Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said at Tuesday's regular press conference that China appreciates the efforts made by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan for promoting multilateralism and democratization of international relations.
He said that China is studying the 63-page UN reform plan issued March 21 by Annan. The report incorporates the most wide-ranging changes to the world body since its creation in 1945, calling for wealthy countries take responsibility for reducing poverty, proposing that a new human rights council be set up to replace the existing one, and condemning all forms of terrorism.
"The report has put forward many important proposals on peace, development, human rights and UN reform," said Liu. China will closely monitor the reform process.
China's position is that the UN reforms should give full play to democracy and be made on the basis of broad consensus among all UN members. They must be guided by the UN Charter and give full consideration to the concerns of developing countries.
The country is particularly interested in seeing increased input in development to meet UN Millennium Development Goals.
Regarding the escalating tensions between China, the US and the EU concerning textile exports, Liu said that the US and the EU "unreasonably" overprotect their textile industries.
"We believe dialogue and complementary advantages are effective solutions," said Liu.
Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai said on Monday that China will consider self-imposed restraints on textile exports, raise the quality of its products and keep prices stable in order to resolve the disputes while ensuring stable growth of the country's textile exports.
Liu stated that China also urges the EU to lift the embargo on arms sales to China as soon as possible.
"The arms embargo is political discrimination and is outdated," said Liu. "We hope that the EU can make a political decision to lift the ban at an early date so as to create a good atmosphere for the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the political relationship between China and the EU."
The EU had planned to lift the ban by the end of June, but recent reports indicate that it is likely to delay the plan after some critics tried to link the decision to China's passing of the Anti-Secession Law this month.
"There is no connection between China pushing the EU to lift the arms embargo and China passing the Anti-Secession Law," Liu said.
The Anti-Secession Law is aimed at containing Taiwan secessionist forces and at peaceful reunification, while lifting the ban would eliminate political discrimination, he said.
Turning to the "Wenzhou Shoe Incident," the spokesman said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce and the Chinese Embassy in Moscow have intervened in the matter.
Police in Moscow confiscated some 80 million yuan (US$9.7 million) worth of Chinese-made shoes last week because the owners did not have the necessary customs documents. The shoes had been brought into Russia through the commonly used "gray customs clearance" process.
Liu said that gray customs clearance has a negative impact on normal trade between China and Russia and enterprises from both countries should conduct business according to the rule of law.
He said China hoped to work with Russia to regulate private-sector trade through friendly negotiations. He urged Russia to crack down on domestic companies conducting illegal customs clearance services.
Sino-Russian bilateral trade has been climbing significantly for several years, reaching a milestone US$21.2 billion last year.
As to the six-party talks, Liu said China will continue to advocate peace and promote dialogue and make positive efforts for the earliest possible resumption of the next round of talks.
Liu said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit has helped develop the Sino-US relationship. China is willing to strengthen mutual trust with the US, deal with issues of common concern, and increase Sino-US cooperation,
During her visit, Rice urged China to take steps to ease tensions between the mainland and Taiwan.
Liu said the Anti-Secession Law is China's effort to ease cross-Straits tensions. It is the best way to curb Taiwan secessionist activities, which are the major cause of such tension.
Liu announced Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen will pay an official visit to China from March 28 to April 1 as guest of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.
Li will visit Nepal, Maldives and Afghanistan from March 31 to April 4 and attend the Afghanistan Development Forum in Kabul.
(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily, CRI.com March 23, 2005)