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Hu Jintao Addresses the Brazilian Parliament (Full Text)

On November 12, 2004, Chinese President Hu Jintao delivered an important speech entitled Joining Hands to Enhance Friendship between China and Latin America to the Brazilian Parliament. The full text of the speech is as follows:

Joining Hands to Enhance Friendship between China and Latin America

Speech by Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Brazilian Parliament

November 12, 2004


Distinguished Your Excellency Mr. Jose Sarney, President of the Brazilian Senate,

Distinguished Your Excellency Mr. Joao Laulo Cunhna, President of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies,

Members of the Parliament,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


I am very glad to have the opportunity to meet all the friends here in Brazil. First of all, I'd like to extend my deep appreciation to Mr. Sarney, President of the Brazilian Senate and Mr. Cunhna, President of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies for their cordial invitation.

It is the second time for me to visit your beautiful country. I am deeply impressed by the vast territory and brilliant development achievements of Brazil and the overflowing enthusiasm of the Brazilian people. Here, on behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people and in my own name, I'd like to express sincere greetings and good wishes to all the friends here and through you to the industrious and brave Brazilian people.

Thirty years ago, China and Brazil, the two largest developing countries in the east and west hemispheres, joined hands historically to establish diplomatic relations. Today, thirty years later, we are building a strategic partnership with increasingly rich connotations. We two countries cooperate closely with each other and support each other in international affairs and are committed to pushing forward the establishment of a fair and reasonable international political and economic new order. We have become the most important trade partner of each other in our respective regions and witness our economic cooperation getting increasingly prosperous. Our successful cooperation in satellite and regional aircraft can be said as the model of South-South cooperation. The cultures of China and Brazil blossom in a riot of colors and add radiance and beauty to each other. The Brazilian football and samba are widely known in China, while the Chinese martial art and delicious cuisine are most popular among the Brazilian people. With the joint efforts of the two countries, the traditional friendship between the two peoples is getting deepened increasingly.

2004 is a significant year in the history of relations between China and Brazil. President Lula and I realized the exchange of visits on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between our two countries. Based on reality and looking into the future, we have jointly defined the four principles guiding the development of bilateral relations: (I) adhering to consultation on an equal footing and increasing political mutual trust; (II) insisting on mutual reciprocity and mutual benefit and expanding economic and trade contacts; (III) maintaining consultations and coordination and strengthening international cooperation; (IV) promoting non-governmental exchanges and increasing mutual understanding. We agree that to strengthen the strategic partnership between China and Brazil not only benefits the prosperity and progress of both countries but also contributes to maintaining world peace and promoting common development. I am convinced that so long as the two sides work together the China-Brazil ties will surely enjoy an even brighter future.  

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Brazil is the first stop of my visit to the Latin American countries. This visit enables my colleagues and me to appreciate once more the magnificence and fertility of the mountains and rivers of Latin America and the diversification and glory of Latin American history and culture and the brilliance of modern development.

Over years, on this marvelous land the Latin American people have not only created splendid civilization but also made great contributions to maintaining world peace and promoting common development. Wonders from the Maya pyramid to the Inca City and from the Itaipu Hydroelectric Power Station to the Havana Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology have all witnessed the outstanding creativity of the Latin American people. Historic figures from Bolivar to Jose Marti and from Neruda to Borges have all demonstrated the admirable pioneering spirit of the Latin American people. The lofty causes from the just fight for the 200 sea miles of maritime right to the establishment of Latin America Nuclear-Free Zone and from the exploration of Latin America development road to the promotion of Latin America integration have all illustrated the unyielding spirit of the Latin American people. The exploration process of the Latin American people surges forward with great momentum and the diversified cultures sparkle with inspirations and long-lasting charms. The great civilization created by the Latin American people is shining like a pearl in the garden of human civilizations.

Looking around the world, the governments and peoples of Latin America are pushing forward reforms and seeking development in spite of difficulties and challenges and have made earthshaking achievements and won the respect of all countries in the world. Looking into the future, Latin America which boasts vast territory, rich resources, galaxy of talented people and a solid economic foundation enjoys great potential and promising prospects of development. I firmly believe that on this great land with a glorious history the Latin American people will definitely write down a brighter page in its history.

