November 22, 2002

Jiang Focuses on Better Sino-US Ties

President Jiang Zemin has said all Chinese people are looking forward to an early settlement of the Taiwan question.

"This is the very aspiration of the people,'' Jiang said in his recent interview with the New York Times.

He said: "Any attempt to split Taiwan from China will never get anywhere. China is bound to achieve complete reunification.''

In the interview, Jiang also talked about China's relations with US, its stance on US test of anti-missile system, the friendship treaty between China and Russia, the political system in China and the country's determination to fight against corruption.

The interview with chairman of the New York Times Company and publisher of the New York Times (NYT) Arthur Sulzberger Jr, NYT Executive Editor Joseph Lelyveld and other NYT journalists happened on August 8 in Beidaihe, a summer resort 240 kilometres from Beijing.

On Sino-US ties, Jiang said China and the United States share common responsibilities in safeguarding peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.

Jiang said China and the United States also shared common responsibilities in promoting national and global economic development and prosperity and managing issues affecting the world.

He said it was nothing strange that countries of the size of China and the United Stateshad some differences. But he expressed optimism about the prospects for Sino-US relations.

So long as the two sides abide by the three Sino-US Joint Communiques and basic protocol governing international relations and properly handle bilateral issues, Sino-US relations will improve further and grow stronger, he said.

Jiang said China is not in favour of tests of an anti-missile system by the United States.

"We share the worries of many other countries that this move may cause a series of negative effects and thus impair world strategic stability,'' said Jiang.

China's possession of a very limited number of nuclear weapons is solely for self-defence and poses no threat to any country, Jiang stressed.

Turning to the China-Russia Treaty of Good-neighbourliness, Friendship and Co-operation, Jiang said the treaty broke away from the Cold War mentality and stresses a new type of state-to-state relationship.

Jiang and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the treaty in Jiang's July visit to Russia.

The treaty charts a long-term development course for China-Russia relations in the 21st century, Jiang said.

Breaking away from the Cold War mentality that state-to-state relations must either be aligned or antagonistic, the treaty stressed a new type of state-to-state relationship, Jiang said.

The Chinese President said it is imperative for China, a multi-ethnic developing country, to have strong political leadership in order to rally more than 1.2 billion people behind the cause of modernization.

"Otherwise, the country would fall apart like a heap of loose sand,'' said Jiang.

(Chinadaily.com.cn 08/14/2001)

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