President Jiang Zemin yesterday said that China and the United States should take a strategic, long-term perspective in dealing with bilateral relations and properly handling disparities that exist between them.
When meeting AOL Time Warner Chief Executive Officer General M. Levin and the group's board of directors, the president stressed that China attaches great importance to Sino-US relations.
Jiang yesterday flew from Beijing to Hong Kong for the Fortune Global Forum 2001 that opened yesterday in Hong Kong. AOL Time Warner sponsored the forum.
At the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Jiang said he hoped the two countries will maintain healthy, stable bilateral relations to benefit both the Chinese and American peoples.
Such relations can be maintained if ties are based on the principles of the Sino-US joint communiques and international conventions, he said.
To develop the relationship in a positive fashion is in line with the Chinese and American peoples' common interests and of great significance for peace, stability and prosperity not only in the Asia-Pacific region but in the world as a whole, he said.
The president made the remarks at a time when the relationship is tense due to the US spy plane incident in April and the Bush administration's decision to sell US$4 billion-worth of arms to Taiwan Province.
In another meeting with prominent business people from the West and Hong Kong, Jiang urged concerned developed countries to conclude as soon as possible negotiations with China on the nation's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Those countries should fully recognize that an early WTO entry for China will benefit every side concerned, Jiang said to the business people who attended the Fortune Global Forum 2001.
He admitted that disagreements exist on a small number of issues in multilateral negotiations for China's WTO entry.
As such, China is continuing to talk with all parties concerned so that problems will be finally solved in multilateral talks in Geneva scheduled for later this year, Jiang said.
China can only join the WTO as a developing country. "That is our principle," he said. On that, the Chinese Government's attitude and stance have been consistent, he added.
(China Daily 05/09/2001)