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Premier Wen Calls for Joint Commitment to New Asia

Premier Wen Jiabao Wednesday called for all Asian nations to take up the historic responsibility and renew the joint commitment to a new Asia with peace, stability, cooperation and development.  

He made the remarks when addressing the Fourth Foreign Ministers' Meeting of Asia Cooperation Dialogue, which opened Wednesday in Islamabad.


He said Asia needs peace. Peace is the precondition and guarantee for well-being and prosperity, and mutual respect, dialogue on an equal footing, friendly consultation and mutual understanding are rational choice when it comes to resolving disputes and conflict, he noted.


He noted Asia needs stability. The affairs of a country should be decided by the people of that country, and the international community should do more to help the country and the region to maintain its stability and give greater attention and assistance to the economically less developed countries, he said.


"The developing countries in Asia have a pressing need to develop their economies, shake off poverty and backwardness, narrow the wealth gap and improve democracy and legal system so as to realize lasting stability at home," he said.


Wen also said Asia needs cooperation. The diversity in Asia provides ample space for inter-state cooperation, and the countries should focus on trade and economic cooperation while moving forward mutually beneficial cooperation across the board.


"We should move ahead with regional free trade arrangements step by step, properly address trade frictions and work hard to bring about a new cooperation pattern characterized by mutual complementarity, diversity and openness," the premier said.


He stressed that Asia needs development. Most Asian countries are underdeveloped, and to accelerate economic development and social progress is the strong desire of the Asian peoples and also a major task before all Asian nations.


"A true Asian century will never materialize unless Asia develops as a whole," he said.


Wen is paying an official visit to South Asia covering Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. Pakistan is the first leg of his tour.


(Xinhua News Agency April 6, 2005)

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