Foreign Ministry Officials' Briefing on President Jiang Zemin's Attending of the Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit and His State Visits to Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Iceland
On May 31, 2002, Director-General of the Information Department of the Foreign Ministry Kong Quan invited Director-General of the Department of Eastern European and Central Asian Affairs Li Hui and Deputy Director-General of the Department of Western European Affairs Shi Mingde to hold a joint briefing in the International Press Center on President Jiang Zemin's attending of the summit meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit and his state visits to Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Iceland. More than 40 foreign correspondents resident in Beijing and some press officers from foreign diplomatic missions in China were present.
Director-General of the Department of Eastern European and Central Asian Affairs Li Hui briefed the audience on the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia and the upcoming summit meeting. He pointed out that China has always supported in the process of the Conference and actively participated in various activities of the Conference. President Jiang's decision to attend this summit meeting at invitation is an ample evidence of the great attention China attaches to this meeting, as well as the friendly relations between China and Kazakhstan and the personal friendship between President Jiang and President Nazarbayev. In his speech in the meeting, President Jiang will mainly expound China's views on the current situation in Asia, its efforts on maintaining regional peace and stability, and its principled stance on anti-terrorism issue. It is believed that President Jiang's presence at the summit meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia will help consolidate the bilateral relations between China and Kazakhstan and other related countries, and play an active and significant role in promoting regional security and stability. Meanwhile, it is the hope of the Chinese side that the holding of this summit meeting will further promote the dialogue and mutual trust of its member countries.
On President Jiang's attending of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit, Li said that this summit is another major meeting in the history of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, bearing important meaning to its development and construction. On the occasion, after reviewing and summarizing the operation of the new organization during the past year, the six state leaders will consult on the construction and development of the organization and exchange in-depth views on major and pressing regional and international issues. In the meeting, three important legal and political documents, namely, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Charter, Regional Anti-Terrorism Organization Agreement and Proclamation of the State Leaders of the Member Countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be signed. The signing of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will lay a solid and valid legal basis for the construction of the organization to the end of being mechanism-based and institution-based.
During the summit, President Jiang will meet with leaders of other countries present, discussing bilateral relations and other issues of common concern.
Li considered the meeting will record important achievements in three aspects. First, it will further strengthen the solidarity and coordination among the member countries. Second, it will further advance the overall undertaking of the fundamental construction of the organization and the cooperation in various fields. Third, it will further elevate the international status and influence of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. He said that the Chinese side believes this summit meeting held in St. Petersburg is bound to be another milestone in the history of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
On the questions about the function and prospect of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Li said that the organization is currently expanding the fields of cooperation. This year it has convened meetings of defense ministers, foreign trade and economic ministers and culture ministers in succession. Fights against terrorism, splittism and extremism fall into the scope of cooperation of this organization, but they are not the whole of the cooperation. The founding of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization stands for the sincere wishes and fundamental interests of the countries and peoples in this region. It plays an important role in maintaining peace and stability in this region and promoting the economic development of the member countries. In the days to come, this organization will play an even bigger role in maintaining regional security and promoting mutual cooperation between various countries and their economic development in line with the aims and missions outlined in the Charter. It is believed that the Shanghai cooperation Organization enjoys a broad prospect for development.
With regard to the visits to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, Li said that this is the first visit of a Chinese head of state to the three countries since China established diplomatic relations with them 10 years ago. During these visits, President Jiang, together with the top leaders of the three countries, will review the developing paths of bilateral relations between China and the three countries in the past decade, decide upon the guiding principles of bilateral cooperation in various fields and exchange opinions on international issues of common concern.
Li said that China established diplomatic relations with the three countries in September 1991. During the past ten years, the relations between China and the three countries have undergone smoothly with the mutual understanding increased, and the cooperation in economy and trade, science and technology, culture, education, judiciary and information affairs has registered remarkable achievements. To develop long-term and stable friendly cooperative relations with the three countries is an important part of the external policies of the Chinese government. Li said that the Chinese side believes President Jiang's upcoming visit will further increase the mutual understanding and trust, intensify the cooperation between China and the three countries in various fields, and elevate the relations between China and the three countries to a new high.
Deputy Director-General Shi Mingde said that President Jiang's upcoming visit to Iceland, as a return to Icelandic President's visit to China in 1995, is the first time for a Chinese head of state to visit the country. The aim of this visit is to maintain the momentum of mutual visits of high level, intensify mutual understanding and trust, increase the friendship between the two peoples and promote further development of the friendly cooperative relations in various fields between China and Iceland. During the visit, the leaders of both countries will exchange extensive and in-depth opinions on bilateral relations and major current international issues. It is believed that this visit is of great significance to the China-Iceland relations in the new century.
Shi briefed the audience on China-Iceland relations. He said that since they established diplomatic relations since 1971, the two countries have always maintained close and friendly cooperative relations. Currently the relations between the two countries have the following features:
First, high level exchange of visits between the two sides have increased and the various departments of the two governments have maintained frequent contacts.
Second, the cooperation in the trade and economic field has increasingly expanded. The cooperation in fishery, terrestrial heat and ship building has intensified. The two sides are approaching the cooperation in tourism and aluminium-making.
Third, the absolute volume of the bilateral trade is not large but increasing rapidly. The figure of last year was US$52.55 million, three times larger than four years ago.
Fourth, the cultural exchange is vigorous. The 30 years' development of China-Iceland relations shows that in today's colorful world, despite their different national situations and developing levels, countries, big or small, have their respective advantages, can learn from each other, draw on experience of other countries, and seek common development through mutually beneficial cooperation.