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FM: China Still Developing Nation Despite GDP Hike

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang said at a regular press conference yesterday that China remains a developing country though the official size of economy has risen after taking its emerging service industries into account.

The measured size of the economy changed yesterday on the announcement of the results of a survey that gathered more accurate data on restaurants, retailers and other service businesses, which were previously underreported, bringing GDP last year to 15.9878 trillion yuan (US$1.981 trillion).

China will not change its diplomatic policies, and will remain dedicated to economic development, raising people's living standards and safeguarding a peaceful and stable environment, Qin said.

Noting that China's per capita GDP ranks below the 100th position in the world, he said, "Our current task is to concentrate on construction and development."

He said China would remain a "positive force" in safeguarding world peace and development no matter how developed China is in the future.

Fund-raising meeting for bird flu prevention

An international meeting will be held in Beijing to raise funds for bird flu prevention and control from January 17 to 18, 2006, Qin said.

The meeting is being co-sponsored by the government, EU Commission and World Bank, he said, to evaluate funds and technology required to control bird flu and mobilize all to collect funds and establish a donation management mechanism.

"Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing has sent an invitation to relevant countries and international organizations to participate in the meeting," he added.

He said a senior official meeting will be held on the first day to evaluate the current status of the bird flu epidemic and the required funds and technology. The ministerial-level meeting will be held on the second day to confirm the donations from certain countries or organizations.

A declaration will be passed during the meeting to reflect the political resolve of all nations to cope with the bird flu, he said.

"China will take advantage of the meeting to push forward international cooperation on bird flu prevention and control," he said.

Six-party talks

Qin urged all parties concerned to take the overall situation into account and respect each other so as to advance the process of the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue.

He said all concerned could solve problems through negotiation and consultation although the talks are currently plagued by some uncertainties.

To denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and ensure a durable peace and stability on the peninsula accords with the interests of all parties participating in the talks and is their common goal, he added.

He said all parties should fulfill their commitment as they agreed at the fourth round of talks and the first phase of the fifth round, which adopted a joint statement and a chairman's statement respectively.

He also denied China has proposed to hold an informal meeting for the chairmen of all delegations to the talks in Dandong of northeast China's Liaoning Province.

"As the presiding state, China will, as always, advance the process of the six-party talks by negotiating and consulting with the other parties," he said.

Speaking on the resolution adopted on Friday by the UN expressing serious concern about reports of human rights abuses in North Korea, Qin said China has always been opposed to putting pressure on countries and creating political confrontation in defense of human rights.

Enhancement of non-governmental exchanges with Japan

China is willing to enhance non-governmental exchanges with Japan in various fields, including culture, Qin said in response to a question about the film "Memoirs of a Geisha" directed by Rob Marshall, which stars Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi.

Cultural exchange constitutes an important component part of Sino-Japanese relations, Qin said, and China has always stood for stepping up communication in every field between the people of the two nations to promote mutual understanding and friendship.

Qin said China has repeatedly reiterated its interest in making joint efforts with the Japanese side to push forward exchanges and cooperation in various fields.

Dual standards in combating terrorism opposed

Qin said it is imperative to abide by the UN charter and the international law in fighting terrorism and China is opposed to dual standards in combating terrorism and to linking terrorism with any specific religions.

He made the remarks in response to a question about a statement made by US President George W. Bush on December 18 that he will continue to authorize intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on international phone calls without court approval as long as the country remains threatened by terrorism.

Qin said China's stance on fighting terrorism has always been firm and clear. China opposes terrorism in any form but believes that fight against terrorism should be "conducive to safeguarding the peace and security of humankind and promoting the civilization and prosperity of the society."

Kyrgyzstani foreign minister's coming visit to China

Kyrgyzstani Foreign Minister Alikbek Jekshenkulov will visit from December 20 to 24, Qin said.

During the visit, Chinese leaders and officials are scheduled to meet him to exchange views on "regional and international issues of mutual concern as well as cooperation within the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)", Qin said.

China and Kyrgyzstan are both members of the SCO, a regional organization which also includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

"China and Kyrgyzstan, as friendly neighbors, have expanded cooperation in such fields as politics, economy and culture since the two countries forged diplomatic ties," he said.

The two countries have completely settled boundary issues and signed a friendly cooperation treaty, he said.

He said the visit, also taking Jekshenkulov to south China's Shenzhen City, will help cement friendly cooperation.

(Xinhua News Agency December 21, 2005)

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