In retrospect, profound changes and tremendous progress have taken place in East Asia. Looking ahead, we can say with full confidence that relatively sound conditions exist for East Asia to raise its economic and social development to a new level.
It has become the shared understanding of East Asian countries to maintain regional peace and stability, develop the economy, science and technology, expand mutually beneficial cooperation, and promote common prosperity. East Asian countries are committed to the development of their relations on the basis of mutual respect, treating one another as equals and non-interference in one another’s internal affairs and properly addressing some existing differences through friendly consultations. With political stability, East Asian countries enjoy good relations among themselves. This has provided an important prerequisite for the sustained economic growth of East Asian countries and the development of their economic cooperation.
East Asian countries have built up significant economic strength. Some have entered the developed stage, others have joined the rank of newly industrialized nations, and still others have embarked on the road of rapid growth. Endowed with rich human and natural resources, countries in this region have formulated their development strategies in light of their actual conditions, constantly readjusted their industrial structure, effected shifts in modes of growth, promoted scientific and technological progress, and strengthened external economic exchanges. All this has provided a broad scope for East Asian countries to engage in economic cooperation.
Through their long histories, the peoples of East Asian countries have created their own fine cultural traditions. These cultural traditions attach great value to social communities uphold such virtues as self-strengthening arduous effort, industriousness, frugality modesty and eagerness to learn. They stress harmony in handling human relations and stand for peaceful coexistence in international relations. These cultural conditions constitute valuable spiritual legacy. As long as East Asian countries keep up with the trend of the times and carry forward and apply those cultural traditions and wisdom with oriental features in light of their actual national conditions while vigorously absorbing all fruits of human progress and civilization, the development of economic cooperation in East Asia will be further boosted by these spiritual motivations.
All in all, East Asia in today’s world is a force that cannot be ignored politically, economically, culturally or geographically. The prospect for East Asia’s economic development is promising.
Of course, while fully recognizing the economic achievements in East Asia, we must also look squarely into the difficulties and obstacles on the road ahead. For instance East Asian countries suffer, to varying degrees, from untenable economic structures, flawed financial systems, crude modes of growth, backward infrastructures and the enormous pressures brought about by over-population and the increasing need for environmental controls. These problems need to be addressed seriously and resolved effectively.
Southeast Asia’s recent financial crisis has taught people a profound lesson. Normal functioning of the financial system is crucial to overall economic stability and development. To maintain a sound and stable financial order in a closely intertwined global economy, it is imperative for countries to work to improve there financial system, policies and supervision, to strengthen both regional and international financial cooperation and jointly ward off excessive speculation by international hot money. Only by doing so can we effectively maintain the international financial order.
We believe that as long as we work together, the peoples of East Asia will certainly build a better future in the new century.