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Wen: No obstacles to free flow of information
Latest Updated by 2006-09-14 10:11:13
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The Chinese Government encourages the free flow of information and respects the rights and freedoms of foreign media operations in China, visiting Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday.

Beijing's policy towards foreign media remains unchanged despite the recent promulgation of new measures concerning international news agencies, he stressed.

"I think there is a lot of misunderstanding about China's policy on foreign media and I would like to reiterate that the open policy adopted by the Chinese Government regarding foreign news media and financial information agencies remains unchanged," Wen said last night after meeting British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Information in the areas of commerce, finance and the economy will flow freely without any obstructions, he said.

For their part, international news agencies must observe Chinese laws and regulations, he said.

The official Xinhua news agency announced rules on Sunday requiring foreign media to seek approval to distribute news in China.

The announcement was greeted with immediate misunderstanding and criticism in some quarters, forcing Wen to make the clarification twice during his 21-hour working visit to Britain.

Earlier yesterday, he made a similar pledge to about 150 business people: that the country would continue to adhere to a policy of opening up to the outside world and protect the legitimate rights and interest of foreign media in China.

Later in the day, he was warmly welcomed at Downing Street by his British counterpart as they fulfilled their commitment to an annual Prime Ministerial Summit made in 2003.

This is Wen's second visit to the UK since he became premier in March 2003 and is part of a wider European trip. The two leaders last met during Blair's visit to China in September last year.

Ten deals were signed at the prime minister's residence and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office during Wen's visit, which included the establishment of a China-UK energy working group, a China-UK climate change group, technical co-operation in the design of the Kunming's new airport and Air China's purchase of Trent 1000 engines to power its fleet of 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the last alone worth US$800 million.

Declaring that bilateral ties have never been better, Wen said at the press conference held by the two leaders that he was confident of the steady growth of the relationship. He pointed out that trade volume reached US$24.5 billion last year, well exceeding the target set in 2004 of reaching US$20 billion annually in three years.

Blair said his country is Europe's largest investor in China and sees China's economic development as a great opportunity rather than a threat.

He said next year would mark the 10th anniversary of the handing over of Hong Kong and the two countries would work closely to enhance the already-strong bilateral ties across a whole range of areas.

The heads of the two governments also exchanged views on the Pyongyang and Teheran nuclear issues and other international matters of common concern.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China Daily Website
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