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China Seeks Removal of Obstacles to Sino-Japanese Ties
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China was willing to work with Japan to put relations back on the track of healthy development as soon as possible, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang at a regular press conference Thursday in Beijing.

When responding to a journalist's question on Sino-Japanese relations, Qin said the top priority at present was to remove the political obstacles that had influenced the resumption and normal development of bilateral relations.

Qin noted that China had always attached great importance to relations with Japan and was willing to develop neighborly cooperation in line with the principle of taking history as a mirror and looking into the future based on the three Sino-Japanese political documents.

He said China would strive for peaceful coexistence, friendship from generation to generation between the two countries, cooperation on the basis of mutual benefits and common development.

Referring to China-Japan military exchanges, Qin said China attached great importance to the exchanges and cooperation with Japan in various fields.

On the proposal for so-called Taiwan "representation" on the United Nations (UN), Qin said no matter what technique they used any push for "Taiwan independence" would not succeed. The Taiwan authorities should follow the historical trend and stop all secessionist activities, Qin said.

Since 1993 the General Committee of the UN General Assembly has rejected on 13 separate occasions to add proposals for the so-called "Taiwan's representation in the UN" onto their agenda.

On the Darfur issue China supported the international community's efforts to ease the current situation in Sudan, said Qin. China had a different understanding towards sending peacekeeping forces to the region.  

"China does not profit from this but the purpose is to better maintain the region's peace and stability and promote the reconciliation of the country," Qin said. "We call on all relevant parties to properly handle the disputes by consultation and dialogue and China will also make positive contributions to this end." 

Also on Thursday Qin said China supported Venezuela's application for a non-permanent position in the UN Security Council. "China and Venezuela now enjoy sound bilateral relations and have maintained close communication and cooperation in dealing with international and regional affairs," said Qin.

He told the press that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had talked about the country's plans to run for non-permanent member status on the UN Security Council in meetings with senior officials during his recent visit to China.

According to UN rules a country from the Latin American or Caribbean region would be appointed to the Security Council as a non-permanent member next year. Its tenure would last for two years. There are ten non-permanent and five permanent members on the UN Security Council.

On the Korean nuclear issue China supported direct contact between North Korea and the US on disputes over economic sanctions in order to create conditions for the early resumption of nuclear talks, said Qin.

"China hopes both sides can adopt flexible and pragmatic attitudes and seek appropriate solutions as quickly as possible," Qin explained. The dispute between North Korea and the US had resulted in a stalemate in the six-party talks. He urged both sides to focus on the whole situation and settle the dispute.

The six-party talks involving China, North Korea, the US, South Korea, Russia and Japan reached deadlock last November when North Korea criticized the US for imposing economic sanctions. 

"China's stance on financial crimes is very clear and unyielding but we also stress the need for facts and hard evidence," the spokesman said.

Qin reiterated that discussions and consultations were the only options with which to resolve the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue and the six-party talks were an effective and practical way to do that.

He also denied reports that China would amend the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance signed between China and North Korea in 1961. "We've no plans to amend the treaty," said Qin. China wish to develop good and friendly relations with North Korea remained unchanged, he commented.

"The treaty plays an important and positive role in promoting friendly and good neighborly relations with North Korea," he said. China's intention was to enhance its ties with Pyongyang in order to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, Qin added.

On the Iranian nuclear issue Qin urged the international community to build on recent EU-Iran talks to create conditions for the resumption of talks. He said the talks between the EU and Iran several days ago had made some positive progress and both sides hoped to continue their discussions. 

The top priority was to seize this opportunity to create conditions for the early resumption of the talks, said Qin. He noted that China considered the peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations as in the best interests of all parties. He urged the nations involved to be patient and calm and spare no efforts in reaching a solution.

Qin also said China urged the Iranian government to carefully consider the concerns of the international community and take further steps to continue cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency to resolve the problems that remain. 

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and top Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani held talks in Vienna on September 9 and 10. They said their meeting was "constructive" and they'd continue talks this week.

In another development China advocated the settlement of marine border disputes in a just and reasonable manner through friendly consultations, said Qin.

Boundary disputes should be resolved according to generally accepted international laws and China was keen to solve the marine border issue by putting aside disputes.  China would stick to the principle of friendly consultation in handling such disagreements, Qin said.

When asked to comment on a Chinese fleet installing marine base-point symbols on islands in the East China Sea, Qin said it was a matter of sovereignty and had no connection with China's marine border issues with neighboring countries.

On the Sino-US military ties, Qin said China had a positive attitude towards dialogue and cooperation with the US in military sectors. "The scale and extent of future cooperation depends on discussion between the two sides," Qin explained. 

Chinese and US navy vessels conducted offshore search and rescue exercises on September 9 in California which forms a part of their joint anti-terrorism military training. He observed that China and the US had a common interest in safeguarding regional and international peace and security.

"China is ready to step up exchanges between the two armed forces," he said. Apart from the naval exercises the Chinese fleet would also visit some US cities which would further assist develop mutual understanding and trust, Qin said.

Two navy vessels, the Qingdao and the Hongzehu, arrived in Pearl Harbor on September 6, the first Chinese navy vessels to call on a US state in six years. Port visits were suspended in 2001 when a Chinese fighter aircraft was damaged by a US surveillance plane over the South China Sea. But relations between the two armed forces have been improving recently.

Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission Guo Boxiong visited the US in July at the invitation of the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Guo is the highest-ranking military officer to visit the US since 2001.

In reply to a question about establishing a possible hotline between Washington and Beijing, Qin said China agreed in principle to maintain contact and dialogue with the US. Such a hotline required further discussion, he said.

China attached great importance to constructive and cooperative China-US relations. Dialogue between the two nations had deepened mutual understanding and promoted bilateral links, said Qin.

On visits, President Valdas Adamkus of the Republic of Lithuania will pay a State visit to China from September 23 to 28 at the invitation of the Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan will pay official visits to Hungary, Belgium, Ireland and Norway from September 19 to 28 as guest of Hungarian Prime Minister Gyurcsany Ferenc, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Didier Reynders, the Irish and Norwegian governments, Qin announced.

(Xinhua News Agency September 15, 2006)


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