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Sino-ASEAN ties hit high prior to Hu's visit
By Wu Yixue (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-04-19 06:43

Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei yesterday described the relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) nations as "the best" in history.

He made the remarks at a press conference on the eve of President Hu Jintao's forthcoming visit to three Southeast Asian nations.

Hu will pay state visits to Brunei, Indonesia, and the Philippines from April 20 to 28.

"During his visits to the three countries, President Hu will hold talks with their leaders and exchange views with them on important international and regional issues of common concern, to push China's ties with the three countries to new heights," he said.

Hu will also sign a joint declaration with Indonesian President Susilo during his visit to the country and announce the formal establishment of a strategic partnership between the two countries. During his Southeast Asia visit, Hu will attend the 2005 Asia-Africa summit and events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Bandung Conference at the invitation of Susilo and South African President Thabo Mbeki.

The Bandung Conference, also known as the Asian-African Conference, was held from April 18 to 24, 1955, under the context that countries in the two continents were launching large-scale campaigns seeking national independence.

"Under new circumstances, Asian and African countries should further strengthen co-operation to take advantage of new opportunities and handle new challenges," Wu said.

This year's Asian-African summit will commemorate the first one held 50 years ago, he added.

The theme of the summit is "to restore the spirit of Bandung, and make efforts to establish a new-type of strategic partnership between Asia and Africa," Wu said.

(China Daily 04/19/2005 page2)

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