A Japanese newspaper reported Wednesday that Japan has proposed cutting yen loans by 10 to 20 billion yen (US$94.8 million to US$189.7 million) each year from fiscal 2004 and putting an end to new loans by fiscal 2008.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said at Thursday's regular press conference that China considers yen loans a form of financial cooperation between China and Japan with mutual benefits for both sides, put into practice against a special political and historical background.
Liu said China and Japan should "properly solve" the issue of the loans, with "responsible attitudes towards the general situation of Sino-Japanese relations."
Turning to US issues, Liu noted that China and the US now share many common interests in bilateral or multilateral cooperation and international affairs. The two sides should "expand and attach importance to their shared interests and handle their differences in a cautious, objective and calm way."
A recent poll conducted in five Chinese cities indicated that 70.9 percent of the Chinese public is "satisfied" with the present Sino-US relationship, and 56.7 percent believes that the US is taking a "containment policy" towards China.
Liu reaffirmed that both countries "should attach great importance to the Taiwan issue." The US should, in particular, "continue to strictly act in accordance with the three Sino-US joint communiqués to properly handle the Taiwan issue," he reiterated.
Liu said China's anti-secession law aims at curbing secessionist activities conducted by the "Taiwan independence" forces and is conducive to safeguarding peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and in the Asia-Pacific region.
He said the Chinese government will firmly carry out peaceful reunification under the "one country, two systems" policy and will make the utmost efforts to achieve peaceful settlement of the Taiwan issue.
Meanwhile, China will not allow advocates of "Taiwan independence" or any other forces to separate the province from China under any excuse, Liu said.
He said China is willing to work with the international community in maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and in the Asia-Pacific region, "which accord with common interests of the Chinese people and the international community."
During the upcoming plenary session starting March 5, the National People's Congress will examine the draft of the anti-secession law.
In an update on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Liu said China will continue its efforts to resume the six-party talks despite differences between the parties.
China hopes that all participants will rejoin the talks and is keeping close contact with all the parties in a bid to achieve a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.
Liu reported that Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei met Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea in Seoul Wednesday.
Both countries believe it is important to reopen the talks as soon as possible.
Liu said China has no plan of changing its special envoy on Middle East issues, noting that Ambassador Wang Shijie is a senior expert on the Middle East and his work has been spoken of highly since his appointment.
China appointed Wang its special envoy on Middle East issues in September 2002 to promote a solution of the region's peace process through peaceful means. The appointment was also a response to repeated requests from Arab leaders that China should play a larger role in Middle East affairs.
(Xinhua News Agency, CRI.com March 4, 2005)