French expert: ASEM an effective mechanism for Asia-Europe dialogue

14 October 2014

Source: CCTV International (China)
Source type: TV
Published on: 23 Oct 2008

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an effective mechanism for promoting dialogue between the two continents and has great potential in strengthening cooperation in politics, economy and culture, a French expert told Xinhua in a recent interview. Antoine Sautenet, a visiting research fellow at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), said ASEM, with its focus on informal dialogue between top leaders of the two continents, enables them to carry out, on an equal footing, deep and extensive discussions on a host of international and regional issues.

ASEM will help push forward flexible and various forms of cooperation between the two continents, he said.

The current global financial crisis will be one of the key agenda items at the forthcoming 7th Asia-Europe Meeting in Beijing, he said. While there may not be "dramatic decisions" from the Beijing summit, the gathering will most likely underline the importance of seeking a joint response to the crisis through political coordination, Sautenet said.

In addition to the financial crisis, the ASEM summit is also expected to discuss a series of major international issues including sustainable development, energy, the environment and climate change, he said.

Although the issue of rising prices of energy, raw materials and food was being eclipsed by the spreading global financial crisis, ASEM as atrans-regional mechanism can play a positive role in the above-mentioned aspects, he said.

In recent years, the European Union (EU) has been actively promoting its strategic partnerships with China, India and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), and in terms of Asia-Europe cooperation, progress has been made in the areas of political dialogue, economiccooperation and cultural exchanges, Sautenet said.

The next step should be to push forward the effective implementation of related proposals in line with the principles set during the last ASEM in Helsinki and to inject new vitality into transcontinental cooperation, the French expert said.

Moreover, efforts should be made to strengthen coordination among ASEM countries to overcome their differences in such areas as politics,human rights and democracy so as to further advance the partnership between the two continents, he said.