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Hu's four-nation visit boosts cooperation: FM
Updated: 2004-02-05 15:07

President Hu Jintao's visits to France, Egypt, Gabon and Algeria helped promote understanding and boost China's relations and cooperation with these countries, Foreign Ministry Li Zhaoxing said before leaving Algeria on Wednesday.

Li accompanied Hu on his state visit to the four countries, from January 26 to February 4.

During Hu's stay in the four countries, China signed a total of 27 documents, including joint declarations on strengthening bilateral ties, cooperative accords between government organs, and contracts and memorandums between businesses. They will contribute to the promotion of China's relations with these countries.

On Sino-French ties, Li said China will take the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-French diplomatic relations as an opportunity to push it to a new high.

France was the first Western power to forge diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level with China.

Cooperation between the two sides has entered a new stage as displayed by the joint declaration signed by Hu and his French counterpart Jacques Chirac on January 27, the commemoration day of the anniversary.

The declaration provides guidelines for developing a comprehensive strategic partnership between China and France, and defines the fields for intensifying bilateral cooperation, Li noted.

President Hu also emphasized that China supports the integration process of the European Union (EU), and attaches great importance to the EU's positive role in settling regional and international issues. It is ready to develop a Sino-EU comprehensive strategic partnership on the basis of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit.

Li said that the establishment of the China-Arab states cooperation forum was a significant milestone, marking the efforts for an all-around development of relations between China and Arab states.

President Hu raised a four-point proposal for developing a new-type partnership between China and the Arab countries to face the opportunities and challenges arising from the changes in the international arena, which was agreed by the members of the League of Arab States.

The foreign minister remarked that the cooperation forum will be a new mechanism for China and Arab states to promote collective dialogue and cooperation. It will further enrich the China-Arab relationship, raise the level of cooperation between the two sides in an all-around way.

He added that China will enhance traditional friendship and cooperation with Gabon and Africa. It is the first visit to Gabon by a Chinese head of state since the two countries established diplomatic ties three decades ago.

It is a strong wish of the Chinese government to develop closer and comprehensive cooperation with African nations, Li said.

On the Taiwan issue, Li stressed that China has gained widespread understanding and support.

During the visit, President Hu expounded the policies and stance of the Chinese government, stressing Taiwan is an inalienable part of China.

Hu said that China adheres to the fundamental policies of peaceful reunification and "one country, two systems" on the Taiwan issue. It will make the utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification. It is resolutely opposed to "Taiwan independence" and would never allow anyone to split Taiwan away from China by any means.

France reiterated its adherence to the one-China policy, and opposition to any unilateral move, including the so-called referendum, which will heighten tensions across the Taiwan Straits.

The leaders of Egypt, Gabon and Algeria also reaffirmed their consistent support for China's reunification.

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