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US Human Rights Accusation 'Unreasonable': FM

It is unreasonable for the United States to criticize China's human rights status, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in Beijing Tuesday.  

The US House of Representatives recently passed a resolution calling for a US proposal attacking China's human rights status at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights this year.


"It is a commonly recognized fact that the Chinese government has been devoted to the protection of human rights and basic freedoms and has made great achievements," Liu said at Tuesday's regular briefing.


Dialogue and cooperation are the only ways through which the two sides can resolve their differences on human rights, he said, adding that there will be no way out if antagonism is resorted to.


Shifting his attention to Iraq, where the country's Governing Council signed an interim constitution on Monday, the spokesman said China welcomes the move.


Liu said, "China hopes the move will exert a positive influence on promoting the political construction process and resuming normal order in Iraq, and contribute to the early resuming the exercise of sovereignty by the Iraqi people."


The document is expected to take effect on July 1.


Speaking of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) demand that US troops retreat from the Korean Peninsula, Liu said a solution to the reasonable security concerns of the DPRK was critical to resolving the Korean nuclear issue.


Liu said China consistently supported both a nuclear-weapons-free Korean Peninsula, and a settlement of the DPRK's reasonable security concerns, which was critical to the final solution of the nuclear issue.


Organized by China and including the DPRK, the United States, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Russia, two rounds of six-party talks on the nuclear issue were held in Beijing in August 2003 and February 2004.


The talks had achieved remarkable progresses and won international attention and support, said Liu.


He added that China hoped all the sides would continue the process with a flexible and practical attitude, and find a solution both in the interests of and acceptable to everyone.


In another development, the spokesman said China firmly opposes proliferation of nuclear weapons and supports the non-proliferation efforts of the international community.


Liu said China joined the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 1984 and became a signatory state to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1992. China would strictly abide by its international obligations of nuclear non-proliferation.


China is concerned and worried about the so-called international black market of nuclear weapons materials, said Liu.


China is willing to make efforts with international community to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, Liu said.


In response to questions on the China-Pakistan agreement to build a nuclear power plant in Pakistan, Liu said the nuclear power plant project will be entirely devoted to peaceful uses.


Liu said the two countries had discussed the second project of the Chashma power plant in Pakistan several years ago and related departments had consulted on the details many times.


"Such consultations will be continued," said Liu.


He said the project would accept the supervision and inspection of the IAEA.


Liu also outlined the principles under which China participated in international nuclear cooperation projects.


"The principles are that the project must be used for peaceful purposes and come under the supervision and inspection of IAEA," he said.


"Related technologies cannot be transferred to a third side without the permission of China," added Liu.


Also at yesterday's briefing, the spokesman announced Vice Premier Wu Yi will visit Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Maldives between March 17 and 29.


Another visit will be carried out by Javier Solana, secretary general of the Council of the European Union and high representative for the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy. He will pay an official visit to China on March 16 and 17.


(Sources including China Daily and Xinhua News Agency, March 10, 2004)

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