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Foreign Ministry Holds Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on Premier Wen Jiabao's Upcoming Visit to South Korea, Japan, Mongolia and Myanmar and Attendance of the Third China-Japan-South Korea Summit

On May 26, 2010, Foreign Ministry held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media. Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun introduced the background, major activities and significance of Premier Wen Jiabao’s upcoming formal visit to South Korea, Japan, Mongolia and Myanmar and attendance of the third China-Japan-South Korea Summit from May 28 to June 3, 2010. Deputy Director-General of the Information Department Qin Gang chaired the briefing in which more than 100 Chinese and foreign journalists participated.

Zhang said that South Korea, Japan, Mongolia and Myanmar are all important close neighbors of China. China’s relations with all those four countries maintain a sound momentum in general and enjoy opportunities of further development. The visit of Premier Wen will be the first visit paid by a Chinese premier to South Korea after China and South Korea established the strategic partnership, the first visit paid by a Chinese premier to Japan after the new Japanese cabinet came into power and the visit paid by a Chinese premier to Mongolia and Myanmar 16 years after last visit. Premier Wen will attend the third China-Japan-South Korea Summit on the occasion that the summit will kick off another decade. The aim of the visit is to increase friendship, strengthen mutual trust and deepen cooperation. It will be a trip of peace, friendship and cooperation and of great importance to further developing China’s good-neighborly friendship and cooperative relations with the four countries, pushing forward China-Japan-South Korea cooperation and promoting peace, stability and development in the region.

I. Visit to South Korea

After the China and South Korea established diplomatic ties in August 1992, the bilateral relations have grown rapidly and the positioning of bilateral ties has been upgraded for three times in a row. When President Lee Myung-bak visited China in May 2008, the two heads of state announced the establishment of China-South Korea strategic partnership. The two countries enjoy ever increasing political mutual trust, expanding economic and trade cooperation and broader cultural exchanges. They also maintain sound communications and cooperation in the international and regional affairs. China has become the largest trade partner, the biggest export market and the largest source of imports of South Korea, while South Korea is the fourth largest trade partner of China. The two countries have established more than 120 pair of sister cities. Every week over 830 flights and 100,000 person times of people travel between the two countries.

During his visit to South Korea, Premier Wen will hold talks with President Lee Myung-bak and meet respectively with National Assembly Speaker Kim Hyung-oh and Prime Minister Chung Un-Chan to exchange views on the bilateral relations and the international and regional issues of common concern. He will also extensively contact people from all walks of life of South Korea and visit the Chinese Culture Center in Seoul. The two sides will sign a number of cooperation documents involving trade and economy.

The Chinese side has the following expectations on the visit: first, further strengthen high-level strategic communications and increase political mutual trust; second, further boost economic and trade cooperation, accelerate the building of free trade zone and reinforce the bond of interest between the two countries; third, further step up exchanges and cooperation in the fields of education, science and technology, culture and tourism, consolidate the public opinion basis of China-South Korea friendship and enrich the connotation of bilateral ties; fourth, further enhance communications and coordination in international and regional affairs and make positive contributions to maintaining regional and world peace and stability and promoting common development.

II. Visit to Japan

China-Japan relations remain one of the most important bilateral relations to both China and Japan. The bilateral relations have achieved major progress in all fields and benefited the two sides significantly since the normalization of diplomatic ties 38 years ago. In recent years, the “ice-breaking”, “ice-melting”, “spring-heralding” and “warm-spring” visits paid by leaders of the two countries have helped improve the bilateral relations continuously. The Hatoyama Cabinet attaches importance to China-Japan relations and has made positive efforts to develop the bilateral ties since it came into power. At present, leaders of the two countries maintain close contacts and the bilateral exchanges and cooperation in all areas move forward steadily. China is the largest trade partner, the biggest export market and the primary choice of outbound investment of Japan, while Japan is the third largest trade partner and the second biggest source of foreign investment of China. The two countries have established 245 pair of sister cities and last year travel between the two countries reached 4.87 million person times. They also keep sound communications and coordination on both international and regional issues.

During his visit to Japan, Premier Wen will meet with His Majesty the Emperor, hold meeting with Prime Minister Hatoyama, conduct talks with Speaker of House of Representatives and Speaker of Senate respectively, widely contact people from the economic sector, friendship organizations and cultural community as well as ordinary people of Japan and receive the exclusive interview with NHK. The commendation of non-governmental Japanese friendly personnel and the informal discussion with people from the Japanese cultural community are two special and important arrangements to convey the positive information that the Chinese government attaches importance to the friendship at non-governmental level and people-to-people exchanges with Japan. The two sides will sign the cooperation agreements covering food safety, environmental protection and energy efficiency, e-commerce and other areas.

The Chinese side has the following expectations on the visit: gather consensus and increase mutual trust politically; expand cooperation on energy efficiency, environmental protection and green economy and upgrade economic and trade cooperation economically; launch new measures to advance cultural exchanges and strengthen the friendship between the two peoples. It is hoped to raise China-Japan strategic and reciprocal relations to a higher level through the visit.

