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China Values Friendly Ties with ASEAN Nations: Li Peng
Visiting Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress Li Peng said in Jakarta Monday that China attaches great importance to promoting friendly relations with neighboring countries in Southeast Asia.

"ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) plays an important role in the process of multi-polarization. It is an important element in Chinese foreign policy to enhance relations with the ASEAN countries, including Indonesia," said Li at a meeting with Amien Rais, speaker of Indonesia's People's Consultative Assembly (MPR).

He reaffirmed that the development of China will never pose a threat to any country and will only bring benefits for world peace and economic development.

"China opposes hegemonism, and never seeks for it itself nor its sphere of influence," Li said.

Recalling the traditional good neighborly relations between China and Indonesia which can trace back to ancient times, Li said despite some twists and turns in the past, the bilateral ties have recovered and made steady progress thanks to efforts from both sides, a momentum that should be preserved by both nations.

Li noted China has been greatly concerned with the impact of the 1997 Asian financial crisis on Indonesia and very glad to witness a recovering Indonesian economy.

Rais expressed his full agreement with Li's comments on bilateral ties, saying that to promote bilateral cooperation is in the interests of both peoples. The Indonesian people are pleased to see the steady development of bilateral ties and Indonesia will continue to step up efforts to boost the good-neighborly cooperation of mutual trust with China, he said.

Rais reassured the top Chinese lawmaker of Indonesia's adherence to the One-China policy, stressing that its stance will never change no matter who is in power.

The MPR leader spoke highly of the important contributions made by ethnic Chinese in Indonesia to the country's economic and social progress. He said Indonesian Chinese are treated just as other citizens, with their legitimate rights and interests protected.

(People's Daily September 10, 2002)

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