Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made four proposals Saturday at the 5th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to further strengthen comprehensive Asia-Europe cooperation and deepen partnership so as to jointly contribute to world peace, development and progress.
Asia and Europe should strengthen political mutual trust through dialogue and consultation, Wen said.
Against the backdrop of a complex international situation, it serves the common interests of Asia and Europe to foster a favorable regional as well as international security environment, he said.
"We need to establish and improve dialogue and consultation mechanisms at various levels, strive to enhance mutual understanding and trust, increase sharing of experience and policy dialogues on regional cooperation, and have closer coordination in various multilateral forums including the United Nations in a joint endeavor to put in place a fair and rational new international political and economic order," the Chinese premier said.
"We need to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, support necessary and reasonable reforms of the United Nations, help it strengthen its authority in handling international affairs and enhance its capacity to respond to threats and challenges."
"We need to carry out cooperation within the framework of ASEM, fend off and fight terrorism in all its manifestations and effectively counter such non-traditional security threats as weapons proliferation, illegal migration, cross-border crimes and HIV/AIDS," he stressed.
Asia and Europe should increase economic exchanges and promote regional economic growth and common prosperity, Wen said.
"We need to make the best use of ASEM's existing dialogue mechanisms, commit ourselves to open regionalism and increase the sharing of experience on regional economic integration."
"In the new round of multilateral trade negotiations, we need to have close consultation and coordination and push for an early and smooth completion of the Doha Agenda with a balance of interests of various parties. We need to deepen our cooperation within the framework of the ASEM Trade Facilitation Action Plan and ASEM Investment Promotion Action Plan, and remain committed to removing trade barriers and improving the investment climate," Wen noted.
"We need to give full play to the role of the Asia-Europe Business Forum, strengthen government-business interaction and communication and vigorously develop economic ties and trade. We need to promote cooperation between small and medium sized enterprises, explore new business opportunities and facilitate two-way trade and investment."
Thirdly, Wen said, Asia and Europe should open new horizons for cooperation and promote coordinated economic and social development in various countries.
Given Asian and European countries' uneven development levels, ASEM needs to actively carry out technical assistance and capacity building projects to narrow the development gap among ASEM members, the Chinese premier said.
"In such areas as poverty reduction, social development, restructuring and public health, we need to give more support to the developing members in this region, particularly the poor, to help them meet the UN's Millennium Development Goals."
"At the same time, we need to give more substance to our financial cooperation and support the development of the Asian Bond Market. We need to vigorously conduct policy dialogue and information sharing on sustainable development and press ahead with our scientific and technological cooperation in forest protection and water management," he said.
"We need to deepen our mutually beneficial cooperation in higher education and human resources development. In this way, a multi-tiered, multi-formed and wide-ranging Asia-Europe cooperation framework will gradually take shape."
The two sides should actively conduct dialogues among civilizations and exchanges among cultures and respect and preserve cultural diversity, Wen stressed.
As cultural diversity is a valuable asset of human civilization, exchanges among cultures offer an effective way to promote human progress, the Chinese premier said.
"We need to encourage different civilizations to treat each other as equals, co-exist in harmony and amity, draw upon each other's strength to make up for one's own deficiency through dialogue and exchanges and seek common ground while reserving differences," Wen added.
(Xinhua News Agency October 10, 2004)