Faculty Members and Students,Ladies and Gentlemen,
The tide of history moves on and we must follow it. We have now reached a new historical starting point to grow China's relations with its neighbors. The fundamentals of Asia's economy are sound, and Asia remains an engine driving world economic growth. On the other hand, the Asian economy also faces significant downward pressure caused by both internal and external factors. Asia's political and social stability contributes to global stability. Yet, the region also faces a host of intricate security issues, particularly the rising non-traditional challenges such as terrorism, extremism, cross-border crimes, cyber security and major natural disasters. In response, most Asian countries have sought to settle differences through consultation and negotiation. But lack of mutual trust has given rise to disputes from time to time. The Asian countries are more interconnected than ever before thanks to the accelerated process of regional integration, but they may take different approaches to regional cooperation and security cooperation in the region is out of step with economic cooperation. All these are challenges that we should meet.
I have been thinking about how China's cooperation with the Southeastern Asian countries and its other neighbors can be deepened under the new circumstances to boost our common development. And the following is what I believe we should do together:
We should work together to uphold peace and stability. Upholding peace in Asia is the shared historical responsibility of both China and its neighbors. We Asians should never allow animosity to divide us. We should increase mutual trust, work together to uphold peace and stability in Asia and foster a sound environment that enables us to achieve development and prosperity.
We should form synergy between our respective development strategies. We Asian countries should give priority to development to make life better for our peoples. We should tap into our respective development strategies and engage in mutual assistance to create new drivers of cooperation. We should draw up new cooperation plans and lock in new outcomes such mutually beneficial cooperation delivers. As the pie of cooperation grows bigger, it will lend more momentum to growth in our respective countries.
We should actively pursue security cooperation. As a Chinese saying goes, a single line of silk doesn't make a thread, and one hand cannot clap. We Asian countries should foster a vision of security suited to Asia and take a holistic approach to handling security issues in the region. We should jointly address both traditional and non-traditional security issues. We should stay committed to peaceful settlement of differences and disputes through friendly consultation, and we should give equal emphasis to both development and security. Together, we can achieve open, inclusive and win-win cooperation among neighbors that is based on mutual respect and mutual trust, and achieved by expanding common ground and narrowing differences.
We should strengthen the close bonds among our peoples. Asia is home to time-honored civilizations which have nurtured the collective Asian values and an Asian identity. We should draw on this valuable asset and encourage people-to-people exchanges to strengthen the popular support for good neighborly relations. The traditional Asian value of peace and harmony should continue to guide our exchanges. By doing so, we can ensure long-term harmony and cooperation among the Asian countries.
I know that people have been closely following China's policy on the South China Sea. Let me make this clear: The South China Sea islands have been China's territory since ancient times. It is the bounden duty of the Chinese government to uphold China's territorial sovereignty and legitimate maritime rights and interests. The starting point and ultimate purpose of China's policy toward the South China Sea is to maintain peace and stability there. Thanks to the joint efforts of China and other littoral states, the situation in the South China Sea is generally peaceful. There has never been any problem with the freedom of navigation and overflight; nor will there ever be any in the future, for China needs unimpeded commerce through these waters more than anyone else. Although some of the islands over which China has sovereignty have been occupied by others, we have all along advocated a resolution of these issues through peaceful negotiation. China will continue to seek resolution of the disputes through negotiation and consultation with countries directly involved on the basis of respecting historical facts and in accordance with the international law. China has every capacity and confidence to work with ASEAN countries to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea. We welcome non-Asian countries to make a positive contribution to peace and development in Asia. At present, the most important task facing all Asian governments is to ensure robust and sustained development, which requires a peaceful and stable environment. This is the biggest common interest of Asian countries. Non-Asian countries should understand and respect this and play a constructive role.
