2008-03-30 22:36:42 Xinhua English
(From left to right)Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein, Lao Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda pose for a group picture at the opening ceremony of the third summit meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) in Vientiane, Laos, on March 31, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
VIENTIANE, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Monday made a package of proposals on boosting cooperation among members of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) at the ongoing Third Summit of the GMS.
The following are the key points of his proposals:
-- INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
Wen said the GMS should step up the building of transport corridors and a highway network linking all members of the subregion.
China is ready to work closely with Thailand and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to expedite the building of the Houayxay-Chiang Khong International Bridge along the Kunming Bangkok Highway with the aim to link all the sections of the North-South corridor by 2011, said Wen.
He also called for strengthened cooperation on the Singapore-Kunming Rail Link, pledging some 20 million RMB (2.9 million U.S. dollars) to conduct engineering feasibility study on the missing link of the Eastern Route of the Link.
Wen also proposed formulating a telecommunications development strategy for the subregion to speed up the building of the Information Super Highway, and urged developing power grids integration and power trade to form a unified power market in the subregion.
China will continue to take the lead in building a sub-regional power information database, power cooperation portal website and subregional power planning, said Wen.
-- TRANSPORT AND TRADE FACILITATION
Wen called for the full implementation of the Agreement on Cross-border Transportation of People and Goods in the GMS and its 20 annexes and protocols and the start of negotiation at an early date on a memorandum of understanding on implementing the agreement at the Mohan-Boten border crossing point between China and Laos as well as the Ruili-Muse border crossing point between China and Myanmar.
The premier also proposed setting up the GMS Economic Corridors Forum to encourage the participation of cities and enterprises along the corridors.
-- BOOSTING RURAL DEVELOPMENT
The GMS should vigorously promote the development of methane and other bio-mass energy to improve the rural eco-system, said Wen, vowing to build methane-generating pits for 1,500 rural households in GMS countries.
Wen also said the subregion should strengthen joint prevention against and control of cross-border animal epidemics, put in placeand improve the prevention and control and early-warning systems for trans-boundary animal diseases to ensure the sharing and timely exchange of information.
Efforts should be redoubled to promote development in the ruralareas so that farmers can share the benefits of subregion cooperation and eliminate poverty sooner, said the Chinese leader.
-- HEALTH COOPERATION
The GMS should focus on joint prevention and control of communicable diseases in border areas to cope with growing health challenges, he said, noting China, to this end, will hold the 2nd GMS Public Health Forum in 2009 and is ready to expand health cooperation projects with other countries in the subregion in addition to Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
-- ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Wen called for great attention to the impact of climate change on subregional cooperation and said all countries should enhance their ability to adapt to climate change.
The GMS should deepen environmental cooperation in the subregion, carry out the "GMS Biodiversity Conservation Corridor Initiative" and conduct cooperation in ecological restoration, poverty alleviation and protection of forest ecological system andbiodiversity under this initiative, he said.
-- HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
In the next three years, under the GMS economic cooperation framework, China will provide training to 1,000 person times from the subregion countries to double the previous number, said Wen.
China will also increase government scholarships for countries in the subregion by 200 in 2008 to finance the study of students from these countries in institutes of higher learning in China's Yunnan Province, Guizhou Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, he said.
-- ENCOURAGING NON-GOVERNMENTAL PARTICIPATION IN COOPERATION
Wen also said governments should form close partnership with business communities, be responsive to their views and encourage them to participate in subregional cooperation.
China will continue to sponsor the Lancangjiang-Mekong River Youth Friendship Program and include it in the framework of GMS economic cooperation.
-- EXPANDING FINANCING CHANNELS
Wen hoped that the Asian Development Bank will further play its leading role in providing financing. He also said China encourages development partners to increase financial support and welcomes more countries and international organizations to become development partners, so that there will be stronger financial support for GMS's future cooperation.
China will continue to provide support to subregional cooperation according to its ability and is ready to work with other parties to explore new models of financing, the premier added.