With many having paid a heavy cost in the conflicts of the previous century, Asian countries today have been demonstrating a strong collective will to maintain peace and pursue development.
The meetings being held in Southeast Asia this and next week provide an opportunity to strengthen that consensus by focusing on the Asian values of inclusiveness, balance, trust and consultation.
On his arrival in Phnom Penh, on Tuesday, to attend the 25th China-ASEAN Summit, the 25th ASEAN Plus Three Summit and the 17th East Asia Summit that Cambodia is hosting, Premier Li Keqiang said that countries in the region have been making concerted efforts to strengthen their cooperation and inject new impetus into regional economic integration and that they will continue to do so.
China is playing its part in this, as shown by the fact that Li, who is also paying an official visit to Cambodia, will witness the signing of cooperation documents between China and Cambodia, and attend events to mark the inauguration of the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, among other things.
Thanks to the efforts of all parties in the region, not only has major progress been made in regional economic and trade cooperation and consultations on a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea, but also overall stability and the momentum of development have been maintained in the region despite the global volatility.
But regional countries are well aware that the United States will not stop trying to turn Southeast Asia into the frontline for its China containment strategy.
They also know that the region will pay a heavy price if they allow Washington to sow the seeds of discord in this series of meetings that continues next week with the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, on Tuesday and Wednesday and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, on Friday and Saturday.
The lack of wisdom demonstrated by the self-proclaimed world leaders from the West has compounded and in some cases created the uncertainties and instabilities, and unprecedented challenges facing global development.
The series of meetings being held over the coming days provides an opportunity for those in Asia to offer a sensible counterbalance to their paranoid reaction to the tremendous wave of change that is transforming the world.
By focusing on shared development and common security and joining hands to address the immediate pandemic and climate challenges, countries in the region can show that a sense of community is a vital stabilizer in troubled times.
Editorial, China Daily