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Premier Zhu Rongji Held Talks with Maltese Prime Minister Edward Fenech Adami

2002/11/01
On the afternoon of October 31, 2002, Premier Zhu Rongji held formal talks with visiting Maltese Prime Minister Edward Fenech Adami at the Great Hall of the People. Zhu warmly welcomed Adami for his third visit to China, and appreciated his great efforts to develop China-Malta relations in past years.

Zhu said that Malta is a pearl in the Mediterranean. In the past 30 years of diplomatic ties, China and Malta, on the basis of mutual respect, equality and reciprocity, have always treated each other sincerely, cooperated closely and trusted each other. China highly appreciates Malta's understanding and support of China's policy and position on such issues as Taiwan, Tibet and human rights. China likewise has supported Malta's positive efforts to develop its national economy and safeguard regional and world peace and stability. He pointed out that bilateral relations have withstood the test of time and could be cited as an example of friendship between countries of different sizes and social systems.

Zhu said that there have been frequent exchange of visits between top leaders of China and Malta, in particular the visits between President Jiang Zemin and Maltese President Guido de Marco, which have greatly boosted bilateral relations. We have noted that bilateral cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, culture, and science and technology has made great achievements. Bilateral trade last year reached 150 million US dollars, an increase of 60 percent over the year before, and the figure for the first eight months of this year reached 186 million US dollars, exceeding last year's total trade volume. In particular, Malta's export to China has nearly doubled compared with the same period last year. Bilateral trade is gradually on the track of balanced development. China attaches importance to the development of trade and economic ties and is actively expanding bilateral cooperation. China has allowed its citizens to travel to Malta as tourists, which is the latest measure of the Chinese side to strengthen China-Malta cooperative relations.

Expressing satisfaction with the results of cooperation in culture, science, technology and education, Zhu said a Chinese cultural center to be set up in Malta would further enhance mutual understanding and friendship between China and Malta and the two peoples. At present, scientific, technological and educational cooperation is advancing steadily with more Chinese students studying in Malta. He believed that the agreements on scientific, technological and educational cooperation to be signed between the two countries would further bilateral cooperation in these fields. Zhu emphasized that Sino-Maltese relations have a sound basis and ample prospects for future development.

Adami thanked Zhu for the warm reception. He said this is his third visit to China. He has followed progress in bilateral relations in recent years. During the current visit, he is impressed with the great achievements and progress in China.

Adami said that bilateral ties in the past 30 years have proved fruitful. The two governments have conducted cooperation in all fields and people-to-people exchanges have also made remarkable results. Last year, the exchange of visits between President Jiang Zemin and Maltese President Guido de Marco has promoted Malta-China relations to a high. Adami reiterated Malta's adherence to the One China policy and said he expected closer trade and economic relations with China.

The two sides also had a candid exchange of views on international issues of common concern. Zhu briefed the guest on China's domestic situation. He hoped that the guest would have a chance to visit as many places as possible and wished him a pleasant stay and his visit a complete success.

After the talks, Zhu and Adami attended a signing ceremony for agreements between the two governments on bilateral scientific and technological cooperation and educational cooperation. Before the talks, Zhu presided over a welcoming ceremony for Adami.
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