III. Visit to Mongolia

Mongolia is the neighboring country of China with the longest land borderline and one of the earliest countries establishing diplomatic ties with China. When President Hu Jintao visited Mongolia in 2003, the two countries announced the establishment of good-neighborly partnership of mutual trust. At present, the bilateral relations develop soundly, with frequent high-level exchanges and rapid development of economic and trade cooperation. China has been Mongolia’s largest trade partner and investor for many years. Each year, nearly 1 million person times of people travel between the two countries. Both sides have the aspiration of deepening friendly cooperation in all fields.

During his visit to Mongolia, Premier Wen will hold talks with Prime Minister Batbold and meet with President Elbegdorj and chairman of the State Great Hural Demberel respectively to exchange opinions on China-Mongolia relations and other issues of common concern. He will also contact people from various sectors of Mongolia, attend the opening ceremony of China-Mongolia economic and trade cooperation forum and inaugurate the Chinese Culture Center in Ulaanbaatar. The two sides will sign cooperation documents covering various fields including finance, energy, science and technology and infrastructure construction.

The Chinese side has the following expectations on the visit: first, maintain the sound momentum of exchange of high-level visit, push forward exchanges at the government, parliament and party levels, strengthen political communications and mutual trust and consolidate the political foundation for bilateral relations; second, enhance economic and trade cooperation, especially cooperation on the development of mineral resources, infrastructure construction and finance, expand mutual interest and achieve win-win outcome; third, step up cultural cooperation, increase mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples and cement the social foundation of bilateral relations.

IV. Visit to Myanmar

Myanmar is a traditional friendly neighbor of China. The two peoples enjoy a long history of exchange and deep connections. The two countries have maintained friendly exchanges on the basis of the five principles of peaceful coexistence which were advocated jointly by both China and Myanmar since they established diplomatic ties 60 years ago. The bilateral cooperation in various fields has achieved fruitful results which have benefited the two peoples tangibly. Despite the impact of the international financial crisis, the bilateral trade volume still reached US$2.91 billion in 2009, up 10.7% over 2008. Their key cooperation projects of energy, transportation and power move forward steadily, which has laid down a solid foundation for further boosting the economic and trade cooperation. This year marks the 60th anniversary of China-Myanmar diplomatic ties and the development of bilateral relations stands at a critical moment. The two countries face major opportunities of jointly pushing forward their pragmatic cooperation.

During his visit to Myanmar, Premier Wen will hold talks with Prime Minister Thein Sein and meet with President Than Shwe and other Myanmar leaders to discuss the bilateral relations and other issues of common concern. He will also attend the celebration on the 60th anniversary of China-Myanmar diplomatic ties together with leaders of Myanmar. The two sides will sign a series of cooperation documents covering economy and trade, finance, energy, science and technology.

The Chinese side has the following expectations on the visit: first, take the opportunity of the 60th anniversary of China-Myanmar diplomatic ties to deepen the traditional friendship and make the two peoples to be good neighbors, good brothers and good partners forever; second, promote the comprehensive and in-depth development of China-Myanmar good-neighborly friendship and cooperative relations in the new historical era and uplift bilateral cooperation so as to benefit the two peoples; third, provide assistance within China’s own capacity to Myanmar’s national construction efforts, especially in the transportation and education fields to benefit the ordinary people of Myanmar and help the country develop economy and improve people’s livelihood.

V. Attending the third China-Japan-South Korea Summit

The Asian economy has gradually recovered since the beginning of this year. China-Japan-South Korea cooperation shows the sound momentum of being comprehensive, diversified and extensive. With stable system development, their future cooperation enjoys great opportunities. Premier Wen will attend the summit with the main goal of planning the future direction of trilateral cooperation, increase the political mutual trust among the three countries, improve the trilateral cooperation mechanism and comprehensively push forward the trilateral cooperation in all aspects.

The summit will last for two days. Premier Wen will mainly share views with leaders of Japan and South Korea on the planning of future direction of trilateral cooperation and the international and regional issues of common concern. The three countries will jointly release the 2020 cooperation prospect and other documents on strengthening technological innovation and cooperation on standardization and sign relevant memorandum of understanding.

The Chinese side has the following expectations on the summit: first, treat and handle relations among the three countries from a long-term perspective and strategic height, further raise mutual trust and constantly consolidate the political foundation of trilateral cooperation; second, plan key trilateral cooperation projects, improve the mechanism of trilateral cooperation, strengthen the internal power of regional economic growth and inject vigor into the sustained recovery of regional economy and the building of East Asia community in order to achieve the common target of changing economic growth mode and readjusting economic structure; third, promote peace, stability and prosperity in Asia, step up communications and coordination on regional and international issues, jointly support ASEAN integration process, cope with such global issues as climate change, financial risk and energy security and better safeguard common interest.

Zhang said that leaders and governments of the above-mentioned countries all attach great importance to Premier Wen’s visit and have made careful arrangements. It is believed that the visit will be a big success with the joint efforts of all parties.


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