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|Wednesday, June 20, 2001, updated at 13:55(GMT+8)|
China to Work With Macedonia for Beautiful Future: Premier Zhu
Zhu told Ilinka Mitreva, foreign minister of Macedonia, during a meeting Tuesday morning that China will restart the cooperation with Macedonia in various areas "as soon as possible" under the principle set in the joint communique that normalizes bilateral relations.
Mitreva and China Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan signed the joint communique Monday, announcing the normalization of relations between the two countries effective June 18, 2001.
Zhu said that the normalization of relations between China and Macedonia is an "inevitable trend" and the "general feeling" of the people.
The Chinese side appreciates the political decision of the Macedonian side because it is in conformity of the fundamental interest of the two countries and their people, Zhu said.
The Chinese premier said economic cooperation between China and Macedonia will have new development after the normalization of relations. He told the Macedonian foreign minister that China will send an economic and trade delegation to Macedonia "as early as possible" in order to get in contact with local entrepreneurs and explore the possibility of cooperation.
China also welcomes Macedonian businessmen to come to China for cooperation, he added.
Zhu also expounded China's stance on the Balkan issue. He stressed that China has never and will never seek its private gains in the Balkan region. China advocates that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in the region be respected and the rights of all ethnic groups in the region be equally guaranteed.
"We hope that all countries and ethnic groups of the region take the long-term interest of the development of their nation and ethnic group into consideration, and properly resolve their disputes through dialog, and achieve ethnic reconciliation and cooperation and development of the entire region," Zhu said.
The Chinese premier said he is confident that the Macedonian government will be capable of handling the problems within the country, and realize the goal of ethnic reconciliation, social stability and economic prosperity. He added that China will support the just demands of the Macedonian side.
Mitreva said the signing of the relations normalization document was an important moment in bilateral relations, and has opened broad prospects for cooperation between the two sides.
She stressed that Macedonia pays great attention to its relationship with China, and hopes to open a new horizon for bilateral relations on the basis of traditional friendship. Macedonia will make every effort to push forward the cooperation in political, economic and cultural areas.
Mitreva said Macedonia thanks China for its long-term support of the country's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and is ready to enhance cooperation with China.
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