By He Yin, People’s Daily
Chinese President Xi Jinping called on countries to continue developing and strengthening Asia, demonstrate Asia’s resilience, wisdom, and strength, and make Asia an anchor for world peace, a powerhouse for global growth, and a new pacesetter for international cooperation in his recent keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2022.
Having been through hot and cold wars, hardships, and tribulations, people in Asia deeply cherish the value of peace and understand that development gains do not come easily. Xi’s propositions put forward at the recently-concluded annual conference of the BFA charted directions for maintaining peace, promoting cooperation, and enhancing solidarity among Asian countries and pointed the way for their seizing historic opportunity to build a community with a shared future for Asia.
Over the past decades, Asia has enjoyed overall stability and rapid and continued economic growth, making possible the Asian Miracle.
“Peace and stability in our region do not fall into our lap automatically or come as charity from any country. Rather, it is the result of the joint efforts of countries in the region,” Xi pointed out in his speech.
Rising from the misery inflicted by colonialism, militarism, and hegemonism, Asia knows the Cold War mentality would only wreck the global peace framework, that hegemonism and power politics would only endanger world peace, and that bloc confrontation would only exacerbate security challenges in the 21st century.
The current European security crisis has made more and more Asian countries realize that they can only keep their future in their own hands when they honor such principles as mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence, and follow a policy of good neighborliness and friendship.
Against the backdrop of weak and faltering global economic recovery, Asia is an important powerhouse for global economic growth.
In 2021, the share of the Asian economy in the world economy rose to 47.4 percent at purchasing power parity, and the growth rate of the Asian economy is expected to reach 4.8 percent in 2022, higher than the global average, according to a report released during the BFA Annual Conference 2022.
Win-win cooperation is a sure path to Asian development and the key to Asia’s long-term steady development.
Asia-Pacific countries have always upheld globalization and multilateralism, said Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, member of the Council of Advisors of the BFA, former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), and former Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP).
Multilateral trade agreements signed in the Asia-Pacific region account for more than half of the total signed globally, according to Akhtar, who noted that multilateral mechanisms in the region will inject new impetus into the continuous recovery of the Asian economy and even the global economy.
The entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement and the opening to traffic of the China-Laos Railway have generated new opportunities for fostering a more open Asia-wide market. Countries on the continent are bound to make new strides in mutually beneficial cooperation.
The prosperity and stability in Asia are hard-won and couldn’t be cherished too much. Choosing dialogue and cooperation over zero-sum games, openness and inclusiveness over a closed-door and exclusive approach, and exchanges and mutual learning over a sense of superiority: this is the only choice worthy of the broad-mindedness of Asians.
It is the heartfelt wish shared by people in Asia that countries follow the path of peace and development, seek win-win cooperation, and contribute to an Asian family of unity and progress together.
Asian countries are wise and capable enough to cement ASEAN centrality in the regional architecture and uphold a regional order that balances the aspirations and accommodates the interests of all parties.
As Asia enjoys sound development momentum, countries both in and outside the region should all add splendor rather than trouble to the region, which should be the basic norm for their participation in Asian affairs.
Any attempt to stick to the Cold War mentality and deliberately provoke confrontation to undermine the development of Asia will find little support.
As a member of the Asian family, China will always be an active participant in and important contributor to the peaceful development and win-win cooperation in Asia, no matter how the world changes.
China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, as well as openness and cooperation, actively advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and promote the implementation of the Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative it proposed, thus continuously injecting positive energy into the peace, development and win-win cooperation in Asia and the world.
As Xi said, to break through the mist and embrace a bright future, the biggest strength comes from cooperation and the most effective way is through solidarity.
The open, inclusive, and confident China will stand with various countries in solidarity under the banner of true multilateralism. They will stay committed to regionalism featuring lasting peace, common development, and openness, and jointly build a community with a shared future for Asia and a community with a shared future for mankind.