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Wen's visit deepens mutual trust, co-op among East Asian countries


    BEIJING, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao paid an official visit to Singapore last Sunday and later attended a series of important regional meetings there, including the ASEAN plus Three summit, the East Asia summit and the trilateral meeting of the leaders of China, Japan and South Korea.

    This visit is highly fruitful as it has deepened China's good neighbor relations with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and strengthened cooperation among East Asian countries, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who accompanied Wen on the visit, told Chinese media Wednesday night.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (5th,L) attends the 11th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-China Summit in Singapore on Nov. 20, 2007. (Xinhua Photo)


    While participating in the regional meetings, Premier Wen reviewed cooperation among East Asian nations in the last decade and expounded on China's policies on its future development, Yang said.

    Wen stressed that the cooperation should be based on mutual respect and equality in order to realize common development and prosperity in the whole region.

    The premier said China will continue to seek harmonious political relations with countries in this region and boost cooperation in economy, culture and security with them to build a peaceful, harmonious and prosperous East Asia.

    Wen also made a number of pragmatic proposals for cooperation between China and ASEAN, covering such fields as politics, security, economy and trade, environment, and sustainable development, said Yang.

    The premier urged stepped-up research on a free trade area between the two sides and the connection of roads, railways, air routes as well as information networks between the two.

    At the East Asia summit, Wen elaborated on China's policies on climate change and signed with the other leaders the Singapore Declaration on Climate Changes, Energy and Environment.

    Wen's remarks and proposals were widely agreed upon and leaders of the attending countries all pledged to work with China in pushing forward cooperation in East Asia and promoting regional prosperity and stability, Yang said.


    The Chinese premier also attended a series of bilateral meetings to exchange views with other Asian leaders on enhancing cooperation and good neighbor friendship, Yang said.

    Wen held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and they agreed to increase dialogue and cooperation and work together to push forward mutually beneficial strategic relations between China and Japan.

    They also promised to maintain high-level contacts and enhance mutual trust in the political and security fields. The two sides set 2008 as the year of friendly exchanges between Chinese and Japanese youths.

    Wen agreed in talks with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun to push ahead bilateral cooperation as well as the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula's nuclear issue.

    During the meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the two leaders spoke highly of the progress in bilateral ties in the past year and pledged to enrich the China-India strategic partnership of cooperation.

    The Chinese premier also met leaders from New Zealand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam, exchanging views with them on bilateral ties and mutually beneficial cooperation, according to the foreign minister.


    During his visit to Singapore, Wen met with Singaporean President S.R. Nathan, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, and held talks with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

    The two sides reached a broad consensus on deepening the friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation. They decided to shore up economic cooperation, step up negotiations on building a free trade zone, build a dialogue mechanism in national defense as well as coordination in international affairs.

    In the talks, the Singaporean side reiterated its adherence to the one-China policy, said the Chinese foreign minister.


    Yang said the international community is widely concerned about the track of development that China will choose in the future, and that the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China convened in October highlighted China's resolve to pursue reform and opening up on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win progress.

    Delivering a speech entitled "Only an Open and Inclusive Nation Can Be Strong" at the the National University of Singapore, Wen elaborated on China's opening up strategy.

    Wen said China's opening up policy, based on mutual benefit, is long-term, comprehensive in nature, and that China will not change the policy since a right policy benefits the country and enjoys the support of the people.

    "China's opening up is comprehensive in nature. We are open not only to the developed countries, but also to the developing countries. We are open not only in economy, but also in fields such as science, technology, education and culture," Wen said.

    Only on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win progress can opening up endure and be conducive to the fundamental interests of all peoples and peace and prosperity of the world, he added.

    Yang said Wen's speech drew much attention and positive reactions from the international community and boosted its understanding of and confidence in China's continuing pursuit of the opening up policy.

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