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Premier Meets with Rice

Premier Wen Jiabao said Sunday Sino-US relations are currently in a sound momentum of development.

Wen made the remark during a meeting with visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Zhongnanhai, the headquarters of the Chinese government in Beijing.

Wen said China and the US have carried out fruitful cooperation in a wide range of fields. Noting that both China and the US are countries of important influence in the world, Wen said it is the strategic choice of both sides to safeguard and promote the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations, which is in the fundamental interests of the peoples of both countries and conducive to peace, stability and prosperity of the world.

Wen said China is willing to further strengthen the constructive and cooperative relations with the US on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits.

Wen specially made positive comments on the rapid expansion of trade and economic links between China and the US.

He said mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation between China and the US have not only brought huge benefits to the peoples of both countries, but also promoted economic development in both countries and even in the world. He said these things constitute the mainstream of bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

Wen also expressed the hope that the two countries should strictly abide by relevant regulations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and observe the principle of "development, equality and mutual benefits" to properly resolve problems in trade and economic cooperation through equal dialogue and friendly consultation, so as to realize a win-win situation in bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

Wen stressed that China will insist on pursuing the route of peaceful development.

He said China will focus on economic development in dealing with domestic affairs and strive to achieve the goal of building a relatively well-off society in all aspects.

Meanwhile, he said China will adhere to an independent and peaceful foreign policy in dealing with international affairs.

China is trying to create a stable international environment under which it can develop itself, Wen said. In the meantime, China is promoting world peace and progress with its own development, Wen said.

"China is not and will never interfere with or threaten any other countries," Wen said.

Wen and Rice also exchanged views on major regional and international issues during their meeting.

President Hu Jintao also met with Rice on Sunday.

In his separate meeting on advancing Sino-US relations with Rice on Sunday, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said that since the beginning of this year, both China and the US have made active efforts to implement the consensus reached by Chinese President Hu Jintao and US President George W. Bush in Santiago last year, in a bid to push for a steady progress of the constructive and cooperative relationship between the two countries.

A few days ago, the two leaders had a friendly meeting in Scotland, he said.

"We hope to carry out more dialogues, strengthen mutual trust and cooperation with the US, but expel interference at the same time, so as to safeguard the common interests of both countries and make new progress in the Sino-US constructive and cooperative relationship," Li said.

Li meanwhile pointed out that there are also some issues that need to be handled with prudence in current bilateral relations, citing that the situation across the Taiwan Straits remains complicated and sensitive.

Li hoped the US can show its adherence to the one-China policy through real actions and strictly abide by relevant commitments.

Rice said the US and China have carried out fruitful cooperation in a wide range of areas, but there are also some divergences.

She said the US expects mutual visits by heads of state within this year, and they will make active preparations.

Rice said the US highly values and is committed to strengthening dialogues with China. The US hopes to exchange views wit China on a wide range of topics to enhance mutual understanding and expand cooperation.

Rice also said that the US stance is firm on sticking to the one-China policy and on abiding by the three joint communiqu├ęs of the US and China. Li and Rice also exchanged views on the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula, UN reform and other issues of common concern.

Rice arrived in Beijing Saturday for a 20-hour visit to China, the first leg of her Asian tour, which will also bring her to Thailand, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK).

(Xinhua News Agency July 10, 2005)

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