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Yang Jiechi Attends Eighth ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting


From May 28 to 29, 2007, the Eighth ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held in Hamburg, Germany. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi attended and addressed the meeting, elaborating on China's views on advancing Asia-Europe cooperation in the new situation.

In his remarks, Yang spoke highly of the progress of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) mechanism since its establishment a decade ago, pointing out that in this new international environment, Asia and Europe are more closely associated with and inter-dependent upon each other. They face the same opportunities, and they must jointly overcome new difficulties and challenges, said the Chinese foreign minister.

In order to push Asia-Europe cooperation for further progress in the next decade, he raised proposals in the following four aspects.

1. Promote multilateralism and enhance political dialogue and mutual trust. "We should increase exchange of views and consultation in the United Nations and other multilateral institutions," said Yang. "We should promote effective settlement of hotspot issues and disputes in some regions, and strengthen counter-terrorism and non-proliferation cooperation to contribute more to upholding world peace and stability," he added.

2. Strengthen practical cooperation and promote balanced growth of the world economy. Yang suggested countries in Asia and Europe should explore concrete and effective ways to enhance comprehensive exchanges and cooperation in economy and trade, finance, science and technology, education and among their small- and medium-sized enterprises. He also urged the parties concerned to act with greater political courage and vision, and make sure that the Doha development agenda produce balanced and win-win result.

3. Strengthen partnership to ensure energy security and effectively respond to the challenge of climate change. ASEM partners should strengthen International energy cooperation, and promote mutually beneficial cooperation, diversified energy development and coordination to ensure energy supply. The issue of climate change should be addressed in accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" in the context of sustainable development. Developed countries should continue to cut their greenhouse gas emissions and honor their commitment of providing financial assistance and technology transfer to developing countries.

4. Respect diversity and promote dialogues among cultures and civilizations. "We should fully respect differences and diversity in ethnicity, religion and civilization, continue to have dialogue on an equal footing, and advocate tolerance, exchange, dialogue and coexistence and oppose discrimination, exclusion, confrontation and conflict," said Yang.

Yang Jiechi also expounded China's principled position on such issues as the Iranian issue and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. He also briefed on the preparations by China, as a host, for the 7th ASEM Summit in October next year.

Upon the conclusion of the meeting, Yang, the German foreign minister and other ASEM coordinators jointly met the press.

This is the first foreign ministers' meeting after ASEM's two rounds of expansion, which was attended by foreign ministers and representatives of its 45 members. The meeting mainly discussed the future development of Asia-Europe cooperation. Germany, host of the meeting, issued a chairman's statement.

On the same day, Yang Jiechi also met respectively with Mongolian Foreign Minister Nyamaagiyn Enkhbold, Polish Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, Slovak Foreign Minister Jan Kubis and Slovenian Foreign Minister Dmitrij Rupel.

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