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Wu Bangguo's Speech at the Brazilian Congress (Full Text)

Visiting Chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC) Wu Bangguo delivered an important speech titled Strengthening Friendly Cooperation and Realizing Common Development in the Brazilian Congress building on August 31, 2006.

The full text of the speech is as follows:

Strengthening Friendly Cooperation and Realizing Common Development

- Speech at the Brazilian Congress

Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC)

(Brasilia, August 31, 2006)

Distinguished Mr. Aldo Rebelo, President of Brazil's Chamber of Deputies,

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

Good morning.

It is a great pleasure for me to come here and meet with my old and new friends during my official goodwill visit to your country. First of all, I would like to convey the sincere greeting and best wishes of the Chinese people to you and to the Brazilian people through you.

The Chinese people know Brazil very well and love Brazil. This is my 2nd visit to this beautiful country. Brazil is a vast country with abundant resources and agreeable environment. The Brazilian people are hard working, kind, and zealous. The amazing Amazon tropical rainforest and the grand Itaipu Hydropower Station are the pride of the Brazilian people. People around the world are fascinated by the masterly soccer skills, full-flavored coffer and the passionate samba dance of Brazil. What delights us even more is that the Brazilian economy has been booming in recent years, the people of different nationalities living in peace and harmony and the international position of Brazil rising day by day. It is the sincere wish of the Chinese people that the Brazilian people will create new brilliance in this beautiful and fertile land.

Though China and Brazil are separated by mountains and oceans, the friendly exchanges between our people are of long standing. As early as in the 19th century, Chinese tea farmers crossed the vast ocean and stepped on the land of Brazil. They established profound friendship with the local people, marking the start of the friendly exchanges between the two peoples. We celebrated the 32nd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Brazil half a month ago. China-Brazil relationship has been growing smoothly over the past 32 years and now is in the best historical period.

From the political perspective, China and Brazil are strategic partners enjoying mutual trust. High-level mutual visits are frequent and mutual political trust is deepening. We understand and support each other on the issues of mutual interest, hold identical or similar views on major international and regional issues, and maintain good consultation and coordination on international and regional affairs. President Jiang Zemin paid a successful visit to Brazil in 1993, during which both countries decided to establish strategic partnership and Brazil became the first developing country entering into strategic partnership with China. To further advance China-Brazil strategic partnership in the new century, President Jiang paid another working visit to Brazil in 2001. President Hu Jintao and President Lula realized mutual visits in 2004, identified 4 principles to direct the development of bilateral relations and decided to set up the China-Brazil High-Level Committee on Coordination and Cooperation, exerting important and profound influence on the further development of bilateral relations. Vice President Jose Alencar visited China this March and attended the first meeting of the China-Brazil High-Level Committee on Coordination and Cooperation. This time the NPC of China and the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil singed a MoU on establishing a mechanism for regular exchanges, indicating that the parliamentary relationship between China and Brazil has entered a new stage of substantial cooperation. The frequent contacts between the leaders of the two countries have effectively pushed forward the bilateral relations.

In the economic field, China and Brazil are equal partners enjoying mutually beneficial cooperation. Our two economies are highly complementary and we enjoy a solid foundation and great potential for further cooperation. Brazil is the largest trading partner of China in Latin America and China is the largest trading partner of Brazil in Asia. In 2005, our bilateral trade volume amounted to a historic high of US$ 14.817 billion. From January to June this year, our bilateral trade volume has reached US$ 9.22 billion, up 51.2% compared to the corresponding period of last year. There were 89 Chinese companies investing in Brazil by the end of 2005, with a contractual investment amount totaling US$ 199 million. Chinese companies have participated in the construction of over 50 large projects including land consolidation and port dredging. Brazilian companies also participated in the construction of the Three Gorges project. A number of major cooperation projects between the two countries including the iron and steel factory, alumina factory, iron ore mining, anthracite production, and the construction of natural gas pipelines are well under way. What's more pleasing is that the bilateral trade structure is witnessing substantial changes. Brazil's high-tech products, such as branch line airplanes and high value-added products are highly welcomed in the Chinese market. China's electronic and communication products are well reputed in the Brazilian market. The earth resource satellites jointly developed and launched by China and Brazil are hailed as a model for south-south cooperation. Brazil recognized China's full market economy status in November 2004, which not only enriched the connotation of bilateral strategic partnership but also opened a wide space for the further economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. We have every reason to believe that with the concerted efforts of both sides we can achieve the goal of raising the bilateral trade volume to US$ 20 billion by 2007.

