|NO.22 (November 15, 2004)|
President Hu Jintao Meets With UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
Chinese President Hu Jintao met with visiting United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 12, 2004.
President Hu said that complicated and profound changes continue to take place in international affairs, and that peace and development is still the main theme of the contemporary world. However, instability and uncertainty have obviously increased. How to deal with the threats and challenges facing us and how to safeguard world peace and promote common development constitute the major subjects of the international community.
The president said that the United Nations, as the most representative and authoritative intergovernmental organization, provides a vital arena for the practice of multilateralism and international collaboration. Under this situation, the expectations that the international community placed on the United Nations are growing. A powerful United Nations can help guide the world on major issues of peace and development, and the UN Charter should guide international relations.
President Hu proclaimed that it is imperative to uphold the principles and purposes of the UN Charter in practicing multilateralism and enhancing international collaboralion. Hu expressed that China will continue to strive for strengthening international multilateral mechanisms with the Untied Nations as the core, and support the reform of the United Nations and the UN secretary general to play a more important role in international affairs.
Annan thanked Hu for the Chinese Government's long-standing support both for the UN and himself. He said China has growing influence on international affairs and has become a major force in maintaining world peace and development. He added that China bas achieved positive results in meeting the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations. He said the UN reforms, which aim at better preparing the UN to cope with modern threats and challenges, need the support of member countries, including China.
The two sides conducted in-depth exchanges of views on major international and regional issues including Iraqi and Middle East issues.
(September 30, 2004)
Today, we are gathered together to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
On this festive occasion, on behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, I would like to extend holiday greetings to all nationalities and personages from all walks of life, compatriots in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and in Taiwan, as well as overseas Chinese. Here, I would also like to express my sincere thanks to foreign friends who have participated in China's modernization construction.
The founding of the People's Republic of China ushered in a new era for the country, and informed the world that the Chinese people had stood up.
The Chinese people, who have been the masters of their fate ever since, have radiated unprecedented creative vigor in building the country, turning the poor, weak old China into an ever-more-prosperous country. The comprehensive national strength has increased, the people's living standards have improved, China's exchanges with other countries have multiplied, and its international status has been enhanced. The sons and daughters of the Chinese nation both at home and abroad all feel proud of their ever-burgeoning motherland.
Over the past 55 years, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, with Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin --the respective leaders of the three generations of the CPC leadership collectives--at the core, the Chinese people have made arduous efforts in the course of socialist construction, and scored world-renowned achievements. These 55 years of glory have brought us to an important and fundamental conclusion: China must follow the path of independently building socialism with Chinese characteristics under the firm leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, and should take its sighting Dom its own conditions while keeping abreast of global trends.
There are many strategic opportunities for development in the first 20 years of this century. We must firmly grasp these opportunities, be self-confident, keep sober-minded, and make unremitting efforts. We should make the most of the favorable conditions and keep faith in the future. In the meantime, we must make ourselves ready to cope with both predictable and unpredictable difficulties, and keep an enterprising spirit as we advance steadily along the socialist road.
--We should take economic development as our first task in our efforts to rejuvenate the nation. China is a large developing country with a huge population of 1.3 billion. It will remain in the primary stage of socialism for a quite long time to come. We should always take economic development as our central task, and try to solve the problems we face through development. We need to come up with new ideas for development, stick to the "Five Coordinations" (coordination of urban and rural development, interregional development, socioeconomic development, harmonious advance between man and the environment, and domestic development and opening-up), and take the road of new-type industrialization to realize overall, coordinated and sustainable development. In the meantime, we should put the people's interests first by satisfying their diverse requirements, and push forward the development of humanity in an all-round way.
--We will adhere to the reform and opening-up policies. Our reform will be pursued unceasingly, and our doors will be opened wider to the rest of the world. Both policies will be carried out in step with the modernization drive. We will push forward reform in economic and political systems and other fields, make full use of all positive factors, liberalize and develop productivity, and make society fairer and more just so as to enable all the workers for and builders of socialism to enjoy the achievements of economic development and social progress. Adhering to the reform and opening up policies, we will adapt ourselves to economic globalization, and the worldwide scientific and technology progress. Only by opening up and learning from the good experience of others can a country make constant progress.
