BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
The forum, scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, a town in the southern island province of Hainan, will have the theme “An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity.”
Xi will meet with foreign heads of state and government and officials from international organizations, meet with BFA directors collectively, and hold discussions with entrepreneurs, Wang said.
It will be the third time for Xi to attend the BFA annual conference as Chinese president, indicative of the event’s importance and the support given to the forum by the president and the Chinese government, Wang said.
Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde are expected to attend the forum.
In addition to attending the forum, the Austrian president, Dutch prime minister, Mongolian prime minister, Singaporean prime minister and UN secretary-general will also pay a visit to China.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up in China, and the beginning of the implementation of the decisions made at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
Wang said Xi’s attendance at the BFA annual conference at this historic moment is of great significance in further promoting major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era, building a community with a shared future for Asia and humanity, and advancing the cause of peace and development.
The BFA annual conference is the first major diplomatic event to be hosted by China this year, Wang said, adding that its highlights will include revealing new prospects for reform and opening-up, interpreting the new era of China’s development, making new proposals for the future, promoting new progress in partnership, and injecting new impetus for BFA development.
Xi will expound on China’s achievements and experience in reform and opening-up and their significance for and influence on the world. Xi will also announce new measures to expand reform and opening-up, Wang said.
“Further reform and opening-up are not only good for China, but will also bring huge benefits to the world. That’s why this year’s forum gets so much attention,” said Lin Guijun, a scholar from the University of International Business and Economics.
Hot topics during the forum could include the Belt and Road Initiative, innovation and opening-up, as the world expects China to play a bigger role in fighting protectionism, said Lin.
President Xi will also explain China’s stance on building a community with a shared future for Asia and humanity and jointly creating a better future for Asia and the world.
“The concept of ‘a community with a shared future’ could be a highlight, as it is important for countries to realize that they share common interests,” said Wang Jun, a researcher with China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
According to Wang Yi, more than 2,000 participants from around the world are expected to get together and offer advice on cooperation, development, and prosperity.
The BFA has been expanding both in scale and influence since its establishment 17 years ago, and has played a unique role in building consensus, deepening regional cooperation, boosting common development, and resolving Asian and global problems, Wang said.
Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) is a nongovernmental and nonprofit international organization with a fixed conference date and a fixed domicile.
Proposed in 1998 by Fidel V. Ramos, former President of the Philippines, Bob Hawke, former Prime Minister of Australia, and Morihiro Hosokawa, former Prime Minister of Japan, BFA was formally inaugurated on February 27 2001. Boao, Hainan Province, China serves as the permanent site of BFA Headquarters. Since 2002, BFA has been holding its annual conference at Boao.
BFA has won great support from Asian countries and drawn extensive attention of the whole world. Now, it has become a high-end platform for dialogs among leaders of national governments, industrial and business circles, and academic circles of countries in Asia and other continents about the important issues in Asia and even the whole world. BFA is dedicated to promoting Asian countries to achieve common development through further integration of regional economy.
The purpose of BFA is to base itself in Asia and promote and deepen the economic exchange, coordination, and cooperation within Asia and between Asia and other parts of the world. It also aims to offer a high-end dialog platform for governments, enterprises, experts, and scholars to jointly discuss economy, society, and environment and other relevant issues. Through its working network with the political, business, and academic circles, BFA will serve the ever-growing economic cooperation among its members and between its members and other entities.
l BFA Charter
The representatives from Australia, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Kingdom of Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of India, the Republic of Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Union of Myanmar, the Kingdom of Nepal, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Singapore, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Kingdom of Thailand, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam held a meeting at Boao, Hainan Province, the People’s Republic of China (the “PRC”) and formally declared the establishment of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) on February 27, 2001.
According to the resolution endorsed by the Board Meeting and approved by the members General Assembly respectively in 2006 and 2016, Israel, New Zealand and Maldives have been approved to become the BFA Initial Countries, thus the total number of the BFA Initial Countries reaching 29.
The Charter is prepared in accordance with the principles set forth in the Declaration on Boao Forum for Asia and the Guidelines for the Charter of Boao Forum for Asia.
l Initial Countries
The representatives from 26 countries as of the Commonwealth of Australia, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of India, the Republic of Indonesia, Japan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Union of Myanmar (the Republic of the Union of Myanmar), the Kingdom of Nepal (the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal), the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Singapore, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Kingdom of Thailand, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam held a meeting at Boao, Hainan Province, the People’s Republic of China and declared the establishment of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) on February 27, 2001.
On April 20, 2006, the State of Israel and New Zealand were added into the BFA initial countries’ list and on March 23, 2016, the Republic of Maldives was added into the BFA initial countries’ list by the BFA Board of Directors and BFA General Meeting of Members, which expanded the number of the BFA initial countries to 29.