Premier Wen Jiabao Delivers a Speech to Personages of All Walks of Life of Russia
On September 24, 2004, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council, who was on a formal visit to Russia, delivered an important speech in Moscow to personages of all walks of life of Russia. The full text of the speech is as follows:
Enhancing Good-neighborliness, Friendship and Mutually Beneficial Cooperation and Creating Jointly a Bright Future for China-Russia Relations
--Speech Delivered to Personages of All Walks of Life of Russia
By Wen Jiabao
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the invitation of Prime Minister Fradkov, I am here in the Russian Federation, a friendly neighbor of China, for a formal visit and to attend the 9th Regular Meeting between Heads of Government of China and Russia. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, I condemn strongly the terrorist atrocities and the hostage-taking event that hit Russia successively in recent days, and would like to express profound condolences over the death of the innocent victims and sincere sympathy to their families and the Russian people. The Chinese government has on many occasions indicated resolute support for the firm stance and the uttermost efforts by the Russian government and people to safeguard your national unity and territorial integrity and to protect the security of the lives and properties of the Russian people. As a proverb in Russia goes, "A trouble shared is a trouble halved". There is also a famous Chinese saying, i.e. "A friend in need is a friend indeed." When the Russian people are in difficulty, the government and people of China are ready to provide any assistance that it can to the Russian government and people. We believe that under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government, the Russian people will definitely overcome the current difficulties, maintain national stability and security and realize economic development and social progress. This is my first visit to Russia as Premier of China, and I have felt the friendly feelings borne by the Russian people towards the Chinese people when I first set my feet on the land of your country.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to share my observations with you on enhancing the good-neighborliness, friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Russia.
Russia is a great nation and the people of Russia have created magnificent history and brilliant culture, making prominent contributions to human civilization and progress. The peoples of China and Russia share traditional and profound friendship, and bear sincere and friendly feelings towards each other. The precious support and assistance rendered by the Russian people to China in its efforts to fight for national liberation and development is still engraved in the heart of the Chinese people even today.
With mankind having been ushered into the new millennium, relations between China and Russia have also entered a new stage of development. In 2001, former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the Treaty on Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and Russia. During the visit by President Hu Jintao to Russia last year, the two sides signed the China-Russia Joint Statement. All these have shown that the China-Russia strategic and cooperative partnership has entered a new development phase. With the direct impetus given by heads of state of the two countries, exchanges of top-level visits between China and Russia have been frequent, various consultation and cooperation mechanisms have been improved gradually, and exchanges and cooperation in various areas and at all levels have been continuously strengthened. In particular, economic and trade cooperation between China and Russia has been increasingly expanded, becoming an important basis for and driving force behind relations between the two countries. The bilateral import and export volume increased to US$15.8 billion in 2003 from US$8 billion in 2000, and is expected to reach US$20 billion ahead of schedule, a goal set by leaders of the two countries for 2005. China firmly supports Russia's bid to enter the WTO. It is our belief that cooperation between the two sides in the WTO is bound to further promote development of economic and trade relations between the two countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Under new historical circumstances, we are enjoying good opportunities and many favorable conditions for further boosting the China-Russia strategic and cooperative partnership in an all-round manner.
First, China and Russia share a border of over 4300 kilometers, being each other's biggest neighbor. With the joint efforts of the two sides, this border is being turned into a bridge and link of peace, friendship and cooperation. It is the shared will of our two peoples to be good neighbors, good friends and good partners forever.
Second, both China and Russia are facing the historic tasks of economic development and national revitalization. As the two countries are highly complimentary in terms of market, technology, resources, investment, talents and commodities, and both are undergoing the period of rapid economic growth and structural adjustments, it is completely in the fundamental interests of both peoples to conduct multi-dimensional cooperation and realize a win-win situation and common development.
Third, China and Russia are both big influential countries and permanent members of the UN Security Council, and both undertake important responsibilities for safeguarding world peace and promoting common development. The two sides share identical or similar positions on many important international and regional issues. Therefore, enhancing our bilateral consultation and cooperation in international affairs is not only in the fundamental interests of the two countries, but also conducive to world peace, security and development.
