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FM: Talks on Sea Border Advance

Talks between China and Japan over sea demarcation in the East China Sea on Monday were constructive, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue at a routine news briefing in Beijing Tuesday. 

The talks in Beijing were meaningful and both sides showed sincerity and a constructive attitude, Zhang said.


"We hold that a fair solution to the issue should be sought through negotiations based on the United Nations (UN) Law of the Sea Convention," Zhang said.


Japan has unilaterally demarcated a controversial exclusive economic zone along the median line. It holds that the line is determined by the two countries' coastlines.


However, China holds the line is determined by the continental shelf on China's side, over which China claims exclusive rights.


Both China and Japan have a right to claim 200 sea miles of water according to international law. However, the width of the East China Sea is less than 400 sea miles and the claims of the two sides overlapped and raised disputes.


Zhang reiterated that China's oil and gas exploration in the East China Sea is being carried out in China's indisputable coastal waters, and it's a matter within the scope of China's sovereignty.


Refuting a recent article in The Business weekly that the EU-sponsored Galileo program is for military purpose, the spokeswoman said China joined the program just for civil navigation use.


According to Zhang, the Galileo program can expand and develop cooperation between China and the European Union in science and technology, trade and transport areas. 


China has always adopted an independent foreign policy of peace, and the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and EU aims to promote common development and targets no third party, she said.


"We hope certain people will abandon the Cold War mentality," Zhang said.


Galileo System, with a budget of 3.4 billion euros, is aimed to build up a worldwide satellite navigation system. Up to now, EU has signed cooperative agreements with Israel and China and carried out negotiations for cooperation with a number of other countries, including Russia, India, Brazil and Australia.


The spokeswoman also said both China and the United States have agreed to give impetus to a new round of six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.


She notes that China is wiling to cooperate with other countries against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and all forms of terrorism.


Zhang adds that the Security Policy Conference of ASEAN Regional Forum will be held in Beijing, starting November 4. 


In another issue, Zhang said China will severely punish those responsible for recent break-ins into diplomatic institutions and foreign schools in Beijing.


A number of people reportedly attempted to break into the Embassy of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and an ROK school in Beijing recently.


Zhang said some of those intruders even resorted to violence during their attempt.


Such activities threaten the safety of both foreign and Chinese staff. They are a serious breach of China's laws and harm the country's security and stability, she said.


They also greatly disturb normal operations in the diplomatic institutions and foreign schools.


She said the break-ins were organized by self-proclaimed foreign religious and human rights organizations.


The Chinese government will severely punish such "snakeheads," she said.


Also at yesterday's briefing, the spokeswoman announced that Chinese President Hu Jintao will attend the informal economic leaders' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), due to be held in Santiago, capital of Chile, between Nov. 20 and 21.


Hu will also visit some countries before and after the APEC meeting and the arrangement for these visits "is in the preparatory phase", Zhang said.


(Sources including China Daily, CRI.com, and Xinhua News Agency, October 27, 2004)

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