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October 26, 2009

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Wen puts emphasis on regional cooperation

PREMIER Wen Jiabao told the closing session of the annual East Asia Summit in Thailand yesterday that countries in the region should work together to tackle the global financial crisis, climate change, energy and food security, disease and poverty.

The countries should also, in line with the principles of mutual respect, make efforts to properly resolve their disputes in the interest of regional peace and stability.

Wen said they should work for consensus and move toward a long-term goal of establishing an East Asian community, while having due respect for diversity.

Leaders of 16 Asian countries at the summit gave high priority to finding a new economic growth model to free half the world's population from merely serving as producers for the West, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said.

He said the leaders placed "the utmost importance" on such a search at the annual East Asian Summit, which concluded in the coastal city of Cha-Am.

Recovery signs

He told a press conference that Asian nations would have to strengthen their domestic markets and further liberalize regional trade.

"The old growth model where, simply put, we have to still rely on consumption in the West for goods and services produced here will no longer serve us in the future," said Abhisit, who hosted the meeting.

Asian leaders, a conference document said, noted that the region had shown signs of recovery from the global crisis and "regained its pace of economic growth."

"East Asia can therefore play a crucial role in driving global economic recovery and in reforming the international financial architecture," it said.

The East Asia Summit followed Saturday meetings of leaders from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations with heads of government from China, Japan and South Korea.

Yesterday's expanded talks brought in Australia, New Zealand and India.

Wen and the leaders witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between China and ASEAN on the establishment of a China-ASEAN center and two others on China-ASEAN cooperation in intellectual property and technological standards.


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