Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said Tuesday that China
is "highly concerned" about the turbulent situation in Iraq and the
growing number of civilian casualties following the US attack on
"The current continued upheavals and the casualties in Iraq are
a cause for much concern," Zhang said at yesterday's regular press
conference. "We hope that the situation there will return to
tranquility as soon as possible."
US forces conducted house-to-house searches in Falluja yesterday
in the second day of the assault aimed at retaking control of the
Sunni Muslim-dominated city before planned elections in
"We hope that the general election in Iraq will be held as
scheduled and that reconstruction work can progress as smoothly and
as soon as possible so that the Iraqi people can lead a stable and
UN Ambassador Wang Guangya will attend an international
conference, to be held in Egypt on November 22 to 23, to promote
peace in Iraq. "He will make concerted efforts with other parties
on this question in order to expand consensus on the Iraqi question
to contribute to the stability of Iraq," Zhang said.
Meanwhile, government leaders are carefully following the health
of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, the spokeswoman said.
"Arafat is an old friend of the Chinese people. The Chinese
government and leaders have extended regards to him," said
Arafat, 75, became severely ill 10 days ago at his West Bank
residence in Ramallah. He was airlifted to Paris for treatment on
Zhang also expressed grave concerns about Japanese media reports
of three hypothetical scenarios of China attacking Japan. She said
such hypotheses are beyond understanding since China pursues a road
to peaceful development and poses no threat to anyone.
"We oppose anyone fabricating or instigating a so-called 'China
threat.' The parties concerned should give up their Cold War
mentality and work to promote peace and development in Asia, and
the world as whole," she said.
Foreign Minister Li
Zhaoxing and Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei will meet with
Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Yong-il of the Democratic People's
Republic of Korea (DPRK) to discuss cooperation.
Referring to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue Zhang said,
"China is now keeping in very close contact, coordinating and
cooperating with all the six parties involved. We hope that all
parties can show further flexibility and sincerity and that the
next round of six-party talks can be held on schedule."
During Li's Tehran visit on November 6 and 7, he stressed that
the nuclear issue should be discussed and resolved within the
framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said
She added that China is making diplomatic contacts and
exchanging views on the issue with the EU, Russia and the US. The
IAEA council meeting will be held on November 25 to discuss further
operations in Iran.
During talks between Li and visiting Israeli Deputy Prime
Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Zion Shalom, bilateral
cooperation and the situation in the Middle East were discussed,
Shalom expressed his appreciation to China for the positive role
the country has played in pushing the Middle East peace process,
saying he hopes China will continue to provide support.
Zhang said China hopes both Israel and Palestine would cease
conflicts and resume peace talks that benefit both sides.
Zhang also said that President Hu
Jintao's visits to Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Cuba from
Wednesday are very important for developing trade relations.
She said over recent years, trade and economic relations between
China and Latin American countries have witnessed rapid
development. During Hu's visit, agreements will be signed to
further enhance this cooperation.
Zhang said the government hopes Latin American countries will
recognize that China has already established a socialist market
economic system and that it joining the World Trade Organization
means its market economy is developing. According to the latest
Chinese official statistics, trade volume with Latin America
reached US$26.8 billion last year.
In another development, Zhang said relevant Chinese departments
are investigating the looting of overseas Chinese-owned shops in
According to Venezuelan media, four shops were looted at the
beginning of November. Zhang said many Chinese have contributed to
the economic and social development of Venezuela and other Latin
American countries. She hopes they will properly handle the
incident so the interests of overseas Chinese are not damaged.
Zhang announced that State Councilor Chen Zhili will pay
official goodwill visits to Sri Lanka, India and the South Korea
from November 11 to 23; and the Prime Minister of Antigua and
Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer, will visit China from November 17 to 22
at the invitation of Premier Wen
(China Daily, CRI.com November 10, 2004)