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Foreign Ministry Officials Brief on President Hu Jintao's Attendance at the G-20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy
2008/11/11

On November 6, 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for the journalists from home and abroad. Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei briefed on President Hu Jintao's attendance at the G-20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy and the 16th Informal APEC Leadership Meeting and his upcoming visits to Costa Rica, Cuba, Peru and Greece during November 15 to 26. Qin Gang, Deputy Director General of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the briefing.

I. President Hu's Attendance at the G-20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy

He Yafei said that the outbreak and spread of the international financial crisis has brought about grave challenges to countries around the world including the developing countries. In the face of global crisis, the international community must step up coordination and work together to deal with it. The summit is very timely and necessary. In addition to the leaders from G-20 members, the leaders from the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Financial Stability Forum and other international agencies will also attend the summit. According to the arrangements made by the host, leaders from G-20 members and international agencies will exchange views on the following three important issues: (1) to assess the progress made by the international community in response to the current financial crisis; (2) to discuss the causes of the financial crisis; (3) to discuss issues such as the regulatory norms and institutional reform in international finance and try to reach consensus on some principles.

He said that China will take an active part in the summit-related activities in a constructive attitude, work together with all the parties for the achievement of pragmatic outcome, and drive the international community to tackle the financial crisis in a timely, comprehensive and effective manner.

President Hu will attend the following summit-related activities: (1) the welcome banquet hosted by the U.S. President George W. Bush for the participating leaders on the evening of Nov. 14 at the White House; (2) the summit discussions and the working lunch on November 15; (3) bilateral meetings with the leaders of other countries.

II. President Hu's Attendance at the 16th Informal APEC Leadership Meeting

He Yafei said that under the theme "A New Commitment to Asia-Pacific Development", the leaders attending this year's APEC meeting will discuss the global economic and financial situation and support the Doha Round of WTO negotiations, food security, energy security, regional economic integration, corporate social responsibility, climate change, disaster prevention and mitigation, and other topics.

He said that the continuous spread of the current international financial crisis has affected the physical economy. The high volatility of food and energy prices and the rise of trade protectionism will have a greater impact on the healthy and stable development of the Asia-Pacific economy. In 2008, APEC has speeded up trade and investment liberalization and facilitation processes, deepened economic and technological cooperation, and made considerable progress in various areas such as standardization of regional trade arrangements, trade and investment facilitation, economic structural reform and self-reform. APEC has conducted in-depth discussions over such topics as corporate social responsibility and disaster mitigation and prevention and has played an active role in promoting the comprehensive regional economic integration.

The Chinese side hopes that the summit can achieve the following results: (1) to have in-depth discussions over the global economic and financial situation and major global issues such as food security and promote the stable growth of the global economy; (2) to show APEC's determinations and aspirations to support the healthy development of multilateral trading system and drive the Doha Round of WTO negotiations to achieve results at an early date; (3) to speed up regional economic integration process, further promote the trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and promote the realization of the Bogor Goals as scheduled; (4) to deepen economic and technological cooperation, strengthen capacity building of APEC members, and narrow down the development gap among its members; (5) to promote the reform of APEC itself, and consolidate APEC's position and influence in regional cooperation. The Chinese side is willing to work with all parties for the above goals.

He said that at the informal leadership meeting, President Hu will elaborate on China's views and propositions on such important issues as the current international economic and financial situation, food security, and energy security and put forward specific initiatives aiming at further promoting cooperation among APEC members in various fields. At the dialogue meeting between the leaders of APEC members and the representatives of the APEC Business Advisory Council, President Hu will have an in-depth exchange of views with the business community on economic, financial and other issues the parties are most concerned about. At the APEC CEO Summit, President Hu will, based on China's 30 years of experience in reform and opening up, introduce the concept of scientific development, policies and measures aiming at promoting sustainable development as well as measures taken by China in joint efforts with the international community to deal with the current international economic and financial crisis.

During the meeting, President Hu will hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of some members.

III. President Hu's Four-Nation Tour

He Yafei said that this is President Hu's third tour to Latin America following his first four-nation tour to Latin America in 2004 and his visit to Mexico in 2005. His visit to Latin America will be of great significance to the development of Sino-Latin American relations. President Hu's visit to Greece is another visit by the head of state of China after 8 years. It is believed that through this tour, the friendly and cooperative relations between China and the four countries will be further developed.

1. President Hu's Visit to Costa Rica

He Yafei said that Costa Rica is the first nation in Central America to establish diplomatic relations with China in recent years. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations more than a year ago, bilateral ties have witnessed rapid development. Costa Rican President Oscar Arias visited China in October last year, laying a solid foundation for the mutually beneficial and friendly cooperative relations between the two countries. In 2007, the bilateral trade volume amounted to USD 2,874 million, an increase of 33.3% from the previous year. The two sides also made positive progress in areas such as culture, education, energy, finance, quality inspection and tourism. The two countries have maintained good communication and coordination in international affairs. President Hu's visit to Costa Rica is the first visit by a Chinese head of state to the Central American region and will have a great influence. During the visit, President Hu will hold talks with President Arias and met with Francisco Antonio Pacheco, President of the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly. The two sides will also sign a series of documents concerning bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, finance, energy, education, science, technology, quality inspection, and other fields.

