|Commentary: Chinese leaders make shining success of foreign visits(02/23/09)|
by Yu Zhixiao
BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- The recent visits by Chinese leaders to 15 countries and the European Union (EU) have proved extremely fruitful, promoting China's traditional friendship with them and boosting people's confidence regarding the future amid the ongoing global financial crisis.
Chinese President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping paid visits to several countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America during the first month of the Chinese lunar year, which lasts from Jan. 26 to Feb. 24.
Their tours were warmly welcomed and highly praised by governments and media of the countries visited by the Chinese leaders.
Meanwhile, China and the United States carried out their maiden communication after U.S. President Barack Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009. The talks were constructive and expected to boost bilateral ties and help tackle global challenges.
Chinese President Hu carried out state visits to Saudi Arabia, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Mauritius from Feb. 10 to 17.
During the visits, Hu comprehensively expressed China's views and stances on ways to deal with the financial crisis, emphasizing that the international community should take note of, and make all efforts to reduce, the crisis' impact on developing countries, especially those lowest on the development ladder.
He also said China would like to strengthen cooperation and take coordinated action with developing countries and the entire world community to meet current challenges.
The president reached a broad consensus with African leaders on the means to further boost bilateral cooperation, steadfastly implement measures to aid Africa made at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in November 2006 and deepen the new China-Africa strategic partnership.
Hu made a six-fold proposal to develop China-Africa ties under the current situation, saying the Chinese have always cherished their traditional friendship with Africa and regard Africans as all-weather, trustworthy and dependable friends, and would like to be the African people's brothers and partners for ever.
The leaders of Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Mauritius said Africa-China ties are a prime example of friendly cooperation among nations, adding that Africa is willing to promote cooperation with China and boost bilateral ties.
Before Hu embarked on his tour, Chinese Premier Wen paid visits to Switzerland, Germany, the EU headquarters, Spain and Britain from Jan. 27 to Feb. 3.
During his travels, dubbed a "tour of confidence," Wen particularly voiced China's confidence about the world's future amid the global financial crisis.
He emphasized the importance of "confidence, cooperation and responsibility" in tackling the financial crisis at the World Economic Forum late last month in Davos, a famed ski resort in the Swiss Alps.
During his trip to Britain, the Chinese premier reiterated that confidence is the most valuable commodity, more important than gold or money.
Through his meetings, speeches, symposiums and interviews during his tour, Wen enhanced Europe's trust in China and conveyed China's confidence and strength to the world.
He also gained the trust of the international community by delivering information based on facts and statistics.
His visits not only helped China and Europe reach important consensus on how to cope with the financial crisis and other global issues, but gave new momentum to bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
Chinese Vice President Xi visited Mexico, Jamaica, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Malta from Feb. 8 to 22.
In Mexico, local newspaper El Universal said Xi's stay in the country, though it lasted just 48 hours, inspired great interest in China among Mexican entrepreneurs.
Jamaica's official news agency described China as a valued friend and an important partner. It said the memorandums of understanding on economic, technological and investment cooperation between the enterprises of the two countries offered new opportunities for further bilateral cooperation.
Colombian media also paid close attention to Xi's visit and gave full coverage to his activities, especially his talks with Colombian leaders, the signing of bilateral cooperation pacts during his stay as well as the announcement that Colombia has become a favored destination for Chinese tourists.
During Xi's stay in Venezuela, he and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez attended the signing ceremony for 12 agreements on bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, finance, energy and agriculture.
During his visit to Brazil, both the Chinese vice president and Brazilian leaders vowed to deepen the strategic partnership between the two countries and to explore new ways and fields for bilateral cooperation.
During his talks with Xi, acting Maltese President George Hyzler thanked China for its sincere help to his country and also congratulated China on the great achievements of its modernization drive, while noting the considerable progress made in bilateral cooperation.
Meanwhile, the leaders of China and the United States have engaged in frequent communication recently, creating fine conditions for the development of mutual ties.
On Jan. 30, Chinese President Hu held a telephone conversation on bilateral ties with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama, with both sides expressing the willingness to further the relationship.
Hu said China is ready to strengthen dialogue, promote mutual trust and expand cooperation with the United States in a bid to confront various global challenges together and push forward a stable development of the China-U.S. relationship.
He said the core interest of either country should be respected and taken into consideration by the other.
Describing China-U.S. ties as the most important bilateral relation for either side, Obama said enhancing constructive dialogue and cooperation is in the interest of not only the two countries themselves, but the world at large.
The U.S. side expects to engage in closer cooperation with China on major international and regional issues, he said, adding the U.S. government is willing to join hands with China in developing a more active and constructive bilateral relationship.
The new U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, visited China from Feb. 20 to 22.
During his talks with Clinton, Chinese President Hu said China and the United States, as major influential nations, share broad common interests and bear significant responsibilities on important issues concerning peace and development of the world.
He said China has always treated China-U.S. relations from a strategic height and a long-term perspective and is ready to strengthen consultation and coordination with Washington on major international and regional issues.
Clinton said the China-U.S. relationship has entered a new era of positive cooperation since the two sides share broad common interests on a host of fields and global issues, adding that the United States is willing to further enhance cooperation with China in various fields.
Chinese Premier Wen also met with Clinton. The premier said that in the face of the complicated and ever-shifting international political and economic situation, China and the United States should not only "cross the river in a common boat," but also "progress together hand in hand."
Wen said since the two countries established diplomatic links three decades ago, history has proved that cooperation and common prosperity remain the sole correct route for the development of bilateral relations.
For her part, Clinton said the Obama administration is ready to tackle the financial crisis and oppose trade protectionism, adding the United States wishes to work together with China in coping with various challenges including the issue of development.