China, neighbors vow to strengthen connectivity, deepen cooperation

Updated: 2014-11-09 09:09


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BEIJING - China and its neighbors pledged on Saturday to enhance connectivity and deepen practical cooperation to seek Asia's common development.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, along with leaders of seven other neighboring countries and two international organizations, reached consensus on a host of measures to boost regional connectivity, ranging from speeding up infrastructure construction to innovating financing mechanism, according to a joint press communique released at the ongoing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings.

The communique came after a dialogue meeting on strengthening connectivity and improving cooperation in China's neighborhood.

Xi chaired the dialogue which was attended by leaders of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Tajikistan, and representatives of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

According to the communique, the signatories recognize that strengthening connectivity is consistent with the trend of times and represents a common necessity for all Asian countries.

They also believe that strengthening connectivity involves work in five areas, including policy communication, infrastructure connectivity, trade link, capital flow and understanding among peoples with the infrastructure development being the basis and priority.

"Strengthening connectivity, which is conductive to identifying new growth point and fostering new competitive edge, offers new driving force for Asian cooperation and sustained prosperity," the document said.

The communique also hailed the building of "One Belt and One Road," or the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, saying the initiative will inject strong impetus in enhancing political mutual trust, deepening economic cooperation and promoting cultural and people-to-people exchanges among relevant countries.

At the dialogue, Xi, in his five-point proposal aimed at promoting inter-connected development in the Asia-Pacific region, said China will contribute $40 billion to set up a Silk Road Fund.

"We welcome and appreciate China's announcement of creating the Silk Road Fund to provide investment and financing support for Asian countries' participation in connectivity cooperation," the communique said.

The signatories are resolved to intensify efforts in transportation infrastructure development, shape an open economic landscape in Asia with unwavering commitment to open regionalism, as well as adopt a people-centered and development oriented approach for the realization of prosperity, the document said.

It stipulated that China and its dialogue partners are committed to improving institutions and mechanisms to help develop cooperation platform with distinctive Asian characteristics.

The signatories support efforts of China and relevant countries to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a complement to the existing financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, according to the communique.