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Chinese, UK PMs exchange congratulations on anniversary of ties

    BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his British counterpart Tony Blair on Tuesday exchanged congratulations on the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level between the two countries.

    In his message, Wen said that thanks to the efforts of both sides, China-Britain relations have grown steadily in the past 35 years and both countries have in particular enjoyed high-level and extensive cooperation since the forging of comprehensive strategic partnership in 2004.

    The important bilateral mechanisms such as the annual meetings between the Chinese premier and the British prime minister, the China-Britain Task Force and the Strategic Dialogue are functioning smoothly, he said.

    The two countries also enjoy ever-deepening cooperation in key areas such as trade, education, science and technology, culture, the Olympic games, environmental protection and sustainable development, said Wen.

    As permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Britain have shared interest in and responsibility for upholding world peace and stability and security and promoting common development and prosperity, Wen said.

    China will continue to work with Britain to strengthen their comprehensive strategic partnership and usher in an even brighter future for bilateral relations, he added.

    Blair said in his message that the relations between Britain and China have developed enormously, and "the breadth and depth of the ties between our two countries and the sense of common purpose is stronger than it has ever been."

    The pace of the relationship between Britain and China has quickened since the establishment of strategic partnership between the two countries, he said, adding that the two countries' cooperation in trade and economy, education, and culture will have a bright future.

    Blair said that as one of the milestones in Britain-China relations, the smooth return of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 is a vindication of the "one country, two systems" policy and a cause for celebration by both countries 10 years on.

    "I welcome China's growing international role and the new opportunities that creates for us to further develop our strategic partnership across a wide range of shared interests," said Blair.

    As members of the UN Security Council, Britain and China have worked increasingly closely together, and their cooperation "will underpin world stability and create an environment in which we can all benefit from globalization," Blair said.

    Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and his British counterpart Margaret Beckett also exchanged messages of congratulation on the same day.

Editor: Wang Yan
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