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Politic-Economic-Society-Tech

Zhu paints peaceful China picture

Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji on Friday told an Asian Economic Forum that tomorrow's China will remain a country at peace with the outside world, seeking the benefits of economic cooperation with other nations.

"The Chinese people love peace, and China's development needs peace," he told delegates of the Boao Forum for Asia on the tropical island of Hainan. "An economically developed China will pose no threat to any country or region."

The premier, introduced to the audience as, "the CEO of China's economic modernization," said the reforms of the world's most populous country would bring benefits both at home and abroad.

"The new leap forward in China's economic reform, opening up and modernization drive will not only bring enormous benefits to the Chinese people," he said in a keynote speech.

"(It will) also deliver unlimited business opportunities, ushering in broad prospects for economic cooperation in Asia and the world," he said.

The two-day forum, designed as an Asian alternative to the World Economic Forum, brings together top officials from governments, companies and academia.

Also attending the forum are Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Han-Dong and Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

China's entry into the World Trade Organization, which took place in December last, will prove helpful for economic growth both inside and outside China, Zhu said.

"China's accession to the WTO represents the new strong points for its opening up to the outside world. Our participation in worldwide economic cooperation and competition will assume greater scope and depth," he said.

"China will open its doors still wider to the rest of Asia and the world, opening more areas in a phased manner, lowering our tariffs and removing non-tariff barriers," he said.

China's entry into the WTO has caused considerable nervousness in other parts of the region, as many Asians fear competitive Chinese exporters will grab market shares overseas.

Zhu addressed the broader issue of regional cooperation in Asia, a highly diverse region in areas ranging from economic systems to language and culture.

"A situation of open, healthy and mutually beneficial cooperation is taking shape thanks to the joint efforts of Asian countries," Zhu said.

As examples of regional cooperation, Zhu mentioned the growing profile of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, as well as plans to establish a free-trade area between China and Southeast Asia in the coming decade.

"These developments will provide important channels and mechanisms for wider exchanges and deeper cooperation among Asian countries and regions," he said.

sourc
e: http://www.timesofindia.com,13 Apr 2002


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