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Cover Stories Series 2011> Smoothing the Waters> Archive
UPDATED: March 13, 2011 NO. 11 MARCH 17, 2011
Charting China's Diplomatic Role

FUTURE TIES: A Reuters journalist wants to know what Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi thinks about the development of Sino-U.S. relations (JIANG XIAOYING)

WHAT'S YOUR TAKE?: A journalist with the French newspaper Le Figaro asks Yang Jiechi the role of the G20 (JIANG XIAOYING)

We will work with the EU to further deepen our comprehensive strategic partnership. The two sides should work together to pursue a political partnership based on mutual respect and trust, deepen their economic partnership featuring win-win cooperation, and build a cultural partnership on the basis of mutual learning and exchanges.

This year is the China-EU Year of Youth. We hope that by hosting such large-scale exchange activities, the two sides will further increase friendship and mutual trust between their people, in order to lay a more solid foundation for the continued growth of the Sino-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.

China and Africa

There has been good cooperation between China and individual African countries as well as with the African Union. The eight measures on strengthening China's practical cooperation with African countries that Chinese President Hu Jintao announced at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) have been fully implemented.

Moreover, important progress has been made in implementing the eight new measures that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced at the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the FOCAC.

Among the assistance projects President Hu Jintao announced, the African Union Convention Center will be completed within this year. This is the largest project built by China for Africa after the Tanzania-Zambia Railway.

China and Japan

We have taken note of the fact Japanese leaders have sent important and positive messages concerning the Sino-Japanese relationship, hoping both sides will view and handle this relationship from a strategic perspective. The Chinese side is ready to work with the Japanese side to keep Sino-Japanese relations developing in the right direction, in accordance with the four political documents between the two countries.

I also take the view for both China and Japan, the Sino-Japanese relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships. So the pursuit of a sound Sino-Japanese relationship is a wise choice for both sides.

Since the end of last year, leaders of the two countries have met several times, pushing forward the improvement of this bilateral relationship. I believe this year is of great importance for the improvement and development of Sino-Japanese relations for both countries.

We are ready to work with the Japanese side to maintain and intensify high-level exchanges and increase mutual trust. Premier Wen Jiabao will attend the China-Japan-South Korea Leaders' Meeting in Japan this year. Vice Premier Wang Qishan will go to Japan to attend the China-Japan High-Level Economic Dialogue. These are important activities in the two countries' high-level contacts.

It is important to nurture friendly sentiments between peoples of the two countries. China and Japan must keep their bilateral relationship developing in the right direction and let the people of both countries see that a sound bilateral relationship has indeed brought about real benefits. We must handle sensitive issues well and avoid escalation of differences.

For well-known reasons, efforts to implement the principled common understanding on the East China Sea issue have encountered twists and turns. We believe both sides should bear in mind the overall interests of the strategic relationship of mutual benefit between the two countries and appropriately handle sensitive issues in order to foster sound conditions and a sound environment for the implementation of the principled common understanding.

The position of the Chinese Government on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands is consistent and clear-cut. This issue is highly sensitive and it must be handled carefully. China has repeatedly asked the Japanese side to take credible steps to prevent any recurrence of the events of last year so as to uphold the larger interests of Sino-Japanese relations.

We hope the China-Japan-South Korea Leaders' Meeting to be held in May will produce positive outcomes. We hope the meeting will contribute to greater strategic communication, mutual political trust and practical cooperation in various fields. The priority should be to promote joint research among the three countries on a free trade agreement and advance the negotiation process of the investment treaty. We need to deepen cooperation in developing a circular economy, in science and technology and in environmental protection. At the same time, we need to step up cultural and people-to-people interaction.

China and neighboring countries

In 2010, new progress was made in China's relations with neighboring countries. The prominent features are:

We deepened mutual trust. Chinese leaders made many visits to Asian countries. They had an in-depth exchange of views with their foreign counterparts on how to further deepen mutual trust and conduct cooperation. Important agreements were reached.

Asian countries worked together and achieved notable results in overcoming the impact of the financial crisis on the Asian economy. The Asian economy as a whole grew by 8.2 percent last year. It has become an important engine in driving the world economic recovery.

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