On April 22, 2002, upon the conclusion of President Jiang Zemin's visit to five countries in Europe, Asia and Africa, Vice Foreign Minister Yang Wenchang had an interview with correspondents accompanying Jiang on the visit. He said that President Jiang Zemin's five-nation state visit is a complete success.
Yang said that from April 8 to April 22, President Jiang Zemin paid state visits to Germany, Libya, Nigeria, Tunisia and Iran. Jiang's visit came against the complicated and changing international background following the September 11 Incident, which is another major diplomatic move by Chinese leaders to Western Europe, Asia and Africa. The five countries attached great importance to Jiang's visit and accorded him warm, friendly and high-level reception. It fully shows that developed countries in Western Europe, developing countries in Asia and Africa, and the Islamic world all attach great importance to China's increasing international status and are ready to develop friendly relations and cooperation of long-term stability, equality and mutual benefits with China.
Yang said that during the visit, Jiang met with heads of state and government, parliamentary leaders and local officials of the five countries and had extensive contacts with people from all walks of life. During the meetings and talks, Jiang had an in-depth exchange of views with them on how to further strengthen bilateral cooperation, expounded China's view on the current international situation and principled position on major international and regional issues and explained China's political and economic situation. In general, Jiang's five-nation tour has achieved major results, which are as follows:
I The exchange of high-level visits has been maintained and mutual understanding and trust have continuously been strengthened. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany. The leaders of the two countries reviewed the development of bilateral relations and explored in an in-depth manner how to further develop bilateral relations. The two sides reaffirmed that they will treat and handle bilateral relations from a strategic high and long-term interests of the two countries, and conduct dialogue and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefits and seeking common ground while shelving differences. China established diplomatic relations with Nigeria 31 years ago, and with Libya 24 years ago. Jiang's current visits are the first by a Chinese head of state and return the visits by Nigerian and Libyan leaders. Chinese and Nigerian leaders reaffirmed the consensus of sincerity, friendship, mutual trust, mutual benefits, common development, enhanced consultation, mutual support, facing the future and taking a strategic position, and set the direction of China-Nigeria relations in the new century. The Chinese and Libyan sides agreed that Jiang's visit is a major event of special importance in the history of bilateral relations and provides an opportunity for bilateral cooperation in the new century. Jiang's visits to Tunisia and Iran are the first by a Chinese head of state in 10 years. Jiang's proposal on the development of China-Tunisia and China-Iran relations have got positive response from the leaders of the two countries, and laid a solid foundation for China-Tunisia and China-Iran friendly relations and cooperation in the new century.
II New areas of mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the five countries have been explored during the visit to promote the overall relationship in an in-depth way. China has maintained smooth bilateral relations with Germany, Libya, Nigeria, Tunisia and Iran. Bilateral friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas has achieved remarkable achievements. A total of 23 inter-governmental agreements, cooperation memoranda, economic and trade cooperation agreements were signed in the fields of economy, trade, agriculture, science, technology, education, oil and gas, telecommunications and transportation fields during Jiang's visit to the five countries. These documents not only further strengthen existing cooperation mechansim and achievements, and open new areas of cooperation and prospects. The China-German agreement on mutual recognition of equivalency of degrees of high learning provides guanrantee for the two sides to speed up exchanges of talents. The agreements on avoiding double tax between China and Nigeria, Tunisia, and Iran are of importance in expanding exchanges and strengthening mutual beneficial cooperation. In general, the signing of these agreements, documents and trade contracts will promote the deepening and expansion of cooperative relations between China and the five countries.
III Through visiting four developing countries in Asia and Africa, cooperation between China and the African continent is strengthened, ties between China and developing countries promoted. Four of the countries Jiang visited are developing countries in Asia and Africa. Jiang pointed out that to further consolidate and develop friendly relations and cooperation between China and developing countries are the starting point in China's independent foreign policy of peace. With economic globalization, developing countries face common challenges and opportunities. China is ready to strengthen cooperation with all the countries and promote common development. China supports African countries to establish African Union, and would like to establish cooperation mechanism with New Partnersip for Africa's Development within the framework of China-Africa Cooperation Forum. Iran is a big country in West Asia and the Gulf region. Jiang's visit to Iran further enrich the friendly relations and cooperation of long-term stability and a rich content between the two countries.
IV China's principled position on major international issues has been made clear and leaders of both sides have discussed ways to safeguard world peace and stability. During the visit, Jiang and the leaders of the five countries had an in-depth exchange of views on the current international situation, and reached broad consensus. Jiang pointed out that to take on the challenges of a changing international situation and economic globalization, all countries should enhance mutual consultation and cooperation and push for a just and reasonable international political and economic new order. The leaders of five countries all believe China is the force of peace and stability, and hope China will play a bigger role in international affairs.
Yang said that in face of serious upgrading of Israel-Palestine conflicts and the Middle East situation again plunging into tension, Jiang explained on many occasions the position of the Chinese government on the Middle East issue, and strongly requires Israel immediately implement relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and withdraw from the Palestinian region. Jiang reaffirmed that China, as one of permanent members of the UN Security Council, will continue to work for the peace process and the easing of tension in the Middle East.
Yang said that Jiang's state visit to Europe, Asia and Africa has reached the purpose of enhancing friendship and understanding, expanding consensus and promoting cooperation, and achieved a complete success.