Chinese state councilor speaks on Sino-Russian ties, Syria

Visiting Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo described Sino-Russian ties as flourishing and outlined China’s stance on Syria in a newspaper interview Monday

Dai told Russian state newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta the two counties had witnessed a healthy development in bilateral ties in the 10 years since they forged their strategic cooperative partnership.

During Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit to Russia last June, both sides affirmed they would commit to develop the Russia- China comprehensive strategic cooperation and partnership.

Leaders of the two countries also forged a blueprint for bilateral ties development in the next decade, which would guide the way for their long-term development, he said.

Dai also noted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s successful visit to China two months ago.

Looking into the future of the bilateral relationship, Dai said the focus would be implementing the agreements that Hu and Putin reached during their visits, which had emphasized increasing mutual political support on core issues, such as safeguarding national sovereignty and security.

Dai said the two countries should strive toward raising bilateral trade volume to 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015, promoting people-to-people exchanges and cooperation and enhancing coordination in global affairs.

Regarding the current civil war in Syria, Dai said China had denounced any kind of terrorism and violence targeted at innocent civilians.

China believed the key to fundamentally ending the Syria crisis was to stick to a political approach and urge all sides to exercise an immediate and full-scale ceasefire, he said.

Dai stressed China has no self-interest in dealing with the crisis, and had always maintained an objective and just stance.

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“We respect the choice of the Syrian people and do not take sides. What we are against is interfering with internal affairs,” he said.

China was willing to strengthen communication with all sides and support the UN’s effort to end the crisis in a peaceful, just and appropriate way.

Dai also commented on the U.S. strategy of pivoting toward the Asia-Pacific region, saying China hoped the United States could keep up with the main theme of our time –maintain stability, boost cooperation and seek common development.

He also said the U.S. should respect the reasonable interests of Asia-Pacific countries and commit itself to promote regional stability and prosperity.

Dai said China had increased exchanges with Russia’s Far Eastern region in recent years, and Chinese commodities had met the needs of the local markets and people.

Moreover, the Chinese people living there had contributed greatly to the social and economic development of the Far Eastern region, and their efforts had been recognized by the local governments and the public, he said.

He said the Chinese government had always educated its citizens to abide by the law of the host country, respect local customs, and get along with local people, adding that China hoped the host country could protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese people.

To safeguard the overall friendship between the two nations and the two peoples, he said both countries should properly handle and resolve any possible problems in bilateral contacts through friendly consultation.

Speaking on China’s economic growth, Dai said China had achieved tremendous success since its reform and opening-up and now became the world’s second largest economy.

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He said a more open and dynamic China would bring about increasing investment opportunities and offer a huge market to the world.

China was still a developing country with a large population and poor economic foundation, he said, adding that China’s GDP per capita, at 5,414 dollars, was still one third of Russia’s and ranked No. 89 worldwide.

Moreover, he said, China’s impoverished population amounted to 128 million, close to Russia’s total population. Thus, it was imperative for China to focus on development.

Dai said China was willing to work with all countries, including Russia, to make unremitting efforts to build a peaceful, prosperous and harmonious society.

Dai left Beijing for Russia Sunday for the seventh round of strategic security talks, at the invitation of the Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev.

Dai will also pay an official visit to Mongolia as guest of the Mongolian government.

Xinhua

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