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Chinese, Estonian Presidents Hold Talks
Visiting Chinese President Jiang Zemin said Wednesday in Tallinn that China is ready to work with Estoniain a joint effort to promote bilateral cooperation to a higher level.

During talks with Arnold Ruutel, president of Estonia, shortly after his arrival in Tallinn on a state visit, Jiang said although China and Estonia differ in national conditions, history and culture, they have developed friendly cooperation on the basis of respecting each other, equality and mutual benefit.

"It is a set policy of China to develop an overall cooperative relations with Estonia," Jiang said. "We are willing to work with Estonia, keep the development momentum of bilateral relations, and push forward bilateral cooperation to a higher level."

The Chinese president said Estonia is now China's biggest trading partner among the three Baltic countries. China and Estonia can have further cooperation in areas of transportation, information industry, fishing industry and timber processing.

Jiang suggested that the two countries encourage their companies to establish direct contact so that they can start cooperation and make two-way investment.

China was among the first to recognize and establish diplomatic relations with Estonia. The two countries established full diplomatic relations in September 1991.

Ruutel said he agreed with Jiang's remarks on bilateral relations and his proposal for developing bilateral cooperation. He said Estonia, as a small country, is grateful to China's recognition and support after it regained independence.

He also accepted Jiang's invitation to visit China.

Jiang is the first Chinese president to have ever visited the Baltic nation. He will stay in Estonia until Thursday.

(Xinhua News Agency June 13, 2002)

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