China frowned on Taiwan's efforts to invite former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to visit the island, and urged Japan yesterday to be "on high alert" to such an invitation.
Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian on Wednesday formally invited Koizumi to visit the island, an action China views as separatist activity.
"We oppose Taiwan authorities' activities of separating the motherland on the international stage in any name or with any excuses," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news briefing.
"We hope the Japanese side can be on high alert to this," Qin warned, while urging Japan to handle the question of Taiwan properly under the one-China principle.
Despite relinquishing the Prime Minister's mantle to Shinzo Abe on Tuesday, Koizumi remains a member of the Japanese parliament.
Discussing the prospects of a summit between China and Japan, Qin said that the Chinese government attaches importance to relations with Japan and is willing to make joint efforts with Japan to improve and push Sino-Japanese relations.
"As for a summit meeting between the two leaders, our stance has been consistent and clear," Qin said, but didn't elaborate.
Abe and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun held a 15-minute phone conversation yesterday, agreeing to meet at an early date to improve strained ties.
China and South Korea had shunned summits with Abe's predecessor, Koizumi, over his pilgrimages to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan's class-A WWII war criminals along with others. Thus, a South Korea-Japan summit could be a prelude to an official meeting between Chinese and Japanese leaders.
Qin yesterday criticized Japan's new defense chief Fumio Kyuma for his remarks about the so-called "China threat."
Kyuma was quoted on Wednesday, one day after being named to the post in Abe's cabinet, as saying that China's increasing military spending posed a threat to Japan.
"China sticks to the road of peaceful development. China's development is not a threat to any other country," Qin said.
Turning to the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue, Qin said Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, China's chief representative on the six-party talks, would visit Seoul from Friday to Sunday.
"He will exchange views with the South Korean side on promoting the resumption of the six-party talks and other issues of mutual concern," Qin said.
The South Korean Foreign Ministry also confirmed the visit, adding that Wu would also discuss a planned summit meeting between the leaders of the two countries in October. It said Wu would meet South Korea's foreign minister and chief envoy to the six-party talks.
Roh Moo-hyun said yesterday that his country has informed North Korea of a South Korea-US joint approach aimed at jump-starting the stalled talks on the North's nuclear weapons program, but said that Pyongyang hasn't yet given a response.
Qin also said China would welcome a visit by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at an appropriate time.
"We would welcome Rice's visit at an appropriate time to discuss Sino-US relations and issues of common concern," he said.
Rice previously visited China in her capacity as secretary of state in March and July last year.
In another development, Qin refuted a foreign media report that organs of executed prisoners are traded in China, saying the use of organs is "very cautious."
"The sale of organs is prohibited. Donated organs must have the consent of the donor in written form," he said, adding that the use of organs must also be approved by the provincial health department and the local provincial high court.
Hospitals carrying out organ transplants must be qualified to do transplant surgery and should be approved by the provincial health department, he added.
China has always abided by principles of the World Health Organization on human organ transplants, and health departments deal with those operations in strict accordance with the law, Qin said.
He said China had implemented regulations on administration of human organ transplants on July 1, requesting hospitals to ensure quality and safety of such medical treatment. And any activity that violated relevant regulation would be punished according to law.
Moving on to Iraq, Qin said China aims to resume and promote oil cooperation with the Middle Eastern country based on equal and mutual benefit.
"Chinese companies had contracts on some projects like oil exploration and construction before the war in Iraq," Qin said in response to a question on whether Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein Shahristani was visiting China, before adding that no information was available on the Iraqi minister's China visit.
"Current Sino-Iraqi cooperation simply focuses on oil trade and training programs due to the US-led war in Iraq that broke out in March 2003," he said.
According to Hussein Shahristani, the country's daily oil production had reached 2.5 million barrels, returning to the level prior to the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003.
"China is willing to resume and promote oil cooperation with Iraq based on equally mutual benefits," Qin said, adding that China's interests and rights should be safeguarded and protected in Iraq.
China, the world's second largest energy consumer and producer, imported 136 million tons of petroleum last year, accounting for 6 percent of the total world trade volume of crude oil that year.
As for the UN peacekeeping efforts in Sudan's Darfur region, Qin said that the deployment of UN peacekeepers there should require the permission of the Sudanese government.
"The issue should be fully discussed and especially approved by the Sudanese government so that the peacekeeping actions can show real achievements," he noted.
The Chinese government's consistent stance was that peacekeeping actions should first have the permission of the country concerned, not only on the issue of Darfur, but in other actions in which China has participated, Qin said.
"China has always been concerned about the situation in Darfur and done everything it could to help," Qin said, adding that China has provided humanitarian aid to Sudan and assistance to the peacekeeping troops of the African Union (AU) in the region.
Last month, the UN Security Council passed a resolution that would allow the UN to assume control over the peacekeeping mission from the AU, whose mandate is to expire on September 30.
(China Daily, Xinhua News Agency September 29, 2006)