Your Excellency President Thein Sein,DearColleagues,
It is a great pleasure to attend the Ninth East AsiaSummit (EAS) and explore with you plans for peace,development and cooperation in East Asia. I thankyou President Thein Sein and the Myanmargovernment for your thorough preparations andthoughtful arrangements for the summit.
East Asia has a time-honored history and a big population. Diverse nations, religions andcultures have created a civilization distinctive of East Asia through interactions and mutuallearning, making significant contribution to human progress. Since the 1970s and 1980s, EastAsia has risen rapidly and become the fastest growing and most dynamic region in the world.In recent years, East Asian countries have overcome the impact of the international financialcrisis by sticking together in difficult times and maintained regional stability and themomentum of growth, further contributing to world prosperity and development.
A fundamental reason of East Asia’s rapid development is the existence of a peaceful andstable regional environment. East Asian countries, as direct beneficiaries of regional peace,should firmly safeguard regional stability. Parties should properly address disputes throughpeaceful means and pursue lasting friendship and win-win cooperation. East Asiancountries, highly complementary economically, have a huge potential of cooperation. Parties,with their interests inextricably linked, should deepen regional economic integration and strivefor integrated development and common prosperity. East Asian countries are connected byshared land and sea borders and cultural affinity. They cherish a fine tradition of stickingtogether in thick and thin and helping one another in time of need. Parties should adopt arational and sincere approach in perceiving each other’s interests and concerns and work ina spirit of inclusiveness and mutual respect for harmonious co-existence.
The international situation is going through complex changes, world economic recoveryremains a slow process, local conflicts and regional hot spot issues keep flaring up, andterrorism and public health incidents have posed common threats to the internationalcommunity. Against such a backdrop, we should more than ever cherish the sound situationof development in the region, which has not come easily, and strive for progress in both thepolitical and security field and economic field. We should promote regional peace and stability,actively respond to global challenges, deepen cooperation in economic and social areas, andwork hard to build a peaceful and prosperous East Asia.
Regarding political and security issues, the key is to maintain peace and stability in the region.
The stability and development which East Asia enjoys is attributable to the joint efforts of thepeople of East Asian countries, in which China has also played a due part. China has alwaysacted as an important force for peace and stability in the region. And China, which remains adeveloping country, needs a long-term, peaceful and stable international and neighboringenvironment as it endeavors to achieve the two centenary goals, namely, to complete thebuilding of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the centenary of the CommunistParty of China, and to turn China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong,democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious by the centenary of the People’s Republic ofChina. We are firmly committed to the path of peaceful development. This is determinedboth by our history and cultural tradition and by our immediate fundamental interest ofachieving modernization, and shall remain unchanged regardless of outside interference orsuspicion. China’s policy of building friendship and partnership with its neighbors is sincere andconsistent, and its wish to bring benefits to the region and its neighbors through itsdevelopment is genuine. China firmly supports ASEAN in establishing the ASEAN Community next year comprising the three pillars of Political-Security Community, Economic Community andSocio-Cultural Community so as to play a positive role for regional stability and development.China is ready to work with other countries in the region to build an Asian community ofshared interests, shared responsibilities and a shared destiny.
To achieve durable peace and stability in East Asia requires the backing of stronginstitutional arrangements. China and ASEAN countries are discussing the possibility ofconcluding a treaty on good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation, which is aimed atproviding an institutional framework and legal guarantee for peaceful co-existencebetween the two sides from generation to generation. China was the first ASEAN dialoguepartner to accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, and it standsready to become the first dialogue partner to sign with ASEAN a treaty of friendship andcooperation. Both China and ASEAN countries need peace and stability, as conflicts do notserve the common interests of people in this region. China’s resolve to safeguard territorialsovereignty is clear and its determination to uphold regional peace and stability is firm.China is ready to take the negotiations on signing the treaty as an opportunity to explorethe conclusion of legal documents on good-neighborliness with more countries in the regionwith a view to achieving lasting peace in East Asia. China will be happy to host an InformalASEAN-China Defense Ministers’ Meeting next year, and explore the possibility of opening adefense hotline to enhance defense and security cooperation. China advocates an Asiansecurity concept that features common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainablesecurity and welcomes initiatives on regional security cooperation principles as proposed byRussia, Indonesia and India. China proposes that the EAS conduct in-depth discussions on theoutlook and principles for security cooperation in order to build consensus and make jointefforts to ensure security and stability in the region.
