Home / Boao Forum for Asia 2006 / News Updates Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Trade and Political Challenges Temper Asian Optimism
Adjust font size:

It is "arrogance" to expect an "Asian century" in the 21st century, as trade and political challenges are confronting the region, Singapore's Foreign Minister George Yeo said on Saturday.

"We have to be modest in our self-estimation and avoid getting ahead ourselves" amid "a huge wave of optimism sweeping over large parts of Asia," Yeo cautioned Asian people while delivering a speech at the annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) held in south China's Hainan province.

Commenting on the global trade challenge, Yeo expressed his worry that the Doha Round of trade negotiations is in danger of floundering as the United States is unlikely to renew the indispensable Trade Promotional Authority which will lapse in July 2007. The minister also mentioned the frequent Sino-US disputes, the trade protectionism in the United States and the European Union, and the common concern on the effects of a growing US trade deficit.

"For the long-term health of the global economy, it is important for major Asian economies to play a greater leadership role," the minister noted, pointing out that Asian economic integration can give a big boost to the global economy.

In addition to the trade issue, political challenges are "considerable" because the re-emergence of China and India as major global players is unsettling for some of the major world powers today, according to Yeo.

He called for joint efforts for the peaceful re-emergence of the two nations, which is expected to usher in a new era of peaceful development in Asia.

Yeo also urged China and Japan to find a way forward on the basis of mutual respect to improve their relationship.

Foreseeing ups and downs in Sino-U.S. relations, Yeo expressed the hope that the two sides act rationally to keep problems within bounds.

Noting that some developed countries view the rise of Asia as a threat, Yeo called on Asian nations to anticipate the incurring dangers and problems and make efforts to reduce the counteractive force.

Yeo was among some 850 senior government officials, business tycoons and celebrities of other circles attending the on-going annual meeting of the BFA, a non-governmental mechanism enabling Asian decision makers to have in-depth discussions over the critical issues of the region.

(Xinhua News Agency April 23, 2006)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © China.org.cn. All Rights Reserved     E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号