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President Hu Jintao Meets With Polish President, Greek, Canadian Prime Ministers

On May 30, 2003, President Hu Jintao, who was attending the events celebrating the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg, met respectively with Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

During the meeting, Hu told Kwasniewski that there were no outstanding problems or conflicts in interests between China and Poland. Maintaining and developing Sino-Polish relations was the common desire of both peoples and was in the interests of both countries. The new Chinese central leadership would be devoted as ever to strengthening bilateral ties of friendly cooperation and enhancing reciprocal cooperation in various fields. Hu also briefed Kwasniewski on domestic and foreign policies and the current social development of China.

Kwasniewski said that the peoples in Poland and China enjoyed traditional friendship and both countries were at a critical stage of development. He said Poland hoped to strengthen cooperation with China in politics, economy and trade, as well as in cultural fields, and the country attached great importance to China?s influence in international affairs and was ready to further strengthen bilateral consultation and coordination.

While meeting with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, whose country currently holds the European Union (EU) presidency, President Hu reaffirmed China's positive attitude to further promote relations with the EU. He said that despite the vicissitudes of the international situation, the essence of China-Europe relations had not changed and the common interests of both sides were increasing. He added that further deepening the cooperation between China and the EU was in the fundamental interests of both sides, and would contribute to the peace, stability and development in Europe and Asia as well as the whole world. Hu also pointed out that exchanges and cooperation between China and Greece in various fields were expanding as bilateral relations entering a new developing phase, adding that the two countries could cooperate in the preparation of the Olympic Games since Athens and Beijing would host the Games in turn.

Simitis noted that he believed the EU, which upheld a multi-polar world, hoped to develop closer and more extensive relations with China with a more long-term strategic view. He said that economic and trade cooperation between China and the EU had gone on smoothly with great potentials, and the EU was willing to join efforts with China to further expand their cooperation of mutual benefit. He believed that Athens and Beijing would explore new ways and programs of cooperation in the preparation and host of the Olympic Games. Both sides exchanged opinions on the postwar reconstruction, Palestinian-Israel conflicts and other major international issues.

During his meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Hu said both China and Canada were important countries in the Asian-Pacific region. He said that the new Chinese leadership would continue its efforts to develop the friendly relations with Canada, make joint efforts with the Canadian side to push forward the overall Sino-Canadian partnership of cooperation.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). President Hu stressed that it had been proven SARS was preventable, controllable and curable. He said that China was confident about and capable of a thorough success over SARS. Chretien, who spoke highly of China's progress in controlling the spread of SARS, agreed to strengthen medical and scientific exchanges and cooperation between the two sides so as to win the battle against SARS.

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