Jointly Building an Asia-Pacific Community with a Shared Future
– Opening Address by H.E. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China, at the 78th Session of ESCAP
Madam Executive Secretary,
On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Commission, I am delighted to join you today in reviewing the extraordinary journey of ESCAP and envisioning the future of the Asia-Pacific region.
Seventy-five years ago, ESCAP was born in Shanghai, China in response to the eager aspirations of the Asia-Pacific people for a better life amid war, poverty and hunger.
The 75 years since have been fruitful. The Asia-Pacific has been peaceful and stable on the whole. With dynamic regional cooperation and fast growing economic strength, the region has created the “Asia-Pacific miracle” admired across the world, leaving a spectacular chapter in its history. None of these has come easily, and should therefore be cherished and guarded by all Asia-Pacific countries.
Seventy-five years later today, the world is faced with profound changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century. The dregs of the Cold War mentality are resurfacing, and unilateralism is running rampant, gravely upsetting the international order. Once again, the Asia-Pacific region stands at another historical crossroads.
China believes that under the new circumstances, the Asia-Pacific has assumed a more important place in the world and has a greater role to play. Its peace and prosperity concerns not only its own future, but also that of the world. The concept of Asia-Pacific should not be diluted, and Asia-Pacific cooperation should not be disrupted. We must learn from history and forge ahead to build together an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future and take Asia-Pacific cooperation to new heights.
First, we need to unswervingly maintain peace and stability. We need to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, abandon the Cold War mentality, oppose unilateralism and reject any attempt to bring military groups and bloc confrontation to the Asia-Pacific. It is important that we pursue the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and pay attention to the legitimate security concerns of all countries. No one should base its security on the insecurity of other countries. Disputes should be resolved peacefully through dialogue and consultation. We need to support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises, and oppose all words and actions that inflate tensions and stoke confrontation in the region.
Second, we need to jointly promote economic development. While tackling the impact of the pandemic together, we need to speed up integrated development of the region, promote the establishment of an Asia-Pacific FTA, and build an open Asia-Pacific economy featuring equal consultation, joint participation and shared benefits. We should uphold the WTO-centered multilateral trading regime, keep global industrial and supply chains stable and unimpeded, and strive for an open world economy, so as to offer more “Asia-Pacific opportunities” for global economic recovery and growth.
Third, we need to combine our respective strengths for win-win cooperation. The great diversity and rich resources mean vast potential for cooperation among Asia-Pacific countries. We need to further coordinate our development policies, use our respective strengths and deepen practical cooperation in the areas of poverty reduction, food security, COVID control, green development and digital economy. Forging greater synergy, we will make Asia-Pacific contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Asia-Pacific is home to China. We will continue to keep in mind and strive for the interest of the Asia-Pacific, and take real actions to contribute more to the long-term peace and security and sustainable development in the region.
China will firmly safeguard peace in the Asia-Pacific. With humanity’s security and well-being in his mind, President Xi Jinping has recently proposed the Global Security Initiative (GSI), contributing China’s wisdom to the settlement of international security issues. We will step up dialogue and cooperation with other Asia-Pacific countries to make this important initiative deliver. China will keep to the Chinese way of resolving hotspot issues, and actively promote political settlement of Afghanistan, the Iranian nuclear issue, the Korean Peninsula and other issues. China is ready to speed up consultations with ASEAN countries for an early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), which will provide solid safeguards for managing differences, advancing cooperation and promoting joint governance in the South China Sea.
China will firmly promote development in the Asia-Pacific. While expanding high-level opening-up, China is striving to advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, facilitate connectivity in the Asia-Pacific, and ensure safe and stable functioning of industrial and supply chains in the region. We will work with other countries to fully implement the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and actively promote the process of joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA).
China will remain firm in participating in Asia-Pacific cooperation. The Global Development Initiative (GDI), proposed by President Xi Jinping, accords with the historical trend and meets the needs of various countries. It will bring new impetus to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific. China will hold a high-level meeting on global development at a proper time, scale up support in financing, and establish a pool of GDI projects participated by all parties.
China will firmly support the work of ESCAP. We will communicate and coordinate more closely with the UN system and the ESCAP Secretariat. We will work with other ESCAP members to ensure effective implementation of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement, the Trans-Asian Railway and other key projects, and further contribute to the China-ESCAP Cooperation Program for ESCAP to play a bigger role in advancing regional development.
I wish the ESCAP Session a full success!