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Asia and Europe join hands to tackle challenges
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16:41, October 24, 2008

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· The Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting
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Currently, the exacerbating global financial crisis has plunged the entire world into a wretched plight, where assorted global issues, such as energy problems, climate change and food safety are interwoven, and unprecedented challenges are confronting the international community. The 7th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), set to open Friday, comes as the leaders from the 45 member countries of both Asia and Europe are arriving in Beijing to spend a frosty weekend, when they are to meet to hold a high-level and large-scale inter-governmental forum, with grave financial challenges dominated and unprecedented global coordination strongly called for.

ASEM has acted as a bridge linking the two continents since its establishment in 1996. Over the past twelve years, ASEM, a high-level inter-continental cooperation group, has greatly expanded to embrace the present 45 members, and its international position has loomed more prestigious than ever. Asia and Europe have had a successful experience and set good examples in dealing with financial challenges together.

When the Asian financial crisis broke out in 1997, participants at the 2nd ASEM in London in 1998 decided to establish the Asia-Europe trust fund, which served to help Asian countries restore financial stability and eliminate the social impact of the crisis. A decade later, the U.S-born credit crunch set up a new round of world-wide financial crisis. It is evident that only a joint effort from Asian and European countries and the international community as a whole can succeed in overcoming current difficulties, maintaining the stability of the international financial market and promoting sound development of the global economy.

The European countries had previously uttered their calls in one voice for a radical reform on the existing international financial system. The EU summit concluded on Oct.16 strongly advocated that a new Bretton Woods system should be put in place in a bid to fortify the monitoring mechanism over the international financial market and avert the recurrence of the 'Great Depression.'

Currently, almost all the countries from across the world have to take toll and risks for the simmering financial crisis induced by the U.S sub-prime mortgage crisis, while the U.S, the trouble maker, is tucked away under the protective umbrella, and well shielded by its fat interests. People woke up from the general panic to realize that the U.S is, by taking advantage of its dollar hegemony, grabbing the global wealth, and the U.S dollar has ceased to be trustworthy as before. Therefore, the dollar-pegged payments in the international trade transactions must be shattered, and a more democratic and legal international monetary institution is on the point of coming out at the global call.

It has been anticipated that the global financial crisis is likely to proliferate and intensify, and the downward spiral of the world economy is already unanswerable. Despite this, Asian and European countries, with their stronger economic power and greater experience, have agreed to unite and ride out this difficult time together with firm conviction.

One decade ago, when faced with the Asian financial crisis, China pledged not to depreciate the renminbi and made important contributions to easing the situation. Today, China, as the host nation of the summit, is still playing an active and important role in promoting Asia-Europe cooperation. As a developing country feeding a population of 1.3 billion, China has, over the past twelve years, strengthened cooperation and communication with other Asian and European countries within the framework of ASEM.

Meanwhile, China is also known for its largest foreign exchange reserves and fastest economic growth. Back in case of the U.S-born financial storm, China is acting as the largest creditor to the U.S and also the victim to bear the brunt of the attack. Grappling with the twin pressures from both within and outside of the country, China will determine to embark on its own social and economic stability, work together with the international community to meet the grave challenges at hand, and contribute to the international financial stability.

By People's Daily Online



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