The Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) has played an increasingly important role as a platform for expressing opinions and exchanging ideas, said Yasuo Fukuda, chairman of BFA and former Japanese prime minister.[Special coverage]
The "Asia power" converged on the forum should not be overlooked and he hopes that the BFA could bring "Asia power" into full play and have a greater impact on the world, Fukuda told Xinhua in an interview.
The 2018 annual meeting of BFA, scheduled for April 8-11 in Boao, a town in China's southern island province of Hainan, has the theme of "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
Fukuda said that it's a common ideal of the mankind to build a world where there is no disputes and every country enjoys development and every person lives happily.
To realize the ideal, political leaders in the world need to show great foresight, point out direction for development and made their best efforts to bring the vision into reality, he said.
China's initiative to build a community with shared future for mankind is based on such a vision and it is hoped that all countries would joint hands to realize the goal, he added.
Fukuda also said that common development and common prosperity are important aspects of building a community with shared future for mankind, and he wishes that China could further help Asian countries to achieve common development through rolling out policies and initiatives.
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.
Fukuda also pointed out that the world currently is witnessing "anti-globalization" movements, but Asian countries should be fully aware that such moves are against the development trend in the world.
At such a time, Asian nations should further enhance economic cooperation and dialogue, and continue to conduct pragmatic cooperation with countries all over the globe, said Fukuda.
Fukuda said that China's Belt and Road Initiative will help promote the development of countries along the Belt and Road, as well as dialogue and consultation in economic cooperation, environmental protection and free flow of materials, talents and information in the world.
The Belt and Road Initiative will not only form a great economic circle, but also promote world peace and stability, he said.
Fukuda also spoke highly of China's achievements since its reform and opening-up drive in 1978, as this year marks the 40th anniversary of the adoption of reform and opening-up policy in China.
Having been surprised by the speed of China's Gaotie, or high-speed railway, Fukuda said China has been developing with such a "Gaotie speed."
Other developing countries in the world could also learn from the experiences of China's reform and opening-up, he added.
Fukuda said that the 2018 annual meeting will be the last one for him as chairman of the BFA, but he will continue to pay attention to the forum.
He hopes that in the future the forum will become more multi-layered and influential, and will play an increasingly significant role in various areas, said Fukuda.