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Vice-Premier Qian Qichen Met With Foreign Ministers Attending the ASEM Meeting(28/05/2001)

At noon May 25, Vice-Premier Qian Qichen met with the foreign ministers attending the ASEM meeting and had friendly talks with them.

Qian first welcomed all the foreign ministers to the third ASEM meeting in Beijing. He said that the 25 foreign ministers and members of the Foreign Relations Committee of the European Commission attending the ASEM meeting met for the first time in Beijing. They will have extensive and in-depth discussion on how to strengthen Asia-Europe partnership in the new century and further implement the cooperation initiative put forward by the third ASEM summit. The meeting will carry forward and expand Asia-Europe cooperation and have a positive impact on the sound development of the world pattern.

Qian pointed out that the values and policies vary in Asia and Europe. However, through regular high-level dialogue and consultation of equality and sincerity, the two sides have enhanced mutual understanding and trust and increased cooperation. The consolidation and development of this equal partnership will help Asia and Europe, as a whole, to contribute to maintaining world peace and promoting human development and become an example for countries in other regions.

On the current international situation, Qian said that the general trend is easing. However, the world we live in is far from being peaceful. There are conflicts between nations left by history and new cross-border issues. At present, interests of all parties are interwoven. To solve these issues all the countries and continents should consult with each other and work together. If all the countries try to find solutions with constructive attitudes and seek common ground while shelving differences, all will benefit.

Qian also exchanged views with the foreign ministers on international and regional issues of common concern such as environment and arms control. He also briefed them on the policy on the Taiwan question. He emphasized that “peaceful reunification” and “one country, two systems” are the fundamental policies to solve the Taiwan question. Some people in Taiwan have been attempting “Taiwan independence” and got some international support. That is very dangerous and futile and will come to no good end.

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