Premier Wen Jiabao Meets with Some Foreign Leaders
On September 24, 2008, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met respectively with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in New York.
In the meeting with Suleiman, Wen said China supports Lebanon’s efforts for defending national sovereignty and territory integrity, promoting national reconciliation and developing good-neighborly relations. He said China will continue to provide economic aid within its ability to Lebanon. "We would like to strengthen high-level exchange with Lebanon, conduct friendly exchange and cooperation in various forms, and improve mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples of the two countries," he said. China, along with the international community, will make continued efforts to realize just and reasonable peace in the Middle East, he added.
Suleiman appreciated China's active participation in the United Nations peacekeeping and mine sweeping missions in southern Lebanon, and the country's support for restoring Arab countries' legitimate rights and interests. Lebanon hopes to strengthen friendly relations with China and to develop new cooperation with China in the fields of trade and tourism, he said. Lebanon is committed to improving relations with its neighbors and promoting the Middle East peace process. Suleiman said Lebanon hopes to properly resolve the issues concerning return and settlement of Palestinian refugees with the help of the international community.
When meeting with Uribe, Wen said Sino-Colombian ties are in good momentum of development. Colombia is an important partner of China in Latin America and China would like to expand economic and trade cooperation with Colombia on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, enrich cultural and social exchange, and develop closer ties with Colombia in international issues. He expressed hope that Columbia will continue to play a positive role in promoting China’s friendly relations with Latin American countries.
Uribe said that Colombia attaches importance to the development of relations with China, and that Colombia appreciates China's support in international and regional affairs. He said that Colombia wishes to strengthen cooperation with China in such fields as economy, trade and investment.
When meeting with Singh, Wen said that as both developing powers, China and India should join hands in seeking common development, which will have significant and far-reaching influence on the world. In face of a complicated and changeable world situation, as well as a turbulent world financial market, China and India should enhance coordination and cope with the problems together, which meets the interests of both countries and is important to world and regional peace and stability, said Wen. The Chinese premier pledged to work with the Indian side to further promote exchange and cooperation based on mutual respect and equal consultation, in a bid to properly handle issues of mutual concern such as the border issue, and to push bilateral relations to move forward smoothly.
Singh said that India and China are not rivals but strategic cooperative partners. Developing friendly and close cooperative relations with China is a priority in India's foreign relations, said the prime minister. India is committed to promoting cooperation with China in all bilateral fields, and will strengthen exchange and cooperation with the Chinese side on such multilateral areas as international trade, energy security and climate change, said Singh. India wishes the two sides will speed up the negotiation process and reach a solution acceptable to both sides to the border issue between the two nations, which is a political will of the Indian side, said the Indian prime minister. He appreciated China's positive attitude to India's peaceful use of nuclear energy, and hoped China and India could initiate cooperation in this aspect.
During his meet with Zapatero, Wen noted that the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Spain in recent years has yielded fruitful results, bringing tangible benefits to both countries. China is ready to enhance mutual investment, joint scientific and technological research and development and cultural cooperation with Spain. Wen also called for closer Sino-Spanish coordination and cooperation within the China-EU framework and important international organizations such as the United Nations to promote dialogue, understanding and cooperation between different civilizations.
Zapatero said that Spain hopes to consolidate and strengthen the existing friendly relations of cooperation with China, and is willing to further increase bilateral trade and promote exchange between enterprises from the two countries. Spain is also ready to strengthen bilateral cooperation in such fields as investment and telecommunications and contribute to promoting EU-China relations.
When meeting with Zardari, Wen first congratulated him for his assumption of office as the Pakistani president, and expressed wish for Pakistan's new achievements in realizing national stability and economic and social development. Wen said that the all-weather friendship and all-round cooperation between China and Pakistan enjoys a solid basis and can withstand tests of time, adding that to consolidate and further develop the two countries' strategic cooperative partnership is an unswerving policy of the Chinese government. China is ready to maintain high-level exchanges with Pakistan, enhance mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas and keep closer communication and cooperation in multilateral areas, so as to promote regional peace, stability and development.
Zardari noted that the Sino-Pakistani friendship had been deeply rooted in the hearts of the Pakistani people, and he would carry forward the China-Pakistan traditional friendship and work unwaveringly to keep developing the two countries' relations of friendly cooperation.
At the meeting with Brown, Wen briefed him on China's package of policies and measures on assisting Africa. The Chinese premier said that the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), let alone peace and development of the whole world, can never be realized without peace and development in Africa. Wen said China has always attached great importance to the issue of African development, and has spared no effort to assist African countries in strengthening their capacity of independent development. China fully respects the will of African countries and never attaches any political conditions in extending aid, he added. Wen urged developed countries to fully meet their commitments to assisting Africa and do more practical things to promote African development. Africa’s development road must be chosen by the African people themselves, said Wen, adding that China is willing to strengthen exchange and coordination with all the parties concerned and make positive efforts to promote African development and realize common progress and prosperity.
Brown said China has scored achievements attracting worldwide attention in poverty alleviation. He noted that Britain highly appreciates China's efforts to actively support and assist other countries in fighting poverty, diseases and illiteracy. Britain expects the international community to make concerted efforts for greater progress in realizing the MDGs, Brown said, adding that Britain is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in this endeavor.
Both sides also exchanged views on the current international financial situation.