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Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui Attends the 17th Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue

2021/01/21

On January 21, 2021, Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui, on behalf of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, attended and addressed the 17th Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) hosted by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu via video conference. Foreign ministers or representatives from over 30 ACD member states attended the meeting under the theme "The New Normal and Safe and Healthy Tourism".

Luo Zhaohui said that Asia is our shared home, and the ACD is our carefully built platform. Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the ACD. In recent years, under the concerted efforts of Asian governments and people, the ACD has achieved remarkable progress in six pillars of cooperation on connectivity, science and technology, sustainable development, food, water and energy security, deepened practical cooperation and institutional construction, promoted the building of an Asian community with a shared future, and enhanced the capacity of forging consensus among Asian countries.

Luo Zhaohui said the world is now facing new challenges and opportunities. Against the backdrop of the rampant COVID-19 outbreak, deep recession of the global economy and setbacks to globalization and multilateralism, unity, confidence and cooperation are particularly crucial.

First, we need to stay committed to cooperation. Since its founding, the ACD has remained committed to promoting trans-Asia exchanges and cooperation and building an Asian community with a shared future. Realizing regional development and revitalization is our common goal. As one of the world's most economically vibrant regions, Asia has been an important engine for global economic growth. Last year, the ASEAN has become China's largest trading partner, with the China-ASEAN trade volume up by 7 percent against the downward trend of the global economy. The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has injected strong impetus for the economic recovery of the region. All of these have become an important milestone for the regional integration. When the globalization process is experiencing difficulties, we need to actively maintain the sound momentum of regionalism and regional cooperation, adhere to the established vision and blueprint of regional economic integration and always take development as our top priority.

Second, we need to focus on anti-pandemic cooperation. Since the onset of COVID-19, the ACD member states have been supporting each other and sharing valuable experience of fight against the virus. Under the current circumstances, we need to further deepen cooperation and upgrade anti-pandemic and healthcare cooperation. We need to join hands to promote the accessibility and affordability of the vaccines, and overcome the negative impacts in poverty alleviation, food security and other fields. China advocates the building of a global community of health for all, and is ready to collaborate closely with other parties to deepen cooperation in public health.

Third, we need to jointly promote economic recovery. The pandemic has accelerated the process of digital transformation. We need to promote the research, development and application of new technologies, expand cooperation in e-commerce, 5G and smart city, promote digital transformation in Asia and explore the enhancement of digital and economic governance. We need to maintain open, unimpeded, safe and stable industrial and supply chains, give a full play to the potential of emerging economies and markets, and nurture a more integrated "world market". China has taken a lead in both pandemic prevention and control and economic recovery. In 2020, China's GDP increased by 2.3 percent compared with the previous year, with an average GDP per capita of over 10,000 U.S. dollars. In the context of strict pandemic prevention, we have built "fast tracks" and "green lanes" to facilitate personnel and goods exchanges. We will continue to push the opening up to a higher level, and promote a deep synergy between the ACD and the Belt and Road Initiative.

Fourth, we need to tackle non-traditional security challenges. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the end of the Cold War. A tendency of constant and frequent non-traditional security threats has been observed in the past. The 1997 Asian financial crisis, the September 11 Attacks in 2001, the 2003 SARS pandemic, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and the 2008 global financial crisis have all justified the sustainable response to non-traditional security threats by multinational cooperation. The ACD member states need to continue to focus on non-traditional security challenges and improve non-traditional security cooperation.

All participating parties agreed that when the COVID-19 pandemic is still ravaging, all countries need to stay united to fight against the pandemic, strengthen macro-policy coordination, steadily promote economic recovery, ensure unimpeded and stable industrial and supply chains, facilitate personnel exchanges in an orderly manner, and explore new thoughts and new models of revitalizing tourism under the new normalcy of pandemic prevention and control. The ACD needs to play its due role, tap the potential in prioritized fields of cooperation, promote exchanges and mutual learning among member states and inject impetus to regional cooperation. The outcome document Ankara Declaration was adopted at the meeting.

(The Asia Cooperation Dialogue, composed of 35 member states, is the only official dialogue and cooperation mechanism among Asian countries, aiming to promote trans-Asia exchanges and cooperation and build an Asian community with a shared future.)

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