At the cultural front, China and Brazil are close friends enjoying fruitful cooperation and exchanges. In recent years, our exchanges in the fields of science, technology, education and culture are getting increasingly diversified. The joint committee on science and technology and the joint committee on culture have held the 6th meeting and the 5th meeting respectively. The first meeting of China-Brazil High-Level Committee on Coordination and Cooperation also decided to set up an educational sub-committee. The Chinese cultural festival was successfully held in Brazil in 2001. President Lula personally attended the "Exhibition of Emperor Qin's Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses in Xi'an and the Palace Museum's Cultural Relics in Ming and Qing Dynasties" held in Brazil, which attracted over 700,000 visitors. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between our two countries, Brazil conducted a series of exchange activities including "Approaching China – Brazilian National Exhibition" in China. "Amazon – Original Tradition Exhibition" is the largest and grandest foreign exhibition ever held in the Palace Museum of China. In November 2004, Brazil became the tourism destination country of Chinese citizens. The increasing people-to-people and cultural exchanges between our two countries have greatly enhanced the mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples.

In short, the Chinese side is satisfied with the status quo of China-Brazil relationship. Hereby I'd like to stress that the Chinese government attaches great importance to developing the friendly relationship with Brazil and will always regard Brazil as a sincere partner and friend. My visit this time aims to further promote the progress of China-Brazil strategic partnership. I'm deeply convinced that with the joint efforts of both sides China-Brazil relations will embrace a more beautiful tomorrow.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

I've met many Brazilian friends who have strong interest in the development of China. I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you something about China. Advancing the modernization drive, accomplishing the national reunification and safeguarding world peace and promoting common development are three historical tasks entrusted by the times to the Chinese people as well as three great causes that the Chinese people are pursuing under the leadership of the Communication Party of China (CPC).

First, advancing the socialist modernization drive. In the late 1970s, China started implementing the reform and opening-up policy advocated by Mr. Deng Xiaoping and pursuing the goals of sticking to the path of building socialism with Chinese characteristics, establishing a well-off society in an all-round manner and developing China into a prosperous, democratic, civilized and modernized socialist country. To fulfill this ambitious goal, we have been devoted wholeheartedly to economic construction and development over the past 28 years. China upholds the basic economic system in which the public ownership is dominant and diverse forms of ownership develop side by side. With the establishment of the socialist market economy system, a new situation of opening up has taken shape. In terms of the political system, we stick to and keep improving the CPC's leadership, the system of people's congresses, the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation led by the CPC and the regional autonomous system of minority nationalities. We actively and steadily promote the reform of the political system, expand democracy, improve the legal system and build the socialist country under the rule of law. These have enabled us to eliminate the institutional barriers hindering the development of productivity, stimulated the enthusiasm, initiative and creativity of all the Chinese people and accelerated China's development pace. From 1978 to 2005, China's GDP increased over 10 folds from US$ 216.5 billion to US$ 2.23 trillion with an average growth rate of 9.6% per annum and currently ranks the No. 4 in the world; per capita GDP grew nearly 7 folds from US$ 226 to over US$ 1,700; total import and export volume increased 67 folds from US$ 20.6 billion to US$ 1.42 trillion, making China the 3rd largest trading country in the world; foreign reserves rose from US$ 167 million to US$ 818.9 billion; number of people living under the poverty line in the countryside dropped from 250 million to 23.65 million. On the whole, the Chinese people have reached a well-off standard of living. Despite of hardships and challenges ahead of us, we still believe that we can realize socialist modernization so long as we unswervingly follow the path of building socialism with Chinese characteristics chosen independently by the Chinese people.

Second, accomplishing the reunification of the motherland. According to the great vision of "one country, two systems" advocated by Mr. Deng, the Chinese government has resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong and Macao at the end of last century. There is only the Taiwan question remaining unresolved on the way to complete the national reunification.

Taiwan has been China's territory since ancient times. The ancestors of Taiwan came from the mainland. The central government of China started administering Taiwan as early as in the mid-12th century. The colonists from Holland invaded and occupied Taiwan in the mid-17th century. China recovered Taiwan in 1962. Japan invaded and occupied Taiwan in 1895 by armed force against the Qing government of China. In 1945, World War II came to an end. According to the Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Proclamation, China recovered Taiwan.

The Taiwan question is left over from China's civil war in the late 1940s. Due to various complex reasons, the mainland and Taiwan have not yet reunified. But the fact that the mainland of China and Taiwan belong to one China has never changed. That the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing the entire Chinese people has long been universally recognized by the United Nations and an overwhelming majority of countries in the world.

