Beijing: Embroiled in territorial disputes with its neighbours, China on Thursday asked Asian countries to come together to set up a regional security framework to bring peace and development in the region.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Asian nations should build consensus, make active efforts and jointly fulfill their due responsibilities to achieve peace and stability in Asia.
"We should actively explore the establishment of a regional security cooperation framework in Asia," Li said at the opening ceremony of the 2014 annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) held in south China's Hainan Province.
"We should promote security dialogue and consultation, strengthen cooperation on non-traditional security issues, including disaster management, maritime search and rescue, counter-terrorism and combating trans-national crimes," he said.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif represented Pakistan at the meeting, which was also attended by Indian ambassador to China Ashok K Kantha besides Indian businessmen including former Tata group chief Ratan Tata.
Li said China is ready to fast-track the setting up of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to boost development.
"China is ready to intensify consultations with relevant parties in and outside Asia on the preparations for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and hopes that the bank can be officially launched at an early date," he said.
Li said China will support initiatives that help strengthen maritime cooperation among the regional countries.
However, Beijing is firm in its resolve to uphold its territorial sovereignty and will respond to provocations that undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea, he said.
Beijing is locked in maritime disputes with Tokyo over a disputed island chain in the East China Sea known as Daioyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.
And it's ties are strain with Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei over the sovereignty of South China Sea while border disputes plague the Sino-India relations.
"We will give full support to initiatives that help strengthen maritime cooperation," Li said, "on the other hand, we will respond firmly to provocations that undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea."
"We Chinese believe in repaying kindness with kindness and meeting wrongdoing with justice."
China is ready to steadily advance consultations on a code of conduct in the South China Sea within the framework of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and work with other nations to ensure stability and freedom of navigation in the region, Li said.
In this regard he spoke about various infrastructure projects mooted by China including trade corridors such as Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor besides the Maritime Silk Road.
He said some Asian countries have been crippled by economic slowdown and rising inflation. "Pessimistic views about the prospects of emerging economies have resurfaced."
The Chinese Premier said that to sustain its development under the new conditions, Asia needs to find a fresh source of development drivers.
"Economic integration is central to achieving common development in Asia," he said.
Asian nations need to further liberalise trade and facilitate investment, as well as upgrade regional and sub-regional cooperation, Li said.
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Updated Date: Apr 10, 2014 15:23:55 IST