Chinese diplomat hopes for a united Asia

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, March 13, 2015
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Zhou Wenzhong, secretary-general of the Boao Forum for Asia and member of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, speaks to a reporter in Beijing. []

A Chinese diplomat said in an exclusive interview with that he hopes Asian countries can focus on development issues and unite Asia in the future.

Zhou Wenzhong, secretary-general of the Boao Forum for Asia and member of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, is attending the top advisory body's annual session. He was the former ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the United States of America from March 2005 to 2010.

" The 'Belt and Road' initiatives are huge and will impact more than 60 countries along the way, " he said, "more than 50 countries have already spoken out about joining in and they are positive."

The "Belt and Road" refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives proposed by China in 2013 to improve cooperation with countries in vast sections of Asia, Europe and Africa, which will influence 4.4 billion people and have an economic volume of US$21 trillion.

"It is a long-term plan. It will share the benefits of China's development with other countries along the 'Belt and Road', and also make China a part of the regional cooperation. Asian countries have many differences and many different opinions, but if they can focus on development issues, it will be good for them to unite Asia in the future and produce more consensuses. So the 'Belt and Road' initiatives are a wonderful platform to get countries together. It is not just China's plan, it is related to everybody. "

Zhou added China that majorly focused on opening up seawards in the past, so the cities and provinces on the coast have developed very fast, but the inland provinces didn't develop quickly. The "Belt and Road" should resolve the problem and reach a balance.

Zhou mentioned the Boao Forum for Asia, which will be held in late March, which has a new theme "Asia's New Future: Towards a Community of Common Destiny," inspired by President Xi Jinping's two foreign visits in 2013.

"What is the future for Asia? I think the key lies in whether it can become a community of common destiny. If Asian countries want to have a better future, they should help each other and open up to each other on the issue of development, form a united Asia, and form a united free trade zone," he said.

But he also pointed out the United States may not want to see a new competitive bloc emerge in Asia-Pacific region and will interfere. "The united Asian market will be good for the United States, but it may have its own considerations and may even politicalize the issue. But Asian countries should consider for themselves. The Boao Forum is a platform for various experts, entrepreneurs, scholars, and leaders present and past to share their opinions and eventually settle on a consensus for local policies. "


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