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Friendship Builds Peace and Cooperation Promotes Development Li Zhaoxing Talks about Achievements of Premier Wen Jiabao's Visit

On April 12, 2005, Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Li Zhaoxing, who was accompanying Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council in the four-nation tour to South Asia, presented the positive results achieved during Premier Wen's visit to the accompanying reporters. He said that Premier Wen Jiabao paid an official visit to the four countries in South Asia from April 5 to 12. During the 8 days, he visited six cities in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India and participated in more than 70 activities, such as talks, meetings, speeches and inspections. His tour was tightened yet rich in contents. Li Zhaoxing said that Premier's visit was a major diplomatic event of China to South Asia this year, which had the following outstanding features:

1. A journey of friendship. The friendly exchanges between China and South Asia began in Han and Tang Dynasty and enjoyed a long history. After the founding of People's Republic of China, the friendly relations between China and the countries of South Asia have been developing constantly with the painstaking efforts by the leaders for several generations and the concerted efforts of the governments and peoples of both sides. Entering the 21st century, the cooperation between China and South Asia in every field is witnessing a strong development momentum. During this visit, Premier Wen brought the cordial wishes and concrete suggestions of the Chinese government for strengthening friendliness, promoting peace and developing cooperation as well as the sincere friendship and good blessings of the Chinese people towards the people of South Asia. Premier Wen praised the development achievements of South Asia and extolled the traditional friendship in cordial and warm words. The people of South Asia welcomed Premier's visit with flowers, smiles and applause. Premier Wen particularly encouraged the young generation to strengthen communications and learn from each other so as to pass on the torch of friendship and compose a new chapter of friendship between China and South Asia together.

2. A journey of good-neighborliness. China and South Asia are connected by waters and lands. The development of China is closely linked with the welfare of South Asia. The special plane of Premier Wen particularly loaded the relief goods for the tsunami victims of Sri Lanka. Despite of the sweltering summer heat, Premier Wen visited the victimized fishers. He also brought the true feelings of the Chinese people there. He himself initiated the aid project for restoring the fishing harbor. The people of Sri Lanka are deeply touched by the love and care from the friendly neighbor.

During his visit to India, Premier Wen had a frank and in-depth exchange of views with the leaders of India and reached the consensus on the political guiding principles for the ultimate resolving of the boundary issue. Both sides issued the first political document in the past 20 years for resolving the boundary issue, laying a solid foundation for resolving the boundary issue through the peaceful negotiation on an equal and rational basis. This reflects China's sincerity in implementing the policy of "being a good neighbor and partner" and "bringing harmony, security and prosperity to neighbors", conducive to strengthening mutual trust between China and the countries in South Asia, helping all countries walk along the road of peaceful development and create a friendly and harmonious neighboring environment together.

3. A journey of cooperation. China and South Asian nations are developing countries with strong economic complementarities, great potentials and bright prospects for cooperation. During this visit, Premier Wen reached consensus with the leaders of the countries on a series of new ways of thinking, methods and ways for broadening and deepening bilateral cooperation of mutual benefits, and established many new mechanisms and plans in developing mid- and long-term cooperation. During the visit, China signed 53 bilateral documents with the four countries, 2/3 of which were related to the economic and trade cooperation. The fields of cooperation are expanded and the level of cooperation is raised prominently. The investment facilitation measures are strengthened and the establishment of Free Trade Area is promoted. Premier Wen encouraged the entrepreneurs of China and South Asia several times along the way to promote innovation and expand cooperation. The win-win cooperation between China and South Asia is conducive to the stability and prosperity of Asia and helps the developing countries better deal with the challenges of economic globalization.

4. A journey for the future. During this visit, China and Pakistan and China and India announced the establishment of strategic partnership. China and Bangladesh and China and Sri Lanka announced the establishment of the comprehensive cooperation partnership. The countries of South Asia and China sang high praise for the positive results of the development of bilateral relations and were eager and confident to accelerate the cooperation of mutual benefits. The trip marked that the friendly cooperation between China and South Asia entered a new development stage. It is believed that the friendly relations between China and South Asia will be much more solidified and the cooperation in every field will be more effective, which in turn will bring more benefits to the people of both sides and benefit the peace and development cause of the region and the world at large.

Li Zhaoxing said that Premier Wen's visit to South Asia fulfilled the goal of "strengthening trust, deepening friendship, expanding cooperation and planning for the future", exerting far-reaching influence on promoting the friendly cooperation between China and South Asia in an all-round manner.

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