Ladies and gentlemen,

China is an ancient civilization with more than five thousand years of history. During the historical evolution the Chinese people have always been fighting relentlessly for a good life. During the past century, for the first fifty years the Chinese people fought with sublime heroism for national independence and liberation and ultimately founded a new country – the People's Republic of China in which they are their own masters. In the latter fifty years, all the nationalities of China work together relentlessly to explore the development road fitted to its own national conditions, work hard to build a prosperous life and have scored great achievements.

25 years ago, under the leadership of Mr. Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese people launched the historical process of reform and opening up and building a socialist society with Chinese characteristics. Over the past 25 years, the Chinese economy has maintained rapid growth, various social undertakings gained long-term development, social productivity and comprehensive national strength realized historical leap, and people's living standards generally reached the requirements of a well-off society. From 1978 to 2003, China's GDP increased from US$147.3 billion to over US$1.4 trillion, with an average annual increase rate of 9.4%; its total foreign trade volume grew from US$20.6 billion to US$851.2 billion, with an average annual growth rate of 16.1%; and the poverty-stricken population in the rural area dropped from 250 million to about 29 million. 25 years ago there was hardly any project in China actually utilizing foreign investment, but by the end of 2003 the accumulated foreign investments actually utilized in China have amounted to US$679.6 billion.

China has made widely acclaimed development achievements, but we keep a sober mind that China has a large population, weak economic foundation and unbalanced development and still faces various restrictions in terms of environment, resources, technologies and education. Although China's GDP has ranked among the leading countries in the world, its per capita GDP stands after the 110th worldwide. China still has a long way to go to realize modernization and enable its entire people to live a well-off life.

China has defined its objective for the first 20 years of this century, i.e. to pool all the available resources to build a well-off society at a higher level which will benefit hundreds of million of people, raise its GDP in 2020 to US$4 trillion, doubling that of 2000, increase per capita GDP to more than US$3,000 and make the rapid economic growth, sound democracy, advanced science and education, prosperous culture, harmonious society and better-off life of the people in China come true.

To realize that objective, the 1.3 billion Chinese people will unswervingly follow the road of peaceful development. Under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents and following the requirement of the sustainable scientific development philosophy of focusing on people and comprehensive coordination, we will concentrate on economic construction and devote wholeheartedly to seeking development. We will make overall plans for the development of rural and urban areas, regional development, economic and social development, harmony between man and nature, domestic development and opening up, adhere to the civilized development road with focus on production and growth, prosperity and sound ecology and constantly promote economic and social progress and overall development of people.

China upholds the independent foreign policy of peace with the purpose of maintaining world peace and promoting common development. To strengthen solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries is a basic principle underlying China's foreign policy. China is, as always, the good friend and partner of other developing countries in the world and will forever stand on the side of the developing countries. To constantly strengthen solidarity and cooperation among the developing countries is not only the logical choice to seek common development but also the major way to push the establishment of a fair and reasonable international political and economic new order.

Here I'd like to specially point out that the peaceful development of China which has the one-fifth population in the world will never constitute threat to any country or any people, but contributes to world peace and development and will surely bring about important development opportunities for most countries in the world. China has initially established the socialist market economy and is pushing forward the opening up in an all-round way, which will definitely drive China's economic and technological cooperation with various regions in the world including Latin America to enjoy increasingly prosperous future.

Since the 1990s, except in a few years, the bilateral trade between China and Latin America has retained the rapid growth rate of two digits. During the 10 years from 1993 to 2003, China-Latin America trade volume increased by six times, and the trade volume from 2000 to 2003 doubled. The growth margins of last year and this year exceed 50% continuously. In recent years the export of Latin America to China increases rapidly, growing by 79% last year and 45.6% from January to September this year. From an overall perspective Latin America has a trade surplus with China. Currently China's industrial investment in Latin America has numbered almost US$1.6 billion, and taking into account financial investment the figure will exceed US$4 billion. As the Chinese economy continues to grow, China is very optimistic about investing in Latin America. The report of the Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean (ECLAC) also points out that the economic growth of China clearly fuels the economic development in Latin America. I firmly believe that with the joint efforts of both sides the road of economic and technological cooperation between China and Latin America will undoubtedly become increasingly broad.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China and Latin America are geologically far from each other but enjoy a long history of friendly contact. We have similar experiences of fighting for national liberation, safeguarding national independence and building our own national causes, which enables us to hold interlinked feelings and same language in many major issues and become good friends "even we are thousands of miles apart". China attaches great importance with the positive role of Latin American and Caribbean countries in maintaining world peace and promoting common development and sincerely hopes to strengthen comprehensive cooperation at multiple sectors with those countries and build long-term stable friendly relations to enrich and push forward South-South cooperation.

