MEETING THE PRESS: Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi speaks at a press conference in Beijing on March 7 (JIANG XIAOYING)
On March 7, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi spoke to Chinese and foreign media at a press conference at the Fourth Session of the 11th National People's Congress. Edited highlights follow:
China and the United States
There is now a good atmosphere in Sino-U.S. relations. Over the next few months we have a full agenda to develop Sino-U.S. relations. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo will co-chair with their U.S. counterparts the third round of the Sino-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
State Councilor Liu Yandong will attend the second meeting of the Sino-U.S. High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange. Moreover, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will visit China in the middle of this year. After that, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping hopes to pay a visit to the United States.
Both China and the United States are countries that have a major influence on world peace and development. The decision of the two countries to establish a cooperative partnership is thus timely. It is also demanded by the deepening cooperation between the two countries.
I believe more and more people in the United States have come to recognize that in handling the United States' relations with China in this new environment, we need to embrace new ideas and foster a favorable atmosphere.
The presidents of the two countries have charted the course for the future development of Sino-U.S. relations. What we need to do now is to seize the moment, build on progress, earnestly implement the agreements reached by the leaders of the two countries and take solid steps in building the Sino-U.S. cooperative partnership.
It is an objective reality that China and the United States have differences or even friction over some issues. What's important is to handle these differences properly on the basis of mutual respect.
We firmly oppose U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. We urge the United States to abide strictly by the principles and spirit of the three Sino-U.S. joint communiqués and the Sino-U.S. joint statements, stop selling arms to Taiwan and take concrete action to support the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.
China and Russia
Last year, Sino-Russian relations achieved good results. Leaders of the two countries reached important agreements on further deepening the Sino-Russian strategic partnership of coordination. Sino-Russian relations have attained a higher level.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Russian Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation and is also the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Sino-Russian strategic partnership of coordination. The two countries will seize these new opportunities to further advance their strategic partnership.
First, at the invitation of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Chinese President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to Russia. The two sides will jointly host a series of activities to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Russian Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation.
Second, the two countries will work together to enhance and deepen practical cooperation across a wide range of areas. Leaders of the two countries have reached important agreements in this respect. The two countries will work together to step up their cooperation on key projects in such fields as economy, trade and high technology as well as exchanges at the local level.
Third, we will work with our Russian colleagues to institutionalize popular activities held within the frameworks of "national year" and "language year" programs between the two countries.
Fourth, the two countries will step up cooperation in regional and international organizations and enhance collaboration and coordination in addressing regional hot-spot issues.
China and the EU
China has followed closely the sovereign debt crisis in some European countries and has bought treasury bonds from relevant countries. We have helped European countries to advance the EU integration process. We believe these steps taken by China have been well received by countries and people in Europe, in particular the governments and peoples of those countries concerned.
Economic globalization has made the interests of countries closely intertwined. Under such circumstances, countries should stick together like passengers in the same boat rather than crowd each other out. Countries should pursue mutual trust rather than harbor mutual suspicion. In this way, we will be able to live with each other in harmony.