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ASEM Opens in Beijing
    2008-10-25 10:16:52     CRIENGLISH.com


Leaders from across Asia and Europe have met in Beijing for the seventh Asia-Europe Meeting, or ASEM, summit.

The global financial meltdown is on top of the agenda and Chinese President Hu Jintao has stressed that confidence is the most important at the moment. Yunfeng has more.

Reporter: In the speech entitled "Asia and Europe: Cooperation for Win-Win Progress," Chinese President Hu Jintao called on all countries to strengthen policy coordination to cope with the global financial crisis, and stressed the significance of confidence at the opening of his speech.

"At this crucial moment, confidence is more important than anything else. Only with strong confidence and concerted efforts can we weather the crisis."

Hu Jintao said China supported the positive measures taken by countries in response to the financial crisis, and China has and will contribute in maintaining world economic stability.

"China's sound economic growth is in itself a major contribution to global financial stability and economic growth. That is why we must first and foremost run our own affairs well."

During the opening ceremony the Sultan of Brunei, also one of the coordinators of the meeting, Hassanal Bolkiah, said both Asia and Europe should learn from the financial crisis.

"Our challenges here therefore are an important stage for us to learn the lessons from this crisis that both our regions are experiencing. The circumstances may be different, but the impact is the same - a slowdown of economy."

President of the European Commission Jos Manuel Barroso echoed President Hu's opinion, and urged Asia and Europe to intensify coordination and cooperation to jointly curb the financial crisis.

"Facing to the global challenges of today, Asia and Europe have come together here today in Beijing, to stress these challenges and find win-win solutions, for the sake of all the people in Europe and Asia. I wish us a most productive and constructive summit."

Barroso also highlighted the significance of the Asia-Europe Meeting summit.

"ASEM has grown, exploiting the flexibility and informality that is one of our defining characteristics to build consensus on any issue of mutual concern."

This year's ASEM has been the largest gathering of leaders since its first meeting in 1996. Leaders from 45 Asian and European nations and organizations joined the meeting.

Other attendees included French President Nicholas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, and President of Republic of Korea (ROK) Lee Myung-bak.

It's hoped the summit will establish a consensus on a common approach to the global crisis.

The two-day summit will also cover other issues including energy, climate change, food security and sustainable development.

YF, CRI News.

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