Commentary: Multilateralism, inclusiveness crucial to Asia-Pacific cooperation

Source: Xinhua| 2020-11-20 16:21:40|Editor: huaxia
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BEIJING, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The virtual congregation of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members this week is expected to forge a stronger consensus that multilateralism and free trade shall prevail over unilateralism and protectionism, especially at this critical juncture when the world is grappling with COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession.

Traversing a cooperation journey for three decades, the APEC has fostered a partnership featuring mutual trust, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation. It is important for all the members to stay committed to the shared goal of common development, address differences through consultation and explore solutions to common challenges in the spirit of equality, mutual understanding and accommodation.

Free and open trade and investment, regional economic integration, as well as scientific and technological cooperation, must continue to be the priorities of APEC. The international community should formulate rules, but not with a might-is-right approach.

The Asia-Pacific region is a community with a shared future. The Asia-Pacific economies are connected by the same ocean. The vast ocean is sufficient for all countries to pursue their own development interests through diversified paths, but there is no room for confrontation, zero-sum games, or bloc rivalries.

Attempts to form exclusive blocs or impose one's will on others will not produce any winners. The beaten track that a country seeks hegemony when it becomes powerful and that the winner takes all should be consigned to the ashes of history. APEC members cannot be forced to take sides.

As a major economy among APEC member countries, China has always advocated the establishment of an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future featuring openness, inclusiveness, innovation-driven growth, greater connectivity and mutually beneficial cooperation. It will not reverse course or go against historical trends by decoupling or forming a small circle to keep others out.

With its vast market of 1.4 billion people and a new "dual circulation" development pattern, China will fully unlock its market potential and create greater demand for other countries. The country will expand its opening-up and share more opportunities for common development. It will take a more active part in the international division of labor and get more effectively integrated into global industrial, supply and value chains.

China has been supporting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries to play a leading role in the negotiation process of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world's biggest trade pact, and has signed the RCEP agreement Sunday, demonstrating the country's resolve in promoting regional economic cooperation. It will continue to conclude high-standard free trade agreements with more countries.

While China is committed to promoting peace, stability and development in the region, the country has been encountering interference in its internal affairs, as well as unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction. These moves may create temporary difficulties for China, but will not succeed in containing China's development, nor will they hamper China's determination to cooperate with any region, country, or company that wants to work together it.

The Asia-Pacific region today boasts the most dynamic and promising economy in the world. Against the backdrop of risks and uncertainties in the global economy, APEC members should cooperate closely and equally creating a powerful engine to drive global economic growth. Enditem