Faculty Members and Students,Ladies and Gentlemen,
I understand you are quite interested in China's future development. The Communist Party of China has just concluded the fifth Plenum of its 18th Central Committee. This plenum adopted a proposal for the 13th Five-Year Plan for national economic and social development, which is a blueprint for China's development in the next five years. Our goal is to finish the building of a society of initial prosperity in all respects and double China's 2010 GDP and per capita income for urban and rural residents by 2020. This is the first of our two centenary goals.
To achieve this goal, we will pursue a four-pronged strategy of deepening reform, advancing law-based governance and improving Party conduct in an all-round way with the goal of finishing building a society of initial prosperity in all respects. We will pursue development as a top priority, with emphasis on its quality and efficiency. We will accelerate efforts to put in place systems, institutions and development models that boost economic development under new conditions. We will maintain strategic resolve, pursue progress while ensuring stability, and promote coordinated development of China's economy, political system, the cultural sector, society, the environment and the Party.
To achieve this goal, we will follow the principles of innovative, coordinated, green, open and inclusive development. To pursue innovative development is to place innovation at the core of our national development endeavor and enable it to underpin all endeavors of the country and become a trend in the country. Coordinated development requires us to promote balanced development between urban and rural areas and between economic and social development, and ensure balanced progress in promoting a new type of industrialization, IT application, urbanization and agricultural modernization. It also means strengthening China's soft power as well as hard power and overall national development. To achieve green development, we will follow the basic state policy of resource conservation and environmental protection, pursue sustainable development, and promote modernization in a new way that enhances harmony between human development and the preservation of nature. By doing so, we will contribute more to global ecological security. Open development demonstrates China's commitment to pursue the win-win strategy of opening-up, develop a high standard open economy, take an active part in global economic governance and the provision of public goods, and build a community of extensive common interests. Inclusive development means development for the people, by the people and its fruits shared by the people. It means we must work hard to make all of our people benefit more from such development and eventually achieve common prosperity.
To achieve this goal, China will increase cooperation with all other countries, especially its neighbors, and China's development will bring greater opportunities for the world, particularly its neighbors. We are ready to share these development opportunities with other countries in Asia and work with them to create a better future for Asia.
Faculty Members and Students,Ladies and Gentlemen,
How time flies! As we look back on the history of China-Singapore relations, we cherish all the more the memory of two great statesmen who forged this relationship, Mr. Deng Xiaoping and Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. Five years ago on another visit to Singapore, I joined Mr. Lee Kuan Yew in unveiling a commemorative marker in honor of Mr. Deng Xiaoping on the bank of the Singapore River. Even though both of them are no longer with us, their great achievements will always be remembered by us.
The youth represent hope and the future. I am glad to see that the saplings of friendship and cooperation between China and Singapore so carefully nurtured by past generations of leaders of the two countries have grown into luxuriant trees laden with fruits. The baton of China-Singapore friendship needs to be passed on to you, the younger generation of the two countries, and it is you who will carry forward this friendship. Last July, several Singaporean college students in their early 20s joined a “Looking China” program to learn about China through taking photographs, a program that took them to Northwest China. There, they captured images of modern China through camera lens and experienced and shared the Chinese culture with others by watching the local Qinqiang Opera, eating Lanzhou hand-pulled noodle and taking a river trip on sheepskin rafts. Two Chinese students studying at the National University of Singapore spent an entire year filming the personal stories and dreams of 50 Singaporeans. I am sure you know many similar anecdotes of such people-to-people exchanges.
As a Chinese saying goes, instead of complaining that one's talents go unrecognized, one should learn to appreciate the wisdom of others. I hope the young people in both China and Singapore will learn more about the history and culture of both countries as well as each other's personal aspirations. Learn from each other, deepen your friendship, carry forward China-Singapore friendship, and be a new force driving the growth of China-Singapore relations. This is my hope for you.
Faculty Members and Students, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Looking ahead, I believe that Asia is once again taking the lead in promoting the development of history. Asia is our homeland, and is where our future lies. China stands ready to work with Singapore and other neighbors as well as all the other countries in the world to usher in a new era of all-round cooperation and turn Asia into our beautiful homeland.