Bush to Meet Jiang as Planned

US President George W. Bush will visit China in October as planned, despite the sickening terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on Tuesday, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Guangya said.

Bush reaffirmed to President Jiang Zemin during his telephone conversation that he would attend the informal leadership meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Shanghai, slated for October 20-21.

"The United States is a key member in the APEC community, and I believe that it will play a very important role in this organization," Wang said.

Bush is also planning to visit Beijing in October.

Wang, at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office, told the press that China has attached great importance to security during the APEC meetings in October.

"I think you all agree with me that Shanghai is probably one of the safest cities in the world," he said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao echoed the vice-minister's opinion at another press conference Thursday.

"So far, this incident has had no adverse impact on the APEC meetings in Shanghai," Zhu said. "We are making positive preparations."

In a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Colin Powell Thursday, Vice-Premier Qian Qichen said China has always opposed all forms of terrorist activities and believes anti-terrorism efforts need international cooperation.

Once again, Powell thanked the condolences and support offered by the Chinese government and people after Tuesday's terrorist activities in New York and Washington.

He said the US looks forward to cooperating with China on anti-terrorism efforts.

In a related development, the Foreign Ministry Thursday confirmed that Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan would visit the United States and attend the 56th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly next week as scheduled.

Tuesday's tragic attacks in the US sparked worldwide discussions about closer cooperation in combating terrorism.

Describing the issue of anti-terrorism as a "global" matter, Wang expressed China's willingness to play its role in international efforts to combat terrorism.

"International cooperation is needed to combat terrorism," said Wang, adding that the cooperation can be conducted under the auspices of both UN and regional organizations.

"China has always and will continue to take an active part in combating terrorism on the UN security level and in regional organizations," said Wang.

"Terrorism does not impose a threat to one single country but jeopardizes world peace."

This jeopardy can be clearly seen with the collaboration of splittists, extremists and terrorists in recent years in Central Asia, threatening the stability of the area.

According to Zhu Bangzao, members of Shanghai Cooperation Organization - grouping China, Russia, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikstan - signed the Shanghai Convention in June to crack down on the three forces by laying down the legal foundation for the joint efforts, indicating the strong determination of countries towards anti-terrorism.

The six countries will set up an anti-terrorist regional center in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and adopt other measures to strengthen their cooperation.

Zhu said: "China and other Asian countries are also conducting a bilateral cooperation in this field."

He also disclosed that China has strengthened security at foreign embassies and consulates, as well as raising their concern for the safety of foreign citizens in China's foreign institutions.

Wang Yingfan, Chinese permanent representative to the UN, Thursday strongly condemned the terrorist attacks.

In a speech at a public meeting of the UN Security Council, Wang said:” We support the UN in strengthening its work in preventing and fighting terrorism, and favor the continued strengthening of cooperation among member states, by practically implementing the relevant international conventions against terrorism and by bringing to justice terrorist criminals."

(chinadaily.com 14/09/2001)

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