The basic guideline of the Chinese government to solve the Taiwan question is "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems". This grand vision advocated by Mr. Deng Xiaoping continues to evolve and develop according to the changes of the situation. On January 30, 1995, President Jiang Zemin issued the eight-point proposals for the development of the cross-Straits relations and the promotion of peaceful reunification. On March 4, 2005, President Hu Jintao put forward four opinions on developing the cross-Straits relations under the new situation. In March 2005, The NPC of China passed the Anti-Secession Law, fixing the policy guideline on the resolution of the Taiwan question in the form of law and fully reflecting our consistent proposition to strive for peaceful reunification with utmost sincerity and efforts as well as the common will and resolute determination of all the Chinese people to safeguard the national sovereignty and territorial integrity and never allow the Taiwan separatist forces to split Taiwan from China in whatever names or by whatever means. Over the years, we have been making unremitting efforts to develop the cross-Straits relations and promote the peaceful reunification based upon the basic guideline of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems". In 1987, the 38-year-long isolation across the Taiwan Straits was finally broken, driving the relations across the Straits toward a peaceful and stable direction.

1. Promoting consultation and negotiation across the Straits on an equal footing. We always believe that peaceful reunification does not mean that one side swallows the other side but conducting consultation and negotiations on reunification on an equal footing. On the prerequisite of one China, any issue can be discussed. In November 1992, the Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) reached the 1992 Consensus on the one-China principle through consultations. In April 1993, ARATS and SEF successfully held Wang Daohan-Koo Chen-fu Talks, marking an important historical step for the development of cross-Straits relations. In 2005, we invited the leaders of Taiwan's political parties who recognize the 1992 Consensus, oppose Taiwan's independence and advocate developing cross-Straits relations to pay historical visits to the mainland. Both sides had an in-depth exchange of views on a wide range of subjects on improving and developing the cross-Straits relations and reached many important consensuses, opening a new chapter for the development of cross-Straits relations. The first cross-Straits economic and trade forum was also held this May, exerting significant influence over the development of cross-Straits economic and trade relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.

2. Boosting economic exchanges and cooperation across the Straits. On the New Year's Day in 1979, the NPC of China issued a Message to the Taiwan Compatriots, advocating direct links in mail, transport and trade across the Taiwan Straits as early as possible. Hereafter, we enacted a series of laws, regulations and policies including the rules encouraging the investment of Taiwan compatriots, the law on protecting the investment of Taiwan compatriots and its implementing rules, the rules on the management of trade in Taiwan region, the rules on the management of shipping across the Taiwan Straits, the rules on the management of micro-trade in Taiwan region, etc. We have expanded the varieties of Taiwan's fruits, vegetables and fishing products having access to the mainland market and some of the products are even granted zero-tariff treatment. We also approved the establishment of cross-Straits agricultural cooperation experimental zones and the pioneer parks for Taiwan farmers and arranged special development loans for Taiwan companies in the mainland. With the concerted efforts of the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, the economic and trade cooperation across the Straits keeps growing. In 1978, the trade volume across the Straits only stood at US$ 46 million. However it rose to US$ 91.23 billion in 2005. Taiwan had a trade surplus of US$ 31.8 billion. The mainland of China has approved an accumulative total of over 68,000 projects invested by Taiwan businessmen. China has actually utilized a total investment of US$ 42,070 million from Taiwan. Nearly half of the 1,200 listed or OTC companies in Taiwan have invested in the mainland to seek business opportunities.

3. Encouraging the exchanges in wide-ranging areas such as people-to-people and cultural exchanges. We have implemented a series of policies encouraging the civil exchanges across the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, adopted measurers facilitating Taiwan residents' entrance to and exit from the mainland and relaxed the restrictions on Taiwan compatriots seeking employment opportunities in the mainland. The same charging standards apply to Taiwan students studying in the higher educational institutes or research institutes in the mainland. The scholarship for Taiwan students has also been set up. We have promoted the charter passenger flights across the Straits during the Spring Festival and the charter flights for special needs. We allow many regular flights of Taiwan airlines to fly across the airspace of the mainland and extend the time limit for the stay of Taiwan journalists. The list can still go on. Since the end of 198 when Taiwan compatriots first came to the mainland to visit their family members, the exchanges across the Taiwan Straits have been expanded to other areas including investment, trade, tourism, education and employment. The exchanges in the fields of culture, education, science, technology, health and sports also prosper. In recent two decades, there have been 38 million person times of Taiwan residents visiting the mainland and over 1.2 million person times of mainland residents and over 30,000 mainland delegations visiting Taiwan. In 2005 alone, there were over 4 million person times of Taiwan residents visiting the mainland and nearly 160,000 person times of mainland residents visiting Taiwan.

