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China Ready to Enhance Energy Cooperation with Russia

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhang Qiyue announced in Beijing Thursday that energy cooperation is an important part in Sino-Russian relations and that China was willing to enhance it with Russia.

In his recent visit to Russia, Premier Wen Jiabao reached four common understandings with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov in energy cooperation, which included both sides' decision to further strengthen cooperation in oil and natural gas, Russia's consideration of its Far East oil pipeline to China, more oil trade by railway and faster plan for cooperative exploitation of natural gas, noted Zhang at a routine news briefing.

She said it was convinced that both sides will make efforts towards these common understandings, adding that Russian President Putin will exchange views regarding to energy cooperation with Chinese leaders during his visit.

China was also willing to cooperate with Russia in other fields such as infrastructure construction, science and technology and increase investment in the future, said Zhang, adding she believed Putin's three-day state visit would be pragmatic and fruitful.

During Putin's stay, the two country will sign a document, in which China will officially express its support to Russia's WTO entry.

As for the two Chinese hostages issue, Zhang said the Chinese government vehemently condemned the terrorist act of abducting Chinese engineers in Pakistan.

Zhang said she deeply mourned the death of the Chinese victim and extended deep condolences to the family members and relatives.

The Chinese leaders, including President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, have been very concerned about the safety of the two Chinese engineers since their abduction Oct. 9, Zhang noted.

The Foreign Ministry and other relevant departments and Chinese Embassy in Pakistan have kept a close contact with Pakistan, she said. They have made utmost efforts and taken a series of measures including dispatching a government working group there to rescue the engineers.

China has noticed the efforts made by Pakistani leaders and government to rescue the abducted Chinese citizens. China will continue to work with Pakistan to handle the aftermath of the kidnapping and to take further effective measures to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel in Pakistan, Zhang said.

A working team, headed by Chen Jian, assistant to the Minister of Commerce, involves personnel from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Commerce and the Commission for Supervision and Management of State-owned Properties under the State Council will leave Beijing on Friday for Pakistan to deal with the affairs.

The team will convey the condolence from the leadership of the Communist Party of China and from the State Council to the victims and Chinese personnel in Pakistan.

When commenting on Somali election, Zhang said China expressed welcome that Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed was elected president of the Somalia transitional federal government and admired the remorseless efforts made by East-Africa Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and concerned countries in Africa in promoting Somalia's peace course.
"The Chinese government has been closely following Somalia's peace course, acted as coordinator in the United Nations Security Council on the Somalia issue, supported international community's mediating efforts, financed Somalia Peace Association within capacity, and actively provided humanitarian aid for the Somali people," Zhang said.

Zhang said China hopes that Somalia would establish a transitional federal government, achieve "ethical reconciliation" and national unification and resume peace, stability and security in the near future.

China will continue to play positive role in this process, Zhang said.

In response to the question on Sino- French relations, Zhang said that French President Jacques Chirac's visit to China was "a great success."

China and France issued a joint press release at the conclusion of Chirac's visit, which summarized common views of both sides across a variety of fields.

Business representatives from China and France signed 20 agreements, which "reflect the depth and width of Sino-French relations," said Zhang.

Meanwhile, she noted the leaders of both nations also declared the beginning of the French Cultural Year in Beijing, which not only showcases the charm and achievement of French culture to the Chinese people, but also is a great event in the cultural exchanges between the two nations.

It also embodies China's idea of enhancing cultural exchanges among nations and different cultures, said Zhang.

Also at Thursday's press conference, Zhang commented on Sino-UN relations by referring to the visit of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to China as "fruitful".

She noted the UN chief lauded China's active role in maintaining world peace and fulfilling the UN's peace-keeping mission. She said Chinese leaders have told Annan that the country attached great importance to the role of the UN in helping solve international disputes.

In the present complex world, the UN should be turned into the most representative and authoritative international organization, she acknowledged, and it should give scope to its leading role, so as to help advance the development of international affairs toward the direction of multilateralism and multipolarism.

(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2004)


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Putin's China Visit Highlights Oil Projects
China, UN Vow to Boost Cooperation
New Somali President Elected
Kidnappers Holding 2 Chinese in Pakistan
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