Fourth, China and Russia share a solid foundation for the all-round development of our strategic and cooperative partnership. Particularly in recent years, the strengthened bilateral ties have enjoyed a solid legal foundation, close consultation mechanisms, rich content of cooperation and strong driving force, with important achievements being made in various areas.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to developing relations with Russia and stands ready to make concerted efforts with Russia to maintain the sincere mutual political trust, mutually beneficial economic cooperation, exchanges and experience sharing in culture, and coordination and cooperation in international affairs so as to bring the strategic and cooperative partnership between the two countries to a higher level.
First, deepening mutual political trust. China and Russia should continue viewing and addressing our bilateral ties from a strategic perspective. Whatsoever happens on the world arena, we should insist on mutual respect and trust, treat each other as equals and maintain good-neighborliness and friendship. With the establishment of solid mutual trust, we will be able to properly handle possible problems in our bilateral relations earnestly and candidly so as to deepen our mutual understanding and friendship and boost the stable and healthy growth of our bilateral links.
Second, expanding economic cooperation. We should strive to bring our bilateral trade volume to between 60 billion and 80 billion US dollars by 2010. The emphasis should be put on improving the trade structure, particularly on the trade expansion of new and high technology products as well as electro-mechanical products. Both sides should explore new areas and forms of co-operation, giving priority to collaboration in space exploration, communications, energy, nuclear energy, electronics and high technology. Efforts should also be made to expand investment cooperation between the two sides. China encourages and supports more enterprises to invest and initiate business in Russia and also welcomes Russian entrepreneurs to explore market actively in China, especially to participate in the development of Western China and the revitalization of old industrial bases in Northeast China.
Third, expanding cultural exchanges. We should give full play to the steering role of the Cooperation Committee for Education, Culture, Health and Sports between Chinese and Russian governments and the China-Russia Committee on Friendship, Peace and Development so as to boost cooperation and exchanges in culture, education, science, technology, health and sports. The two sides should expand exchanges of all walks of like and deepen the traditional friendship between the two peoples. This year has been set by heads of state of the two countries as "Year of Youth Friendship between China and Russia". A Chinese delegation of roughly 100 young people is currently visiting Russia to promote China-Russia friendship and the corresponding Russian delegation will visit China next month. The friendship and solidarity between the youths of the two countries represents our friendship in the future.
Fourth, enhancing strategic coordination in international affairs. Cooperation in international affairs is a major content of China-Russia strategic and cooperative partnership. The two sides should further enhance consultation and communication and have closer coordination and cooperation, so as to jointly promote multi-polarization of the world and democratization of international relations and to boost the establishment of a fair and equitable new international political and economic order. The two sides also should beef up cooperation in the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism, namely the "three forces", in order to safeguard regional and world peace and stability.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
With the continuous development of China-Russia relations, the two peoples are having a stronger and stronger aspiration for deepening mutual understanding. The Chinese people are glad to see that under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, the Russian Federation has firmly maintained national sovereignty and territorial integrity, been committed to promoting social and political stability, accelerating economic growth and improving people's livelihood, and made remarkable achievements in those areas. The orientation of "stability, efficiency, order and social justice" and the development goal of doubling the GDP within 10 years set by President Putin are inspiring all the people of Russia to work hard. It is the sincere wish of the Chinese people that Russia will have a better and better tomorrow. A stable, prosperous and strong Russia is in the interests of China and conducive to peace, stability and development of Asia-Pacific and even the world at large.
Since people of all walks of life of Russia pay great attention to development of China, I would like to give you a brief introduction in this regard.
Since the founding of the People's Republic of China five and a half decades ago, great achievements have been made in economic and social development. At the same time, we also made some mistakes and missed some opportunities. Since the introduction of the reform and opening programs, we have quickened our pace of development. As a result, the GDP grew to 1.4 trillion US dollars in 2003 from 147.3 billion US dollars in 1978, an average annual growth rate of 9.4%. The nationwide consumption level of residents grew by 440%, with an annual grow rate of 7%. Therefore, people are leading a well-off life in general. The past 20-plus years is a historic period when China has undergone the fastest development, greatest progress and most profound changes.
The essential reason for the prominent achievements of China is that we have identified a development path that suits Chinese contexts and conforms to the development of the times, i.e. a correct path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The key to this development path is to introduce reform and opening programs so as to stimulate all the active factors that can be mobilized and constantly emancipate and develop the production forces in a bid to accelerate the national modernization drive.
