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Premier Wen Jiabao Meets with Leaders Attending the 10+3 Summit and Related Meetings

On November 30, 2004, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro in Vientiane, capital of Laos, respectively. A day earlier, Wen Jiabao also met separately with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Muizzaddin Waddaulah of Brunei, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines and Prime Minister Soe Win of Myanmar.

During his meeting with Singh, Wen indicated that China-India relations are now in the best shape in history. The signing of the Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation Between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of India signals that relations between the two countries have entered a new stage of comprehensive development. He said that China and India are two ancient civilizations and developing countries with the largest population, and therefore have tens of thousands of reasons for enhancing their cooperation. Peaceful coexistence conforms to the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples. China's development will not pose any threat to India and India's growth will not constitute a threat to China either. China is glad to see the rapid development of India's economy and the constant expansion of its international influence. China is ready to work together with India to treat and address relations between the two countries from a strategic and overall perspective and expand and deepen the exchanges and cooperation between the two sides in various areas.

Wen noted that the boundary issue is an important part of China-India relations. The Special Representatives of China and India on the Boundary Issue have held four rounds of meetings with fruitful positive results. China believes that so long as the two sides proceed from the overall perspective of China-India friendship and adhere to the principles of consultation on an equal footing, mutual accommodation and progressing steadily, the two sides will surely be able to identify a solution to the issue through sincere negotiations.

Singh agreed to the views expressed by Wen. He said that the Indian government attaches great importance to developing bilateral relations with China. It is of great significance to both sides and even to Asian and world peace and prosperity for India to enhance friendship and cooperation with such a great country as China, and this is also the consensus of all domestic parties of India. India is willing to further deepen and expand India-China relations. Singh expressed satisfaction with the development of India-China economic and trade relations, hoping to make joint efforts with China to fully tap potentials for cooperation and explore new approaches to and areas of mutually beneficial cooperation.

Singh said that the Indian government has a strong political will of resolving the boundary issue. He added that the meetings between the Special Representatives of China and India on the Boundary Issue have made headway and India would like to see that the two sides can reach consensus on the principles of resolving the boundary issue as early as possible.

When meeting with Clark, Wen said that China-New Zealand economic and trade cooperation has been developing rapidly. The economies of China and New Zealand are highly complementary, and to establish a bilateral free trade area and eliminate trade barriers in a comprehensive and mutually beneficial manner will not only promote the growth of the bilateral trade volume but also bring tangible benefits to the two peoples. China stands ready to kick off the negotiations of China-New Zealand bilateral free trade area agreement as early as possible and join New Zealand in implementing the China-New Zealand Trade and Economic Cooperation Framework so as to inject new impetus to the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

Clark said that China holds an important position in New Zealand's foreign policies and is an important economic and trade partner of New Zealand. New Zealand is pleased with the development of the economic and trade cooperation between the two sides and hopes to expand the current cooperation with China in all areas.

During his meeting with Howard, Wen said that China-Australia relations are developing smoothly and the cooperation is productive. This shows that countries with different social systems can live in equality and amity. Wen pointed that China and Australia are important economic and trade partners of each other and the two economies are highly complementary, so the potentials for cooperation are huge. China would like to expand the bilateral cooperation in energy and resources and try to double the bilateral trade volume within 5 years so as to bring China-Australia economic and trade relations to a higher level. China hopes that Australia can give an objective and fair appraisal of China's achievements in building a market economy so as to create a fair environment for the smooth development of China-Australia bilateral trade and bring about a win-win situation.

Howard indicated that the bilateral relations between Australia and China are strong and Australia is committed to developing relations between the two countries, especially to taking measures to expand the bilateral trade. He said that he understands the concerns of the Chinese side and believes that related problems will be resolved.

When meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro, Wen said that China and Japan are important neighbors of each other. Since the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations 32 years ago, relations between the two countries have witnessed great development. To develop good-neighborly and friendly relations is beneficial to both countries, Asia and the world at large.

