Development key to Northeast Asia peace

Updated: 2011-09-22 07:17

By Zhang Yunbi and Zheng Yangpeng (China Daily)

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SHENYANG - Prominent political figures from Northeast Asia gathered in Shenyang on Wednesday to mark the 30th International Day of Peace, and stressed that sustainable development was a key factor to ensure peace in the region.

Around 250 officials, entrepreneurs, academics and former leaders from China, Japan, Mongolia, South Korea and Russia attended the event.

Lee Hong-koo, former prime minister of South Korea, said at the event's opening ceremony that East Asia has been rising as one of the leading centers of the "global village" in various areas including the economy, and its members should boost mutual development with "neighboring villagers" in other parts of the world.

"To become a 'model villager' of the global village, East Asian countries should work for better cooperation, put aside past disputes and resist the temptation to resort to military force," said Lee.

The Northeast Asia region boasts abundant natural resources, advanced technology and hardworking people, factors which have helped to achieve sustainable economic growth and make the region a powerhouse of the global economy, said Sanjaagiin Bayar, former prime minister of Mongolia.

Mongolia welcomes efforts to boost dialogue between parties in the Northeast Asia region, said Bayar.

Tomiichi Murayama, former prime minister of Japan, referring to the earthquake and tsunami that caused a disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March, said that the development of nuclear energy was akin to having a "house without a bathroom".

Murayama called for a halt to the construction of new nuclear power stations.

Recalling the painful memory of World War II, Murayama said lessons should be taken from it.

Shenyang, the capital of northeastern China's Liaoning province, was the scene of the Sept 18 Incident, which marked the beginning of the Japanese military occupation of Northeast China in 1931.

Participants in the Shenyang meeting stressed the strategic importance of peace and development for the region.

Liu Jiangyong, a professor of Japanese studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing, told China Daily that the stability of Northeast Asia exerts a major influence on peace and prosperity in the region and throughout Asia.

To guarantee regional stability and development requires countries in the region such as China, Japan and South Korea, to enhance their contribution to mutual political trust and security cooperation, said Liu.

Economic cooperation can also play a vital role in enhancing regional stability and world peace, said Liu.

The International Day of Peace was initiated by the United Nations in 1981.

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution 55/282 in 2001 declaring Sept 21 of each year as the International Day of Peace on which a temporary cease-fire in all combat zones is proposed.

"Peace is our missions; our day-to-day quest," Renata Lok-Dessallien, the United Nations resident coordinator in China, quoted the special message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as saying.

With the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals approaching fast, Lok-Dessallien called for support for finding solutions to global problems that threaten peace, including injustice, poverty, hunger and environmental degradation.

This is the first time China has marked the International Day of Peace outside Beijing, said Chen Duming, the deputy secretary-general of the Chinese People's Association for Peace and Disarmament.

Chen added that another innovative aspect of the Shenyang meeting was to combine the celebrations with forums focusing on the regional situation and regional development.

Liu Ce contributed to this story.

China Daily

(China Daily 09/22/2011 page11)