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Five Key Lessons From China’s Boao Forum

Protect regional economic integration

Officials and experts urged efforts to protect and advance regional economic integration. They say this is critical for regional and global peace, the Global Times reported.

In a panel discussion, Mr Zeng Peiyan, Vice Chairman of the BFA Advisory Committee, said there are “certain countries” that are raising tensions and pushing for economic “decoupling”.

“We must replace hubris and dominance with communication and openness. We must especially take sides and oppose forming small groups and cliques,” Zeng told the Global Times.

“We Asians vividly remember the scars of the Cold and Hot Wars. We know how precious peace and stability are and how important development is.”

Separately, Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), warned of an increase in great power rivalry that could escalate into war.

“Competition and rising tensions are major security challenges,” said Cao, stressing that ASEAN should not become a “representation” for any political party in great power competition.

Prime Minister Lee also noted that any conflict between the US and China would have serious consequences for themselves and the world.

“The biggest concern is the relationship between the US and China. Great powers have a heavy responsibility to maintain stable and viable relations with each other, as any clash between great powers will have dire consequences for themselves and for the world,” said the Singaporean leader.

“However, the United States and China disagree on many intractable issues, including trade and investment, supply chains, cybersecurity, emerging and critical technologies, and freedom of navigation.

“We hope that China and the United States will succeed in stabilizing relations and build enough mutual trust and respect to cooperate in areas where interests are aligned,” he said.

Initiatives calling for more partnerships among free trade zones (FTZs) around the world to promote closer integration have also started in Boao, reported China Global Television Network (CGTN).

Proposed by more than 20 FTZs in China, UAE, South Korea, etc., the initiative aims to strengthen cooperation in the fields of air and shipping networks, logistics and cross-border e-commerce.

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