The development of the cross-Straits relationship brings tangible benefits to the people across the Taiwan Straits. At present, the situation across the Straits is developing favorably toward curbing Taiwan secessionist forces and their activities. Positive factors are increasing. The relationship across the Straits is developing toward peace and stability. However, the root causes of the tension across the Straits remain unresolved. The activities conducted by the Taiwan secessionist forces become the biggest barrier impeding the progress of cross-straits relations and the peaceful reunification of China and the biggest threat to peace and stability across the Straits. Opposing and curbing the secessionist activities of the separatist forces and safeguarding the national sovereignty and territorial integrity are the common duty of all the Chinese people including the Taiwan compatriots.

Mr. Sun Yet-sen, the revolutionary pioneer of China, once said, "China is a unified country. This has been deeply imprinted in the historical awareness of China, which enables us to exist as a unified country." We firmly believe that with the concerted efforts of the entire Chinese people including the Taiwan compatriots the complete reunification of China will certainly be realized.

Hereby, I'd like to thank Brazil and other related countries in Latin America for your long-term precious support for the Chinese people on China's national reunification. We hope that related countries will continue to support the Chinese people in the struggle to oppose and curb the secessionist activities of Taiwan separatist forces and complete the grand cause of the reunification of China.

Third, safeguarding world peace and promoting common development. The Chinese nation is a peace-loving nation. The development of China is peaceful development. China is a responsible member in the big international family. China always pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and is always a resolute force for safeguarding world peace and promoting common development. The Chinese people will work together with people of all the other countries to advance world multi-polarization and the democratization of international relations and promote the economic globalization in the direction of realizing common prosperity. China advocates multilateralism and a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and collaboration, opposes hegemony, power politics and terrorism in whatever form and promotes the development of the international order in a more rational and fairer direction. China has established diplomatic ties with 169 countries in the world and entered into strategic partnership with 21 countries and regional organizations. China actively participates in regional cooperation process and has become an important member of APEC, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the ASEAN 10+3. We, together with Africa, have established the China-Africa Cooperation Forum and with Arab countries established China-Arab Cooperation Forum. We have built dialogue and consultation mechanisms with the Rio Group, the Common Market of the South, the Andean Community of Nations, and the 10 Caribbean countries that have established diplomatic ties with China. China has acceded to over 300 international multilateral treaties including the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and participated in over 130 international governmental organizations and international agencies to play a constructive role in safeguarding world peace and promoting common development. China gives top priority to environmental protection and is among the first 10 countries that have ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. To build a resources-saving and environment-friendly society, China has set the important goal of reducing the energy consumption per unit GDP by 20% and the total emission of major pollutants by 10% in the coming 5 years. China is an active member in the UN peace-keep missions and plays an active part in the international cooperation on the fight against drugs, terrorism and cross-border crimes, international disaster prevention and reduction and charity undertakings. You can always find the Chinese rescue teams risking their lives helping the victims whenever countries or regions encounter severe disasters.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

Brazil is the first stop of my trip to Latin America. Latin America is located far away from China, but as early as in the 16th century the trade ambassadors of China and Latin America have crossed the vast ocean and blazed a "silk road on the sea". In the early 19th century, tens of thousands of Chinese workers stepped on the land of Latin America. They worked with the local people in building railways, digging canals, exploiting mines and planting canes. They cultivated the land by the sweat of their brow. In the modern history, both China and Latin American countries suffered foreign invasion and launched arduous struggle for national independence, people's liberation, democracy and freedom. Today, we are facing the heavy task of developing the economy and improving people's welfare. Similar historical sufferings and development tasks have linked the Chinese people and the Latin American people together. We are happy to see that with the concerted efforts of both sides the seeds of friendly cooperation have borne abundant fruits.

China has established diplomatic ties with 21 countries in Latin American and the Caribbean region. In recent decade, China has received 74 heads of states and governments and speakers of parliaments from Latin America and the Chinese leaders visited 19 Latin American countries. China has held 15 minister-level dialogues with the Rio Group since 1990 and 5 dialogues with the Common Market of the South since 1997. China has also had dialogues and consultations with the Andean Community of Nations and the 10 Caribbean countries that have established diplomatic ties with China. China formally acceded to the Caribbean Development Bank and was an observer in the Latin American Economic Committee of the United Nations, Latin American Integration Association, American Development Bank, Organization of American States (OAS) and Latin-American Parliament. China has become the 3rd largest trading partner of Latin America. Since 2000 the trade volume between China and Latin America has increased over 3 folds and amounted to US$ 50,450 million in 2005. China has made an accumulative investment of US$ 8,930 million in Latin America and the Caribbean region. 13 Latin American countries have recognized China's full market economy status and 17 Latin American countries become the tourism destination countries of Chinese citizens.