--We will step up the building of our democratic and legal systems. Without democracy there can be no socialism. Hence, we must expand the scope of democracy, formulate relevant regulations and rectify related work, to guarantee the people's status as the masters of the country. We must complete our legal system, and adhere to ruling the country by law. Efforts should be made to coordinate social interests, iron out social contradictions, maintain social stability, and build a harmonious society.
--We should also strengthen the construction of culture. Culture is the sign of a nation's spirit, mingled with the nation's vitality, creativity and cohesive forces. We must firmly hold onto the orientation for the development of advanced culture, energetically develop and carry forward our national spirit, develop scientific and cultural undertakings, intensify education in ethics, and foster a splendid Chinese culture.
--We must work hard over a long period of time. Leaders at all levels should take the helm in this respect, and, together with the masses of the people, overcome the difficulties that lie ahead. We will continue to crack down on the scourge of corruption, severely punish corrupt leaders, and eliminate the roots c of corruption.
--We will strive to consolidate the unity between all the ethnic groups in the country. Socialist construction calls for the joint efforts of workers, farmers and intellectuals. We should unite all possible forces to join in the construction of socialist modernization. We should strengthen unity between different political parties, people's organizations, and those who work for and build socialism, as well as overseas compatriots who advocate socialism and national reunification. So long as the people of all nationalities unite firmly, we will be able to smoothly accomplish our undertakings.
The Communist Party of China is a Marxist political party that has withstood a long period of tests and kept abreast of the times. Strengthening and improving the leadership of the Party is the guarantee for building a socialist country with Chinese characteristics. We must strictly carry out the spirit of the Fourth Plenary Session of the 16th Party Central Committee, improve the Party's governance capability in an all-round way, make closer the flesh and blood relations between the Party and the masses of the people, and ensure that the Party can better play its role in leading the country's modernization drive.
China sticks to the road of peaceful development. We will, as always, hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation, stick to our independent foreign policy of peace, and develop friendly cooperation with other countries. China will never seek hegemony, but unite all the peace-loving forces in the world to fight against hegemony, power politics and terrorism in whatever form. We will strive to build a peaceful international environment for our development, and, in turn, play our part in promoting world peace.
The compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are our brothers and sisters. China will continue to follow the principles of "one country, two systems," "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong," "Macao people governing Macao," a high degree of autonomy, and the eight-point proposals. China will act in strict accordance with the relevant Basic Laws and work to main tain long-term prosperity and stability in the two special administrative regions. We firmly oppose the splittist forces of Taiwan and are determined to safeguard the integrity of the country's territorial sovereignty. We are sure that the great goal of the reunification of the motherland will be achieved.
The year 2004 is a year in which China has seen remarkable achievements in both development and reform. By strengthening macroeconomic control, and pushing ahead with reform and opening up, China has cased its economic difficulties and maintained steady and fairly rapid growth, laying a sound foundation for future development and reform.
After another 45 years, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. By then, China, a country with one sixth of the population of the world, will have realized modernization and the grand goal of national rejuvenation. This will be a great contribution to the progress of humanity. We will, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. with General Secretary Hu Jintao at the core, hold high the banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of the "Three Represents," and live up to the spirit of the 16th Party Congress to accomplish our splendid cause in this era.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao delivered an important speech at the Fifth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) held in Hanoi of Vietnam in October, making four proposals on further strengthening Asia Europe cooperation.
Premier Wen said that since the First Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) attended by the heads of states and governments in 1996, it has actively conducted political dialogue, economic cooperation and cultural exchanges, promoting new-type development of the overall partnership between Asia and Europe, and propelling regional peace and development.
At present, both Asia and Europe are at the flourishing development stage. After the ASEM expanded, the population of the member countries reached 2.4 billion, accounting for 40 percent of the world's total. Their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) exceeded hall' of the world's total. All these will play greater role in international affairs.
Premier Wen noted that complicated and profound changes have been taking place since entering the new century. Peace and development is still the main theme of the contemporary world. The trend of world multi polarization and economic globalization is developing in twists and turns. Science and technology is advancing day by day, assets transfer and capital flow is stepping up and regional integration and cooperation is constantly expanding. Global economy has seen a good development momentum.
