Premier Zhu Rongji Met with Former Heads of State and Government at Boao Forum For Asia (11/04/2002)

On the night of April 11, Premier Zhu Rongji met with former President Fidel V. Ramos of the Philippines, former President Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari of Pakistan, former Prime Minister Bob Hawke of Australia and former Prime Minister Sergei Alexandrovich Tereshchenko of  Kazakhstan, who are to attend the first Annual Conference of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA).

Zhu said that the former heads of state and government are initiators of the forum and have made a lot of efforts in the development of the forum. Zhu also warmly congratulated Mr. Ramos on his election as chairman of the forum's board of directors. He said that the BFA has developed smoothly since it was founded last year and its first annual conference has attracted more than 1,000 delegates from more than 30 countries while the topics to be discussed in the conference also aroused great attention, indicating the foresight of creating the forum.

Zhu said that BFA is a forum owned by all. He expressed his belief that with joint efforts from all parties, the forum would improve itself, and enhance understanding, friendship and cooperation between Asians and those who are concerned about Asia. The Chinese government actively supports and participates in regional economic cooperation in Asia. As the host, the Chinese government will continue to support the forum.

Lamos, who was newly elected chairman of the forum's board of directors, said that the forum, with the statute passed and board of directors elected, has a good start. This year's forum has a surprising number of attendants,which showed that both the forum and the development of Asia are attracting more and more attention. He expressed the hope that it will be an important supplement to existing Asian cooperation mechanism and organizations, and will play its unique and important role.

Both Leghari and Hawke congratulated China on the start of the forum and thanked the Chinese government for its support of the forum as the host.

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