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Premier's Visit to Asian, European Countries Fruitful
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's just-concluded four-nation visit to Asian and European countries was fruitful in promoting bilateral ties and cooperation in concrete terms with related countries, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing told Xinhua Saturday.


Wen, who attended three international meetings and nearly 80 bilateral and multilateral activities in eight days, mapped out a future development blueprint for Asia-Europe Meeting, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the ties between China and other related countries, said Li, who accompanied Wen on the visit.


Starting from Sept. 9, Wen visited Finland, Britain, Germany and Tajikistan, attended the ninth China-EU Summit and the sixth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, and participated in the fifth SCO prime ministers' meeting in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe.


Wen expounded China's ideal for peaceful development and building a harmonious world in the tour, and exchanged opinions with all sides on world situation and regional hot issues, Li said on board of the airliner back home.


Strengthening mutual trust between China, Europe


Focusing on the long-term Sino-European ties, Wen proposed to draft a cooperative agreement of new Sino-European partnership and start negotiations immediately on related issues.


The proposal, which was welcomed by the European side, would involve various fields such as politics, economy, science, technology, culture, education, sustainable development and other international issues.


The proposal would establish a legal framework for a long-term, healthy and stable Sino-European relationship, and make the relationship endure time, incidents and change of leadership.


Wen believed the kickoff of the negotiations on signing the Sino-European new framework agreement was of great importance in broadening and deepening the all-around Sino-European strategic partnership, and would push the bilateral ties to a new level.


The Chinese foreign minister said Premier Wen had frankly addressed the concerns of European countries about China's path of development, trade imbalance between the two sides, protection of intellectual property, energy security, as well as democracy and human rights.


Wen has on various occasions pointed out that China is a responsible country.


Wen has made it clear that China attaches importance to sustainable development, follows an strategy aimed at a win-win and mutual beneficial situation, bases its efforts to settle the energy problem at home, pays high attention to protecting intellectual property and is ready to properly settle differences between China and Europe through dialogue and consultations on equal footing.


The remarks by Wen were convincing and conformed to reality, Li said.


Elaborating on China's policies


The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) was an important platform for promoting Asian-European cooperation, and it was not only beneficial to both sides, but also to enhancement of multilateralism, Li said.


The sixth ASEM summit was held on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the founding of the ASEM mechanism. The gathering attracted leaders from 39 parties, including the 10 ASEAN members plus Japan, China and South Korea, the 25-member European Union and the Commission of the European Union.


Li said Wen had expounded China's stands on six major issues, including efforts to enhance multilateralism and deal with threats to security, globalization and competitiveness, energy, climate change, dialogue between different cultures and civilizations, as well as the future development of ASEM.


During the visit, the Chinese premier put forward eight proposals regarding the future trend of ASEM, in addition to initiatives to strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises, prevention and control of bird flu, cooperation in promoting rural development and holding dialogue between different religions.


Those stands and proposals have received support from all participants, Li said, adding many world leaders have also expressed support to the call by the Chinese premier for building a harmonious world.


Implementing common understanding 


Li said the fifth prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) focused on implementing the consensus reached by heads of state at the Shanghai summit in June, 2006 and deepening cooperation in various fields among SCO members.


Wen put forward the concrete steps and measures to promote cooperation among SCO members in such fields as economy, security and humanities.


Wen said China had set a goal to expand its trade with other SCO members from the current US$40 billion to 80 billion, even US$100 billion, by 2010.


Economic cooperation was an important aspect of the cooperation among SCO members, the premier said, adding that all the member states would contribute to the promotion of trade and investment facilitation in a bid to ensure the steady growth of economy and trade among them.


Therefore, "China will increase its exports while expanding its imports," Wen said, noting that China was ready to grant further credit and fund-rising support so as to strengthen the concrete cooperation with all SCO members and to bring benefits to all.


Li said Wen's speeches were very significant for promoting the concrete cooperation in various fields among SCO members and maintaining permanent peace and common prosperity in the region.


Wen's speeches won approval and support from leaders of all the countries and international opinion, Li added.


Highlighting key points, deepening cooperation 


Li said that during the visit, Wen signed over 30 cooperation agreements with leaders of Finland, Britain, Germany, Tajikistan on politics, economy and trade, science and technology, culture and education, energy and environmental protection.


During Wen's visit to Finland, China and Finland decided to deepen their cooperation in sci-tech innovation, investment and humanities fields.


During his visit to Britain, the two nations agreed to extend cooperation in key fields, respectively establishing the China-UK climate change and energy working group and a high-level dialogue mechanism for sustainable development.


During the visit to Germany, China and Germany decided to maintain the annual meeting mechanism between the prime ministers of the two nations, to communicate with each other through hot lines at any time and strengthen exchanges on major strategic issues.


During his visit to Tajikistan, both sides agreed to negotiate and sign as early as possible the China-Tajikistan treaty on good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation and to strengthen cooperation in economic and trade as well as security fields. This would lay a solid legal foundation for the development of a long-term and stable relationship between the two countries.


Li said Wen also met with 15 heads of state or government and reached important consensus with them on developing bilateral relations when attending ASEM and the SCO prime ministers' meeting.


(Xinhua News Agency September 17, 2006)


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