China's signing of the UN Convention Against Corruption has shown again the government's firm determination in fighting corruption and clear-cut position on strengthening international cooperation in this regard, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao.
Liu said the Chinese government supports the stipulations of the convention and it has participated in the negotiation process in the sincere, cooperative and realistic spirit and made positive contributions to the stipulation work.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui signed the document Wednesday on behalf of the Chinese government during a high-level political conference that opened Tuesday in Merida of Mexico with participants from 125 countries.
Liu said the convention was passed by the UN General Assembly on Oct. 31 this year after over two years of drafting under the leadership of the United Nations, and it has laid a firm legal foundation for international anti-corruption and is conducive to international cooperation to this end.
He said the convention, the first consensus-based framework to combat corruption worldwide, establishes the principles for the recovery of corruption assets transferred to other countries, and a mechanism at the international level for the prevention of and fight against corruption and strengthening of international cooperation.
Premier's US Visit a Success
Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to the United States was a "complete success", which will surely exert an "important and positive influence" on the growth of Sino-US ties.
Liu Jianchao said that during Premier Wen's short but compactly-organized stay in the United States, the two sides reached consensus on a broad range of issues and the visit was very substantial.
During the visit, the spokesman noted, Wen had an in-depth exchange of views with President George W. Bush and other US leaders on bilateral ties, and reached wide-ranging and important consensus on further promoting the growth of the constructive and cooperative relations between China and the United States.
The two sides agreed that strengthening their reciprocal cooperation is in the fundamental interests of the people of both nations and conducive to the world peace and stability.
Liu said that on the Taiwan issue, leaders from both sides agreed that it is of pivotal significance to safeguard the peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.
Premier Wen reiterated the Chinese government's basic policy on the issue, and President Bush promised that the United States will adhere to the one-China policy, abide by the three US-China joint communiques and opposes Taiwan's independence or any unilateral actions that seek to alter the status quo.
The Chinese side appreciates the US stance on the Taiwan issue, he noted.
The leaders of both countries also fully exchanged views over the further expansion and deepening of the Sino-US trade and economic cooperation, Liu said.
Wen proposed resolving the problem of trade deficit through reciprocity, equal consultation and further growth of trade and economic cooperation, and Bush voiced his full endorsement. They also decided to upgrade their commerce and trade joint committee and hold the committee's first meeting next spring.
While staying in the US, Wen also had extensive contact with American people from all walks of life, Liu said. The premier briefed them on China's situation in all spheres, which further enhanced the mutual understanding of the people of the two nations.
Relevant departments of the two nations also held consultations and reached consensus on issues including trade and economic cooperation, transportation, plant quarantine and environment protection. Liu said they also signed agreements on navigation and transpiration cooperation.
In addition, the two sides also agreed to hold the sixth annual consultations on defense affairs between their vice-defense ministers and the fourth counter-terrorism consultations early next year in Beijing, the spokesman said.
Stance on Taiwan Reiterated
The spokesman also reiterated the Chinese government's stance on the Taiwan issue at the press conference.
Liu said China will "do its utmost, with utmost sincerity," to bring about peaceful reunification of the country, by quoting what Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told US President George W. Bush during their talks on Tuesday.
Wen Jiabao said that China's fundamental policy on the Taiwan issue is "peaceful reunification" and "one country, two systems," according to Liu.
The Chinese premier also said China respects the desire of people in Taiwan for democracy, but China "can absolutely not accept and tolerate" the attempts of the Taiwan authorities to use democracy as an excuse and attempt to resort to a "defensive referendum" to split China.
Maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is conducive to the interests of the people on both sides of the strait, Wen said, adding that only when "Taiwan independence" is firmly opposed, can peace and stability be maintained.
The mainland of China will not give up its efforts for peaceful reunification of the country as long as there is a glimmer of hope of resolving the issue peacefully, Wen said.
Bush said during his talks with Wen Jiabao that the United States understands China's concern over the Taiwan issue, and that the US government adheres to the "one-China" policy, remains committed to the three Sino-US joint communiques and opposes "Taiwan independence".
The United States does not approve of the recent messages from Taiwan to change its status quo, Bush said, adding that the United States opposes any unilateral attempt to change the status quo of Taiwan.
Liu said the Chinese side appreciates the active stance of the United States on the Taiwan issue.
Liu also stressed China has always opposed the Taiwan Relations Act which is unilaterally set by the US side and runs counter to the three Sino-US joint communiques.
Enhancing friendship with all Mideast nations
China is willing to develop its friendly, cooperative ties with all Mideast countries including Israel, Liu said.
China warmly welcomes the imminent visit by Israeli President Moshe Katsav from Dec. 14 to 20, he said, acknowledging that China will develop its friendly cooperation with all countries worldwide including Mideast nations based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, and Sino-Israeli friendship not only complies with the interests of the two nations and their people but benefits peace and development in the Middle East region.
The UN Asian Meeting on the Question of Palestine will be co-sponsored by the Chinese government and the United Nations in Beijing from Dec. 16 to 18, said Liu.
With the theme of "Arousing International Support for a Peaceful Solution of the Question of Palestine", the conference will have about 200 participants, including officials from the United Nations and relevant countries and noted experts and scholars on the Mideast issue, he said.
Liu said Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo would attend and address the opening ceremony of the meeting.
The Israeli president's visit and the meeting fully indicates China's readiness to strengthen its friendship with all Mideast countries including Israel, the spokesman added.
More involved in UN peacekeeping operations
China is ready to get more involved in the peacekeeping operations of the United Nations to make its efforts to safeguard the peace and stability of the region and world, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman.
Liu said that China in April this year dispatched a force to the Democratic Republic of Congo to participate in the peacekeeping operations of the United Nations. The force includes a 175-person sapper company and a 43-person medical team, he added.
Liu noted that the Chinese peacekeeping force has overcome difficulties and completed its tasks over the past months, and has been highly praised by all sides.
According to the UN regulations and the needs of the reality, Liu said, the Chinese peacekeeping force will complete its first shift and come back to Beijing on Dec. 15, and the substitute force will take their position on Dec. 13.
Liu said that as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has always supported the UN's peacekeeping operation and its efforts to settle the conflict in Africa, and has actively participated in the peacekeeping operations in the region.
He noted that not long ago, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed his gratitude for China's contributions to peacekeeping operations during his meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
Parties concerned should cherish consensus on 6-party talks
China hopes the parties concerned will treasure the hard-earned consensus reached on the fresh round of six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue and show more flexibility so as to initiate the talks at an early date and make progress.
Liu Jianchao said that China has been in close contact with the other parties involved in the talks, namely, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and Japan, and transferred their stances and proposals to each other in proper ways.
China will continue consulting with the relevant parties and find consensus to create conditions for the second round of six-party talks, said the spokesman. The parties concerned are still making consultations on the talks and the specific date for the talks hinging on the preparation of the talks.
Progress of Japan-ASEAN relations welcome
China is pleased to see the new progress in the relations between Japan and the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman.
Liu made the remark in response to Japan's upcoming declaration of joining the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.
He said that China congratulates the special summit opened Thursday between Japan and the ASEAN in Tokyo, capital of Japan.
China is ready to work with Japan and the ASEAN to promote cooperation in East Asia and achieve the prosperity and development of Asia, the spokesman said.
(Sources from China Daily and Xinhua News Agency December 12, 2003)