Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made a five-point proposal in Singapore on Tuesday on strengthening and deepening cooperation among the 10 ASEAN countries and China, Japan and South Korea.
The Chinese premier said in his speech at the 11th ASEAN Plus Three Summit that all the 13 countries should respect each other, promote common development and coordinate economic and social development and be inclusive and explore a model of development that suits the region.
"The 10+3 countries should respect each other's independence and sovereignty and each other's choice of social systems and development models," Wen said.
"We should view the development of our neighbors as an opportunity of development rather than a threat, strengthen good neighborliness and mutual trust and promote state-to-state relations based on equality."
The Chinese premier noted that despite great achievements made in East Asia, several hundred million people are still living in poverty in Asia, and the per capita income of the least developed Asian country is less than one percent of the richest one in the region.
Therefore, "we should uphold our common interests and promote common development and prosperity," Wen said.
The Chinese premier also underscored the importance of balanced economic and social development in East Asia.
He said while enhancing cooperation in economy and trade in the region, it is also necessary to increase political and security consultations, expand social and cultural exchanges, enhance cooperation in energy, environmental protection and tackling climate change and promote sustainable development of East Asia.
Wen called on the 13 countries to explore and develop models and ways of cooperation that are compatible with the diversity of the region.
"Mutual respect, inclusiveness and complementarity between 10+3 cooperation and other cooperation mechanisms in the region should be encouraged," Wen said.
The premier also renewed China's promise to build friendships and partnerships with its neighbors and actively participate in regional cooperation.
"China strives to develop itself through further opening up and contribute to the development of East Asia and the world," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency November 20, 2007)