Vanuatu has withdrawn last week's communiqué establishing "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan and again stated its adherence to a one-China policy.
"The Chinese government appreciates the statement of the Vanuatu government," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhang Qiyue said on Thursday at a regular news briefing.
The Vanuatu government had issued a statement the day before that withdrew the communiqué signed in Taipei on November 3, in which it had said it was establishing "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan.
In the statement, Vanuatu reiterated its commitment to Resolution 2758 of the UN General Assembly and to the one-China policy in the joint communiqué issued on establishment of diplomatic relations with China in 1982.
"The fact that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China and that the government of the People's Republic is the only legitimate government representing China has been recognized by more than 160 countries in the world including Vanuatu and all important international organizations including the UN," Zhang said.
She also expressed the government's sympathies over Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's death. President Hu Jintao sent a letter of condolence on Thursday to Rawhi Fattuh, speaker of the Palestine Legislative Council.
To realize peace in the Middle East was Arafat's lifelong goal and a common wish of the region, Zhang said, and China has always been devoted to promoting this through dialogue.
Turning to the nuclear standoff on the Korean Peninsula, Zhang said a date for the next round of the six-party talks has not yet been fixed.
Earlier, the Yonhap News Agency had quoted a senior official as saying the countries involved -- China, Japan, Russia, the Republic of Korea and the US -- had proposed unofficial talks for the end of November, with a full fourth round in December.
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing met with Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Yong-il of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Tuesday, and discussed bilateral relations and the nuclear issue, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry sources.
On other subjects, Zhang said that China's commercial activities in Iraq were all subject to the UN oil-for-food program and, therefore, legitimate. All contracts had been approved by the UN's 661 Committee.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed an independent team to look into whether all the program's activities have complied with relevant UN resolutions, said Zhang. China expects the team to clarify the relevant issues as soon as possible through its detailed investigation.
Zhang also said that Hu's visits to Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Cuba will further strengthen cooperation with them, and that economic cooperation has developed well in the past years resulting in large volumes of trade.
Hu will also make a short stopover in Spain at the end of his Latin American tour.
(Sources including China Daily, Xinhua News Agency and CRI.com, November 12, 2004)