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China's Military Spending Transparent: FM

The Foreign Ministry said yesterday that Japan should explain its own military tendencies to the world before talking about other nations' national defense expenditure, referring to remarks made by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso.

Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang told a regular press conference. that China adheres to peaceful development and a defensive policy, adding that its military expenditure not only covers the livelihood and training expenses of those serving in the army but also meets the country's current national defense requirements in a world with numerous complicated changes.

Aso said in a speech in Tokyo on Wednesday that China needs to embrace political transparency and be more open about its military budget to ensure its rising economic and diplomatic power is not seen as a threat in Asia.

China has already written clearly about its military expenditure in a white paper on Chinese national defense, openly giving details on its military growth, said Qin.

"The Japanese side should not make a fuss over the military spending of China over and again but explain, as soon as possible, to its neighbors as well as the international community about its own military moves," said Qin. "Some of its recent moves have caused concern to both the neighboring countries and around the globe."

The most important thing on the Japanese side, Qin said, should be making substantive efforts by taking actions to overcome political hurdles impeding the growth of friendly and cooperative relations between Japan and its neighbors, including its relationship with China and South Korea.

Qin denied the possibility of discussing defense issues at the upcoming ASEAN plus China, Japan and South Korea Summit and the East Asian Summit, saying that their main focus would be on economic and social issues.

He added that there was no arrangement for a meeting to bring together the foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea in the near future for reasons known to all.

In response to a question on the UN Climate Change Conference, Qin said China is to play a positive and constructive role in resolving climate-related issues.

The UN Climate Change Conference has gathered all Kyoto Protocol parties, and about 8,000 delegates from 189 countries are attending the conference in Montreal between November 28 and December 9.

China has sent a delegation of officials from the Foreign Ministry, State Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Science and Technology.

The conference aims to speed up the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, which came into effect in February this year.

The protocol attempts to reduce climate change by setting limits on the emission of greenhouse gases for the 37 signatory countries.

Delegates will also hold discussions on the reform of the protocol's Clean Development Mechanism, which says developed nations may cooperate with developing ones in reducing greenhouse gas discharge through provision of money and technology.

The next five-year plan to cope with global climate change will also be on the conference's agenda, since the first phase of the 1997 landmark treaty ends in 2012, when a new round of negotiation is expected to begin, Qin said.

The government supports the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and insists on the basic principles of the UN framework, Qin said.

In accordance with the spirit of "the common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities" articulated in a framework document, Qin said the government is working on methods to adapt itself to climate change.

He said the government favors a sustainable development mode and values harmonious development between humanity and nature. "Our country's focus is on economic growth as well as environmental and climate protection."

Qin also announced that Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba will visit from December 16 to 21 at the invitation of President Hu Jintao.

(Xinhua News Agency December 9, 2005)


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