Chinese FM on relations with big countries 03-07-2004 09:54

China's relations with big countries have been continuously expanded over the past year, said Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing Saturday at a press conference during the annual session of the country's top legislature.

Li, who served as Chinese ambassador to the United States in 1998-2000, said the common interests of China and the United States are on the increase rather than on the decrease and declared to be "a firm supporter of the friendly relations" between the two countries.

The development of healthy, stable and cooperative relations between China and the United States conforms to the common interests of the two countries and benefits global peace and development, he said.

He said China and the United States have expanded cooperation in both width and depth. After the September 11 Incident in the United States, the two countries have stepped up cooperation against terrorism and in non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The economic and trade exchanges have also grown markedly, he noted. The United States is one of China's biggest trading partners and more than 40,000 US firms are operating in China.

The exchanges in the cultural sector are also increasing. There are 60,000 Chinese students studying in the United States and about 4,000 US students are studying in China, Li said, adding that the Chinese language has become the third largest language in the United States.

Li said the biggest difference between China and the United States lies in the Taiwan issue. But as long as the two sides abide by the principles embodied in the three Sino-US Joint Communiques, their relations would go forward healthily.

China attaches much importance and gives a high appraisal to the remarks made by US President Gorge W. Bush on Dec. 9 last year, which were also expressed clearly by President Bush during his two meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

In response to a query from a Japanese correspondent, Li said the mainstream of Sino-Japanese relationship is good and progress has been made in bilateral exchanges and cooperation in all fields.

Last year, the bilateral trade volume reached 133.5 billion US dollars and the number of visitors exchanged reached 3 million.

China and Japan have also enhanced coordination and cooperation in both regional and international affairs, the foreign minister noted, citing the most recent instance of the participation in the second round of six-party talks held in Beijing.

In the fight against SARS last year, China got the biggest material assistance from the Japanese government and people, Li added.

"But the most prominent issue in the bilateral relations," he said, "is that Japanese leaders insist on visiting the shrine that houses 14 Class-A World War II criminals and that has deeply hurt the feelings of the people of China and other Asian countries."

He expressed the hope that Japanese leaders should show sincerity and do not be burdened down by historical issues.

"The Japanese leaders should take history as a mirror and draw on lessons from history, and make up their minds to live in peace with other countries and treat each other as equals," he said.

On the China-Russia relations, Li said, that over the past few years, the two countries have signed a series of agreements to strengthen the friendly ties and the Year of 2004 will witness more diplomatic and friendly exchanges between the neighbors.

Li announced Chinese and Russian presidents will hold a summit in Beijing in the latter half of this year. Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, and Premier Wen Jiabao will also pay official visits to Russia this year.

During a meeting of Chinese and Russian presidents, the year 2004 was made the Year of Friendship between Young Peoples of the Two Countries, Li said, adding that it will breathe new vitality into Sino-Russian relations.

"It is a correct choice for the two nations to develop good relations from generation to generation and never become enemies to each other," said Li, speaking highly of China's strategic partnership of cooperation with Russia.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has already sent a message to congratulate Mikhail Fradkov on his nomination as Russia's new prime minister.

The minister also gave high appraisal to cooperation between China and the Arab states and that between China and the Arab League.

Chinese and Arab people have always maintained a friendly tradition. China believes the Arab states are an important force on the international arena and attaches importance to developing friendly and cooperative ties with the Arab nations.

Politically, he said, China and the Arab countries are all committed to world and regional peace and stability. Economically, both sides regard economic development and improvement of people's livelihood as their common tasks. The two sides are complementary in economy and there exists great potential in bilateral cooperation.

Last year, the trade volume between China and the Arab states totaled 25.4 billion US dollars, up 43 percent from the previous year. In addition, cultural, scientific and technological and educational exchanges between China and the Arab nations were also increasing.

Early this year when Chinese President Hu Jintao made his first overseas trip in 2004, he visited several Arab states and the headquarters of the Arab League.

"It's during the visit that China and the Arab side declared the establishment of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum and China is discussing with the Arab League to launch the forum as soon as possible," Li said.

Editor:Xiao  Source:Xinhua News Agency

Related News

  • Chinese FM to meet press(2004/03/06/ 09:23)
  • Chinese FM meets press(2004/03/06/ 15:59)
  • China oppose foreign interference into HK affairs: FM(2004/03/06/ 17:06)
  • FM: China pleased to see India-Pakistan relationship improved(2004/03/06/ 17:19)
  • Continuity important to China纾 diplomacy: Chinese FM(2004/03/06/ 17:00)
  • Peacefully rising China to benefit other countries: FM(2004/03/06/ 18:47)
  • Chinese never allow anybody to separate Taiwan from China: FM(2004/03/06/ 18:41)
  • China-US common interests on increase: Chinese FM(2004/03/06/ 18:52)
  • Chinese FM on relations with big countries(2004/03/07/ 00:00)

  • About Us . Get the Channel? . Contact Us Xinhua . People's Daily . China Daily . CRI . . cycnet . eastday .
    Copyright © 2005 China Central Television, All Rights Reserved