Asian countries will benefit from 'Chinese dream'
2013-06-04 18:00


KUALA LUMPUR - The "Chinese dream" will benefit Asia and the world while opening up new opportunities for other countries to realize their own dreams or visions, a senior Chinese lawmaker said Tuesday, 4 June 2013.

Speaking at the 27th Asia-Pacific Roundtable forum, Fu Ying, chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of China's National People's Congress, briefed the fellow participants on the concept of "Chinese dream" and how it relates to Asia and the world.

Quoting Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech after he was elected by delegates of the 12th National People's Congress as the country's top leader in March, Fu said the "Chinese dream" is as much as a dream of the whole nation and a dream for every individual Chinese.

"So the 'Chinese dream' is for individuals to have better lives and for the country to provide conditions for achieving it, and individual efforts would add to the country's prosperity."

China achieved significant economic growth in the past three decades, with hundreds of millions lifted from poverty. But Fu said the Chinese people are not "necessarily" happier now, as the younger generation "found themselves struggling to meet life's demands from high mortgage, competition in jobs to rising cost of living."

"As China is going beyond basic needs, people are embracing new dreams," she said.

"The concept of the 'Chinese dream' came just in time. It reflects the reality in China and people's expectations and serves the need to unite the people to achieve a higher objective."

On the relations between the "Chinese dream" and China's neighbors and the outside world, Fu said "the 'Chinese dream' can' t be realized without a good external environment and in return the 'Chinese dream' will add to peace and prosperity of the region and the world."

The seasoned diplomat and former vice foreign minister of China said her country has greatly benefited from a peaceful and cooperative environment and China's regional policy of peace, domestic stability and prosperity are important contributors to the region.

According to Fu, in 2012, China's contribution to Asia's development was 58 percent and China's trade with the rest of Asia amounted to $1.3 trillion.

Half of China's $77 billion of overseas investment is in Asia and China has become the largest trading partner of Malaysia, Vietnam as well as Japan and South Korea.

Meanwhile, Chinese tourists made 83 million overseas travels, of which more than 90 percent were to other Asian countries, among which Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea were their favorites.

Citing China's 12th Five-Year Program, which includes goods imports worth $10 trillion and a total overseas investment of $500 billion, Fu said "achieving the 'Chinese dream' will bring more opportunities for Asia and therefore help the realization of the dreams or visions of other countries in the region."

"The 'Chinese dream' is also part of the dream of many in the developing world who now have a great opportunity to grow their economy," she added.

Fu stressed that China's emphasis for the region is to further promote regional economic integration including upgrading Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with ASEAN while facilitating China-Japan- South Korea FTA as well as Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Another emphasis would be maintaining the general peace in the region, she said.

On the South China Sea, Fu told the forum that China hopes relevant parties to the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), which was signed by China and ASEAN countries in 2002, to honor their commitments.

China also prefers that the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea (COC) be worked out on the basis of confidence in each other's behavior.

"China would react to steps going beyond the DOC and the purpose is still to bring the issue back to the right track," she said.