China firmly opposes the sale of weapons to Taiwan by the US, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said at a regular press conference yesterday.
China has raised solemn representations to the US many times about the arms sale issue, Qin Gang said.
"It would undermine national security and the reunification of China and harm Sino-US relations," Qin said when asked about the impact on China-US relations of a proposed US$11-billion arms sale from the US to Taiwan.
He pointed out that the US would severely violate the three Sino-US joint communiqués, in particular the joint communiqué signed between the two countries on August 17, 1982, if the US offers the arms package to Taiwan.
He insisted that the sale of weapons to Taiwan by the US constitutes interference in China's domestic affairs and is encouragement for secessionists in favor of "Taiwan independence."
China and Japan will hold a third round of talks in Tokyo on Friday to discuss the disputed waters in the East China Sea, Qin announced.
Cui Tiankai, director of the Foreign Ministry's Asian Affairs Department, will lead a delegation at the meeting, which is likely to discuss jurisdiction over disputed waters and details of the area's joint development.
"China hopes the two sides will properly resolve the issue through dialogue and consultation," Qin said.
China appealed for dialogue last week as the Japanese government discussed what measures to take after Chinese companies began oil and gas field exploration in the East China Sea. Qin insisted the operations were taking place in undisputed waters inside Chinese territory.
China and Japan held the first and second rounds of consultation in Beijing last October and this May respectively. However, little progress has been made.
According to international law, both countries have a right to waters 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from their coastline. However, the width of the East China Sea is less than 400 nautical miles (740 kilometers), so the two sides' claims overlap. Japan claims a "demarcation line" equidistant from the shores of the two countries is the border. China says the border lies further east where the continental shelf ends.
In July, the Japanese government granted the Teikoku Oil Co rights to test-drill in a gas field in the disputed area.
President Zhou Shouwei of China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), the nation's third-largest oil company, said on August 30 that China would like to develop the disputed natural gas reserves jointly with Japanese companies.
CNOOC is developing the Chunxiao field, located in undisputed waters five kilometers west of Japan's claimed central demarcation line.
In response to a question concerning the Japanese side making a study of Chinese history textbooks, Qin said Japan should look squarely at history and educate its people with the correct perception of history.
He said the international community holds that the war started by Japanese militarists in the 1930s and 1940s caused undue suffering to its Asian neighbors.
China also hopes Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro will make the right decisions in view of the overall situation of Sino-Japanese relations during his second term in office, Qin said.
China has always adhered to the principles embodied in the three political documents signed by China and Japan, namely the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, Sino-Japanese Peace and Friendship Treaty, and Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration.
China wishes to develop long-term friendly and cooperative relations with Japan in line with the principle of "taking history as a mirror and looking forward to the future," he said.
Sino-Indian border talks
The two-day talks on border issues between China and India ended yesterday with no details issued by either side.
"With the development and improvement of China-India relations, the atmosphere for resolving the border issue has improved," Qin said, adding that the two sides are sincere about seeking a "fair and reasonable" solution "acceptable" to both countries.
The two sides have agreed to hold the next round of talks in New Delhi.
Speaking of opening the renowned Nathu La pass on Sino-Indian border, Qin said China takes a "positive" attitude toward the development of Sino-Indian border trade.
China is drawing up a plan and building the border trade market "in a serious manner," but when the pass should be opened is subject to bilateral consultation, he said.
Iran nuclear issue
The relevant parties should take effective steps to resume peaceful negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue as soon as possible, Qin said.
China has always advocated an early and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), he said.
Qin said China supports a long-term solution to the issue through negotiations, which will be beneficial to regional peace and stability, safeguarding the international non-proliferation mechanism, and will conform to the fundamental interests of all parties involved.
He pointed out that China abstained from voting for a resolution at an IAEA conference on September 24 because the resolution failed to strike a balance between the progress of the IAEA's investigation over the nuclear issue in Iran and the very framework of the agency.
He added the way the vote was conducted would not contribute to the unity of the IAEA.
He said the resolution should be designed to urge Iran to adopt more transparent measures to fully cooperate with the IAEA and clarify the unsettled problems and return to negotiations.
The Chinese government firmly opposes the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and WMD carriers, Qin made the statement in response to a report from an American institution that said China failed to do enough to control the export of technologies related to WMDs.
The report is irresponsible, he said.
Relevant organizations should take a fair and objective attitude in viewing the Chinese government's serious commitment and active and unremitting efforts to prevent the proliferation of WMDs, he said.
China is a responsible country, and the Chinese government has done a lot in recent years to prevent the spread of WMDs, including the improvement of its legal system concerning export control, better awareness of certain enterprises, investigation into and punishment on illegal export cases, and participation in international exchanges and cooperation on non-proliferation, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily September 28, 2005)