He noted that the major obstacles impeding the further development of China-Japan relations lie in the political field and the crux is the visits paid by Japanese leaders to the Yasukuni Shrine. Whether this matter can be well addressed will have a direct bearing on the development of relations between the two countries. There is an old saying in China which goes, "who started the trouble should end it". China hopes that Japanese leaders can proceed from the overall perspective of China-Japan relations to address the issue correctly so as to avoid obstructions to the hard-won China-Japan relations. "Taking history as a mirror looking into the future" means to treat history correctly. This is the cornerstone of generation-to-generation friendship between China and Japan.

He stressed that China and Japan share broad common interests and must view and promote the development of relations between the two countries from a long-term and strategic perspective. To maintain the friendship between China and Japan is people's aspiration, the irreversible trend as well as a truth taught us by history.

Koizumi Junichiro said that in recent years considerable development has been made in Japan-China economic and trade cooperation as well as cultural and non-governmental exchanges. To develop friendly relations between Japan and China are beneficial to both sides. He added that the war brought disasters to the Chinese people and Japan should reflect on history seriously and not launch wars any more. Instead, Japan should develop friendly relations with China and also cultivate such awareness in Japanese youths.

On November 29 when he met with Sultan Hassanal of Brunei, Wen made four proposals regarding China-Brunei cooperation. First, the two sides should constantly expand bilateral trade so as to surpass the threshold of 1 billion USD trade volume as early as possible. Second, the two sides should deepen energy cooperation. China supports its companies to participate in the exploration and development of oil and gas resources of Brunei. Third, the two sides should expand cooperation in infrastructure construction. China will continue encouraging Chinese enterprises to participate in the construction of communications facilities, roads, bridges and ports. Fourth, the two sides should enhance security cooperation to jointly safeguard peace and stability in this region.

Hassanal agreed to the proposals put forward by Wen. He suggested that Brunei and China boast broad prospects for cooperation in the fields of oil and gas and Brunei is ready to conduct serious discussions on cooperation in these fields as well as in the field of infrastructure construction. He held that cooperation in those areas would undoubtedly strengthen the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

During his meeting with Arroyo, Wen said that the broad consensus reached by President Arroyo and President Hu Jintao is now being implemented. Cooperation between the two sides in infrastructure construction, such as the construction of railways of the Philippines, agricultural technology and some other fields has made active headway. The agreement reached by the two heads of state on jointly conducting oceanic seismic work in some waters of the South China Sea is of great significance to promoting China-Philippines relations and peace and stability at the South China Sea. He indicated that China would like to continue actively participating in the infrastructure construction projects of the Philippines and hopes that the two sides can have closer contacts to explore the cooperation.

Arroyo said that the Philippines is thankful to Chinese companies for conducting cooperation with the Philippines in the construction of roads, railways and related facilities and hopes that Chinese companies can participate in the infrastructure construction in the southern part of the Philippines. She noted that the Philippines would implement the agreement reached by the two sides on conducting related cooperation in the waters of the South China Sea.

When meeting with Soe Win, Wen said that developing China-Myanmar good-neighborly and friendly relations is an important part of China's foreign policy. China stands ready to work together with Myanmar to build upon the traditional friendship and expand and deepen cooperation so as to bring the relations between the two countries to one after another new high. He added that Myanmar's internal affairs should be addressed independently by the government and people of Myanmar through consultation. China hopes that Myanmar can maintain political stability, continue pursuing the political reform that is suited to Myanmar's national conditions and further promote ethnic reconciliation. China believes that the government and people of Myanmar will definitely build a better and better Myanmar. Regarding the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, Wen said that China would continue providing assistance for Myanmar's economic development within its available resources, encouraging Chinese enterprises to engage in various mutually beneficial cooperation in Myanmar and coordinating with the Myanmar side to ensure the completion of the on-going cooperation projects as scheduled and with good quality.

Soe Win expressed satisfaction with the sound development of Myanmar-China relations. He thanked the Chinese side for its assistance to Myanmar, hoping that the two sides will cement and further promote the cooperation. He added that Myanmar is now enjoying a stable situation and the situation will be better and better. The government of Myanmar will remain committed to developing the economy and various social undertakings and promote the process of democratization in political affairs.

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