However, the premier added, the world is not stable and development is still uneven between regions, and instability and uncertainty have somewhat increased in international relations. Regional conflicts resulted from national and religious contradictions and from border and territory disputes have seen ups and downs. Non-traditional security threats, such as terrorism, cross-border crimes, infectious diseases and environmental pollution, are prominent. Facing new opportunities and challenges, we should uphold the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, non interference in each other's internal affairs, enhance dialogue and cooperation in an all-round way to promote the ASEM process on the basis of consultation, further strengthen comprehensive Asia-Europe partnership so as to jointly contribute to world peace, development and progress.
The premier made the following four proposals:
Firstly, Asia and Europe should strengthen political mutual trust through dialogue and consultation. Against the backdrop of a complex international situation, it serves the common interests of Asia and Europe to foster a favorable regional as well as international security environment, Wen said.
"We need to establish and improve dialogue and consultation mechanisms at various levels, strive to enhance mutual understanding and trust, increase exchanges of experiences and policy dialogues on regional cooperation, and have closer coordination in various multilateral frameworks including the United Nations in a joint endeavor to put in place a fair and rational new international political and economic order," the Chinese premier said.
"We need to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, support necessary and reasonable reforms of the United Nations, help it strengthen its authority in handling international affairs and enhance its capacity to respond to threats and challenges."
"We need to carry out cooperation within the framework of ASEM, fend off and fight against terrorism in all its manifestations and effectively counter such non-traditional security threats as weapons proliferation, illegal migration, cross border crimes and HIV/AIDS," he stressed.
Secondly, Asia and Europe should increase economic exchanges and promote regional economic growth and common prosperity, Wen said.
"We need to make the best use of ASEM's existing dialogue mechanisms, commit ourselves to open regionalism and increase the sharing of experience on regional economic integration."
"In the new round of multilateral trade negotiations, we need to have close consultation and coordination and push for an early and smooth completion of the Doha Agenda with a balance of interests of various parties. We need to deepen our cooperation within the framework of the ASEM Trade Facilitation Action Plan and ASEM Investment Promotion Action Plan, and remain committed to removing trade barriers and improving the investment climate," Wen noted.
"We need to give full play to the role of the Asia Europe Business Forum, strengthen government-business interaction and communication and vigorously conduct economic and trade exchanges. We need to promote cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises, explore new business opportunities and facilitate two-way trade and investment."
Thirdly, Asia and Europe should open new horizons for cooperation and promote coordinated economic and social development in various countries.
Given Asian and European countries' uneven development levels, ASEM needs to actively carry out technical assistance and capacity-building projects to narrow the development gap among ASEM members, the Chinese premier said. "In such areas as poverty reduction, social development, restructuring and public health, we need to give more support to the developing members in this region, particularly to the poor countries, to help them meet the UN's Millennium Development Goals."
"At the same time, we need to give more substance to our financial cooperation and support the development of the Asian Bond Market. We need to vigorously conduct policy dialogue and information exchanges on sustainable development and press ahead with our scientific and technological cooperation in forest protection and water resource management," he said.
"We need to deepen our mutually beneficial cooperation in higher education and human resources development. In this way, a multi-tiered, multi formed and wide-ranging Asia-Europe cooperation framework will gradually take shape."
Fourthly, the two sides should actively conduct dialogues among civilizations and exchanges among cultures and respect and preserve cultural diversity, Wen stressed.
As cultural diversity is a valuable asset of human civilization, exchanges among cultures offer an effective way to promote human progress, the Chinese premier said. "We need to encourage different civilizations to treat each other as equals, coexist in harmony and amity, draw upon each other's strength to make up for one's own deficiency through dialogue and exchanges and seek common ground while reserving differences," Wen added.
Premier Wen also gave an account of the economic and trade cooperation conducted between China and ASEAN and between China and EU. He said that China's trade volume to other ASEM member countries accounted for 47 percent of its total trade volume, and its economic and trade cooperation with ASEAN countries continues expanding rapidly. The relation between China and EU is maturing and entering a healthy and steady development track.
The premier noted that China would take the peace and development road, continue to propel reform and opening up and earnestly implement its WTO commitment. China's development will provide great opportunities for all countries and regions including those of the Asia and Europe.
In regard to energy issue, Premier Wen added that China has been striving for raising energy efficiency, facilitating multiple structures, persisting in energy production and consumption while paying attention to environmental protection. It has made endeavors to gradually set up and improve its petroleum storage system to ensure a steady energy supply. China is ready to become involved in international cooperation in energy security, energy economy and new energy exploitation.
