Secretary-General: ASEAN to exchange crisis management experience with China

14 October 2014

Source: People's Daily (China)
Source type: Newspaper
Published on: 16 Oct 2008

Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), will exchange ASEAN's experience in crisis management with China at the7th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) due to be held in Beijing next week. In an exclusive interview with Xinhua here on Wednesday, Surin said ASEAN countries want to compare their disaster management experience with those of China, as shown in the earthquake in Sichuan.

"I think more and more East Asia will have to face up to the threats of natural disasters, which are earthquake and climate change, and contagious diseases," he added.

ASEM is scheduled to open in Beijing on Oct.24-25, gathering leaders of 45 ASEM members. Surin said that the summit will discuss a series of issues relating to globalization and make concrete action plans to solve them.

"It is not going to be a talk show, but we are going to have decisions, concrete action plans, achievable goals and deliverable outcomes," he stressed.

Surin added that ASEM is very important under the current circumstance, where the world is suffering from problems such as financial crisis, energy crisis, food shortage and safety and climate change.

"I think humanity has reached a critical moment that we need to put our heads together and really take the issue of the future as a common future of the planet, humanity and global community," he said.

Surin said that ASEM is aiming at an equitable goal and an exclusive development, which can make the new world more sustainable, fair and equitable to all. "If Asia and Europe can take lead, that would be fantastic," he added.

But at first, the ASEM members have to have a common agreed vision on world peace and harmony, and respect for each others' value and principle.

Referring to ASEM's development, Surin said that since established in 1996, ASEM has been a very useful platform for leaders in Asia and Europe to exchange their views and build political and economic cooperation. Europe is an advanced region with technology, economy and management, while Asia has become an emerging production base that exports a lot of commodities to the whole world including Europe. Thus, the two sides can exchange experience, technology and management with productivity to jointly maintain sustainable development.

In regard to the spreading global financial crisis, Surin said that the actions launched by the United States and European countries to invest in big banks are short-term solutions, which are necessary but not adequate. He believed the problems will reoccur if fundamental restructuring and change are not adopted.

"I think Asia has learn quite a lot from the crisis ten years ago about how to manage financial institution, how to monitor and supervise our banks, and how to make sure our loans will not turn into nonproductive or nonperforming," said Surin.

He said ASEAN members are prepared for the current crisis and may not need financial support from China again. But he expected China can expand its market and open it to ASEAN, which, he said, would be a great help.

Surin highly appreciated China's activity in the international arena for the past few years. He said China as one of the five permanent UN Security Council members is contributing to world peace and community.

"China has the willingness to engage Asian countries cross ocean to Africa and is pursuing very active diplomacy in Europe and UN," Surin said. "All these things reassured that the ASEM will be successful."

After the summit, Surin will make a brief visit to Nanning cityin South China's Guangxi province for the China-ASEAN Expo.

"Other provinces except of the coastal ones in China are also important and opening-up, which provide opportunities for ASEAN," Surin said. "I have agreed with China's Foreign Minister to promote the relationship between ASEAN and China's heartland."