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Vice FM to Visit Japan for Six-Party Talks
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China's chief negotiator in the Six-Party Talks, Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, will meet his counterparts from five other countries in Tokyo next week, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao at Thursday's regular press conference in Beijing.

"He will meet the other heads of the delegations to exchange views on the Six-Party Talks," Liu said.

The meeting in Tokyo will be the first gathering for the six chief negotiators since the nuclear talks stalled last November.

Liu said the meeting would be a good opportunity for them to ensure an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

He said China has consistently maintained that the joint statement adopted at the end of the fourth round of talks should be implemented as soon as possible.

"It conforms to the interests of all parties and is conducive to regional peace and stability," Liu said.

He urged all parties to adhere to the joint statement and co-operate to push forward early resumption of the talks.

On Tuesday Liu attributed the deadlock to mistrust between the United States and North Korea.

"We hope related parties will show sincerity and flexibility and take into account the overall situation of peace and stability and the denuclearization objective in Northeast Asia in handling related problems," said Liu.

While Wu is in Tokyo, a conference on security in northeast Asia will be held in the Japanese capital from April 9 to 11, with participants from China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States.

But Liu said Wu had no plans to attend the forum.

He said the conference involved unofficial consultations on security cooperation and dialogue in northeast Asia.
"Officials from China's foreign and defense ministries and researchers will attend the conference in a private capacity."

The spokesman said China was supportive of the conference which aimed to improve understanding and trust and promote dialogue on regional security.

Also on Thursday, Liu said China hoped Japan would respond in kind to its positive messages which were delivered with sincerity and goodwill.

"The Chinese government has conveyed a clear message to Japan," said Liu. "We hope China's sincerity, goodwill and positive messages will be well received and result in a reciprocal response from Japan," said Liu.

Last Friday, Chinese President Hu Jintao, had a rare meeting with the heads of seven Japan-China friendship organizations, led by former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. At the meeting Hu reiterated China's stance on promoting China-Japan friendship and the Yasukuni Shrine issue.

Hu told the Japanese visitors that he was ready to hold talks with Japanese leaders as soon as they made a clear-cut decision not to pay further visits to the Yasukuni Shrine which honors 14 convicted class-A war criminals from World War II.

So far no positive response has come from the Japanese leaders.

Liu said Japanese leaders' visits to the Yasukuni Shrine damaged the political foundations of China-Japan ties. "To clear up this obstacle and thus improve bilateral ties is the common aspiration of the two countries' people and serves their basic interests."

Liu reviewed the history of China-Japan relations, saying that people of the two countries, for the most part, are friendly with each other and got along well.

"We don't think it's the Japanese people who should be blamed (for the strained relations), because most Japanese favor China-Japan friendship," he said.

He said the Chinese and Japanese governments were obligated to respect the common wishes of their people and take positive measures to improve relations for their benefit.

The development of ties between China-Japan has a direct impact on the interests of the region and the world, he noted. "The Chinese government highly values ties between China and Japan and has made consistent efforts to improve them."

He also described the history issue as "an important political cornerstone" for relations saying that it was not only found in China-Japan political documents such as the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, the Peace and Friendship Treaty and the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration but also in the feelings of the Chinese and Japanese people.

Liu referred to Hu's meeting with leaders of the seven Japanese friendship organizations saying that Hu had reiterated that China would continue to follow the principles of the three political documents and to handle the problems between the two countries through consultations on an equal footing to ensure their friendship was maintained.

The leaders of the two countries have not held an exchange visit in four years since Koizumi began paying homage at the Yasukuni Shrine soon after he took office in 2001.

In response to a journalist's question on reports on Tuesday that newly-appointed Palestinian Foreign Minister, Mahmoud al-Zahar, said he was planning to tour East Asia "starting with China" in late May, Liu said the Chinese government had no  plans as yet to receive him.
Liu said the director of China's Office to the Palestinian National Authority, Yang Weiguo, called on al-Zahar on Tuesday, saying China was ready to further develop its traditional friendly ties with Palestine.

Yang also expressed the hope that the Palestinian new government would adopt "positive" steps to promote the peace process of the Middle East, Liu said.

On another topic Liu said the Chinese government hoped the upcoming meeting of the Sino-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) would be fruitful.

Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Yi will co-chair the 17th meeting of the JCCT in Washington with US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and Trade Representative Rob Portman on April 11.

The Chinese government hoped the two sides would discuss issues of common concern in a spirit of equality and mutual benefit, he said.

The Chinese delegation will include 202 entrepreneurs from 111 enterprises, Liu said. They will hold seminars and promotions on trade investment with US enterprises in 14 cities in 13 states, signing contracts involving agricultural products, aircraft, software, automobiles and components, as well as electrical products and medical equipment.

Sino-US trade volume hit US$212 billion last year. Actual investment from the United States in China reached US$51 billion. China is the fourth largest export market of the United States which is China's second largest trade partner.

On state visits, Senior Minister of the Republic of Singapore Goh Chok Tong will visit China from April 12 to 18, Liu Jianchao announced at the press conference.

"During his stay in China, Goh Chok Tong will meet with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Jia Qinglin and State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan," he said.

Invited by the Chinese government, he will also visit the resort city of Suzhou in East China's Jiangsu Province and China's economic hub Shanghai.

"In recent years, China-Singapore relations have maintained a good momentum of development thanks to the frequent visits between leaders of the two countries and the establishment of a joint commission at the vice premier level," Liu said.

Singapore is China's 7th biggest trade partner with China-Singapore trade volume in 2005 hitting US$33.15 billion.

With its accumulated investment in China amounting to US$27.74 billion by the end of 2005 Singapore was China's 8th biggest investor.

Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Kemelevich Tokayev will pay an official visit to China from April 11 to 13, Liu announced.

Tokayev will meet Premier Wen Jiabao and State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan during his stay in Beijing and hold talks with Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, he said.

"This is the Kazakhstan Foreign Minister's first visit to China since its new government was set up in June 2003," Liu said.

He added the visit would help promote the growth of China-Kazakhstan ties and bilateral cooperation.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis is expected to pay an official visit to China from April 12 to 19 at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Liu said.

(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily April 7, 2006)


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