The Chinese premier concluded that it is the Chinese Government's affirmative policy to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation with all Asian and European countries, which conforms to the reality and long term needs of the two sides and is also conducive to world stability and development.
--Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing Delivered a Speech at the 59th UN Assembly
On September 27, 2004, during the general debate of the 59th UN General Assembly, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing pointed out that peace, development and cooperation are a necessary requirement for the development of the era. Say Yes to peace, development and cooperation and No to war, poverty and conflict have become the strong appeal of people of all countries in the world.
Li Zhaoxing stressed that peace is the precondition for the development and prosperity of mankind and it will be impossible for any country to develop without a peaceful and stable international environment. Peace and development remain to be the overriding themes of the times. However, the light of peace has yet not reached out to every corner of the world, and traditional and non-traditional threats to security interweave with each other. The danger of war is looming, and hot issues keep cropping up. Terrorist activities remain rampant, transnational problems such as the spread of weapons of mass destruction, drug trafficking, trans-border crimes and illegal migration erupt one after another. Unstable, uncertain and unpredictable factors are increasing. To cope with security issues, all countries in the world should go beyond the differences of ideology and social system, stick to the new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation, promote democracy in international relations and solve disputes through peaceful dialogue.
Li said that development is the basis for the advance of human civilizations. To promote coordinated, balanced and common development throughout the world is the only way to en sure permanent peace and stability. In order to realize the development objectives set by the Millennium Summit of the United Nations, the international community should take strong measures, build an open and fair multilateral trading system, reform and improve international financial system and establish a fair, reasonable international economic new order conducive to the trend of globalization and in the interests of all countries in the world.
Li emphasized that cooperation is an effective tool to cope with the challenges faced by mankind. International cooperation must be strengthened and multilateralism must be exercised to solve such global issues as disarmament, non-proliferation and fight against terrorism. The UN is the core of the international multilateral mechanism and the best venue to exercise mufiilateralism. The world is looking forward to seeing a dynamic and energetic UN. China supports necessary and well-grounded reforms of the UN according to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter so as to strengthen the organization's leading role in international affairs, raise its ability to cope with new threats and challenges and better embody the appeal and needs of developing countries. All member states should honor their commitments to the UN Charter and faithfully perform their international missions and obligations.
Li pointed out that a constantly developing China serves as a major force to resolutely maintain world peace, promote common development and advance international cooperation. After more than half a century of hard work, especially after more than 20 years of reform and opening up, China has stepped into the new stage of building a well-off society in an all-round way. However, China is still a developing country. With a large population and a rather weak economic foundation, China still has a long way to go to realize its development objectives. China will, as always, take development as the lop priority in governing and rejuvenating the country and keep its own house in order, which itself makes a great contribution to the global peace and stability. The growth of China will stand in the way of nobody, nor does it threat anyone. China follows a road of peaceful development. Its development requires a peaceful and stable international environment, and in turn its development will further promote the peace and progress of the entire world.
Li said that China stands for peace, development and cooperation, insists to seek peace and promoting development through cooperation, supports the democratization of international relations and diversification of development modes, safeguards the richness of world civilizations, advocates new security concept and is committed to promoting the establishment of a just and fair new world order.
Li said that China will consistently follow an independent foreign policy of peace, adheres to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and strengthen the stable development of bilateral ties with major countries in the world; hold the principle of treating neighbors as friends and partners and link its efforts to strengthen bilateral friendship so as to enhance regional cooperation; enhance solidarity and cooperation with developing countries and support the righteous requirements and well grounded opinions of developing countries in international affairs; play a constructive role in a number of multilateral fields like politics, economy, society, disarmament and arms control, safeguard the purposes and principles of UN Charter and universally recognized norms of international relations and sup port the consensus which arc in the interests of all countries in the world.
On the Taiwan issue, Li stressed that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. To safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity and realize complete reunification of the motherland at an early date is the common aspiration and strong will of the 1.3 billion Chinese people. The Chinese Government adheres to the principle of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems." We will try our utmost with greatest sincerity to seek peaceful reunification. However, we will never tolerate "Taiwan independence" nor allow anybody to split Tat wan from China in whatever form.
