China calls for more practical cooperation and dialogue in Eurasia

Saturday, 16 July, 2016 - 10:30

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday called on 53 members of the 20-year-old Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) mechanism to further advance practical cooperation and promote dialogue so as to build a more prosperous and peaceful Eurasia.

"As the ASEM begins its third decade, all members should bear in mind the mission of building a new type of comprehensive partnership" and actively seek new paths to further promote Asia-Europe cooperation, Li said in a speech at the two-day ASEM Summit in Ulan Bator.

The inauguration of the ASEM in 1996 in Bangkok, Thailand, ushered in a new era of equal dialogue, all-round cooperation and joint action against challenges on the two continents, he said.

Now China and Europe are each other's largest trading partner, with two-way trade amounting to nearly 700 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, he added, noting that cooperation between Asia and Europe has reached an unprecedented level.

Looking into the future, Li said Asia and Europe, with a total population of more than 4 billion, over half of the world's GDP and nearly 70 percent of global trade, enjoy broad prospects of development and cooperation, given their economic diversity, abundant natural resources and huge market potential.

At the same time, Eurasia is faced with a raft of enormous challenges, including an uphill economic recovery and transition as well as the fallout of Britain's exit from the European Union, he said, adding that there are also knotty problems such as terrorism and the refugee crisis.

All sides, he suggested, should abide by the ASEM consensus on such principles as mutual respect and friendly consultation, and seek new paths to further promote Asia-Europe cooperation.

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