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Premier Wen Jiabao Attends Opening Session of Second China-Eurasia Expo and Delivers a Keynote Speech

On the afternoon of September 2, 2012, the second China-Eurasia Expo and Economic Development and Cooperation Forum opened in Urumqi. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, attended the opening session and delivered a keynote speech entitled Towards New Glory of the Silk Road. Wen pointed out we should, with stronger resolve and more practical measures, expand win-win cooperation in all fields and unleash the development energy in the region in order to bring benefit to the people of all Eurasian countries.

Wen said Eurasia is a beautiful and magical land. With abundant resources, a variety of landforms, diverse ethnic groups and pluralistic cultures, this land beams with vigor and vitality. As early as over 2,000 years ago, our ancestors opened the Silk Road that connected both ends of the Eurasian continent and served as a bridge for interactions between the East and West. Today, as world political multi-polarity and economic globalization gather momentum, Eurasian countries have strived to seize historical opportunities and achieve prosperity with hard efforts. The ancient Silk Road has regained its past vigor and vitality. China has entered the best time in history in its relations with Eurasian countries and is embracing a new height of cooperation for mutual benefit. The development of Eurasian countries and their growing ties have brought not only tangible benefits to people of all countries, but also peace and stability to the world.

Wen pointed out that as our world undergoes profound and complex historic changes, Eurasian countries face both rare opportunities of development and many severe challenges. In particular, the international financial crisis has persisted for four years and world economic recovery remains hard and tortuous. This has caused Eurasian countries difficulties in economic and social development to varying degrees. And we face the pressing and daunting task of boosting growth, getting rid of poverty and improving people's life. Wen raised a four-point proposal:

First, we need to enhance political trust to safeguard regional peace and stability. China believes that regional affairs should be determined by countries and people of this region and supports them in pursuing development paths suited to their national conditions. We maintain that all parties should abide by the purpose and principles of the UN Charter, and resolve disputes and conflicts through dialogue and consultations. We oppose intervention from the outside.

Second, we need to open our markets wider to promote common development. We can facilitate free flow of personnel, goods, capital, technology and services within the region, and jointly resist trade protectionism. We should improve existing regional and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms and build closer economic and trade arrangements at a faster pace, including negotiating bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements. We should deepen financial cooperation and provide financial guarantee for major cooperation projects. We should provide necessary assistance to countries with economic difficulties in the region to help raise their capability for self-development. Our cooperation projects should be more oriented toward the well-being of the people so that more people can share the fruits of the regional economic cooperation.

Third, we need to advance cooperation in cross-border infrastructure to accelerate the connectivity progress. We should push forward the projects of new energy pipelines. We should accelerate the building of major transport projects, including the highway linking western China and western Europe and railway. We should effectively operate and maintain the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe railway, a recently opened logistics route between Asia and Europe. We should advance regional telecommunications network integration.

Fourth, we need to deepen cultural and people-to-people exchanges to enhance friendship between our peoples. We should expand dialogue and exchanges between civilizations, organize more art and cultural activities and send more students to each other's countries. We should also promote tourism cooperation and advance friendly exchanges between academic institutions, youth organizations and news media.

He added today, as China opens up in an all-round way, Xinjiang's geographical, cultural and resource advantages have become more prominent in the course of China's opening up to the west and along the border areas. Xinjiang has become a gateway for mutually beneficial cooperation between China and other Eurasian countries, especially neighboring countries. Xinjiang's reform, opening-up and development will not only benefit people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, but also bring more development opportunities to Eurasian countries.

Wen finally said there were no ready roads in the beginning; they were created through persistent effort by the trail blazers. Two thousand years ago, our ancestors overcame numerous hardships and blazed the world-famous Silk Road. It represents a glory shared by all Eurasian people. In the new century, Eurasian countries and peoples should draw strength from our historical heritage and, in the same pioneering spirit of our ancestors and with greater confidence, proudly assume the responsibility entrusted by history and work together for new glory of the Silk Road and a better future of the Eurasian people.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, President of the Maldives Mohammed Waheed Hassan Manik, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Karim Massimov, Prime Minister of Tajikistan Akil Akilov and other heads of state or government delivered speeches respectively.

Zhang Chunxian, secretary of the Xinjiang committee of the Communist Party of China, made welcoming remarks, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming delivered a speech and Chairman of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Nur Bekri chaired the opening session.

Nearly 90 leaders and senior officials from Eurasian countries and international organizations including Abdul Karim Khalili, the second Vice President of Afghanistan, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Jan Peter Balkenende, the former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, as well as more than 1,000 Chinese and foreign entrepreneurs attended the opening session.

Before the opening ceremony, Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Expo pavilions.

China-Eurasia Expo is an important platform for all-round, multi-field cooperation between China and the countries of Central Asia, West Asia, South Asia and Europe. The theme of this Expo is "harmonious development, win-win cooperation."

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