Chinese diplomat calls for mutual benefits

By Wu Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 1, 2012
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Speaking before this year's Boao Forum for Asia, held on April 1-3, Tong Xiaoling, the Chinese ambassador to the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), emphasized that during its integration process Asia should adhere to the fundamental principle of mutual benefits.

Tong told via a phone interview that although Asia has achieved a lot in terms of regional integration, the ultimate goal is still some way off. She commented that areas such as the region's diversity of economic and political regimes and religious beliefs would require long-term work and focus in order to bring Asian countries closer together.


Tong Xiaoling [file photo]

However, Tong was upbeat in her review of recent cooperation among Asian countries. She cited the 10-plus-three mechanism among ASEAN, China, Japan and Republic of Korea, as well as the free trade area established between China and ASEAN since 2002. There is also a similar framework agreement under discussion among China, Japan and South Korea, and such cooperation would be further expanded to the 10-plus-three mechanism, which is due to be negotiated in the near future. Moreover, according to Tong, Asia has made great progress with respect to regional currency reserves and exchanges.

In terms of the ongoing cooperation among eastern Asian countries, Tong emphasized that the cause should not be manipulated by either a single country or group of countries. Instead, she believes that it should be an overall win-win situation for all parties concerned.

Tong also stressed that other Asian countries, as well as China, are facing the unavoidable prospect of remodeling their economies in order to reduce pollution emissions and energy consumption. As a result, they need more investment and technological development in order to facilitate eco-friendly development. China has an edge in this respect, especially in terms of its labor force, and would consider aiding its neighboring developing countries in their economic restructuring efforts.

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