Li expressed his hope that the international community should fully understand the complexity and sensitivity of the current situation across the Taiwan Strait, realize the serious damages of Taiwan authorities' separatist activities to the stability across the Strait and to the peace in Asia and Pacific, continue to support the efforts of the Chinese Government to realize national reunification, jointly curb the activities of "Taiwan separatists" and promote the stability across the Taiwan Strait and peace throughout the world.
During his speech Li also explained the position of the Chinese Government on the Iraqi issue, peaceful negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, cracking down on terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, etc.
The speech of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing received warm applause and high compliments from all the delegates present at the Assembly. The delegates of more than 100 countries expressed congratulations to Li in a line.
--Chinese Minister of Finance Jin Renqing on informal talks with his counterparts' of the Group of Seven Western Countries (G7)
China's Minister of Finance Jin Renqing and Governor of the People's Bank of China Zhou Xiaochuan attended informal talks in Washington with their counterparts of the G7. In an interview with Chinese reporters in the US capital on October 2, 2004, Minister Jin answered questions on the talks, which were initiated by the CT. Excerpts from the interview follow:
Q: What issues were involved in the informal talks, and what has been the effect of the talks?
A: During the talks, we had a frank exchange of views on major issues concerning the global economy, the macroeconomic policies of the major developed countries and the economic situation in China. In my opinion, the talks had a good result. They will help deepen understanding, increase consensus and promote cooperation between the countries involved.
Q: Has the G7 once again asked China to revalue the RMB?
A: Yes. we exchanged views on the RMB exchange rate, as well as on the exchange rates of the other main reserve currencies, including the US dollar.
To improve the mechanism of the RMB exchange rate and keep it stable on a rational and balanced basis is the aim of our reform in this field. We will set up a RMB exchange rate system that is flexible and conforms to the changes in market supply and demand. As it is a systematic project, there are many factors that have to be taken into consideration, such as macroeconomic operation, social development, international income and expenditure, reform of the banking system and other sectors, financial factors in surrounding countries and regions, and the world economic situation. We will take various measures to steadily push forward the reform of the RMB exchange rate system.
Keeping a rational and stable RMB exchange rate is conducive to maintaining the stability of the economies of Asia and of the world as a whole. Sustainable development of the world economy requires a stable international currency environment. Hence we hope for stable exchange rates of international reserve currencies, including the US dollar and the Japanese yen, and look for the reduction of factors of uncertainty in the global economy caused by the fluctuation of currency exchange rates.
Q: We have learned that this was the first time for China to attend such talks. What do you think about this? Will China attend more such talks in the future?
A: Against the backdrop of economic globalization, as different countries forge ever-closer economic ties, their coordination in economic policies is becoming increasingly important. The members of the G7 are developed countries, and the most influential in the world. China, meanwhile, is the largest developing country in the world. Dialogue between the two promotes equal cooperation among the countries at different development stages and makes international economic policies better reflect the demands of these countries.
The talks have been a positive experiment in intensifying exchanges in the field of international economic policies. As a matter of fact, we have attended four similar talks of this kind. Both sides hold that regular informal talks like this are conducive to deepening mutual understanding, expanding consensus on important issues concerning international economic matters, and realizing mutually beneficial development.
Q: Does China's participation in the talks mean that it intends to join the G7? What is the main aim in attending the talks?
A: One thing I should make clear is that China has no immediate plan to join the G7. Its participation in the G7 gathering was aimed at promoting mutual understanding and cooperation in international economic policies. China's GDP last year was in the seventh place in the world, but its per capita GDP was in the 111th place, accounting for one thirty-fifth of that of the United States. As a developing country, China still faces arduous tasks in the fields of social and economic development.
China also lags far behind the Western industrialized countries in political and economic systems. Through the talks, China wishes to promote cooperation between the countries at different development stages on the basis of equality, introduce China's development policies, express its views on international economic issues, and increase the participation of developing countries in international affairs.
Q: Could you please tell us about your general feelings after participating in the talks?
A: First, China's fast-growing economy has attracted worldwide attention, including attention from the G7 countries. We can say that without the participation of China international macroeconomic polices can hardly be formulated and implemented. Second, China should push ahead with its reform and opening up policies. We should further increase our national power while intensifying contacts with other countries, particularly the most developed countries like those of the G7. By doing so, we hope to promote the stable development of the world economy, and common prosperity. The more contacts we have, the better the results will be.