2. President Hu's Visit to Cuba

He Yafei said that China and Cuba established diplomatic relations in 1960 and Cuba is the first country in Latin America to establish diplomatic relations with the new China. In recent years, the two countries witnessed frequent high-level visits, enhanced mutual political trust, and comprehensive development of mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields. In 2007, the bilateral trade volume amounted to USD 2.28 billion, up 27% from the previous year. At present, China is Cuba's second largest trading partner and Cuba is China's tenth largest trading partner in Latin America. The exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in culture, education, science and technology have seen new progress. The two sides maintain good cooperation in international affairs. During the visit, President Hu will have talks with President Raul Castro. The two sides will sign a number of agreements concerning bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, education and other areas.

3. President Hu's Visit to Peru

He Yafei said that China and Peru established diplomatic relations 37 years ago and bilateral relations have developed smoothly since then. In 2005, the two countries decided to establish a comprehensive cooperative partnership. At present, the two sides have witnessed increasingly frequent high-level contacts and enhanced mutual political trust. In March this year, Peruvian President Alan Garcia visited China, injecting a strong impetus to the development of bilateral relations. The cooperation between the two sides in such areas as economy, trade, culture, education, science, and technology is expanding. The two countries hold similar positions and maintain good communication and cooperation in international affairs. China is Peru's second largest trading partner and export market and Peru is China's fifth largest trading partner in Latin America and an important investment destination of China. In 2007, the bilateral trade volume amounted to USD 6,014 million dollars, up 53.45% from the previous year. During the visit, President Hu will hold talks with President Alan Garcia,meet with Javier Velásquez, President of the Congress of Peru, and deliver an important speech at the congress. The two sides will also sign a series of documents concerning bilateral cooperation in trade, customs, quality inspection, and poverty reduction.

4. President Hu's Visit to Greece

He Yafei said that Sino-Greek relations maintained a good momentum in recent years. In 2006, the two countries established the comprehensive strategic partnership, opening a new chapter in bilateral relations. At present, the two countries keep exchanges of high-level visits, enjoy a firm mutual political trust, and maintain communication and coordination in major regional and international affairs. Sino-Greek economic and trade relations are developing smoothly and bilateral cooperation in maritime transport is deepening. The two sides carried out productive cooperation in cultural and Olympic cooperation. The "Greek Culture Year" in China was successfully completed. The people to people exchanges and the exchanges between local communities are increasing. During the visit, President Hu will hold talks or meetings with President Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, Speaker Dimitris Sioufas and other Greek leaders.

He Yafei said that the leaders and governments of the four countries have all attached great importance to President Hu's visit and have made thoughtful arrangements. The Chinese side believes that through concerted efforts, President Hu's visit will be a complete success and will give a strong impetus to the development of bilateral friendly and cooperative relations between China and the four countries.

He Yafei also took questions raised by journalists concerning how the international community deals with the financial crisis, China's role in dealing with the crisis, the reform of the international financial system, China's expectations for the summit and other issues.

He Yafei said that the current international financial market was in deep turmoil. It has spread from some countries to the world, from developed countries to developing countries, and from the financial sector to the physical economy. It has brought about serious challenges to the world. It is imperative to take effective measures to quickly restore market confidence, stabilize international financial markets, and prevent the global economy from recession. Countries in the world have already adopted a series of measures and hope that these measures can be effective as soon as possible. At the same time, the international community should have a long-term perspective, carry out effective and comprehensive reform in the international financial system on the basis of full consultation, and promote the establishment of a fair, just, inclusive and orderly international financial system, which will provide a strong guarantee for the stable growth and prosperity of world economy.

He Yafei stressed that the international community should not neglect or reduce their input on development as a result of the financial crisis. Attention should be given to developing countries, especially African countries facing difficulties. While taking measures to deal with the crisis, developed countries should take into consideration the impact of such measures on the world economy, especially on developing countries. The World Bank and other relevant international institutions should take special measures and increase funding to help developing countries.

He Yafei noted that the reform of the international financial system is a long-term process and it is not realistic to hope that one meeting could solve all the problems. China will carefully study all the views and suggestions and support the parties in this summit to reach a consensus, based on which, the members could continue dialogue, coordination and cooperation under the framework of the G-20.

He Yafei stressed that China's economy is closely linked with the world economy. If China maintains stable and rapid economic development, that itself is an important contribution to the financial stability and the economic development of the world. China has made and will continue to make positive efforts to maintain international financial stability and promote global economic growth.

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