News / Asia

Asian, European Leaders Vow to Promote Free Trade

European and Asian leaders take part in the closing ceremony for the ASEM Summit in Vientiane, Laos, November 6, 2012.
European and Asian leaders take part in the closing ceremony for the ASEM Summit in Vientiane, Laos, November 6, 2012.
Ron Corben
Asian and European leaders say China’s economy is pivotal to the global economic recovery and are pledging to boost international free trade. Meeting in the Laotian capital Vientiane, they warned of “substantial” uncertainties in the global economy, but vowed to promote free trade and renounce protectionism.

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) expressed hope Europe would gradually recover from its deep recession and move towards sustainable and balanced growth.  Key European leaders included those from France, Italy and Russia, as well as the European Commission, with Asia’s representatives led by key economic drivers, China, Japan and Indonesia.

Analysts say the meeting, which closed Tuesday and involved more than 50 countries, was marked by China’s heightened role as a source of trade and investment for the beleaguered European economies.

A political scientist at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, says China is viewed as playing a key role in European recovery.

“We need to rely on China to drive the world economy forward and thereby pull the Eurozone economies along.  That is why there has been some accommodation, a lot of interest in China, and in the end money counts.  The Europeans are in crisis, they need the Chinese economy, they need the Chinese macro-economic numbers and currency reserves to pull them out of this crisis," said Thitinan Pongsudhirak.

Earlier, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said he is confident in China’s outlook, but also called for free, open and fair international trade, and a sound system of global economic governance.   Premier Wen was upbeat over a new comprehensive partnership between Asia and Europe.

Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak says the European countries hope to see China “rebalance” its economy.

“If you talk to this part of the world they see China as a very strong, benign economic force.  But in terms of the debate, I think there is a general feeling amongst European countries, there is a need for China to rebalance its economy, less emphasis on export, but provide more domestic demand.  I think there is a gentle hint about the need to rebalance its economy," said Razak.

A major change in China’s leadership takes place this week during the Chinese Communist Party congress.

Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard, whose government recently called for closer ties with Asia, said China has shown a willingness to play a greater role on the global economic stage, including through the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

"I think there is a role for China to play in the global efforts to enhance growth and jobs, and China has been involved in those discussions at the G20 table.  It has been involved in, and active on, issues like IMF resourcing.  So what further it chooses to do, obviously I will leave to the leaders of China to speak about," said Gillard.

The more than 50 nations, which account for about half of global economic output, have largely focused on economic and financial issues as well as global security.  It was the ninth meeting of the group that first convened in Thailand in 1996.

You May Like

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid