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B&R Key Words (9): Mechanisms for Cooperation (Part II)

Editor: Qian Ding 丨CCTV.com

05-03-2017 12:34 BJT

Editor's Note: Keywords to Understand China: the Belt and Road Initiative is a selection of "China Keywords" entries included in an eponymous multilingual platform to help readers better understand China's B&R Initiative. It is one of the major projects implemented by the China International Publishing Group and the China Academy of Translation.

Asia-Europe Meeting

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is a major inter-governmental process designed to foster a new comprehensive partnership between Asia and Europe. Its goals are to encourage dialogue, mutual understanding, and cooperation, and create favorable conditions for economic and social development on the two continents.

The First ASEM Summit was held in Bangkok, Thailand, in March 1996. It published a Chairman's Statement and announced the decision to hold a summit of Heads of State and Government every two years. The 10th ASEM Summit, in Milan (Italy) in 2014, accepted Croatia and Kazakhstan as partners, and the number of countries involved rose to 53.

The ASEM rests on three pillars: political dialogue, economic cooperation, and socio-cultural exchanges. Its main activities include the Summits, Foreign Ministers Meetings and other Ministerial Meetings. Its day-to-day operations are coordinated through ASEM Senior Officials Meetings.

The Summits set ASEM principles and priorities. These biennial meetings are held alternately in Asia and Europe, and to date 11 Summits have been convened.

The Foreign Ministers Meetings are responsible for the overall coordination and policy planning of all activities, adopting guidance documents and approving new initiatives.

The Senior Officials Meetings are held to ensure continuity in the work of ASEM and oversee preparations for the Summits and for Foreign Ministers Meetings.

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), founded in 1997, is the only permanent institution under ASEM. It is tasked with promoting greater mutual understanding between Asia and Europe through academic, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

Asia Cooperation Dialogue

The Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) is the only mechanism for official dialogue and cooperation covering the whole of Asia. Inaugurated in 2002, it aims  to promote exchanges in areas such as agriculture, energy and poverty reduction, and boost Asia-wide cooperation and development through dialogue.

ACD activities are conducted through its Summits, Foreign Ministers Meetings, prime movers in specific areas, and meetings of high-level study groups. To date, two ACD Summits and 14 Foreign Ministers Meetings have been convened.

Attaching great importance to the dialogue, China is an active participant in ACD activities and supports strengthening the ACD to better serve Asia-wide development and integration.

To this end, it has hosted events such as the ACD Forum on Silk Road Cooperation, the ACD Forum on Belt and Road Cooperation, and the Asia Business Conference.

Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia

The idea of establishing an Asia-wide forum on security cooperation was first proposed by President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan in October 1992 at the 47th session of the UN General Assembly.

This regional forum aims to promote dialogue and consultation on Asian or Eurasian peace and security issues among experts, academics and political leaders.

After 10 years of deliberation and diplomatic coordination, the first summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) was held in Almaty (Kazakhstan) in June 2002.

The CICA is committed to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, including equality of its member states, respect for each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, peaceful settlement of disputes, and the obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force.

It encourages exchanges and cooperation among member states on security, economic, social and cultural issues, through the implementation of confidence-building measures to address military politics, new threats and challenges, and economical, cultural and ecological development.

CICA deliberation and decision-making mechanisms include: Meetings of Heads of State and Government, Meetings of Foreign Ministers, the Senior Officials Committee (SOC), and the Special Working Group (SWG).

The number of CICA member states increased to 26 at the 2014 Shanghai Summit. At that summit, President Xi Jinping introduced an Asian security concept that emphasizes joint and comprehensive measures and cooperation in ensuring sustainable security, one that aims at carving a path through joint efforts to a secure future in the region enjoyed by all.

(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com)


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