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Address by President Jiang Zemin at the 10th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting

2002-11-05 14:10
Your Excellency President Fox,
Dear Colleagues,

Today, as we meet at the picturesque Los Cabos on this side of the Pacific to discuss important plans of economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, my memory of our last Economic Leaders' Meeting by the Huangpu River in Shanghai remains vividly fresh. What a great joy to be reunited with old friends! Let me take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to you, Mr. President, for your gracious invitation and to the Government of Mexico for its meticulous arrangements.

With economic globalization surging forward and science and technology making dazzling progress with each passing day, countries have been presented with new opportunities of development in the past year. At the same time, however, the increased uncertainties in world economic development have posed new challenges to the economies of many countries and regions, APEC members included. Trade protectionism is on the rise, making it still harder to achieve free, fair and equitable trade. Non-traditional security threats have increased, as struggles against terrorism remain both arduous and complicated. The world we live in is hardly a tranquil place.

Despite the host of problems facing the international community and more that will still crop up unexpectedly in the future, the tide of history in favor of peace and development cannot be reversed, nor will the people of all lands change their yearning for a better life. Wherever they live, people want lasting peace and stability in the world, a world that enjoys universal prosperity and sustainable development. If world peace and common development are to be secured, it is necessary for statesmen of all countries to display vision and courage needed to move history forward in response to the will of the people. It is also necessary for the family of nations to step up coordination and cooperation. The APEC community should, as always, conform to the trend of the times, give full play to its advantages and go in for extensive cooperation.

First, achieving economic stability and growth at both global and regional levels is an importance task before us. In the world today, no country can realize development behind closed doors. Given the risks and difficulties in global and regional economies, it is all the more essential to strengthen coordination and cooperation with one another. We should all adopt down-to-earth fiscal and monetary policies, regulate and stabilize the market, and restore the investor and consumer confidence with a view to promoting economic growth. The developed countries, given their weight in global and regional economies, should take the lead in actions and shoulder greater responsibilities.

APEC ought to give greater play to its unique role. By speeding up trade and investment liberalization and facilitation on the one hand, and economic and technical cooperation on the other, it can make a contribution to restoring market confidence and enhancing a balanced development. While implementing The Shanghai Accord in all its aspects and continuing to push for greater market openness in the fulfillment of the "Bogor Goals", APEC should help enhance the global competitiveness of its developing members through stronger measures of cooperation in capacity building, human resources development and finance.

It is for this purpose that China has initiated the APEC Finance and Development Program and the Human Capacity Building Promotion Program. Substantive progress has been made in these projects thanks to the active participation of and enthusiastic support from the APEC members. We have also established the China APEC Academy, which is intended to conduct research on matters relating to Asia-Pacific cooperation and to train business people. We are ready to continue working with other APEC members in these fields.

Second, efforts should be made to support an open global multilateral trading system and move forward the new round of negotiations in the WTO. A sound multilateral trading system and fair trading environment are key guarantees for a sustained and steady growth of world trade. They are also an important precondition for countries to benefit from the ongoing economic globalization. Although the new round of multilateral trade negotiations has been launched, its progress is slow. The parties should adopt a more pragmatic attitude, bearing in mind their common interests and endeavoring for a sound development of the multilateral trading system. The needs of the developing countries should be given top consideration so that the new round of trade negotiations will truly become one for development.

This makes it essential for APEC to have an in-depth exchange of views on the major issues of the new round of negotiations. We should join efforts to resist trade protectionism and create conditions favorable for economic growth in all members and the healthy development of the multilateral trading system.

In recent years, there has been a rise in regional trade arrangements, which develop in parallel with the multilateral trading system. This represents both a challenge and an opportunity. As long as such arrangements are consistent with the basic principles of the WTO and the "Bogor Goals" laid out by APEC, they will contribute to the evolving trade and investment liberalization process in the Asia-Pacific and the healthy development of the multilateral trading system.

Third, efforts should be made to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation so as to create an environment of peace and security for the region's development and prosperity. Peace is the important prerequisite for global and regional economic growth, whereas terrorism is posing a serious threat to world peace. It was at our Shanghai Meeting last year that we took the lead in making a firm and resounding declaration to fight terrorism collectively, which played a constructive role in getting the UN and other mechanisms to work cooperatively against terrorism.

What transpired in the past year shows, that as long as the international community co-operates closely and acts concertedly, it will be difficult for terrorism to strike again. In the struggles against terrorism, we should focus on both remedies to cure the symptoms of terrorism and solutions to address its root causes. World peace and security will be safeguarded if the new security concept with the principles of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation at its core is followed.

APEC should continue to play an active role in combating terrorism. Building on the APEC Economic Leaders' Statement on Counter-Terrorism adopted at the Shanghai Meeting, we should give greater expression to our resolve to fight international terrorism by enhancing our security cooperation in such areas as finance, customs, transportation and telecommunication.

As a victim of terrorism, China strongly condemns and opposes all forms of terrorism and reaffirms its support to international efforts against terrorism.

Dear Colleagues,

With steadily richer cooperation contents and bigger membership over the past decade and more, APEC has become the region's most influential multilateral economic forum playing an active role in promoting global and regional economic development. Whether in defining the long-term goals for cooperation in Bogor or promoting the perfection of the multilateral trading system, whether in removing the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis or coping with the "9.11" terrorist attacks, APEC has invariably played a crucial role.

The key to our success lies in our ability to respect diversity in light of the varied interests and concerns of the members, seeking common grounds while shelving differences. Our world is a diverse and colorful place. Even more so is the Asia-Pacific region. Respecting the historical and cultural diversity in the members and their different paths or models of development is the important foundation for us to achieve common development and prosperity. The mingling and mutual influencing of different cultures throughout history have provided the engine for the development of human civilization. We should follow the law of history, conduct inter-cultural exchanges more vigorously and draw upon each other's strength more consciously so as to ensure common progress of all human societies.

It is precisely out of such an understanding that we have gradually come to enhance the "APEC approach", which features in the main mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, consensus and voluntarity. This approach tallies with the Asia-Pacific's basic characteristic of historical and cultural diversity and offers an inevitable choice for intra-regional cooperation. What is more, the approach serves as a valuable example for international cooperation of broader scale.

Looking around the world and into the future, I believe APEC should stick to a development path suited to its own characteristics, always regard closer economic cooperation and greater common development in the region its bounden duty, advance with the times with enterprise and innovation and instil still greater vitality into our cooperation.

Thanks to the development in the past twenty years and more, China's modernization program has made remarkable headway. Living and working in peace and contentment, the Chinese people of all ethnic groups are building a better future for themselves with full confidence. China's WTO membership marks a new stage in its reform and opening up. We will remain true to our commitments, working hard to develop an all-directional, multi-level and wide-ranging pattern of openness, and participating more broadly in international economic cooperation. Facts have proved, and will continue to prove, that China's development will bring about more opportunities for the economic development in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large. China will unswervingly follow the development path suited to its national conditions, adhere to reform and opening up and press ahead with the socialist modernization drive. A growing and more prosperous China will undoubtedly play a positive and constructive role in ensuring peace and development in the region and around the world.

Apart from delivering tangible economic benefits to its members, APEC has also provided us with much valuable food for thought. The most important revelation is that, in face of opportunities and difficulties, we must strengthen cooperation, be good at seizing opportunities and take on challenges boldly so as to move all members toward the goals of development and prosperity.

I have great confidence in the future of Asia-Pacific cooperation. I am convinced that, through our concerted efforts, all APEC members will enjoy much broader prospects of development and their people an even better life.

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