Asian-Europe Cooperation: Asian officials discuss ways to meet global challenges
Senior officials from some 20 Asian countries gathered in the southwest of China today to discuss the rise in unilateralism and other increasingly complex challenges. The meeting in Chengdu is part of the Asia-Europe Meeting, which brings together 51 countries to promote collaboration between the two continents. CGTN's Yang Jinghao has more.
A common understanding on issues of interest and greater unity. This is the goal of a senior officials' meeting held in southwest China's Chendgu city under the Asia-Europe Meeting framework, or ASEM. Representatives from some 20 Asian countries shared their insights at a time of increasing and pressing challenges like protectionism, climate change and terrorism.
ZAHOOR AHMAD, ADDITIONAL SECRETARY PAKISTAN'S FOREIGN MINISTRY "These are not the challenges any individual country can meet alone. So, I think it's very important for China to hold this senior officials' meeting of ASEM, which will allow all our Asian partners to exchange views, to develop common understanding and to cooperate with each other to find out ways and means to which we can develop win-win cooperation for the progress and development of the whole continent and the world at large."
Upholding multilateralism and an open world economy was one of the focuses of the meeting. Ma Zhaoxu, one of China's vice foreign ministers, called on ASEM members to promote economic globalization that is open, inclusive and balanced.
MA ZHAOXU VICE FOREIGN MINISTER OF CHINA "We must defend a fair, free and non-discriminatory multilateral trading regime, and oppose trade protectionism and bullying practices. We need to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and foster an Asia-Europe market to turn the Eurasian continent into a region with the economic, trade and development achievements unseen in other parts of the world."
Promoting connectivity is one of ASEM's key goals. Vice Minister Ma said members could start with the areas most relevant to people's livelihood and strive for early harvests. Some officials suggested that more forms of exchanges could be held among the Asian partners in the future.
This meeting also served as a preparation for the 14th ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting scheduled to take place in Spain in mid-December.
YANG JINGHAO CHENGDU "Participants all agree that given the growing global uncertainties, in particular, the rising unilateralism, it's imperative to strengthen communication and cooperation between Asia and Europe. They also say the Asian partners should work together more closely to play a more active role within the ASEM framework. YJH, CGTN, Chengdu, Sichuan Province."