Remarks by Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong at The Opening Ceremony of ARF Disaster Relief Exercise 2015

Alor Setar, 25 May 2015

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Hj. Mohd Yassin, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Respected Representatives of ARF Members and Other International Organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends,

Good evening. It's a great pleasure to come to the beautiful Malay Peninsular to attend ARF Disaster Relief Exercise (DiREx) 2015. At the outset, please allow me to express, on behalf of the Chinese Government, sincere gratitude to our host, Malaysia, for the extensive work done for this exercise. And in my capacity as representative of the co-chair, China, I wish to thank other ARF members and relevant international and regional organizations that have actively participated in and supported this DiREx.

Despite overall stability and fairly fast development, the Asia-Pacific has witnessed more complex and diversified non-traditional security threats such as natural disasters in recent years, which have emerged as an important factor impacting regional peace and tranquility. China has been advocating for common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security for Asia, an outlook that is consistent with ASEAN ideas of cooperative security and common security, and reflects the common aspiration of regional countries to address the challenges through cooperation. China is ready to work with other regional countries under the principle of openness and inclusiveness to enhance unity and cooperation, and promote the building of an even more harmonious, peaceful, prosperous and stable Asia-Pacific.

Thanks to the support of all parties over the years, the ASEAN-led multilateral dialogue and cooperation mechanisms have played irreplaceable roles in promoting economic and security cooperation in the region. Focusing on disaster relief and other non-traditional security cooperation, the ARF has conducted a series of pragmatic cooperation projects, the bi-annual DiREx in particular, that have effectively enhanced the capability of regional countries to cope with risks and challenges together. Malaysia, as ASEAN rotating chair and hosting nation of DiREx 2015, has vigorously coordinated with other relevant parties, formulated an excellent exercise plan, and made meticulous and thoughtful arrangements for the exercise. China as the co-chair attaches great importance to this exercise. We have employed a large number of disaster relief equipment and dispatched nearly 600 participants, who represent almost all government departments responsible for disaster relief in China, and will participate in almost all exercise items such as Table-Top Exercise, Field Training Exercise and After-Action Review. We stand ready to work with the Malaysian side to serve our co-chairmanship well, and closely communicate and coordinate with all other DiREx teams to ensure a successful exercise and contribute more significantly to closer regional cooperation on disaster relief.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends,

As one of the most natural disaster-prone countries in the world, China puts disaster prevention and relief high on its agenda, and has made much progress in this field in recent years. China has, for example, formulated and implemented national plans for comprehensive disaster prevention and mitigation, established and improved disaster prevention and mitigation systems and mechanisms as well as relevant legal framework, improved natural disaster monitoring and early warning mechanisms, conducted publicity and public-awareness programs in multiple forms, and greatly promoted regional and international cooperation in this field.

Crushing disasters only highlight the compassion of humanity. When one country is hit by a sudden natural disaster, other regional countries have always offered help and assistance, which shows our deep friendship of sharing weal and woe. The Chinese Government and people offered a helping hand in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2011 mega earthquake in East Japan, the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and last year's flooding in Malaysia. Shortly after the recent earthquake in Nepal, China dispatched rescue teams that arrived at the disaster-stricken area expeditiously, and provided emergency supplies and financial support that made a big difference for Nepal's rescue actions. And China's disaster relief and reconstruction efforts following major natural disasters have also received extensive support from the international community, which we highly appreciate.

This DiREx is the first time for China to organize a large-scale disaster relief exercise overseas. We are ready to take this as an opportunity to set up even closer communication and coordination channels with other parties, tap deeper into the potential of disaster relief cooperation, enrich the modality and content of cooperation, and provide better and more public security products. In the meantime, we are willing to have discussions with other regional countries on how to build disaster relief cooperation mechanisms that suit the region's actual needs, including mechanisms for training and exchange, information sharing, rapid response and industrial cooperation, so as to further enhance regional disaster relief cooperation and bring more benefits to our people.

On this note, may I wish DiREx 2015 a complete success.

Thank you.

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