Building regional harmony

Updated: 2013-10-09 07:18

(China Daily)

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People closely watching the diplomatic orientation of China's new leadership could not possibly miss the intensive interactions of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang with leaders of Southeast Asian countries.

Xi concluded a weeklong tour of Southeast Asia on Tuesday, during which he attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia, and paid state visits to Indonesia and Malaysia. Li is visiting the region from Oct 9 to 15 to attend the East Asia leaders' meetings and pay official visits to Brunei, Thailand and Vietnam.

This intensive diplomacy, unprecedented in recent history, highlights the keen interest China has in building a harmonious community in the region and its political will to work for its realization.

The importance of Southeast Asia, effectively the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, for China is immense. China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have established economic, cultural, people-to-people and political ties, and exhibited their strong political will to deepen cooperation in overcoming nontraditional security threats such as piracy and maritime disputes.

Maintaining harmonious ties with its neighbors is conducive to China's economic and social development. As a large country on the fast track of growth, China obviously has a big stake in peace and development in the Asia-Pacific. Therefore, China is committed to building a regional environment favorable to economic and social development.

What is more, China's efforts to maintain peace and stability conform to those of other countries in the region and are aimed at facilitating the regional pursuit of common prosperity.

The country's new leadership has said on several occasions that China and its neighbors share a common destiny. China's pursuit of good neighborly relations with ASEAN member states will not only promote its own development, but also contribute to ASEAN's efforts to build an ASEAN community by the end of 2015.

That is precisely why Li's visit to Southeast Asia is expected to deepen China's mutually beneficial partnership with its neighbors. And interactions between the top leaders of China and ASEAN member states will ensure that the "golden decade" of strategic cooperation is followed by a "diamond decade" of regional prosperity.

(China Daily 10/09/2013 page8)