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Asia-Pacific community key to China's foreign policy

2013-10-09 08:25 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

In his latest trip to Southeast Asia, Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated the value the country places on the Asia-Pacific region.

In his first Southeast Asia tour since he took presidency, Xi visited Indonesia and Malaysia and attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) informal economic leaders' meeting from Oct. 2 to 8.

During the visit, Xi said China wants to build closer ties and a community of common destiny with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and called for building a beautiful Asia-Pacific region through joint efforts.

China's emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region conforms to its foreign policy and shows a vision for the region, which has increasing importance on the international stage.

China has long pursued a comprehensive foreign policy, viewing great powers as the key to its foreign policy, its periphery is principal, the developing countries as the foundation, and multilateral diplomacy as an important arena.

As an East Asian country sitting on the west edge of the Pacific, China has had historical connections with Asia-Pacific countries for hundreds of years and has maintained close economic and political ties in the region.

China's rapid economic development and revival require a stable and peaceful regional environment, and properly handling of ties with Asia-Pacific countries, especially with neighboring countries, will be a challenge for China.

Despite the general trend of peace and development, some discord has emerged. China-Japan ties have soured in recent years as Japan has infringed on China's sovereign rights on the Diaoyu Islands, while some other countries have made disputes over territorial and maritime rights with China.

In such circumstances, wisdom is needed for China to safeguard its rights while at the same time maintain sound relations with Asia-Pacific countries, including ASEAN members.

Xi's remarks during his tour gave a solution to this mission: a community of common destiny and multilateral platforms like APEC can tie China, ASEAN and other Asia-Pacific countries together to avoid trade-offs of their rights and powers.

The Chinese president's Southeast Asia tour and attendance at the APEC meeting came as the role of the region grows on the global stage. The Asia-Pacific region is now the most economically vigorous area in the world, and APEC members include the world's top three economies and major emerging markets. Its estimated GDP growth rate stands at 4.3 percent, almost 3 percentage points higher than other areas on average.

The Asia-Pacific region's contribution to world economic development is increasing, and it will contribute more through cooperation. A greater role for China in the Asia-Pacific region can promote deeper cooperation in the area and maintain a peaceful, stable and development-oriented region.

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