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Concern over Lee Teng-hui's Visit to Japan
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China urged the Japanese government yesterday to observe its commitment to the Taiwan issue, warning that a possible visit by former Taiwan leader Lee Teng-hui to Japan could further raise tensions between Beijing and Tokyo.


It has been reported that Lee plans to visit Japan in April or May. "We hope Japan would look at Sino-Japanese relations from an overall perspective, and properly handle this issue according to the principles of the three Sino-Japanese political documents," the Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Kong Quan said.


"If you look at his past, you know him now; if you look at him now, you know what he'll be like in the future," Kong said of Lee at a regular press conference.


He said: "Japan is crystal clear what sort of man he is and should deny him a visa under any conditions. Otherwise, Japan would be providing a speaking platform for Taiwan separatists."


Kong also said that Japan's proposal to expand military cooperation with the US in the Taiwan Straits might jeopardize regional security.


Military cooperation between Japan and the US should be carried out within bilateral confines, he said, and should avoid complicating issues relating to regional security and stability.


According to Kong, China's top negotiator Wu Dawei met his US counterpart Christopher Hill yesterday afternoon in Beijing and once again called on all the involved parties to make joint efforts to resume the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue.


During the talks, Wu, also vice foreign minister, reiterated China's longstanding position on the nuclear issue, which is the adherence to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and a peaceful solution through dialogue.


"Under the current complicated situation, all parties must show goodwill and sincerity to push forward development," Kong said.


Hill was in Beijing for several hours to discuss ways to push talks forward after stopovers in Seoul and Tokyo. 


"We look forward to seeing the talks move on in this difficult stage," Hill said upon arrival at the Beijing airport.


The fifth round of talks concluded without an agreement on November 11 in Beijing.


Turning to the Iranian nuclear issue, Kong said China hopes that all parties concerned can maintain restraint, noting that solving the issue through talks is in everyone's interests.


He added China hopes Iran will show some positive gestures to build mutual trust so as to resume negotiations with the three EU nations, namely the UK, Germany and France.


Iran on Tuesday removed seals placed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from its Natanz nuclear plant, which will allow it to resume sensitive nuclear research.


The US and the EU have warned that they are likely to ask the UN Security Council, which can impose economic sanctions, to take up the matter.


Commenting on Indian Oil Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar's ongoing visit, Kong said it has been successful so far, and China hopes to develop energy cooperation with India based on an equal, friendly and mutually beneficial basis.


In another development, Kong said China is deeply concerned over Mongolia's political changes and hopes the country is able to maintain political stability.


"The issues are, in the first place, Mongolia's internal affairs," he said, adding that China hopes bilateral cooperation will move forward in a healthy and steady way.


Mongolia's biggest political party on Wednesday announced it had quit the coalition government. In a statement, the Mongolian People's Revolution Party (MPRP) said it made the decision following internal conflicts within the coalition.


The MPRP said the internal conflicts had weakened the ability of the government to run the country.


The MPRP, which has 38 of the 76 seats in the Grand Hural, Mongolia's parliament, said it hoped to form its own government with other parties.


The MPRP has also demanded Prime Minister Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj's resignation.


Also at yesterday's briefing, Kong said Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis will visit from January 19 to 22 at the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao.


(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily, January 13, 2006)

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