. Here the political situation is relatively stable, economy is in high gear, trade is brisk, investment is picking up speed, hi-tech advances in big strides and regional cooperation has an enormous potential. If together we seize the opportunity and make common efforts to ride the tide of the times and aim at the reality of the Asia-Pacific region, then we will be able to accomplish a great deal in regional economic development and cooperation.

The ancient Chinese philosopher Menaces said:" it is only natural that things in the world are different''. This is true of nature as of human society. APEC members range from northern to southern hemispheres, encompassing Asia, Oceania and the Americas. They include countries with long history and ancient civilization as well as industrialized countries that have risen in modern times. There are sovereign states as well as regional economies. There are countries whose territory straddles a continent as well as those that are islands in the great ocean. Certain members are world leaders in the level of economic development. Others are endeavoring to build their infrastructure. Populations of APEC members range from a few hundred thousand to some l.2 billion. Per-capita GNP ranges from a few hundred to over US$20,000 annually. Their culture, religion and customs are vastly different. This gives rise to multiple political and economic systems as well as values making Asia and the Pacific a region of many splendors. It is unrealistic to try to impose conformity over this diversity. Only an attitude of compatibility and willingness to learn from each other can conduce to common development and progress.

We are living in an in an independent world. Modern technology has shrunk geographical distances. Many challenges facing mankind often transcend national boundaries. Economic relations, trade, development of science and technology, environmental protection, population control, disaster reduction and relief, fight against drugs, crime prevention, nuclear non-proliferation, prevention and treatment of AIDS, and so on--these are interdependent global issues. As such, they all call for cooperation and compliance with common norms. Since the 1980s, there has been notable increases in trade, market development, capital interflow, industry relocation, science and technology exchanges and information interflow among members of region, all of which have greatly increased the ties between us.

Diversity and interdependence - this is a reality in the Asia-Pacific region. Diversity gives right to complementarity while interdependence generate a need for cooperation. If we recognize this reality and turn it into our advantage, Asia-Pacific economic cooperation will be galvanized and a widening vista will unfold before us. Proceeding from this consideration and reviewing the new development since the Seattle meeting last year, I would like to put forward five proposals regarding future Asia-Pacific economic cooperation as follows:

l. Mutual respect and consensus . Members at different stages of economic development and with different social systems should respect each other and coexist in amity. They should be encouraged to engage themselves more frequently in the consultation and exploration of important issues like the orientation, priority and pace of Asia-Pacific economic cooperation and make decision thereon by consensus.

2. Gradual progress in an orderly and steady manner. Given the

significant disparity in the levels of economic development difference in political status and development priorities among members, cooperation should proceed step by step in a pragmatic and prudent manner. Especially when major moves are contemplated, we should think carefully and act prudently, proceeding in a step-by-step, phased and organized manner in order to achieve optimum results.

3. Mutual opening without exclusion. First of all, members should be open to each other without discrimination. When differences arise, do not promptly resort to the erection of barriers. Secondly, while regional economic cooperation steps up its pace, extra-regional exchanges and cooperation should be expanded in order to tap the advantage of the best therefrom .

4.Extensive cooperation, mutual benefit and reciprocity. We can be even more open-minded in our approach to cooperation and the scope of cooperation can be further expanded. We should continue to focus our attention on such questions as trade and investment. At the same time, issues such as relief of poverty, technology transfer, construction of infrastructure and human resources development, which are of general interest to the developing members of our region, should also be made priority of cooperation.

5. Narrow the gap and achieve common prosperity. Of the 2 billion people in the Asia-Pacific region, l.5 billion have an annual per-capita GNP below US$1,000. Regional economic cooperation should take account of not only the questions of market opening-up and trade liberalization but also the needs of the developing members and the need to help them overcome various constraints and narrow the gap between them and the developed members in order to achieve common prosperity. Developed members should, in particular, open their markets to the products of developing ones. The prospect of over 1 billion being relieved from poverty and becoming prosperous will have an inestimable positive impact on the efforts to expand markets for trade, increase investment opportunities, promote progress of science and technology and reinforce economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

The question of trade liberalization in Asia Pacific has attracted extensive attention from within and without our region. Looking into the future, members should further reduce barriers, open their markets and expand trade exchanges. For this is not only the call of economic interdependence, but will also help them display their comparative advantages, increase complememtarities and maintain the momentum of economic growth in the region. Therefore, we are in favor of trade and investment liberalization as a long-term goal and the formulation of an appropriate timetable for implementation. We also agree that this meeting reach agreements of intent on these issues. It is our view that trade liberalization should be based on the principle of nondiscrimination and should accommodate the diverseness in the Asia Pacific region. In such a region with wide difference in the level of economic development, the entire process and practice of liberalization should obviously differ from one where economies are quite developed on the whole. One should proceed in a gradual, orderly and phased manner. Different timetables for trade liberalization need to be worked out for members at varied development levels. Pacing and modalities should in differ in different sectors. It is neither realistic nor consistent with the spirit of fair competition to demand same pacing for all members and all sectors, in disregard of the difference in development level and actual conditions. Trade liberalization is, in the final analysis, a means to achieve our end of common development and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region.

China's economic development cannot be divorced from that of the world and Asia-Pacific region. By the same token, economic development of the world and Asia-Pacific region can also benefit from China's economic growth and prosperity. A stable and prosperous China is a staunch force for peace in the world and for stability in the Asia-Pacific region. The message from the Chinese people to the peoples of the Asia-Pacific region and those of the world at large is peace, friendship, cooperation and development. Let us join hands to bring about a splendid future for APEC and for the new century of Asia and the Pacific.

Thank you!
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