Development paths should be respected: President Xi
                 English.news.cn | 2014-06-05 16:43:03 | Editor: Mengjie

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech on the relations and cooperation between China and Arab states at the opening ceremony of the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) in Beijing, capital of China, June 5, 2014. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

BEIJING, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called on China and Arab states to respect each other's choice of development path.

Xi made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the sixth ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) in Beijing, which called on the two sides to carry forward the Silk Road spirit and deepen their cooperation.

This year is the 10th anniversary of the CASCF. The forum will focus on the building of the Silk Road economic belt and the 21st century maritime Silk Road, and promoting mutual development.

"A person's shoes don't have to be identical to those of others but must fit the person's feet; a country's way of governance doesn't have to be the same with that of others but must benefit its own people," said Xi.

Only the people of a country can tell whether the country's path of development suits them or not, he said.

"Just like we can not turn all flowers violet, we can not expect countries with different cultural traditions, historical experiences and national realities to follow the same mode of development. Otherwise the world will be too boring," he said.

Noting that Arab states are seeking their own path of development, Xi said China is ready to share with Arab states its own governance experience so that both sides can draw wisdom from each other's civilizations and development practices.

The concepts of the Silk Road economic belt and the 21st century maritime Silk Road were put forward by Xi during his two separate visits to Central Asia and Southeast Asia in 2013.

The two initiatives aim to seize the opportunity of the further opening-up of China, especially opening the western region of the country.

They will focus on economic cooperation and people-to-people cultural exchanges, and prioritize connectivity and the simplification of trade and investment.

Peace, friendship, openness and inclusiveness form the core of the Silk Road spirit.

Around 200 guests from China and Arab states, including secretary-general of the League of Arab States Nabil Elaraby, and foreign ministers or representatives are attending the forum.

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