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Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's Written Interview with Albanian Press

2011/08/03

On August 3, 2011, visiting China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi received written interview with Shqip in Albania. The text is as follows.

Q: What is the main purpose of your current visit to Albania? How do you comment on China-Albania relations? What will be the main topics of your discussion with Albanian leaders?

A: At the kind invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Haxhinasto, I come to this beautiful country of Albania. This is my first visit to the "country of eagles", but Albania is no stranger to me, because China-Albania friendship has struck deep roots in the hearts of the Chinese people and many Chinese have great affection for Albania. We will never forget that Albania is one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. We are heartened by the continued growth in the long-standing China-Albania friendship. The two sides have enjoyed frequent high-level exchanges, growing people-to-people exchanges at all levels and deepening political mutual trust. President Topi, Prime Minister Berisha and Speaker of the Parliament Topalli have all visited China. Vice Premier Hui Liangyu and Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang of China have also paid successful visits to Albania. The two countries have made positive progress in economic and cultural cooperation.

China attaches importance to its cooperation with Albania. The main purpose of my current visit to Albania is to discuss with the Albanian side how to build on our traditional friendship and expand mutually beneficial cooperation under new circumstances. During the visit, I will have separate meetings with President Topi, Speaker of the Parliament Topalli, Prime Minister Berisha and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Haxhinasto. We will have comprehensive and in-depth exchange of views on cooperation in political, economic and cultural fields as well as on regional and international issues of shared interest. I am confident that with the concerted efforts of both sides, the long-standing friendship between our countries and peoples will translate into real cooperation outcomes to the benefit of our people.

Q: How do you see the prospect of China-Albania practical cooperation? What will be the priority areas for such cooperation?

A: As both China and Albania face the task of achieving further development, closer practical cooperation in various fields serves the fundamental interests of both sides. Economic cooperation and trade is an area of greatest interest in our bilateral relations. This year, China has launched its 12th five-year plan for economic and social development, and accelerated the implementation of the strategies on diversifying China's foreign trade markets and encouraging Chinese enterprises to go global. Albania is committed to expanding exports and attracting foreign investment. China and Albania have a lot to offer each other. Businesses of our two countries should step up exchanges, increase mutual understanding and explore greater business opportunities.

Tourism may become a new bright spot in our bilateral cooperation. Chinese people of my generation are particularly fond of Albania. But due to constraints of various kinds at that time, we could not realize our dream of visiting Albania. Under the influence of the older generation, young Chinese now also share the same feeling towards Albania. Indeed, many people in China want to come to see Albania. During my visit, a cooperation agreement between the tourism authorities of the two countries will be signed. Albania may increase tourism promotion among the Chinese people to attract more Chinese tourists.

I want to stress that media is an important bridge for deepening mutual understanding between our people and promoting mutually beneficial cooperation. During the visit, I will specially extend an invitation to Albanian journalists to visit China.

I firmly believe that with joint efforts, China and Albania will become not only good friends of mutual trust but also good partners of mutual benefit.

Q: The Albanian government announced not long ago that Taiwan citizens would no longer need visas to come to Albania. How do you see this?

A: We do not object to our Taiwan compatriots going to foreign countries for tourism, business and other non-governmental activities. We stand ready to facilitate such activities as necessary. However, no matter what changes may take place in cross-Strait relations, the Chinese government will not change its position of upholding the one-China principle, opposing "one China, one Taiwan" and "two Chinas" and opposing "Taiwan independence". We appreciate Albania's firm commitment to the one-China policy and believe that Albania will appropriately handle the related issues.

Q: We have seen frequent visits by Chinese delegations to Southeast Europe. Does it mean that China is paying greater attention to this region? What is China's basic position on the Kosovo issue?

A: Countries in Southeast Europe are traditional partners for China. Since the 1990s, great changes have taken place in Southeast Europe. However, China has stayed committed to the principles of respecting other countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity, respecting the path of development chosen by their people and not interfering in other countries' internal affairs, and developed relations with all countries with no discrimination. China's policy is widely appreciated by countries in Southeast Europe. In recent years, the situation in Southeast Europe is becoming stable, and mutually beneficial cooperation between countries in the region is being strengthened. This has created even more favorable conditions for China to expand and deepen its cooperation with countries in the region.

China always holds that the Kosovo issue should be appropriately resolved through dialogue within the framework of UN Security Council resolutions.

Q: What is China's view about the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in Europe? Will China continue to offer assistance to troubled European countries by purchasing treasury bonds and other means?

A: The European sovereign debt crisis is still unfolding. Some countries are confronted with continued volatility in the financial markets and mounting debt risks. China pays great attention to the impact of the sovereign debt problem on Europe's economic and social development. We support the proactive measures adopted by the EU and the IMF to bring stability and growth back to Europe. China has also taken a series of positive steps within the realm of its ability to help European countries fight the crisis.

China believes that a prosperous and stable Europe is important for world stability and development. As a responsible investor in the international financial markets, China has always maintained confidence in the Euro zone and the Euro and treated the European financial market as one of its primary investment destinations. China's position has played a positive role in upholding the stability of the international financial markets and in boosting the confidence of European countries and European investors.

Q: Now that China has become the world's second largest economy, some people start to ask: will China "seek hegemony" when it becomes stronger? What is your take on that?

A: It is true that China has come a long way over the past few years, but China is still a developing country, and the basic reality of a large population and a weak economic foundation has not changed. To promote stability and development and bring about a more comfortable and peaceful life for the 1.3 billion Chinese people remains a long-term and overriding task for China. This determines that both for now and for quite a long time to come, China will continue to focus its energy on pursuing development, peaceful and harmonious development to be more specific. Having suffered enough from imperialist bullying in the past, the Chinese people hold a deep hatred for hegemonic power. "Don't do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you" is an important principle in traditional Chinese ethics. Even as China becomes stronger, it will never bully others. In fact, as the trend towards a multi-polar world and economic globalization gathers momentum, we are faced with an increasing number of global challenges that no country can handle on their own. Countries are forging an ever closer community of interests, and the call for enhanced coordination among members of the international community has never been so urgent. Only by participating in international cooperation can a country secure and achieve its own development.

China will remain committed to the path of peaceful development and the win-win strategy of opening-up. And on the basis of mutual respect and equality, China will continue to carry out mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries in the world for common development.

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