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Wen Explains China's Position at ASEM Summit
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Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday explained China's position on various international issues in a keynote speech delivered at the end of the 6th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit.


China's stand on multilateralism, sustained development, energy security, globalization, the future of ASEM and other major international issues was covered in the address. 


Building an environmentally-friendly society


Addressing the closing ceremony of the summit in Helsinki, Finland, Wen said China is determined to build an environmentally-friendly society. He pointed out that energy and the environment are the two big issues the country has faced in its economic development.


Properly handling these issues is not only important to China but will also make a contribution to the world at large, Wen stressed. China has actively participated in the international cooperation on climate change and honored its commitments.


Wen said the Chinese government has adopted measures to save energy and increase utilization efficiency in an effort to build an energy-saving and environmentally-friendly society.


Enhancing the UN's ability to tackle threats


Regarding the function of the UN, Wen called for the enhancement of the organization's ability to tackle threats and challenges. He said China insists that international disputes be solved through dialogue and negotiations and not through force or the threat of force.


China agrees to deepen anti-terrorism cooperation but opposes the application of double standards in fighting the threat.


Wen called on the international community to safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the exiting multilateral agreement on nuclear non-proliferation by formulating comprehensive export control systems.


Globalization presents opportunities and challenges


Wen said globalization has brought valuable opportunities but also presented great challenges for Asian and European countries. He said these countries should strengthen their coordination and cooperation to raise their competitiveness and ability to prevent risks.


The developed countries should assist the developing ones with debt-relief, finance, technology and aid, to help them improve their abilities to deal with growing globalization, he said.


The developed countries should also display their political will and more flexibility in reducing agricultural compensation and tariffs in a bid to pave the way for resuming the Doha Round trade talks under the World Trade Organization, he added.


Blueprint for next ASEM summit


Wen mapped out the blueprint for the next ASEM summit to be held in Beijing. "China is to host the 7th ASEM summit in October 2008," he said. "I'm looking forward to joining hands with all leaders here to make concerted efforts to deepen the strategic dialogue between Asia and Europe." 


At the Beijing summit China will work together with ASEM partners to promote trade and economic cooperation between the two continents and conduct more cultural exchanges and dialogues between different countries to make greater contributions to deepening the Asia-Europe partnership, he said.


Over the past two days the leaders from Asia and Europe had summarized their experiences and achievements over the past 10 years since the founding of ASEM and they had also mapped out a blueprint for the future development of the group, Wen said.


Other major international issues


Wen also urged ASEM members to cooperate in preventing and controlling infectious diseases especially bird flu.


As for the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Wen said the most important task now is to resume the six-party talks as soon as possible. He urged all parties involved to exercise restraint.


Wen said diplomatic negotiations are the best way to solve the Iranian nuclear issue. He added that Iran should pay enough attention to the world's concerns and take constructive measures over the issue.


Turning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Wen said disputes should be settled through political negotiations under the guideline of "land for peace."


At the conclusion of the summit, Asian and European leaders formally accepted India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Bulgaria and Romania as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat into ASEM.


The two-day summit, which started on Sunday, brought together leaders and top officials from the EU's 25 member states and 13 Asian countries.


(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2006)

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