President Hu Jintao and Vice President Zeng Qinghong sent
congratulatory messages to newly reelected US President George W.
Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney, said Foreign Ministry
spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue at a routine news briefing in Beijing on
In the past four years, relations between China and the US have
advanced through joint efforts, said Zhang. China is willing to
strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the United States,
address each other's concerns and continue developing cooperative
The spokeswoman said that China will continue to keep in close
contact with the United States and other parties to the talks on
the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. China hopes a new round of
six-party talks or a working group meeting will be held as quickly
as possible in the wake of the US presidential election.
China, North and South Korea, the United States, Russia and
Japan have held three rounds of talks in Beijing. However, the
fourth round of talks, tentatively scheduled to be held in late
September, was postponed.
The spokeswoman announced that Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will
pay an official visit to Iran on November 6 and 7 at the invitation
of Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi. Li will discuss
international issues of mutual concern with Iranian leaders as well
as the Iran nuclear issue.
China hopes the Iran nuclear issue can be solved under the
framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The spokeswoman said China consistently opposes the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It has enacted
numerous laws and established policies with regard to nuclear,
biological and chemical weapons, as well as missiles and other
conventional weapons. The country is enhancing its ability to
enforce these laws and implement other measures in accordance with
China supports the Proliferation Security Initiative and
maintains that any activity in this regard should accord with the
principles of the UN Charter.
Turning to the Middle East conflict, the spokeswoman said China
will push for resumption of negotiations between Israel and
Palestine. Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom is due to arrive
in Beijing on Friday, where he will discuss the Middle East
situation with government leaders.
Zhang stated that the Chinese government and leaders are
concerned about the health of Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat is in a coma and in an "extremely bad state," AFP
reported Thursday. He is in the Percy Military Hospital near
"President Arafat is an old friend of the Chinese people. Being
very concerned about his physical condition, the Chinese government
and leaders have extended their regards to him and expressed their
hope that he will recover soon," said Zhang.
The spokeswoman said China is glad to note that Afghan
presidential election has concluded successfully, demonstrating the
significant progress the Afghan people have made on their way
toward political stability and national development.
President Hu Jintao sent a congratulatory message to Hamid
Karzai on his election as president.
The Chinese government believes that Afghanistan, under the
leadership of Karzai and through the efforts of the Afghan
government and people, will continue to make progress in
maintaining public security and boosting economic development,
President Hu has sent messages of condolence on the death of
United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahayan,
expressing sympathy for the UAE people and especially for Sheikh
State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan went to the UAE Embassy in Beijing
on Wednesday and delivered words of condolence, and China's
ambassador to the UAE attended the funeral of Sheikh Zayed on
behalf of the government, Zhang said.
Sheikh Zayed, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 86, was
elected the first president of the UAE in 1971 and reelected at
five-year intervals in 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991 and 2001. He enjoyed
a good reputation in the international community, Zhang said, and
had always considered relations with China to be important. Zayed
visited China once, in 1990.
Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheik Zayed's eldest son, was
appointed on Wednesday to succeed his father. President Hu sent a
message to congratulate him, Zhang said.
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing is leaving on Friday as special
envoy of the Chinese government to offer condolences for the loss
of Sheikh Zayed and to deliver congratulations to the new president
on his accession.
Turning to Asia-Pacific, Zhang reported that senior Vanuatuan
officials said the island country will not establish "diplomatic
relations" with Taiwan and will adhere to the nation's one-China
Taiwan reported earlier this week that it had established formal
diplomatic relations with Vanuatu.
When China's Ambassador to Vanuatu Wu Zurong requested that the
government clarify the issue, Vanuatuan Acting Prime Minister Ham
Lini and Foreign Minister Barak Sope said that the Vanuatuan
government will not change its one-China policy nor will it
establish "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan.
(Xinhua News Agency, CRI.com November 5, 2004)