The Tragedy of Falun Gong Practitioners
Spokesman Urges Consultation

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman yesterday urged "relevant countries" to engage in consultation instead of confrontation to handle human rights disputes.

Spokesman Zhu Bangzao made the remarks at a regular briefing in response to a report that a number of US congressmen had urged the Bush administration to sponsor a motion critical of China in this year's UN Human Rights Commission conference in Geneva.

"Past experiences have fully demonstrated that dialogues based on equality and mutual respect are the only correct ways to solve the disputes between countries concerning human rights," said Zhu.

Western countries have put forward motions criticizing China's human rights conditions nine times since 1990 to the UN Human Rights Commission conference, but none has been successful.

Zhu yesterday also expressed China's concern over the recent terrorist actions in Israel and the West Bank.

China hoped that both Palestine and Israel will avoid violence so as to create an environment conducive to the resumption of peace talks.

Zhu said the second round of security dialogues between China and India were "frank and friendly."

The meetings, which were held in New Delhi last Thursday, were the first of their kind at the assistant-ministerial level since the two countries restored bilateral relations. The two sides agreed to strengthen co-operation on international and regional issues, according to the spokesman.

Zhu also discussed the issue of the 17th Karmapa Lama, who is now living in India.

China has asked the Indian Government to respond to reports that it had granted him refugee status.

Zhu said the Indian Government has clearly expressed that it will not allow the Karmapa to engage in any anti-Chinese activities, nor will it allow any foreign force to use him to engage in such activities.

Zhu yesterday again voiced China's opposition to the US deployment of the National Missile Defence (NMD) system, saying that it will severely impact on world stability and the process of disarmament, and may trigger a new arms race.

Zhu said that China is ready to discuss the issue with all nations, including the United States, and make all efforts to safeguard the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, improve international arms control, disarmament and the process of non-proliferation.

Zhu also expressed China's strong opposition to the reported nomination of Li Hongzhi, the founder of the Falun Gong cult, for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

(China Daily 02/16/2001)