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China Reiterates Stance on E. China Sea

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang on Thursday reiterated that China is willing to resolve the East China Sea issues between China and Japan through dialogue.

China and Japan dispute boundaries. Qin told a regular press conference that China's natural gas exploration activities are carried out in China's offshore area but not in the disputed area, and China's policy for solving the relevant issues with Japan through dialogue has not changed.


China and Japan have not drawn border demarcations in the disputed area although Japan once unilaterally announced a median line, which was not accepted by China.


Indonesian navy firing on Chinese fishing vessel


China Thursday urged Indonesia not to abuse military force after an Indonesian navy warship fired on a Chinese fishing vessel, which was allegedly a poaching vessel, on Monday in the Arafura Sea off Papua Island.


The incident took place at about 10:50 A.M. local time. The navy fired 13 shots at the Chinese boat, the Fuyuan 123, killing one man and wounding two others. The 10 surviving crewmembers including the wounded are being detained in Indonesia.


"China hopes the Indonesian government will take effective measures to discipline the navy and relevant units responsible, to shun abuse of force in the course of law enforcement and ensure that an incident of this kind does not happen again," Qin said.


"China and Indonesia as friendly countries should deal with problems in fishing cooperation in a sober and restrained manner rather than resorting to use of force," Qin added.


Immediately after the incident, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese Embassy in Jakarta lodged solemn representations to Indonesia and expressed astonishment and strong dissatisfaction with the navy's brand of law enforcement, Qin said.


China has requested that Indonesia verify the facts of the matter as quickly as possible and keep China informed, Qin said.


"Meanwhile, the Indonesian side should take every step necessary to provide medical aid to the wounded and guarantee the safety of the other crew members detained."


China, India to hold sixth meeting on border issue


Special representatives from China and India are scheduled to hold their sixth meeting on border issue in Beijing from September 26 to 27, Qin announced.


China and India reached an agreement on the guiding principles at the fifth round, which was held in New Delhi in April.


"Proceeding from the overall political interests of bilateral relations, representatives from the two countries will explore the framework of solution to the China-India border issue in compliance with the agreement," Qin said.


The meeting is expected to be co-chaired by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and Indian National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan, Qin said.


Iran nuclear issue


China has called for the early resumption of talks between Iran and the European Union (EU) to solve the Iran nuclear issue within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations' nuclear watchdog.


"The urgency at present is to resume negotiations between Iran and the EU at an early date," Qin said.


"The negotiations will help the two sides bridge their differences and finally secure a solution acceptable to all," Qin added.


"This is conducive to regional peace and stability and to maintaining the mechanism of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)," Qin went on.


The EU on Tuesday circulated a draft resolution to the 35 members of the IAEA Board of Governors. The draft refers Iran to the United Nations Security Council.


But the EU retracted the draft on Thursday.


Iran resumed uranium conversion work in August, after rejecting the EU proposal to give up its nuclear fuel activities in return for economic and technical incentives. Iran insists that it would never give up its right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.


Zoellick's remarks on China's political system


China has taken note of the remarks made by US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick on China's political system, Qin said.


It was reported that Zoellick on Wednesday urged China to begin a transition to democracy, contending that the existing one-party system is not sustainable.


Qin said since implementing the reform and opening-up policy 27 years ago, China has made noticeable achievements acknowledged by the whole world.


"China has enjoyed rapid and stable economic growth, increasingly improved people's living standard, made progress in human rights, its legal system and various other fields," Qin said, noting that China is devoted to peaceful development, and that China plays an important role in safeguarding world peace, stability and prosperity.


China and the US, as two of the more important countries in the world, enjoy sound bilateral ties at present, Qin emphasized.


Promoting constructive and cooperative Sino-US ties in an all-round way accords with the common interests of both sides, and is also conducive to regional and world peace, stability and development, Qin highlighted.


(Xinhua News Agency September 23, 2005)



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