SAFEGUARDING REGIONAL ECONOMIC INTEGRATION
Officials and experts called for efforts to safeguard and advance regional economic integration. This, they said, is crucial for regional and global peace, Global Times reported.
At a panel discussion, Mr Zeng Peiyan, the vice-chairman of the BFA’s Council of Advisors reportedly said that there were “certain countries” that were stirring tension and pushing for an economic “decoupling”.
“We should replace self-importance and dominance with communication and openness. We should especially oppose taking sides and forming small groups and cliques,” Mr Zeng was quoted as saying by the Global Times.
“We, Asians, remember vividly the wounds of both cold and hot wars. We know how precious peace and stability is and how important development is.”
Separately, secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Kao Kim Hourn warned against rising major power rivalry that may escalate into war.
“Competition and escalating tensions are major security challenges,” Mr Kao reportedly said, stressing that ASEAN must ensure that it does not become “a proxy” of any party or parties in a major power rivalry.
PM Lee also noted that any clash between the US and China will have grievous consequences for themselves and the world.
“Most worrying is the state of relations between the US and China. Big powers have a heavy responsibility to maintain stable and workable relations with one another, because any clash between them will have grievous consequences, for themselves and the world,” the Singapore leader said.
“And yet the US and China are at odds over many intractable issues, including trade and investments, supply chains, cybersecurity, emerging and critical technologies, as well as freedom of navigation.
“We hope that China and the United States will succeed in stabilising their relationship, and establish sufficient mutual trust and respect to cooperate in areas where their interests are aligned.”
In a bid to foster closer integration, an initiative that called for more partnership between free trade zones (FTZ) across the world was also launched in Boao, China Global Television Network (CGTN) reported.
Proposed by more than 20 FTZs in China, the UAE and South Korea among others, the initiative is aimed at strengthening cooperation in aviation and shipping networks, logistics and cross-border e-commerce.