The Foreign Ministry said yesterday that new measures concerning the release of news in China by foreign news agencies won't affect coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games by visiting journalists.
Ministry spokesman Qin Gang made the remarks at a regular press conference when asked to comment on the "Measures for Administering the Release of News and Information in China by Foreign News Agencies."
He said the measures were aimed at standardizing the foreign media's distribution of news and information, regulating domestic users' subscription to such material, promoting the orderly dissemination of news reports and protecting the legitimate rights and interests of foreign media and domestic users.
Qin said China was an open society and had always given a welcome to the foreign media reporting on the country.
"China will continue to improve its work and provide more services, convenience and help to foreign media and journalists," said Qin. China also hoped foreign journalists would observe the laws and regulations of their resident country, he added.
In 1996 the State Council first authorized Xinhua News Agency, the state news agency, to administer the publication in China of economic information by foreign news agencies. The recent measures were just a "reasonable continuation" of the 1996 administration measures, said Qin.
Qin also said that the injured Chinese diplomat in Syria was in stable condition in a local hospital. Qin explained that the political counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Syria, Li Hongyu, was slightly injured when hit in the face by flying shrapnel. He'd been taken to hospital for emergency treatment.
The US embassy in Damascus, capital of Syria, was attacked by a group of militants Tuesday morning. Three militants were killed but no one in the embassy was injured. The Chinese embassy is located very close to the US embassy.
The attack occurred at about 10:05 AM (07:05 GMT) and intense gunfire was heard.
The district, where many foreign missions, security installations and the homes of senior Syrian government officials are located, has been sealed off by security guards.
Another 10 citizens were also injured in the terrorist assault. The attack happened just one day after the fifth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US carried out by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network.
In response to the question of the nomination of Rabiya Kadir, a member of the "East Turkistan" terrorist force, as a Nobel Peace Prize candidate, Qin said Rabiya's statements and actions, aimed at destroying the peace and stability of Chinese society, ran against the original intention of the Nobel Peace Prize. He wondered what the motivation for the nomination was.
Qin said Rabiya had been arrested and sentenced for damaging national security by China's judicial organ. Rabiya had colluded with "East Turkistan" terrorist forces abroad, distorted facts and maliciously attacked the Chinese government under the pretence of "democracy" and "human rights." Rabiya had frequently engaged in anti-Chinese activities aimed at splitting the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from China, he said.
Also at the briefing, Qin said the Chinese government had conveyed to the UN its willingness to send more troops to join the UN Interim Force to Lebanon. The dispatch of more troops was still under consideration, he added.
China was always concerned about and supported the Mideast peace process and deemed it important for stabilizing the Mideast situation to carry out the UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and to expand and deploy forces at an early date, Qin said.
"As a permanent member of UN Security Council and a peace-loving country China will make positive contributions to this end," Qin said. Under Resolution 1701 the UN forces will be expanded to 15,000 troops to monitor a cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah group.
On Sino-Japanese relations Qin said the Japanese side should make a wise political decision under the current situation to enable bilateral relations to develop in a sound way.
Qin said the proper handling of history was the political foundation of China-Japan relations and would help Japan to improve its relations with Asian neighbors as well as its international image. He called on Japan to work jointly with China to overcome the current difficulties and make active efforts for the development of bilateral relations.
The Chinese government always attached great importance to the good neighborly relationship of cooperation with Japan and was willing to develop bilateral relations on the basis of the three Sino-Japanese political documents, while adhering to the principle of taking history as a mirror and looking into the future, he stressed.
Qin reiterated the stance of the Chinese government on the Taiwan issue, saying it always opposed those having diplomatic ties with China to conduct official communications with Taiwan.
Japan should abide by its commitment made in the three Sino-Japanese political documents when handling the Taiwan issue -- namely to abide by the one-China policy. Qin also expressed good wishes for the newly born baby of the Japanese imperial house.
Qin said China opposed Japan starting any new dispute on the East China Sea. He stressed that the development of the Chunxiao oil and gas field was carried out within the non-disputed Chinese waters and thus was the normal activity of China of exercising sovereign rights.
Therefore, there was no obligation or requirement for China to report to Japan on oil and gas exploitation, said Qin. On the disputed area of East China Sea, Qin said the two sides should resolve the dispute through consultation.
He said the East China Sea was not yet delimited and China had never accepted the so-called "middle line" claimed by Japan and would never accept it in the future. China wouldn't become involved in discussion on joint-development of the East China Sea based on the "middle line," said Qin.
When responding to when the next round of China-Japan talks -- which have gone six rounds -- would be held, Qin said the date would be set after consultation of both sides.
On the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue, Qin said China hoped all sides would make joint efforts to resume the six-party talks as soon as possible. The current situation on the Korean Peninsula was still sensitive and complicated, said Qin. The concerned sides should focus on how to push for the resumption of the six-party talks. He hoped all sides could show flexibility in creating favorable conditions for the early resumption of talks.
He appealed to all parties for patience, calm and wisdom and to avoid taking any action that might intensify disputes and cause the current situation to deteriorate. "China still hopes to restart the talks via dialogue and consultation," Qin told the press.
The six-party talks involve China, North Korea, the US, South Korea, Russia and Japan. Discussions reached a stalemate when North Korea criticized the US for imposing "financial sanctions" against it.
In reply to a question on whether or not China had plans to send senior officials to North Korea or invite any of their officials to China, Qin said, "China and North Korea have maintained exchanges at various levels." If the two nations planned an exchange of visits the information would be released immediately, he added.
Qin also announced that the top legislative bodies of China and Russia were to hold a roundtable in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province from September 18 to 19.
Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) and Russian Federation Council Chairman Sergei Mironov will attend the opening ceremony and give speeches.
The roundtable discussion is one of the national level events of the "Year of Russia," which has staged more than 130 activities in China. The "Year of China" will take place in Russia in 2007.
On state visits, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will lead a delegation to attend the 61st general debate of the UN General Assembly session from September 17 to 23, Qin announced. After the session Li will pay an official visit to Saint Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda from September 24 to 27.
Li is expected to address the session of general debate and to conduct a series of bilateral and multilateral activities including meeting with UN General Secretary Kofi Annan, President of the UN General Assembly Haya Rashed Al Khalifa and foreign ministers of relevant countries, Qin said.
Li would also hold consultations with the Rio Group and Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, the spokesman said.
The 61st session's general debate is to be held from September 19 to 27, focusing on issues of UN reform, the appointment of the successor to Annan, development goals, counter-terrorism and environmental protection.
Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Law and Security Affairs Widodo Adi Sutjipto is to pay an official visit to China from September 17 to 21, announced Qin. Widodo will co-chair with State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan the first ever meeting of China-Indonesia dialogue mechanism at deputy prime minister level.
(Xinhua News Agency September 13, 2006)