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Wen: Koizumi won't own up to history
Latest Updated by 2005-12-13 10:45:51
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Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi won't own up to his country's history of violence in Asia, making him the main cause of a rift in relations with China, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Monday at a regional meeting in Malaysia.

Wen canceled an annual trilateral summit with Koizumi and South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, citing an ill atmosphere and foundation.

KUALA LUMPUR: China's booming economy and rocketing foreign trade spell an opportunity, not a threat, to the rest of East Asia, Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday reassured business leaders from neighbouring countries ahead of a regional summit.

From left: Republic of Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun, Premier Wen Jiabao, Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi laugh as they hold hands posing for a group photo after the signing of a declaration on the ASEAN + 3 Summit during the 11th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. [Xinhua]

The postponement of talks "is not something that China wants", Wen told reporters, "the main reason for the impasse in China-Japan ties is that the Japanese leader won't treat the history issue in a correct way and made five consecutive visits to the Yasukuni Shrine that honors Class A war criminals in World War II."

The visits seriously hurt the feelings of Chinese, South Koreans, and the people of other Asian countries, Wen said.

China has long believed that good long-term relations are in the interests of the people of both countries, according to Wen, urging the Japanese leaders to take history as a mirror and take concrete measures to remove the barriers to bilateral ties.

China growth an opportunity, not threat

KUALA LUMPUR: China's booming economy and rocketing foreign trade spell an opportunity, not a threat, to the rest of East Asia, Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday reassured business leaders from neighbouring countries ahead of a regional summit.

Wen told the East Asia Summit Leaders Dialogue that China cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world, particularly East Asia.

"China will continue to seek peace and development through co-operation, and will strive to achieve development that will bring about peace, openness, co-operation and harmony as well as benefit to itself and other countries," he said.

About 800 representatives from the business community in East Asia attended the forum.

Wen arrived here on Sunday to attend the inaugural East Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summits and pay an official visit to Malaysia.

The premier stressed that China needs a "durable and peaceful international environment" to enable the country to double the size of its economy - the world's seventh largest - to US$4 trillion over the next 15 years.

Gross domestic product (GDP) reached US$2 trillion last year following an average economic growth rate of 9.4 per cent over the past 27 years. China hopes to double that figure and raise its per capita GDP to US$3,000 by 2020, Wen said.

Much of that growth will depend on trade, and Wen said China expects to import goods worth more than US$2 trillion over the next five years.

"As Chinese companies continue to expand in business, China will contribute more significantly to Asia's economic growth," he said.

"China's development not only benefits its 1.3 billion people but also provides more opportunities for other East Asian countries."

Trade between China and ASEAN grew by 23.5 per cent in the first 11 months of 2005 to US$117.24 billion, and China is the bloc's fourth largest trading partner.

China and ASEAN in 2002 agreed to establish a free trade area, and Beijing has also signed bilateral trade agreements with Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

While highlighting China's commitment to Asia's financial stability, Wen said Beijing will keep the region's interests in mind during the process of reforming its renminbi exchange rate regime.

"In introducing this reform and adjustment, we have taken full account of both China's economic and financial stability and the impact of such reform and adjustment on the economic and financial stability of China's neighbours, the whole region, and the world at large," Wen said. "We will continue to do so in the future."

Given China's rapid economic rise as well as its increasing diplomatic clout, there have been worries that it could dominate the region.

Wen reassured other Asian leaders that Beijing had no such plans.

"China is committed to East Asia co-operation in the interest of fostering a harmonious, secure and prosperous neighbourly environment," said Wen, who called for increased co-operation in the energy sector with other countries to ensure global energy security and stability.

"China hopes that such co-operation will promote regional peace and prosperity and create a friendly international environment that will facilitate its development endeavour. China is proud to be a good neighbour, good friend and good partner of other Asian countries."

He acknowledged that the country was facing a range of problems including strains on the environment and resources, a development gap between urban and rural areas, and what he called "huge pressure" on employment.

Beijing against exclusive bloc in East Asia

Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday made it clear that China is opposed to building any self-enclosed or exclusive bloc in the East Asia region.

He also reassured leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that Beijing does not seek a leadership role in regional co-operation.

China supports 10+3 in enhancing communication and dialogue with the United States, the European Union and other countries or organizations outside the region to expand common interests and achieve common development, Wen said during his speech at the 10+3 summit.

He explained that the 10+3 is committed to open regionalism, saying it is not closed, exclusive, or targeted against any particular party.

"This has both promoted growth in East Asia and created ample development opportunities for other regions. This will contribute to the common prosperity and progress of East Asia and the world at large," he said.

The premier proposed an open process in building an East Asia of lasting peace and stability, common development and prosperity.

Countries and organizations outside the region should be involved in East Asia co-operation, Wen said.

He stressed that China's support to ASEAN is "sincere without any political strings attached."

"It serves the goal of mutual benefit and win-win result," Wen said.

The premier also pointed out that China's development cannot be achieved without support and assistance from other East Asian countries.

He said that China seeks no leadership role in regional co-operation.

"ASEAN is the organizer of and main driving force for 10+3 co-operation ... China will continue to support ASEAN in playing the leading role," he said.

At the 10+1 summit, Wen announced that China is ready to assist ASEAN nations affected by the highly pathogenic avian flu.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China Daily Website
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