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China, Slovakia Sign Joint Statement
Chinese President Jiang Zemin and his Slovak counterpart, President Rudolf Schuster, signed in Beijing Monday a joint statement to boost bilateral relations.

Following is the full text of the joint statement:

The People's Republic of China and the Slovak Republic (hereinafter referred to as the two sides) appreciate fruitful relations and friendly cooperation between the two countries and express satisfaction with the development of bilateral relations in recent years. With a view of further enhancing friendly relations between the two peoples, deepening their mutual understanding, strengthening bilateral cooperation in various areas, promoting the development of China-Slovakia friendly relations and cooperation in the 21st century, the two sides declare as follows:

I. The two sides reaffirm that the basic principles and political framework of the bilateral relations, which have been formulated in recent years, conform to the fundamental interests of the two peoples. It is the common goal of the two sides to develop their bilateral cooperation in the 21st century on the basis of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, universally recognized principles of international law and norms governing international relations, the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit and non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

II. The Chinese side appreciates the achievements of Slovakia in its economic and social development, and hopes that Slovakia, as an important country in Central Europe, will continue to play a constructive role in the region and Europe as a whole. The two sides recognize the importance of regional cooperation. The Chinese side takes note of the efforts of Slovakia for joining the European Union and NATO and respects the independent choice of the Slovak side. It hopes that the fulfillment of these goals will promote peace and stability in Europe, and contribute to the further development of China-Slovakia cooperation.

III. The Slovak side appreciates the achievements of China in implementing the policy of reform and opening-up. Slovakia welcomes the accession of China to the World Trade Organization and believes that it will further enhance and expand the bilateral trade between the two countries. It hopes that China will continue to contribute to the peaceful development of the international community and the maintenance of world peace and stability. The Slovak side reiterates that there is but one China in the world, the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China; that the Slovak side will adhere to the one China principle and will not establish official relations of any form or engage in official contacts of any form with Taiwan, and Slovakia will only enter into private sector led trade and economic relations with Taiwan. IV. The two sides note that the treaties and agreements in force between the two countries constitute the basis for their bilateral cooperation and provide appropriate conditions for continued cooperation. The two sides state that these treaties or agreements shall not prejudice the rights and obligations of them towards third countries and their international rights and obligations under various multilateral agreements to which they are parties. For further development of their cooperation, the two sides shall modify or terminate some of their existing treaties or agreements and conclude new ones according to specific needs of bilateral relations.

V. The two sides reaffirm their mutual respect for each otherís path of development chosen by their own peoples in light of their respective national conditions. The two sides recognize the differences between the two countries in the fields of politics, economy, society and cultural traditions and their different positions on certain issues. Both sides maintain that such differences shall not affect the successful development of bilateral relations and shall be handled through sincere and candid dialogue. Equality, mutual respect and the shared desire to develop the bilateral relations form the basis of such dialogue.

VI. The two sides agree that there are favorable conditions for expanding and deepening their cooperation in both bilateral and multilateral fields. The cooperation between the two countries within the framework of the United Nations and other international organizations is conducive to safeguarding peace, security and stability in the world. The two sides are ready to continue their consultations and cooperation in international forums for resolution of major global issues such as terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, promotion of economic development and social progress, environmental protection, and peaceful and sustainable use of natural resources. VII. Both sides note that the continued regular contacts and exchange of visits between representatives of the two states, governments, parliaments and other state organs will help to promote the mutual understanding between the two countries, further strengthen the friendship between the two peoples of China and Slovakia and identify new opportunities of cooperation. The two sides will continue to exchange their experience of reform and development in economic, financial, cultural, educational, legal and other fields.

VIII. Both sides attach great importance to expanding the mutually beneficial economic cooperation between the two countries, which is conducive to their respective economic development and social progress. The two sides are committed to the growth of bilateral trade between the two countries with special attention given to their trade balance. The two sides will continue to encourage their companies and enterprises to increase mutual investment, establish joint ventures and conduct cooperation of various convenient modern forms, including the cooperation in third markets in accordance with the rules of market economy and universally recognized standards and norms within the framework of the World Trade Organization. The two sides support the expansion of bilateral relations in industry, agriculture, finance, banking, communications and transportation, telecommunications and other sectors. IX. The two sides support mutually-beneficial cooperation between their institutions or agencies of judiciary, public security, internal affairs and other relevant departments. Such cooperation shall constitute a positive common contribution of the two countries to the global cause of fighting international terrorism, religious extremism, traditional organized crime, smuggling of weapons and drugs trafficking.

Both sides maintain that direct contracts between their citizens and lawful activities of their citizens in each other's territory are conducive to the development of their relations in a favorable direction. The two sides shall handle any issue which may arise in their relations in connection with the travel of their citizens to the other side in accordance with their respective international obligations, provisions of their bilateral agreements in force and relevant domestic laws. Each side urges its citizens to abide by the laws and regulations of the other during their stay in the other's territory, adopt cooperative attitude towards local authorities and friendly attitude towards the local people. Each side shall not discriminate against citizens of the other staying in its territory and shall guarantee all their legitimate rights and interests. Relevant authorities of the two sides shall conduct constructive cooperation for the settlement of issues related to the travel of citizens to the other side.

X. Both sides support the development of their cooperation in the fields of scientific and technological research, culture, education and sports. Both sides support contacts between regions and local authorities of the two countries. Both sides agree that these contacts will greatly contribute to improved mutual understanding of the two peoples and the development of cooperation in the economic, cultural and other fields.

(Xinhua News Agency January 7, 2003)

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