Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Monday, March 15, 2004

Chinese premier on foreign relations

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said China does not seek hegemony now, nor will it seek hegemony even after it becomes powerful in the future and elaborated on relations with several foreign countries and regions at a press conference Sunday, March 14.


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said China does not seek hegemony now, nor will it seek hegemony even after it becomes powerful in the future and elaborated on relations with several foreign countries and regions at a press conference Sunday, March 14.

The premier said China has a history of 5,000 years with both glorious achievements and humiliating sufferings, and the rise of China has been the dream of generations of Chinese. China will take full advantage of the good opportunity of world peace to develop itself and at the same time safeguard world peace with its development, said Wen.

China's peaceful rise will be based on its own strength and self reliance, as well as the vast domestic market, abundant human and natural resources. China's rise could not be achieved without the rest of the world, said Wen, noting the country must always maintain its open policy and always develop economic and trade exchanges with all friendly countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

China's rise, which would require a lot time and probably efforts of several generations, will not stand in the way of any other country, nor pose threat to any other country, nor at the cost of any other country, Wen said.

The premier described Russia as a "friendly neighbor" sharing acommon boundary line of 4,300 km and said "the two countries should be friends forever and never fight again".

Although there were some ups and downs in Sino-Russian cooperation in constructing oil pipelines, the premier still believed Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian people will strengthen cooperation with China in "exploring and developing" energy resources such as oil and natural gas, and constructing oil pipelines.

According to Wen, Chinese and Russian economies are "complementary" and a series of measures have been taken to enhance economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

The premier also referred to regular meetings of Chinese and Russian leaders, Sino-Russian Strategic Partnership of Cooperation,and efforts to enhance "political mutual trust", promote "strategic consultation" and strengthen "non-governmental exchanges" between the two countries to prove a "sound momentum" in Sino-Russian relationship.

Premier Wen cited Sino-Japanese relations as "generally good". According to the premier, The average trade volume between China and Japan has been valued at some 130 billion US dollars a year and there is an annual exchange of 3 million people in personnel exchange. There are also more than 200 cities with a yoke of sisterly friendship between the two countries.

Wen also noted that Japanese leaders' visits to Yasukuni Shrine,where top war criminals are enshrined, have tremendously harmed the feelings of the people in China and Asian at large, underscoring that it is the main problem for bilateral relations between the two countries. China lost more than 20 million lives during the war of Japanese aggression against China, according to the premier, whose own family suffered during the war.

The premier urged Japanese leaders to abide by the three political documents concerning Sino-Japanese ties signed between the two governments, learn lessons earnestly from history, look forward into the future, do not do things detrimental the feelings of the Chinese people anymore, and not affect the regular exchanges of visits of leaders of the two nations and the normal growth of bilateral relations.

Wen also voiced his delight in seeing the healthy momentum that has emerged in India-Pakistan relationship and hopes for lasting peace and stability in South Asia. "China's relationship with any country in South Asia is not targeted at a third country," he added.

Sino-Indian friendship has a history of more than 2,000 years whereas conflicts between them lasted for only two years, said Wen while recalling Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to China last year, a sign that bilateral relationship had begun developing in a healthy and cooperative way ever since.

As long as China and India adhere to the principle of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect and understanding, the two countries could tackle the problems left over by history and maintain lasting friendship and cooperation, Wen said.

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