Taiwan Issue Remain Key to China-US Ties

Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan gives a press conference Tuesday briefing Chinese and overseas reporters on China's views on major domestic and international issues at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The press conference is given at the Fourth Session of the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC), which began on March 5.

On Taiwan Issue

Tang Jiaxuan said Taiwan question remains the key to Sino-US relations.

He warned the United States not to endanger Sino-US relations and aggregate tensions across the Taiwan Straits by insisting on selling advanced weapons to Taiwan at a press conference Tuesday.

"If the US side continues to fail to honor its commitment on the Taiwan question and insists on selling advanced weapons to Taiwan, including particularly the AEGIS missile destroyers and the Patriot anti-missile defense system, that would send a very wrong signal to the Taiwan authorities, which will encourage a very small number of people -- the Taiwan independence elements -- to continue to engage in separatist activities," he said.

In response to a question about possible US sale of AEGIS missile destroyers to Taiwan, the foreign minister said that arms sales to Taiwan will not be in the interests of the US itself.

"The US side should come to the recognition of the serious dangers involved. It should rein in its wild horse right on the side of the precipice," Tang said.

Noting that the Taiwan question is a very sensitive and important question in Sino-US relations, he said that what the US has done on this question is adequate to show that the US factor is now an important outside factor coming into the way of the peaceful reunification of China.

Conclusion on Tiananmen Square Disturbance Will Not Change

Chinese government's conclusion about the 1989 political disturbance in Beijing will not change, said the foreign minister.

He said that the so-called Tiananmen Papers are nothing but fabrications engineered by some people with malicious political motives.

With regard to the political disturbance in 1989 in Beijing, Tang said, China has made a correct historical conclusion that will not be changed, and that if China had not taken effective measures at that time, there would not have been the good situation of development and stability China is enjoying today.

Tang said that anybody trying to fabricate stories for ulterior political motives would be doomed to failure.

On Situation on Korean Peninsula

The minister said he doesn't think the situation on the Korean Peninsula is tense enough to result in the relaunching of missiles by the People's Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK).

When asked to comment on the DPRK's statement in late February in which it says that if the new administration of the United States continues to adopt a tough attitude towards DPRK, DPRK might consider relaunching its missiles, the foreign minister said, "I don't see DPRK-US relations as that tense."

"Major countries surrounding the Korean Peninsula, even including the United States, will continue to work towards peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. I do not think there will be a retrogressive step involving this important question," Tang said.

As the leader of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Kim Dae-jung was accorded a warm welcome and reception by the DPRK government headed by Kim Jong Il during his visit to Pyongyang last year, the foreign minister said he believes Kim Jong Il will indeed pay a return visit to ROK this year and that it is only a matter of time.

Chinese Firms Have Not Helped Iraq Build Fiber Optic Cables

The foreign minister firmly denied US allegations that Chinese enterprises and corporations have helped Iraq build fiber optic cables in Iraq's air defense system.

"Relevant agencies in China have carried out some serious investigations. The result of the investigations is that Chinese enterprises and corporations have not assisted Iraq in building the project of fiber optic cable used for air defense," Tang said at the press conference.

Japan Urged to Properly Handle Text Book Issue

Tang Jiaxuan said that Japan should properly handle the textbook issue to safeguard Sino-Japanese relations.

He said that China has been watching very closely and seriously on the textbook issue and has made its position clearly on several occasions to the Japanese side through diplomatic channel.

He said that the nature of the textbook issue can be put in the very simple term, that is, whether Japan can rightly understand and handle its past history of aggression, and whether it can take practical steps to win the trust of neighboring Asian countries, and whether Japan is willing to continue to go along the peaceful road.

Tang said that the Chinese government has done what it should.

The finalization of the textbook involves a long and complicated procedures and in the end it is still up to the Japanese government to decide whether the contents of the textbook are proper and whether it can be published, Tang said.

He stressed that the Japanese government should take up its due responsibility and obligations with regard to the textbook issue, and take practical measures to demonstrate that the representations it has made on the historical issues are dependable, and that Japan keeps to its words.

Tang said that the textbook issue should be properly handled, for only in this way, can the political foundation of Sino- Japanese relations be safeguarded.

He said that the historical issues have been clearly stated in the Sino-Japanese joint declaration. The Chinese government and the Chinese people are watching closely on how the Japanese government acts.

On Human Rights

Tang Jiaxuan firmly rejected US criticism of the human right situation in China as playing "double standard".

The US puts up a show at the UN human rights commission conference in Geneva nearly every year, Tang said. Days ago, the US government officially announced that it would table another anti-China draft resolution at the coming human rights conference in Geneva. It also issued human rights records on China and many other countries. In the document, the US mentioned more than 100 countries by name, but there is not even a word about the serious human rights situation in the United States of America.

Confrontation on human rights issue can lead to nowhere, said Tang, adding that if the US continues to go along its path, it cannot expect anything better than what it got many times in the past.

"We firmly oppose any act of exploiting human rights issue to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries," said Tang.

What has happened in Hong Kong over the past three years after Hong Kong's return to the China has shown that the central government has never interfered in the affairs that fall within the power of the Hong Kong SAR, he noted. The SAR government also adheres to the principle of handling Hong Kong affairs according to the Basic Law. Hong Kong compatriots enjoy full human rights, democracy and freedom.

The charges by the US against human rights situation, particularly that in Hong Kong, are unwarranted, he said.

China has always advocated for international cooperation and dialogue over human rights issue, Tang stressed.

Tang told the US to change its course and return to the path of dialogue.

(CIIC 03/07/2001)

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