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China ready to sign friendship treaties with all neighbours: Xi

world Updated: Mar 28, 2015 11:55 IST


Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday said that China stands ready to sign treaties of friendship and cooperation with all its neighbours to provide strong support for the development of bilateral relations as well as prosperity and stability in the region.

Treaties of friendship have been signed with eight neighbouring countries and Beijing is holding discussions with ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations), Xi said addressing the China sponsored Boao Forum for Asia annual conference held in the country's southern island of Hainan.

"China stands ready to sign such a treaty with all its neighbours and to provide strong support for the bilateral relations as well as prosperity and stability in the region," he said.

Referring to an old Chinese proverb 'Close neighbours are better than distant relatives', Xi said that China is working actively to develop win-win cooperation with neighbours.

About 15 world leaders, including Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena attended the meeting.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Chairman Emeritus of TATA group Ratan Tata along with 1,800 officials and business leaders from abroad attended the meeting.

Besides stressing close ties with neighbours, Xi also said that a vision and action paper of China-proposed multibillion dollar 'Belt and Road' initiative has been developed thanks to the concerted efforts of relevant parties.

The Belt and Road initiative refers to revival of ancient Silk Road and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) connecting China with Europe and Africa through different routes.

India has been invited to take part in the Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar (BCIM) as well as the MSR projects.

While India is taking part in the discussions on BCIM, it is yet to announce its stand on the MSR due to reservations over Chinese dominance in Indian Ocean.

Xi said that substantive progress has been made in the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which has been joined by India and 30 other countries.

More countries were expected to join before the closing date of applications on March 31. Xi also called for regional economic integration in Asia Xi also called for regional economic integration in Asia with Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

Allaying fears over the slowing down of Chinese economy which decelerated to 7.4 per cent last year, he said the world's second largest economy is highly resilient and has much potential, which gives enough room to leverage a host of policy tools.

He said that in the next five year China will import more than USD 10 trillion worth of goods.

Chinese investment abroad will exceed USD 500 million. More 500 million Chinese tourists will visit abroad, he said.

"China will stick to its basic state policy of opening up, improve its investment climate, and protect the lawful rights and interests of investors," Xi said.

Xi noted that the people of Asian countries could drive this train of Asia's development to take Asia to an even brighter future.

He also proposed a conference of dialogue among Asian civilizations to be held with an aim to boost regional cooperation and development.

Such a conference will provide a platform to enhance interactions among the youth, people's groups, local communities and the media and to form a network of think-tank cooperation, so as to add to Asian people's rich cultural life and contribute to more vibrant regional cooperation and development, he said.