Chinese Armenian Relations to Enter New Stage Says Chinese President

BEIJING (Xinhuanet)–China is ready to make joint efforts with Armenia to raise bilateral relations to a new level–said Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday.

Hu made the remark in talks with visiting Armenian President Robert Kocharian–who is on his first state visit to China as president.

Hu vowed to increase political trust–saying China and Armenia’should carry out multi-channel and multi-layer exchanges–maintain political and diplomatic consultations and strengthen communication in such international organizations as the United Nations.

The two countries should find new ways to expand trade by taking advantage of their trade cooperation committee–said Hu–adding that China encourages Chinese companies to step up cooperation with Armenia and to increase their investment in Armenia’s infrastructural construction.

Hu also advocated further exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in the fields of culture–education–science and technology–health and tourism.

Agreeing with the Chinese president–Kocharian said Armenia expects deepening bilateral relations with China–since the growing relationship is of great significance to Armenia.

China has accumulated much experience in the process of developing its market economy and practicing opening-up policy–which provides a vital opportunity for trade cooperation–said Kocharian.

Armenia recognizes China’s full market economy status–hoping the two sides strengthen cooperation in such fields as energy–chemical industry–agriculture and technology–said Kocharian. The two sides could take proper measures to help the entrepreneurs enhance exchange and understanding to expand cooperation.

Hu said China and Armenia have treated each other with mutual respect and equality since they forged diplomatic ties 12 years ago.

Hu said he appreciates Armenia’s diplomatic policy that puts priority on relations with China–which was one of the first countries to recognize Armenia as an independent nation–and expressed thanks for Armenia’s firm support in controversial areas such as Taiwan and Tibet.

Kocharian said the two countries have seen sound economic development and have taken similar stances on international issues with no political problems.

Kocharian also stated that Armenia would continue to adhere to the "One-China Policy" and support China’s reunification.

After the talks–the two heads of states signed a joint statement and attended a signing ceremony for three cooperative agreemen’s–including an agreement on economic and technical cooperation.

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