To strengthen the solidarity and cooperation with the developing nations including Latin American countries has always been the foundation of China's independent foreign policy of peace. Against the new situation of continuing multi-polarization and economic globalization, further strengthening our friendly cooperation conforms to the fundamental interests of both sides and benefits our common development, south-south cooperation and world peace and development. We will work together with the Latin American countries to implement the consensuses reached by President Hu Jintao and the leaders of Latin America during President Hu's tour to Latin America in November 2004 so as to raise the relationship between China and Latin America to a new level. Thereby, I'd like to raise 5 proposals:

Firstly, deepening mutual political trust and consolidating the political foundation for the cooperation between China and Latin America. In recent years, the Chinese leaders visited Latin America many times. Leaders of many Latin American countries also visited China. The mutual visits have promoted the all-round growth of state relations. We should maintain the momentum of high-level visits, deepen the trust and cooperation between the leaders, promote the exchanges between governments, political parties and parliaments at all levels and continue to expand consensus. The Chinese side would like to continue to strengthen dialogues and cooperation with the Rio Group, the Common Market of the South, Andean Community of Nations and other regional organizations, establish and develop normal and friendly state relations with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean region on the basis of the five principles of peaceful co-existence.

Secondly, promoting mutually beneficial cooperation and consolidating the economic foundation for the friendship between China and Latin America. China and Latin America are the most robust regions in the global economy today. The two economies are highly complementary. With rapid economic development, both sides enjoy a promising prospect of cooperation. We should follow the principle of equality and mutual benefit, give fully play to each other's advantages, further improve the trading structure, strengthen the cooperation between enterprises, gradually expand mutual investment, constantly innovate the means of cooperation and upgrade the quality and level of economic and trade cooperation. Both sides should take an active attitude to address new situations and problems taking place in the economic and trade cooperation from a development perspective and achieve mutual benefits and win-win results.

Thirdly, enriching educational and cultural exchanges and consolidating the social foundation for the friendship between China and Latin America. The Chinese culture has a long history and the Latin American culture enjoys unique features, both being the treasuries of the world culture. Strengthening educational and culture exchanges is conducive not only to enhancing the mutual understanding but also to promoting the progress of human civilizations. In recent years, the cultural exhibitions held by each other are greatly welcomed and the number of young students seeking to study in each other has increased dramatically. The China-Latin America youth festival has achieved an unprecedented success, showing the aspirations of both sides to strengthen mutual understanding and exchanges. In the future we can deepen and expand the educational and cultural exchanges and cooperation and pass down our friendship to future generations through a number of measures such as establishing the cultural and language communication centers, promoting the cooperation in education and tourism, strengthening the communications between mass media and encouraging more exchange between the youths.

Fourthly, strengthening parliamentary exchanges and injecting new vitalities into the relationship between China and Latin America. Parliamentary exchanges are always an important part of state relations and play an irreplaceable role in enhancing mutual political trust, deepening mutual understanding and friendship between people of all countries, promoting the substantial cooperation at all fronts and propelling the all-round development of state relations. The NPC of China maintains good exchanges with the parliaments of Latin American countries. It is an observer of the Latin-American Parliament and has established regular exchange mechanisms with Brazilian and Chilean parliaments. Under the new situation, both sides should focus on the macro-scenario of China-Latin-America relations, give full play to the functions, roles and advantages of parliaments, enrich cooperation forms and contents, promote the substantial cooperation, increase the effectiveness of parliamentary exchanges, add new contents and inject new vitalities into the all-round growth of China-Latin-America relations.

Fifthly, enhancing consultations and collaboration in international affairs and jointly safeguarding the rights and interests of developing countries. There is neither historical rancor nor fundamental conflicts between China and Latin America. On the contrary, China and Latin America share broad common interest and a sound cooperation basis. The Chinese side would like to harmonize the position with Latin American countries on major international and regional issues, cooperate closely with Latin American countries to safeguard the interests of developing countries as a whole, promote the democratization of international relations and advance the establishment of a fair and rational international economic and political order. As a permanent member in the UN Security Council, China would as always support the rational opinions and needs of the developing countries including the Latin American countries in a bid to enhance the solidity and cooperation among developing countries.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

Brazil will embrace the 184th anniversary of independence in a few days. I'd like to take this opportunity to extend my warm congratulations and best wishes to the Brazilian people on behalf of the Chinese government and people as well as in my own name. Wish the friendly Federal Republic of Brazil enjoy prosperity and the Brazilian people peace. May the friendship between the Chinese and Brazilian people remain fresh forever.

Thank you.

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