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President Xi calls for strengthening cooperation in both the Russian Far East and Northeast Asia for peace and prosperity
 NO.38 SEPTEMBER 20, 2018
Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the plenary session of the fourth Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, on September 12 (XINHUA)
The fourth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) was held in Vladivostok, Russia on September 11-13, under the theme The Russian Far East: Expanding the Range of Possibilities. President Xi Jinping was the first Chinese head of state to attend the forum, which was launched in 2015 by Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the plenary session, Xi called for strengthening cooperation in both the Russian Far East and Northeast Asia in order to realize regional peace and prosperity. The following is an edited excerpt from a Xinhua News Agency report on the session:

On September 12, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on countries in Northeast Asia to seize the historic opportunity and conform to the current trend to strengthen cooperation in the Russian Far East and Northeast Asia for a better future for the region.

"Under new circumstances, we should join hands and strengthen cooperation to promote peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region," Xi said at the forum, which was hosted by Putin and attended by Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon.

Xi proposed that countries in Northeast Asia build up mutual trust to safeguard regional peace and tranquility, deepen cooperation to achieve mutually beneficial and win-win outcomes, learn from each other to consolidate their traditional friendship, and take a long-term perspective to realize integrated and coordinated development.

"A harmonious, united and stable Northeast Asia with mutual trust conforms to the interests of all countries and the expectations of the international community, and is also significant for safeguarding multilateralism and promoting a more just and equitable international order," Xi said, noting that the international situation is now undergoing profound and complicated changes with rising power politics, unilateralism and protectionism.

Xi said that the six Northeast Asian countries account for 23 percent of the global population, and their gross domestic product makes up 19 percent of the global total.

As part of Northeast Asia, China has always upheld the concept of peaceful development to create a harmonious and friendly neighboring environment, participated in regional cooperation in the spirit of mutual respect and in a constructive manner, and promoted exchanges and dialogue while taking into consideration the concerns of all parties, Xi said.

"The Chinese side is willing to continue to work with all other sides to constantly consolidate unity, build mutual trust, explore effective ways to maintain lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia, and make unremitting efforts to achieve peace, stability and development in the region," he added.

Xi also said regional countries should actively align their development strategies, strengthen policy communication and coordination, improve cross-border infrastructure connectivity, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, jointly build an open regional economy, and boost subregional cooperation to benefit the people.

"In this regard, the Chinese side supports the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund in playing a greater role by guaranteeing the project fund," he said.

Xi expressed the hope that regional countries can expand ways to communicate, innovate ways of cooperation and facilitate exchanges among people of all ages.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin pose with young people from China and Russia as well as faculty representatives at the Ocean All-Russian Children's Center in Vladivostok, Russia, on September 12 (XINHUA)

The president also called on countries to explore new models for coordinated development in Northeast Asia, speed up scientific and technological innovation, foster a resource-saving and environmentally friendly industrial pattern and way of life, and jointly tackle the regional environmental issues that all countries now face.

Xi said that China stands ready to work with all other regional countries to strengthen cooperation in the Russian Far East and Northeast Asia to push for the diversified and sustainable development of the region and make the pie of common interests ever bigger, thus allowing people in the region to share cooperation opportunities and development achievements and jointly create a better tomorrow for the Far East and Northeast Asia.

In his address, Xi also elaborated on the achievements that China and Russia have made in their Far East cooperation over the past years. During the question and answer session, Xi talked about the Belt and Road Initiative and the Korean Peninsula situation.

In his speech, Putin invited businesses from all regional countries to invest in Russia and share the development opportunities of the Far East, saying that the region is now a priority in the country's development.

The leaders of the other countries also expressed their willingness to participate in the development of the Russian Far East and promote cooperation in Northeast Asia.

After the plenary session, the leaders attended an award ceremony for the winners of the first race of the SCF Far East Tall Ships Regatta 2018.

Copyedited by Rebeca Toledo

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