China and Japan agreed to resolve the East China Sea dispute through dialogue and consultation following a new round of two-day talks in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Kong Quan said on Tuesday.
The two sides have also had an in-depth exchange of views on launching negotiations about the demarcation of the continental shelf of the East China Sea and promoting the joint development of marine resources in the area, Kong said.
According to the spokesperson, the consultation was presided over by Cui Tiankai, director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Asian Department, and Kenichiro Sasae, director-general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanic Affairs Bureau. Both sides agreed to hold a third round of talks in Tokyo in the near future.
Kong also expressed strong condemnation for Japanese leaders' "not correctly treating history."
He said that Japanese politicians have ignored the strong condemnation from other Asian countries for Japan's wartime aggression. They have also denied the verdicts reached by the International Military Tribunal.
Masahiro Morioka, the Japanese parliamentary secretary for health, labor and welfare published an article recently on his personal website, where he states that "Class-A (WWII) war criminals are no longer criminals" and "Tokyo trial is against international laws."
Earlier last week, another Japanese politician Kyuma Fumio, chairman of the Policy Research Council of Liberal Democratic Party, also defended the Class-A war criminals. China strongly condemned his rhetoric. "This really makes people doubt the role Japan plays in the international community," Kong said.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the allied victory of World War II.
Commenting on the failure of the passage of the EU Constitution in France, Kong said that China has always supported the integration of the European Union and would like to see more achievements in its political alliance.
A French referendum on Sunday overwhelmingly rejected the EU Constitution. The French "no" is very likely to affect other EU member states that have also planned a popular vote, such as the Netherlands, Britain, Poland, Denmark and Ireland.
The EU Constitution aims to improve EU integration. All 25 EU members must ratify the text for it to take effect as planned by November 1, 2006. Nine have already done so including Austria, Hungary, Italy, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
"We hope to see a bigger role for the EU in the international affairs," Kong said.
On a separate note, Kong said that the informal meeting of foreign ministers from China, Russia and India, due to be held on June 2 in Vladivostok, Russia, is an important one.
He said that China, Russia and India have maintained sound relations and cooperation with one another. The three nations share similar views on pushing forward democracy in international relations as well as safeguarding world peace and stability.
The three nations also have similar concerns, Kong acknowledged. The foreign ministers' meeting will help promote mutual understanding, increase contacts and coordinate the positions of the three nations on major international issues.
During the meeting, the three foreign ministers will also confer on cooperation and consultations among the three nations in all spheres, as well as on current major international and regional issues, he said.
In another development, Kong said China and other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will discuss how to cement regional economic cooperation, and "fight the three evil forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism" at their forthcoming meeting.
He said the foreign ministers of SCO member countries would hold a meeting on June 4 in Kazakhstan to discuss these issues in preparation for a meeting of their state leaders immediately after.
The SCO was formed in Shanghai in 2001 aiming to boost regional security and economic benefits. Its members include China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Moving to Haiti, Kong said that China is consulting all relevant parties about extending the mandate of UN peacekeepers in that Caribbean country.
"The extension of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti should be helpful to strengthen the political guidance of the UN Security Council," he said. "The mandate and priorities of the mission should be adjusted in the light of the situation in Haiti. The ultimate aim of the extension should be pushing the peace process there."
The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, with its 6,000 peacekeepers including about 140 Chinese policemen, will see its mandate expire on June 1. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the interim government of Haiti are hopeful that the mandate can be extended by one year.
China sent a 125-member peacekeeping riot police force to Haiti last September, the first time it has assisted a UN peacekeeping mission abroad.
On the just concluded state visit of New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, Kong said: "China and New Zealand have developed a sound relationship over recent years and bilateral cooperation is expanding into larger areas."
"We believe her visit has greatly advanced bilateral ties," he said.
Clark left Beijing on Tuesday afternoon after a three-day working visit. During the visit, both President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with her.
The two sides had an exchange of views on bilateral ties, regional and international affairs and vowed to promote the building of a China-New Zealand free trade area (FTA).
Kong described the three rounds of FTA talks between China and New Zealand as "smooth on the whole" and "having made constant progress."
He attributed the progress to the constructive and active attitude adopted by both sides.
"We hope the two sides can reach an agreement soon through friendly talks and consultations, so as to make the economic and trade relationship achieve fast progress on a brand-new basis," he said.
China and New Zealand started FTA talks on December 6, 2004. The third round of talks was held from May 18 to May 20 in Wellington, during which the two sides held discussions on trade, service and investment issues. It was agreed that the next round of talks would be held in Beijing in late July.
On other state visits, Bolivian Foreign Minister Juan Ignacio Siles Del Valle will pay an official visit from June 10 to 16.
The eighth joint committee of economic and trade cooperation between China and Bolivia will be held during the visit, Kong said.
In addition to Beijing, Siles will also visit Shanghai and Xi'an, home of the terra-cotta warriors.
Equatorial Guinea's Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Francophone Affairs Pastor Micha Ondo Bile will visit from June 6 to 10.
(Xinhua News Agency, CRI.com June 1, 2005)