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Vice President Urges Asian Countries to Seize Opportunities for Better Future

Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong urged Asian countries to seize opportunities for win-win progress Saturday morning.  

At the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Meeting 2006, Zeng pointed out three opportunities Asia faces to echo the theme of the conference, "Asia Searching for Win-Win: New Opportunities for Asia."  

The first opportunity is that Asia is in a relatively stable and peaceful period for development rarely seen in its history.  

"We often say that Asia should seize an opportunity for win-win progress. Now we are faced with this important opportunity," he said.  

The second one is that Asia has become one of the most dynamic regions in the world thanks to the joint efforts of the governments and peoples of Asian countries, he said.  

Zeng noted Asia has registered an unprecedented sound momentum of development, marked by the unleashing of huge market potential, effective economic restructuring in various countries and areas, accelerating industrial upgrading and fast and sustained economic growth.  

"This has made Asia one of the most dynamic regions in the world and this is another opportunity that Asia should seize for a win-win progress."  

Cooperation based on equality, diversity, openness and mutual benefit is taking shape in Asia. The overall peace, stability and development in Asia have led to fast progress in the regional cooperation process, he said.  

He added various regional and sub-regional economic cooperation mechanisms have grown in strength, which include the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Asia Cooperation Dialogue, those in East Asia and Central Asia, and multilateral and bilateral free trade arrangements.  

These positive and major developments have brought about both favorable conditions for regional cooperation and historical opportunities for the development of Asia, he said.  

"We should respect and treat each other as equals, seize the opportunities of development and hold our destiny in our own hands."  

By doing this, he said, Asian countries and areas will certainly achieve mutual benefit and win-win progress and promote development and rejuvenation of Asia.  

About 850 Chinese and overseas officials, business people and scholars are present at the annual meeting in the coastal scenic town in south China's island province of Hainan.

(Xinhua News Agency April 22, 2006)

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