Khatami Calls for ‘Asian Convergence’ to Face Western Dominance

Published June 23rd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, on the second day of a five-day visit to China, called Friday for an "Asian convergence" aimed at standing up to Western dominance and its current process of globalization, reported AFP. 

Speaking to students at Beijing University, Khatami said that as two of the world's greatest civilizations, China and Iran needed to work together to forge the world of tomorrow, said the agency. 

"By Asian convergence we mean a new mode of dialogue and interaction among living Asian civilizations as a wise way of hampering the domination of the world's unipolar system and its attempts at drawing the independent world in the orbit of globalization," Khatami said. 

Khatami held meetings on Thursday with Chinese President Jiang Zemin where his proposal for a "dialogue among civilizations" was well received and supported by the Chinese side, reported Reuters. 

Both leaders vowed to boost trade and revive the Silk Road that linked their ancient civilizations, said the agency, quoting Chinese state media. The China Daily quoted Khatami as telling Jiang he hoped Chinese entrepreneurs would expand their business in Iran and do more for the Iranian economy.  

The two leaders witnessed the signature of five agreements on Thursday covering energy, tourism, cultural and educational exchanges, investment and minerals and metallurgy, Reuters added.  

Meanwhile, a Chinese government spokesman told a news conference on Thursday that Khatami's visit had “nothing to do with the issue of military cooperation” -- despite the presence in the delegation of senior Tehran defense officials.  

Khatami's visit coincided with a brief visit to Beijing by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, prompting speculation the two might meet secretly to advance a slow thaw in ties between Washington and Tehran, reported Reuters.  

But a Chinese spokesman told Reuters that the timing of the visits to Beijing was “purely a coincidence.”  

“China hopes the United States and Iran will improve and develop normal relations, but this is a matter for the countries themselves, the spokesman was quoted as saying.  

Khatami, on his first visit to China, was also set to visit the mainly Muslim Xinjiang region of western China and Hong Kong, said the agency – (Several Sources)  

 

 

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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