President Jiang Zemin Met with Iranian Leaders
On the afternoon of April 20, 2002, President Jiang Zemin met with Chairman of Iran's State Expediency Council Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mahdi Karrubi, Speaker of the Iranian Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) on separate occasions.
Jiang held friendly talks with Rafsanjani, and exchanged views with him on bilateral relations and international issues of common concern. Rafsanjani extended a warm welcome to Jiang. He said that exchanges between Iran and China have a long history, the Iranian people trust the Chinese people and Iran attaches great importance to the cooperation with China. Friendly cooperation in various areas between the two countries has been developing smoothly in recent years, noting that exchanges of visit by leaders of the two countries have maintained a good momentum, which has contributed to a deeper understanding of each other. Rafsanjani expressed the hope that through Jiang's ongoing visit, the two sides would work together to open new areas and expand and deepen friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation.
Calling Rafsanjani an old friend of the Chinese people, Jiang said the Iranian leader plays an important role in Iran's political life. He has visited China twice, as speaker and president respectively, and has taken an active part in promoting the Sino-Iranian ties.
Jiang said that since the two countries forged diplomatic ties three decades ago, bilateral friendly cooperation in the political, economic, trade and cultural sectors has scored fruitful results, through the concerted efforts of leaders of the two countries. He reiterated that it is China's set policy to promote its ties with Iran, noting that the China-Iran friendly ties of cooperation would achieve greater progress in line with the five principles of peaceful co-existence and through joint efforts.
Jiang also exchanged views with the Iranian leader on Central Asia's situation, the anti-terrorism fight and the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Jiang introduced China's principled position on relevant issues. He stressed that Iran, an important nation in Western Asia and in the Gulf region, plays a significant role in the regional affairs. China and Iran share identical or similar views on many major international and regional issues. To tighten bilateral cooperation is conducive to safeguarding the rights and interests of the developing nations and to the regional peace and stability. On the anti-terrorism fight, both countries are in favor of combating all forms of terrorism in accordance with relevant resolutions of the U.N. General Assembly and the Security Council. However, the anti-terrorism combat should have authentic evidence and right targets. Any random expansion of the targets or dual standard should be opposed to. China's stand is that the state-to-state relationship should be handled in line with the goals and principles set in the U.N. Charter and this relationship should be forged on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
During the meeting between Jiang and Karrubi, Karrubi welcomed Jiang to Iran and happily recalled his first meeting with President Jiang in 1991 during his visit to China. Karrubi said that Iran and China are both noted for their ancient civilizations and long history. At present, the two countries have good relations in the political, economic and cultural sectors. The Iranian side is ready to explore new areas of cooperation and strengthen its ties with China. Parliamentary contacts are an important part of this relationship.
Jiang said Karrubi is a senior political leader in Iran and has contributed to the development of China-Iran relations. The Chinese National People's Congress (NPC) and the Majlis have played an important role in their respective political life and to tighten bilateral contacts will be conducive to the mutual understanding and to furthering the state-to-state friendly ties of cooperation. To further promote bilateral friendly ties of cooperation conforms to the basic interests of the two countries and the two peoples.
Jiang agreed with Karrubi on his views on parliamentary exchanges. He said that parliaments of different countries have different features and the NPC is willing to strengthen contacts with the Majlis and to exchange experiences and learn from each other so as to promote bilateral friendly cooperation.