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No one should be allowed to throw Asia into chaos: Xi Jinping

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A file photo of new Chinese President Xi Jinping.
A file photo of new Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Amid raging tension in the Korean peninsula, new Chinese President Xi Jinping today warned that no one should be allowed to throw the region into chaos for “selfish gains”, saying future of rapidly growing Asia depends on peace and stability.

“No one should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gains,” Xi said in apparent reference to US Pivot to Asia Pacific, which China says is aimed at containing it.

“Stability in Asia now faces new challenges, as hotspot issues keep emerging, and both traditional and non-traditional security threats exist,” Xi said in his speech at the Boao Forum for Asia at Boao which was aired live on Television.

In his wide ranging address focusing on China and Asia after taking over as President last month, 59-year-old Xi said that Asian countries need to increase mutual trust and work together to ensure durable peace and stability in the region.

About 10 heads of states, Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and top corporate and business heads from the world are attending the three-day forum which began yesterday.

China calls for stability in Asia

Xi’s call for stability in Asia comes in the backdrop of heightened tension in the Korean Peninsula after China’s close ally Pyongyang increased war preparedness threatening nuclear war following a joint war games by the US and South Korea.

It also comes amid maritime disputes between China and Japan over islands and Beijing and South East Asian countries over South China Sea besides border dispute with India.

Xi said while China safeguards its sovereignty and territorial interests but at the same time would work for peace and stability of the region.

“Asia needs to enhance mutual understanding, build consensus, and enrich and deepen cooperation so as to strike a balance among the interests of various parties and build mechanisms that bring benefits to all,” Xi said.

“Peace, like air and sunshine, is hardly noticed when people are benefiting from it. But none of us can live without them,” he said.

“Countries, whether big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, should all contribute their share to maintain and enhancing peace. Rather than undercutting each other’s efforts, countries should complement each other and work for joint progress,” he said.

The international community should advocate the vision of comprehensive security, common security and cooperative security so as to turn the global village into a big stage for common development, “rather than an arena where gladiators fight each other”, Xi said.

China’s importance in Asia

China cannot develop itself in isolation from the rest of Asia and the world, he said, adding the rest of Asia and the world cannot enjoy prosperity and stability without Beijing.

China is an important member of the Asian family and the global family, he said, highlighting the blue print drawn last year’s conference of the ruling Communist Party of China for the country’s development in the years to come.

By the mid-21st century, China will be turned into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious; and the Chinese dream, namely, the greatest renewal of the Chinese nation, will be realised.

“Looking ahead, we are full of confidence in China’s future,” he said, adding that China faces many difficulties and challenges on its road to progress.

“We need to make relentless efforts in the years ahead to deliver a better life to all our people. We are unwaveringly committed to reform and opening up, and we will concentrate on the major task of shifting the growth model, focus on running our own affairs well and make continued efforts to boost the socialist modernization drive,” he said.

With growing interaction among countries, it is inevitable that they encounter frictions here and there. What is important is that they should resolve differences through dialogue, consultation and peaceful negotiations in larger interest of sound growth of their relations, Xi said.

He also said Asia should transform development model as it is major growth engine for the world economy.

Asia has emerged as an important engine driving world economic recovery and growth, contributing to over 50 per cent of global growth in recent years and instilling much needed confidence in the world, Xi said.

Asia’s cooperation with other regions of the world at regional and sub-regional levels has great vitality and promising prospects. However, Asia needs to transform and upgrade its development model in keeping with the trend of the times, the Chinese president mentioned.

“It is important that we should shift the growth model, adjust the economic structure, make development more cost effective and make life better for our people,” he said.

Sustaining development is still of paramount importance to Asia, because only development holds the key to solving major problems and difficulties it faces, Xi added.

(This article was published on April 7, 2013)
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