This path that has accelerated China's development has the following characteristics:
--- Keeping economic development as the central task. At the end of 1978, when we made the decision to introduce the reform and opening programs, we decidedly shifted the focus of our work nationwide to economic development. Over the past over 20 years, despite the one after another big event that took place in international and domestic arenas, we have never deviated from this focus on economic development and have grasped every possible opportunity to accelerate development. We have formulated and implemented the "three-step" development strategies for our modernization drive, and mobilized and inspired all the people to go all out to make the country strong. We are implementing the strategy of rejuvenating the country through science and education and the strategy of realizing sustainable development and are sticking to the road of a new type of industrialization. In recent two years, we set forth an idea of putting people first and the philosophy of achieving all-round, coordinated and sustainable development, which is very scientific. With achievements made in economic development, social progress has been boosted in an all-round manner and people's livelihood has been constantly improved so that they can share the achievements of the development.
--- Forging ahead with all-round reforms. This means that we have been pressing ahead with reforms of the economic, political and cultural systems, with their content being socialist market economy, socialist democratic politics and socialist advanced culture. Over the post 20-plus years, we have been pushed forward the reforms from rural areas to cities and from economic fields to other fields in a step-by-step way. At present, we have basically established the socialist market economic system and brought about a situation where multiple ownerships develop side by side with the public ownership playing a dominant role. The role of market forces in economic development has become prominently bigger and market forces play an essential role in the allocation of resources. At the same time, reforms of the political system and the cultural system and reforms in the social fields are also being conducted actively and steadily, with important achievements being scored.
--- Continuing expanding the scale of opening to the outside world. We are deeply aware that locking doors against the world will make us lag behind, and only by opening to the outside world can we realize development. We set "opening to the outside world" as a basic state policy and embarked on the road of development oriented towards the world. With the setting up of special economic zones, then the opening of coastal cities and finally opening multi-dimensionally to the outside world, China's economy has been turned into an open economy from the closed or semi-closed economy. In the meantime, however, we are fully aware that China is still a big developing country. Our development should not and cannot rely on foreign countries but on our own efforts. We should be based on expanding the domestic demand, mainly make use of domestic funds and resources, and activate creativity through innovations in systems and mechanisms. We have been bold in learning and absorbing all advanced achievements of human civilizations while carrying forward the Chinese civilization so as to inject strong spiritual vitality to our modernization drive.
--- Maintaining social stability. In China, it is very important but also very complicated to combine reforms, development and stability together successfully. We have always matched the reforms and the speed of development with the bearing capacity of the society, and properly handled various social contradictions and conflicting of interests in the process of transition and structural adjustment so as to safeguard social fairness and justice. We have forged ahead with reforms and development while maintaining social stability and promoted social stability through reforms and development.
--- Sticking to the independent foreign policy of peace. Against the complicated and constantly changing international situations, we have conformed to the needs of the times to safeguard peace and promote development, proceeded from the fundamental interests of the Chinese people and people of other countries and set our stance and policies according to the rights and wrongs of the matter per se. We are striving to, under the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, consolidate and further develop the friendly and cooperative relations with other countries in a bid to create a peaceful international environment and a good neighboring environment and promote the common development of ourselves and other countries.
We are also fully aware that China is the biggest developing country that is home to around 1.3 billion people and facing many problems. We are still confronted with many serious problems in development, such as employment, poverty, ecological environment and imbalanced development. It calls for hard work by several and even a dozen generations of China for it to catch up with developed countries.
We have set our goal for the future, which is to build a fairly well-off society within the first two decades of this century and become a moderately developed country by the middle of this century. There will still be many predictable and unpredictable difficulties and various severe challenges on our road ahead. However, we are confident and capable of realizing the set goals. China's development will not only bring benefits to the Chinese people, but will also offer more development opportunities for other countries, especially the neighboring countries.
China will unswervingly pursue the path of peaceful development, develop itself while safeguarding world peace, and promote world peace and the common development of mankind with its own development. China's development will never constitute a threat to neighboring and other countries. China will never seek expansion and hegemony.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
As a maxim in Russia goes, "God make us neighbors". There is also a similar saying in China, which says, " A distant relative is not as helpful as a near neighbor." China boasts a good tradition of seeking friendship and living in amity with its neighbors. We will persist in building good-neighborly relationships and partnership with the neighboring countries, continue pursuing the policy of bringing harmony, security and prosperity to neighbors and commit ourselves to developing China-Russia strategic and cooperative partnership in an all-round manner. Let the people of our two countries join hands and create jointly a bright future for China-Russia relations.