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Island Dispute Should Be Solved via Talks: FM
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China and Japan should resolve the dispute over Diaoyu Islands through negotiation and consultation, Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said at Tuesday's regular press conference.  

It is reported that Japanese Defense Agency drafted a proposal to prevent possible maritime attacks on the disputed "southwestern islands," including Diaoyu Islands.


Commenting on this development, Kong said that Diaoyu Islands and neighboring islands have been China's territories since ancient time, though Japan holds a different view.


China has always maintained that the dispute should be addressed by negotiation and consultation, Kong said. "No unilateral action should be taken."


Kong told the press conference that the United States clearly denied that it had invited Taiwan's "envoy delegation" to President George W. Bush's forthcoming inauguration.


According to the reports of Taiwan media, the Taiwan authorities would assign an envoy delegation to Bush's inauguration on January 20. The delegation was said to be headed by Lee Yuan-tseh and include several political figures.


Kong said China had expressed concerns over this to the US and was clearly told that the US did not invite or recognize the so-called "envoy delegation" sent by the Taiwan authorities.


As a representative of the Chinese government, Chinese Ambassador to the US Yang Jiechi will attend Bush's second-term inauguration.


Commenting on US Congressman Curt Weldon's recent visit to China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kong said the US and the DPRK should continue all kinds of contact and exchanges with goodwill and flexibility to convene the next round of six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue as early as possible.


Weldon headed a six-member US congressional delegation to visit Pyongyang from January 11-14. After that, his delegation came to China at the invitation of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs.


Cheng Siwei, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), conferred with Weldon on "overall Sino-US relations, exchanges between the two legislatures as well as other issues of common concern, including the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue," Kong said.


Weldon's visit to DPRK is "conducive to mutual understanding between the DPRK and the US, and created a relatively good atmosphere for the early convening of the next round of six-party talks," Kong said.


"China will continue to make efforts in this regard as before," he said.


Kong said Sino-Vietnamese relations have advanced substantially over the past 55 years.


Since China and Vietnam established diplomatic relations in 1950, the leaderships of the two countries have kept close contact, while understanding and trust between the two peoples have steadily improved, he said.


In recent years, the two countries' leaderships have mapped out a guideline for securing long-term stability, looking to the future, boosting neighborly friendship and exploring all-around collaboration, he said, adding that historical problems such as border disputes are thus being solved in an active manner.


Kong said a further strengthened relationship is in the interests of both countries and good for cooperation and development of the region. "China attaches great importance to the progress of Sino-Vietnamese ties and is willing to boost it to higher level through common efforts."


In another issue, Kong said China stands firmly against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). 


"In recent years, China has passed a series of laws regarding nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their carriers, and has strictly implemented these laws," he said.


He also denounced the US punishment of some Chinese companies who cannot be proved to have been involved with WMD proliferation.


Kong announced that Mauritian Prime Minister Paul Raymond Berenger will pay an official visit to China from January 23 to 29 as guest of Premier Wen Jiabao.


(Xinhua News Agency, CRI.com January 19, 2005)

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