|Premier Wen Jiabao Meets with Foreign Guests Attending InterAction Council Annual Meeting|
On May 9, 2012, Premier Wen Jiabao met with some former state leaders attending the InterAction Council annual meeting in Tianjin Municipality in north China. The guests, including former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, former Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo, Singaporean Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi, former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern and former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, are in China for the 30th annual meeting of the council.
When meeting with Chretien, Wen spoke highly of the "important contribution" Chretien made for the development of China-Canada relations during his 10-year term as prime minister. Wen said the bilateral relations were established on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment. The two sides should take a comprehensive and long-term prospective of view and take into consideration each other's concern on major issues. The premier said he believed that the two countries could improve mutual understanding and cooperation with the joint efforts of two countries' politicians and all walks of life. The bilateral relationship is facing broad prospect of development.
Chretien said over the years, he has been paying close attention to China's development and has developed an indissoluble bond with China. Canada and China enjoyed highly complementary economies and friendship between the two peoples. He hoped the bilateral relationship would continue to grow, which is in the fundamental interest of both countries.
When meeting with Fukuda Yasuo, Wen said the fourth political document, signed by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Fukuda during Hu's Japan visit in 2008, said the two countries are each other's cooperative partners and do not pose a threat to each other, and they should support each other's peaceful development. The document is an important guideline for the development of bilateral relations, Wen added. He said China was ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Japan in all areas. Japan should handle the sensitive issues between the two countries in a proper and cautious manner, so as to ensure stable and sound development of the bilateral relationship.
Fukuda thanked the Chinese side for its valuable assistance when Japan was hit by the earthquake and tsunami. The vast majority of Japanese people believe that Japan-China relations are very important and the interests of both sides are inseparable. The two countries should take a comprehensive and long-term prospective of view in terms of bilateral cooperation, cherish the hard-won good situation, and make their relationship go forward along a right direction, he said.
When meeting with Goh Chok Tong, Wen said financial cooperation is becoming a field of fast growth of the two countries' reciprocal cooperation, as well as an example for the financial cooperation between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Tianjin Eco-city has taken a new path different from the traditional model of industrialization and urbanization. China was ready for further mutually beneficial cooperation with Singapore and more communication in state governance, which will inject new vitality into the development of bilateral relations, Wen said.
Goh Chok Tong said China's adherence to a peaceful development earned respect from the world. Singapore-China relations are fruitful and facing broad prospect. Singapore was ready to strengthen cooperation with China in terms of sustainable development.
In meeting with Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi, Wen said the bilateral relations withstood the test of the international financial crisis, scored great achievements and stood at the forefront of China's relations with ASEAN countries. The relations between China and ASEAN countries have a firm foundation and both sides should seize the opportunity, strengthen unity and cooperation, maintain regional peace, cope with challenges in joint efforts and achieve common prosperity.
Badawi echoed Wen saying Malaysia and China shared mutual trust and had a sound relationship. The ASEAN countries also benefited a lot from China's prosperity. China does not seek any hegemony and is a real friend of the ASEAN. He said he has firm confidence in the future of ASEAN-China ties.
When meeting Bertie Ahern, Wen hailed the important contributions Ahern has made to pushing forward Ireland-China relations. Wen said the establishment of the China-Ireland reciprocal strategic partnership this year will promote the two sides to conduct cooperation in higher level and more areas. Wen expressed China's confidence in Europe's economy and called on the two countries to take the handling of the debt crisis as an opportunity to push forward the China-Europe comprehensive strategic partnership.
Ahern said he was proud of contributing to the building of stronger Ireland-China ties and was glad to see the great progress achieved in the bilateral relations during his term as prime minister. Europe is endeavoring to get out of the crisis and hoped to improve cooperation with China to jointly cope with challenges.
In meeting with Helmut Schmidt, Wen said the Chinese government is paying close attention to the situation of the international financial crisis, which has not passed yet. The Chinese government will cope with the crisis in a cautious and flexible way and strive to maintain a continuous, stable and relatively fast growth, Wen said, adding it is also highly concerned with the debt crisis, and believed the European countries could overcome the crisis and achieve new development through united and unremitting efforts.
Schmidt spoke highly of China's efforts in dealing with the financial crisis, believing China's development is conducive to the world. He said Europe is undergoing a severe test and has to make long-term and arduous efforts, and cooperation with China is in the interests of both sides.
Zhang Gaoli, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Secretary of the CPC Tianjin Municipal Committee, former State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, mayor of Tianjin Huang Xingguo and Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun attended the meeting.
The InterAction Council, an international non-governmental organization composed of former heads of states and governments, conducts international exchanges regarding peace and security, global economic revitalization and other issues. The Council holds an annual meeting each year and China hosted the 11th annual meeting of the Council in Shanghai in 1993.