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China, Japan Holding 3rd Round of Talks

The third round of China-Japan Strategic Dialogue scheduled in Beijing for October 14 to 17 will cover a wide range of topics concerning all areas of ties, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Kong Quan at Thursday's regular press conference in the capital.

Kong said China and Japan are important neighbors whose bilateral ties have developed rapidly in recent years, with exchanges and cooperation in various fields expanding.

There are enormous problems in Sino-Japanese relations, said Kong, which require earnest treatment with a serious attitude from both sides.

He said the government hoped the Japanese will work actively with them to implement consensus reached between leaders of the two countries.

China and Japan held previous talks in Beijing in May and in Tokyo in June.

Handling of abandoned wartime chemical weapons

Kong said Japanese Vice-Minister of the Cabinet Office Takeshi Erikawa, arrived to discuss the abandoned chemical weapon issue on Tuesday. He returned to Beijing on Thursday after visiting Dunhua City of northeast China's Jilin Province, where chemical weapons had been buried.

Kong said Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei will meet with Erikawa on Friday and officials will hold working talks with him.

According to Kong, abandoned chemical weapons have been found in about 40 sites in 15 provinces of China, with the largest proportion in Dunhua.

"These chemical weapons have posed a great threat to the safety of the Chinese people and the ecological environment," said Kong. "China has urged the Japanese side to provide the exact sites where wartime chemical weapons are buried in China but has not yet received any response."

Kong said China hopes the Japanese side will accelerate its process of dealing with the issue and eliminate a problem that has lingered for sixty years.

The government said Japan abandoned at least 2 million tons of chemical weapons in China after WWII and 2,000 people have been injured by them.

China and Japan joined the UN Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997. Two years later, the two sides signed a memorandum in which Japan agreed to provide all the necessary funds, equipment and personnel for the retrieval and destruction of all its abandoned chemical weapons in China by 2007, inline with commitments in the UN convention.

Mainland on Taiwan attending APEC

The government firmly opposed the attendance of the leader of the Taiwan authorities' legislative body at the informal the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), said Kong.

APEC has clear stipulations on Chinese Taipei's representatives, Kong said, namely that it can only send its minister in charge of APEC-related economic affairs to attend.

To handle related issues in strict accordance with such prescripts and norms constitutes the political basis for Taiwan's participation in APEC activities and the essential precondition for the smooth progress of APEC activities, said Kong, noting that "China resolutely opposes any participant violating the above-mentioned prescripts and norms."

Kong said Chen Shui-bian harbors ulterior motives in this move and parties concerned should handle it properly while fully realizing the severity of this issue.

"China hopes that South Korea will play its due role as APEC host." Kong said.

US's allowance of Lee Teng-hui's tour

Kong said the government also strongly opposed former Taiwan leader Lee Teng-hui's visit to the US and has lodged solemn representations to the US. 

Kong urged the US to adhere to the "one-China" policy, observe the three Sino-US joint communiqu├ęs and demanded that the US not send any signals suggesting it supports secessionist forces.

"The separatist activities of Lee Teng-hui and those like him go against the aspirations of the whole Chinese people, including Taiwan compatriots, and is condemned and doomed to failure," Kong said.

The spokesperson for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office also voiced indignation over US approval of Lee's visit today.

"We oppose Lee's visit in the US in whatever form or name," said Li Weiyi. "We oppose him using the opportunity of the visit in continuing to spread destructive views on cross-Straits relations advocating the independence of Taiwan."

Sino-Iran ties

China and Iran will discuss further development of bilateral ties during Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki's visit, said Kong.

Mottaki arrived on Thursday morning on a two-day visit as guest of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.

Kong said that Chinese leaders will meet Mottaki and the two foreign ministers will hold talks. They will focus on furthering bilateral relations under the new circumstances and exchange views on international and regional issues of common concern.

He said the Iranian nuclear issue will be another topic and that China holds a supportive attitude toward the negotiations between Iran and three European countries.

China hopes all parties will properly settle the issue within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency through peaceful negotiations, especially about finding a long-term solution, said Kong.

He said China hopes Iran, the EU and other parties concerned will break the deadlock with patience, flexibility and concrete and pragmatic steps, and resume dialogue, consultations and negotiations on this issue as early as possible.

G20 meeting to be open for ideas

The upcoming G20 meeting to be held in Beijing and Xianghe, Hebei Province in north China, is open for ideas and China hopes it will facilitate the participating countries to promote common development, said Kong.

The resolution of such a meeting will reflect the needs and interests of different countries since it takes into consideration the concerns of developed countries as well as those of the developing countries, he said.

Kong said that the meeting is a good platform for involved countries to make their positions known to each other, adding that China hoped the participants could freely air their views on global economic situation.

Kong said China is ready to elaborate its opinions on relevant issues and is happy to be a good listener.

On the issue of RMB exchange rate, he stressed, China has been keeping dialogues with the United States all the time in the hope of the two sides giving better understanding to each other.

Kong said the issue concerning the RMB exchange rate is basically a domestic one.

China will deepen its reform in the financial sector, in particular, the reform of the formation mechanism of exchange rates through gradual steps in its own manner and at its own speed, he said.

Equatorial Guinean President to visit China

Kong also announced that President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea will visit China from October 19 to 24 at the invitation of President Hu Jintao.

(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily October 14, 2005)

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