A good piece of news is that with the support of Latin American countries, not long ago China became the observer of the Parlamento Latinoamericano (PARLATINO) and the Organization of American States (OAS), which creates a new arena for strengthening China-Latin America friendship and expanding bilateral cooperation.

China is developing, so is Latin America. To further promote such development raises new requirements for both sides to enhance cooperation and create new conditions for such cooperation. China-Latin America cooperation is facing unprecedented historical opportunities. When Mr. Sarney visited China years ago as the President of Brazil, Deng Xiaoping told him that the 21st century should be the century of both the Pacific and Latin America. We both sides should seize opportunities and work together to drive the China-Latin America friendly cooperation to increasingly new levels.

I hope that with our joint efforts China-Latin America relations can reach the following development objectives in the near future.

- Supporting each other politically and building all-round friendship. Both sides should further strengthen communications, coordination and collaboration in major issues concerning world peace and development, promoting democracy in international relations, pushing forward the establishment of a fair and reasonable international political and economic new order and safeguarding the due rights and interests of developing countries.

- Complementing each other economically and building mutually beneficial and win-win partnership at new starting points. Both sides should take active actions to try to raise bilateral trade volume to more than US$100 billion in 2010, doubling the current level and at the same time make great progress in the field of investment, with the total investment volume doubling and both sides becoming the partners of each other of greater importance.

- Enhancing cultural exchanges and serving as the model of dialogue among different civilizations. Both sides should hold diversified cultural exchanges to enable both peoples, especially the young generations to get more communications of souls and mutual understanding and thus contribute to the diversified development of world cultures.

To reach the above objectives, I'd like raise the following three initiatives.

First, deepening strategic common consensus and enhancing political mutual trust. On the basis of the existing dialogue mechanism between China and the major regional organizations of Latin America, a cooperation platform with wider coverage should be established gradually to complement the mechanism. We sincerely hope to build normal country relations with all the Latin America and Caribbean countries in a bid to create better conditions for China to conduct comprehensively and mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries in this region, which not only complies with the trend of our times but also serves the interest of all parties concerned.

Second, focusing on practical work and innovation and tapping cooperation potential. The trade structure should be optimized constantly, and attention should be paid to the cooperation in developing new and high-tech and industries with high added value. Meanwhile, the expansion of mutual investment should be taken as the priority of raising bilateral economic cooperation level in the short and medium term. Once conditions get mature both sides can establish a free trade zone or reach other mutually beneficial arrangements through negotiations. In line with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and following the principle of justice and rationality, both sides should strengthen communications, cope with trade fractions rationally and actively maintain the overall momentum of bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

Third, valuing cultural exchanges and enhancing mutual understanding. The friendship between the peoples of the two sides can be strengthened through establishing cultural centers mutually, promoting tourism cooperation, strengthening exchanges of the mass media and holding activities like exchange of students abroad and organizing China-Latin America Youth Festival, etc.

I'd like to stress that the Taiwan issue is an internal affair of China. The Chinese government and people have the confidence, determination, wisdom and capability to ultimately realize the complete national reunification. We will adhere to the basic principle of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems" and stand ready to solve the Taiwan issue through peaceful means with the greatest sincerity and efforts. However, we will never tolerate "Taiwan independence" or allow any people to separate Taiwan from China in whatever form. To solve the Taiwan issue and complete the lofty cause of national reunification are the common aspiration of the 1.3 billion of Chinese people and all the Chinese compatriots. We thank the Latin American people for their support on this issue over years and hope that they will continue to extend full support to the just cause of the Chinese people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Distance can never separate true friendship. The relations between China and Latin America have never been as close as today and tomorrow we both sides will surely come even closer. Let's join hands and seize the historical opportunities to open new fronts in the friendly cooperative relations between China and Latin America, bring about benefits to both peoples and enhance the lofty cause of promoting world peace and development.

Thank you.
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