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Ministers: Less Fuss, More Cooperation

Trade disputes between China and Japan are inevitable and should be diffused through negotiations, the foreign trade ministers of both nations said yesterday.

Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Shi Guangsheng exchanged views with Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Takeo Hiranuma during a meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference.

Both said they hoped talking out problems in the future will help long-term Sino-Japanese trade links.

Shi had a busy day, meeting with counterparts from several member economies and predicting great success for the ongoing APEC events.

"The ministerial meeting is going very well in the spirit of consultation on the basis of an equal footing," Shi told APEC trade ministers.

Shi, co-chair of the event, also expressed gratitude to all the participants for their contributions.

Shi met with Canadian Minister of International Trade Pierre Pettigrew, hailing the rapid development of Sino-Canadian trade. The two predicted improved bilateral trade ties with Canada after China's imminent entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is completed.

Pettigrew said Canada is looking forward to China's accession into the trade body.

China is now Canada's fourth largest trade partner.

Shi also held talks with Vietnamese Minister of Trade Vu Khoan, again pushing a thriving bilateral trade and political relationship.

Khoan congratulated China on its wonderful APEC hosting job as well as the pending WTO entry.

Sino-Vietnamese trade is expected to reach US$3 billion this year and rise to new records in the next five years, Shi said.

Talks with Mexican Secretary of Economy Luis Derbez Bautista were similarly fruitful, with Shi saying he hoped for better ties upon China's WTO membership.

The two can work together to protect the interests of developing nations, Shi told Bautista.

China and Mexico recently clinched a bilateral market access deal that was a remaining snag to China's WTO entry.

Bautista said Mexico, next year's host of APEC meetings, hopes to draw on China's hosting success.

(China Daily October 18,2001)

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