President Hu Jintao Holds Talks with President Putin
On May 27, 2003, President Hu Jintao held talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in the Kremlin. The two leaders exchanged in-depth opinions and reached a wide range of consensus on bilateral ties and major international issues in a cordial and friendly atmosphere.
Putin said that Russia is honored to be the first nation Hu has visited after his election as Chinese president. The visit provides an opportunity for both sides not only to sum up the course of development of bilateral relations and the achievements, but also to draw up a mid- and long-term plan for future development of the ties. He said that Russian leaders attach great importance to developing friendly and cooperative relations between the two nations, and he believes Hu's visit marks a milestone in the development of bilateral ties between Russian and Chinese peoples.
On his part, Hu extended to Putin the sincere regards of Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of China Jiang Zemin. He said the new leadership of China pays great attention to developing the strategic partnership of cooperation between the two countries as Russia is not only the largest neighbor of China, but also a nation of important influence in the world. He said that China is ready to abide by the Russia-China Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation and the spirit of a series of important documents signed by the two countries in the past decade. Hu proposed that the two sides maintain and further strengthen the current high-level communication mechanism between the two governments and the inter-government cooperative mechanism, so as to promote and maintain a positive momentum of the Sino-Russian ties.
In order to push forward the Sino-Russian ties, Hu put forward a suggestion to maintain and consolidate the current high-level exchanges involving head of state, parliament and government as well as the cooperative mechanism between departments. He also suggested that the communication and consultation channels should be expanded into other levels and new fields; expand and deepen bilateral cooperation on economy, trade, science and technology on the basis of equality and mutual benefit while taking into account the demands of each other's economic development; concentrate on big projects of cooperation and improve economic and trade cooperation both in terms of quality and scope; strengthen the guiding and coordinating functions of the China-Russian Committee on Education, Cultural, Health and Sports Cooperation; further play the role of non-governmental organizations with China-Russian Friendship, Peace and Development Committee a main channel and extensively carry out various and vivid public foreign exchanges activities, involving more and more people from all works of life in the cause of generations-long Sino-Russian friendship.
Hu briefed Putin on China's fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and thanked the Russian government and people for their understanding and support. He said that the Chinese government has always placed in the first place the protection of people's lives and health. By taking decisive measures, relying on science and technology, practicing mass prevention and control, the Chinese government has gone all out to carry out the prevention work with remarkable effects through international cooperation. Hu added that facts have shown the disease can be prevented, controlled and cured. The Chinese people have the resolution, confidence and ability to achieve an overall victory over the disease.
Putin said that he totally agreed with Hu's evaluation of the Sino-Russian ties and the proposals Hu made regarding the further strengthening of bilateral cooperation. He said that Russia-China ties witnessed all-round development, especially in economic cooperation, since the Russia-China Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation was signed in July 2001. He said that Russia is willing to work with the Chinese side to explore ways of expanding cooperation into the fields of environmental protection, finance and investment while carrying out the existing large-scale joint projects. The Russian side also hoped to enlarge exchanges and cooperation in humanistic, educational and technological fields. On the SARS issue, Putin said that the Russian side sincerely wishes and firmly believes the prevention work of the Chinese side would achieve success.
The two heads of state agreed to enhance coordination and cooperation in international affairs in order to safeguard world peace and promote common prosperity.
Hu invited Putin to visit China next year, and Putin accepted the invitation.
After the talks, Hu and Putin attended the signing ceremony of some agreements on bilateral cooperation and signed a joint statement.
The two heads of state answered questions in the ensuing joint press conference. Both sides agreed to make concerted efforts, take over from the past and set a new course for the future, further deepen mutual good-neighborly friendship, and expand mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields so as to create a new picture of Sino-Russian strategic partnership of cooperation.