Relations with Major Countries
Constructive Sino-US relations further developed in 2003. President Hu Jintao kept in touch with US President George W. Bush by phone and through meetings in France in June and Thailand in October. Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council of China paid a formal visit to US in December. These contacts helped China and US to strengthen communication and discussion on key issues, including the Iraq War and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's nuclear program. On the Taiwan problem, the leaders of the United States restated their commitment to the One China Policy and the Three Sino-US Joint Communiqu¨¦s, opposing "independence of Taiwan," and publicly expressing opposition to a Taiwan unilateral purpose of changing Taiwan's status. The year 2004 marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-US relations. At the beginning of 2004, Richard Myers, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the Staff of the US Armed Forces, paid a formal friendly visit to China.
Strategic cooperative Sino-Russian relations further deepened between Russia and China in 2003. Bilateral relations continue to progress through the mutual visits of the two countries' top leaders and through the strengthening of the mechanism of SCO. In May, Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Russia and reached a series of common views with Russian President Putin on furthering the strategic cooperative relations between the two countries; in October, the heads of the two countries met again at the informal leaders' conference of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Organization. In September, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council of China and Premier Kasyanov held the eighth regular meeting of the premiers of the two countries. Both also participated in the six premiers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The year 2004 was designated as Sino-Russian Youth Friendship Year by the heads of the two countries, which also enhanced Sino-Russian friendship.
Sino-European Union Relations
The overall partnership relations between China and the European Union continued to develop smoothly in 2003. China and the EU issued policy documents on bilateral relations to clarify and solidify deepening Sino-EU relations. In October 2003, the sixth Sino-EU Summit was held in Beijing. The subsequent Joint Press Statement of the Sixth China-EU Summit stated that both the Galileo Satellite Navigation Cooperation Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding on Approved Destination Status are significant milestones in expanding bilateral relations. The leaders of China, Germany, and the United Kingdom met frequently: In June, Chinese President Hu Jintao met French President Chirac while attending the Informal South-North Leaders Dialogue Meeting; French Prime Minister Raffarin, British Prime Minister Blair, German President Johannes Rau and German Chancellor Schroeder each paid a visit to China in April, July, September and December respectively. The year 2004 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France. Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a state visit to France during the Chinese New Year (Jan.26-29) to help launch the activities of the cultural year celebrated by the two countries.
The year 2003 marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship. Former Japanese prime ministers Ryutaro Hashimoto and Takeo Fukuda were among those who were welcomed by Chinese leaders as they came to China to participate in related commemorating activities. Chinese President Hu Jintao met with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at St. Petersburg in May and Bangkok in October. Premier Wen Jiabao of the Chinese State Council also met Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi when attending the ASEAN meeting in October. In September, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Wu Bangguo visited Japan.