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September 24, 2011

‘Debt crises offer chances’
Updated: 2011-09-24 07:56
By Li Xiaokun and Lu Hongyan (China Daily)

XI’AN – As Europe’s debt crises further shake the global market, a top Chinese official on Friday called for European and Asian countries to focus more on opportunities to handle the tough times.

For a second time in September, Chinese leaders at high-level forums extended an invitation for closer intercontinental cooperation. Earlier this month, Vice-Premier Li Keqiang announced in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region that Beijing will quicken the process of opening up inland regions, especially China’s western parts, to the world.

‘Debt crises offer chances’

Li Changchun, one of top Chinese leaders, stands in front of a host of photographers as other VIPs take their seats on the rostrum at the opening ceremony of the 2011 Euro-Asia Economic Forum in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province, on Friday. [Wu Zhiyi / China Daily]

“Global financial markets are sharply fluctuating while world economic recovery is getting more and more uncertain and instable,” Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said addressing the biennial Euro-Asia Economic Forum in Xi’an, the capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi province.

“European and Asian countries should have a long-term view to deepen cooperation, accommodate and help each other and overcome the difficulties together,” Li said.

“The forum, initiated by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), indicates the SCO’s respect for cultural diversity and its interest in common development.”

Li Changchun hailed the growth of the forum, which was initiated in 2005, saying the consensus that will be reached during the two-day meeting will signify the establishment of a partnership among all participants.

In the context of the tumbling international financial market and the fragile recovery of the world economy, all European and Asian nations should broaden their cooperation to jointly tackle the difficulties, he said.

Li proposed that the countries involved speed up regional economic integration and deepen cooperation in the energy, new and high technology, and humanitarian sectors as well as other areas related to people’s livelihoods.

“As the rotating chair of the SCO, China will take substantial measures to push for the common development and prosperity of the region and will integrate its own development with the needs of other countries in the region,” he said.

China’s policy of developing its western regions and upgrading its economy will produce many more opportunities for regional cooperation, he said.

SCO Secretary-General Muratbek Imanaliev stressed the importance of economic stability at the vital moment, saying “economy and security are more interdependent and have been a major impetus for each other”.

“I’m among the people who support policies of the Chinese government as it seeks a plan for the success of regional development based on multilateral economic cooperation, effective dialogue and exchanges of ideas,” said Punsalmaagiin Ochirbat, former Mongolian president.

Aside from the forum’s plenary meeting, there will be meetings on the themes of finance, energy, culture and education and tourism, and the 2011 Euro-Asia ecological safety meeting.

About 900 officials, entrepreneurs, academics and experts from Europe and Asia attended Friday’s opening session.

The biennial Euro-Asia Economic Forum was first launched in Xi’an in 2005, and the city was named the permanent venue for the forum in April 2007.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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