Chinese President Xi Jinping is arguing for strong China-led efforts to promote Asian economic and political cooperation while speaking a major regional economic conference.

Xi delivered the keynote address at the Boao Forum held Saturday on Hainan island in the country's south, at which he lauded the promise of the Chinese economy despite slowing growth.

The Chinese president also celebrated what he said was a multipolar world in which all countries play equal roles in regional development and security. The comment comes as China challenges U.S. leadership in Asia by promoting its own projects such as the U.S.-shunned Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and assertively staking territorial claims around the continent.

Xi says Asia needed to build "a community of common destiny" that would contribute to world prosperity.