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Vice-President Hu Jintao Held Talks with British Prime Minister(30/10/2001)
2004/06/16

On October 29, Vice-President Hu Jintao, who is on an official visit to the UK, held talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at No. 10 Downing Street. They conducted a wide and in-depth exchange of views on bilateral ties and international issues of mutual concern.

Blair expressed his warm welcome to Hu. He said that at present, UK-China relations are sound, with close cooperation in all areas displaying a strong momentum. All these are attributable to the active efforts by the leaders of the two countries. President Jiang Zemin had a successful visit to the UK in 1999. Blair and Premier Zhu Rongji also exchanged visits prior to that. Under current international situation, Hu's visit to Britain is of vital importance. China's clear-cut stance on the September 11 incident has won widespread praises from the international community, and Britain is willing to strengthen its cooperation with China in anti-terrorism. Blair also stressed that the smooth development of UK-China relations is not only in the interest of the two countries, but serves the need for safeguarding world peace. He said he is optimistic about the broad and bright prospects of development of bilateral ties in the new century.

Hu first conveyed sincere greetings from President Jiang and Premier Zhu to Prime Minister Blair.

He said that his visit came at a time when bilateral relations are better and better. We are happy to note that recent years have witnessed sustained improvement and development of Sino-British ties, with close contacts between the top leaders of both countries. President Jiang Zemin paid a successful state visit to Britain in 1999 at the invitation of the Queen, and Premier Zhu Rongji and Prime Minister Blair also exchanged visits before that. These visits laid a new foundation for the long-term and stable development of bilateral ties. In recent years, the two-way trade volume has grown steadily and the trend is expected to be maintained this year. British direct investment in China is in a leading position in the EU. The two countries also conducted frequent exchanges in such fields as science and education, military and culture, and maintained an effective mechanism of consultation and coordination in many major international issues. Bilateral relations are displaying a satisfying momentum of all-round development.

Hu said that the economies of China and Britain are complementary. Britain has strong advantages in science and technology as well as personnel with managerial and professional expertise. And China needs such high technology and expertise in developing its economy. China's sustained, healthy and rapid economic growth, the deepening of reform and opening up as well as its entry of the World Trade Organization have provided enormous opportunities for the British business people. China welcomes the positive participation from the British business community in China's economic development.

Hu also said that the current international situation is undergoing complicated and profound changes, which have made it even more necessary to increase international cooperation. China and Britain, both permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, shoulder great responsibilities for safeguarding world peace and promoting development. Noting that China and Britain share common interests on many major issues, Hu said that there is great potential for the two countries to enhance cooperation. He expressed his appreciation with the fact that Britain attaches great importance to developing its relations with China. Hu said China values the development of Sino-UK relations and is willing to make concerted efforts with the British side to promote bilateral relations to a new high. This is not only in the long-term and fundamental interests of the two countries but also serves the undertakings of world peace and development.

The two leaders exchanged views on anti-terrorism, reached much common understanding in this regard and agreed to increase consultation and cooperation in fighting against terrorism. They agree that the September 11 Incident shows that terrorism is an international hazard. The international communities should increase cooperation in their efforts against terrorism that happen at any time, in any place, from any source, targeted at anybody, or of any form. Fighting against terrorism must follow the purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter and other universally recognized norms governing international relations. Any action again terrorism should have a clear and specific target, avoid casualties of the innocent and serve the long-term interests of regional and world peace and development. The two sides pledged strengthened consultation and cooperation.

On the Afghan issue, Hu said that the Afghan people have long suffered from scourge of war and aspire for an early peace. As for future government in Afghanistan, the choice and decision of the Afghan people should be respected. Afghan history shows that no government made up of a single ethnic group could bring peace to Afghanistan. There should be a broad-based coalition government representative of the interests of all ethnic groups and friendly towards all countries, the neighboring countries in particular. The role of the U.N. Security Council must be given full play in the peace process in Afghanistan. Blair endorsed Hu's points of views in this respect.

Hu also briefed Blair on China’s economic development at the latter’s request. Blair asked Hu to convey his good wishes to President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji.

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