China and stronger UN role

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Posted by D from ( on Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 7:48PM :

Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao on Wednesday reaffirmed his call for a "multipolar world" and promised to carry on his predecessor's course of developing a strategic partnership with Russia.

"The trend toward a multipolar world is irreversible and dominant," Hu said in a speech at the MGIMO, a Moscow university specializing in international relations.

A joint call for a "multipolar world," the term Russia and China used to describe their shared ambition to offset U.S. global domination, has cemented the friendship between the two former rivals.

Without naming the United States, Hu assailed unilateralism in world affairs and condemned the use of force in settling disputes. "Peace can't be achieved through using force," he said.

Hu also repeated the call for a stronger United Nations' role in world affairs which he and Russian President Vladimir Putin made in a joint declaration issued after their Kremlin talks on Monday. "The U.N.'s role in ensuring global security is irreplaceable," he said Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Hu and Putin urged North Korea to relinquish its nuclear ambitions and pressed for a central U.N. role in rebuilding Iraq.

Hu chose Russia for his first trip abroad after replacing Jiang Zemin as president in March. He pledged to carry on the course of his predecessor aimed at "carrying the Russian-Chinese friendship from one generation to another."

Hu hailed a friendship treaty which Jiang signed with Putin in 2001, saying it has created "political guarantees for the long-term and steady development of Chinese-Russian relations."

"The new leadership of China is paying close attention to strengthening the good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation between us," Hu said.

The treaty was the first such document since 1950, when Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong created a Soviet-Chinese alliance that slid into rivalry and then hostility in the 1960s.

Hu hailed the progress in bilateral ties achieved through the past decade, saying it has helped to clear border disputes and increase bilateral trade from about $6 billion in the mid-1990s to $12 billion last year.

Referring to SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, Hu thanked the Russian government for assistance and voiced confidence that his government would soon control the disease.

"Our prophylactic efforts have brought results, and we are taking resolute steps to stop the spread of SARS," he said. "China will actively cooperate with the international community and contribute to defeating this disease."

Hu on Wednesday also met with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Russian Parliament leaders. At the meeting with lawmakers, Hu said he was grateful for Russia's support on Taiwan and offered his support to Moscow regarding the conflict in Chechnya, deputy speaker Irina Khakamada said, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.

Today, Hu and Putin will take part in a Moscow summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a six-nation group that also includes four ex-Soviet Central Asian republics. Hu is also scheduled to attend weekend festivities marking the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg, Russia's former imperial capital.

-- D
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