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Li Keqiang Attends and Addresses 11th ASEM Summit

On the morning of July 15, 2016 local time, Premier Li Keqiang attended the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Ulaanbaatar and gave introductory remarks entitled “Upgrade Cooperation and Foster a Partnership of Shared Future Between Asia and Europe”.

Li Keqiang first expressed condolences to the victims of the attack in Nice, France and extended sympathies to the injured and bereaved families. He said that the Eurasian region faces both major opportunities and many serious challenges, especially terrorism, the refugee issue and other thorny issues becoming prominent in the region. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the ASEM. All parties should uphold the ASEM consensus of mutual respect and friendly consultation, and explore new ways to promote the comprehensive cooperation between Asia and Europe and enhance their cooperation level.

Li Keqiang put forward three proposals:

First, adopt a new vision for Asia-Europe cooperation. All parties should establish the sense of a community of common destiny, strengthen the sense of shared responsibility, effectively respond to challenges in the region and conduct dialogue and cooperation to prevent new sources of unrest in the region and maintain world peace and regional stability. All sides should deepen the awareness of solidarity and collaboration, jointly safeguard the post-war international order and get rid of the Cold War mentality and the zero-sum game, so as to push the international order and global governance system towards a fairer and more rational direction. China has always been a promoter of world peace, a protector of international order and international rule of law, and a driver of regional peace and stability. We have always upheld that all countries, big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, should abide by laws and regulations. We oppose the distortion of the international law and double standard. All sides should comply with the rules reached in the region and resolve differences and disputes in a peaceful manner and through political means, rather than provoking conflicts and confrontations. It is our consistent policy to follow the path of peaceful development.

Second, add fresh impetus to Asia-Europe cooperation. We should guide Asia-Europe cooperation towards a more pragmatic direction, and strengthen economic and trade cooperation in particular. It is hoped that the ASEM Economic Ministers' Meeting, which has been on hold for 10 years, can be resumed next year. We should accelerate the establishment of an open and inclusive Eurasian big market, raise the level of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, oppose all kinds of protectionism, and jointly tackle climate change. We should actively advance scientific and technological innovation and the development of new industries and economy.

Third, consolidate people-to-people and cultural foundation for Asia-Europe cooperation. We should strengthen dialogue between different civilizations and expand exchanges in such fields as education, science and technology, culture, tourism, youth and business startup.

Li Keqiang introduced current economic situation in China. He pointed out that in the first half of this year, though encountering many challenges at home and abroad, the Chinese economy remains stable, which meets the expectations set at the beginning of the year. Transformation and upgrade of economic structure has been accelerated, with great vitality showing in new economy. Rapid growth has been achieved in new business forms, accumulating more new drivers of growth. Although facing growing downward economic pressure, as the biggest developing country in the world, China has great potential, substantial advantage and broad space for economic development. The low debt ratio of the Chinese government, combined with a high household savings rate, offers China enough tools for macro-economic management. China will unswervingly promote reform and opening up, as well as deeply advance structural reform, especially supply-side structural reform. We have the confidence and ability to achieve the main development targets of this year, so as to maintain a medium-high growth rate and reach medium-high level of development while contributing China’s efforts to promote the economic development as well as safeguard peace and stability in Asia and Europe.

The theme of this ASEM Summit is “20 Years of ASEM: Partnership for the Future through Connectivity”. President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj of Mongolia chaired the meeting. Leaders from 53 member states and representatives of international organizations attended the meeting.

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