The situation in the South China Sea is on the whole stable, and the freedom and safety ofnavigation in the South China Sea is ensured. Since the beginning of this year, China andASEAN countries have conducted close and effective dialogue and communication on full andeffective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea(DOC) and on promoting practical maritime cooperation. We identified the dual-trackapproach for dealing with the South China Sea issue, according to which specific disputesare to be peacefully resolved through negotiation and consultation by countries directlyconcerned on the basis of respecting historical facts and international law, and peace andstability in the South China Sea be jointly upheld by China and ASEAN countries workingtogether. We agreed to actively carry out consultation to reach, on the basis of consensusand at an early date, a code of conduct in the South China Sea, for which early harvest hasbeen achieved. We agreed to establish a hotline platform for joint search and rescue at seaamong our maritime authorities as well as a senior officials’ hotline among foreign ministries ofvarious countries for coping with maritime contingencies. In addition, parties concerned areexploring the establishment of various mechanisms of exchanges and cooperation amonglittoral states of the South China Sea. In seeking the settlement of disputes, China proposesthat relevant countries actively explore joint development, as this is a realistic and effectiveway to manage differences. Neighbors are not something to be chosen. Frictions and evendisputes are hardly avoidable in the interactions of neighbors. The ancient Chinese believed inharmony with neighbors. I believe that as long as we treat each other with sincerity and seekcommon ground while reserving differences, there would be no insurmountable obstacles thatwill stand in our way.
To properly handle the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula concerns peace and stability inNortheast Asia and the whole of Asia. China stands for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsulaand for the interest of long-term peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia, andChina supports various countries in their continued commitment to peacefully settling thedifferences through dialogue and consultation. China firmly supports ASEAN countries’ effortsto build a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Southeast Asia and has reached agreement with ASEANon signing the Protocol to the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty. We hope thatASEAN could step up consultation with the other four nuclear-weapon states so as to sign theprotocol at an early date.
Nontraditional security issues, including terrorism, infectious diseases, climate change anddisaster management, pose severe challenges to the international community. Chinawelcomes the inclusion as proposed by Myanmar, the rotating chair of ASEAN, of these issuesas indicative topics of this summit. China supports the summit in issuing a declaration orstatement on these issues to display the resolve of member countries to jointly addressthese challenges. Based on its own needs and to honor its due responsibility as a majordeveloping country, China will work hard to address climate change and deliver on itscommitments in meeting the targets of energy conservation and emissions reduction. TheChinese government has provided emergency assistance with a total worth of about RMB750million to regions hit by the Ebola epidemic. Right now, over 300 Chinese experts and medicalpersonnel are working in these regions for epidemic prevention, control and relief, and wewill send more medical staff and give more material assistance to countries in these regions tohelp with epidemic prevention. China is preparing for the establishment of the East AsiaCenter for Climate Change Response and International Cooperation. It will work with countriesin the Mekong subregion to set up a joint control and response system of resistance toartemisinin-based anti-malarial drugs in the Mekong subregion, and will continue to hold jointexercises for earthquake and maritime search and rescue with relevant countries, so as tostep up cooperation in nontraditional security areas in East Asia.
Regarding development cooperation, the key is to advance East Asian economic integration.
China, a major economy in the world, will remain a developing country for a long period to comeand there is a long way to go before China becomes modernized. Likewise, many countries inEast Asia are developing countries, and development remains the top priority of countries inthis region. The development of China and ASEAN countries offers each other opportunities.The EAS should take the Plan of Action to Implement the Phnom Penh Declaration on the EastAsia Summit Development Initiative as the guiding document for future cooperation, and takemeasures to promote cooperation in the following six key areas so as to advance East Asianeconomic integration.