Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing reiterated Sunday that the Taiwan issue is China's "internal affair" and warned against any attempt by the United States and Japan to include Taiwan in the framework of their security alliance.
"The Taiwan issue is China's internal affair and should by no means be deliberated in the framework of the security alliance between the US and Japan," said Li at a press conference held Sunday morning on the sidelines of the ongoing annual full session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), the nation's top legislature.
The minister said it constitutes the infringement upon China's sovereignty and intervention in the country's internal affairs to "directly or indirectly include Taiwan in the framework of the US-Japanese security alliance," and that "the Chinese government and people are in resolute opposition to it."
Li, who served as Chinese ambassador to the United States in Washington in 1998-2001, said that the US-Japan military alliance was only a "bilateral arrangement that occurred under special circumstances during the Cold War period and therefore should "be restricted strictly to the bilateral nature."
If it goes beyond its bilateral scope, the US-Japan alliance will definitely "arouse uneasiness on the part of Asian countries and bring complicated factors to the regional security situation," said the minister.
Calling the Taiwan issue "the most sensitive issue" in Sino-US relations, Li said that both governments should examine and handle this issue "with a far-reaching strategic vision."
He urged Washington to strictly abide by the three joint communiqués between the two governments, which set forth the guideline principles that the US acknowledges there is only one China and Taiwan is a part of China, that the US recognizes the government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, and that the US doesn't seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan and intends to reduce such sales gradually.
Li also denounce secessionist forces in Taiwan for their so-called "dollar diplomacy" in their pursuit of "Taiwan independence." "This is actually a kind of 'bribery diplomacy' and is viewed by many people with insight as a kind of corruption," he said.
In response to a German reporter's question whether the proposed anti-secession law the NPC plans to deliberate at this session will lead to "war consequences," Li stated that the legislation was aimed at preventing the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces from taking any adventurous action to undermine peace in the Taiwan Straits region.
"This legislation has once again reflected our consistent stance to make greatest efforts with utmost sincerity to seek the prospects of peaceful reunification. It will also manifest the common will of the entire Chinese people to safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity and never tolerate the forces for 'Taiwan independence' to make Taiwan secede from China in any name and by any means," he added.
The foreign minister underscored that the law, once adopted, would be conducive to the stability and development of cross-Straits relations, and to the peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region as well as the whole world.
"It will surely win an increasing understanding and support from the international community," the foreign minister predicted.
US, DPRK urged to be flexible in nuclear talks
On the Korea Peninsula nuclear issue, the minister said the six-party talks should be continued despite many difficulties in the peace process.
"No matter how difficult the process is," the top diplomat said, "China always adheres to the position for making peace and facilitating the talks in an objective and impartial way."
The minister urged the US and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to engage in direct talks to increase mutual trust and understanding.
Li said that China pursues the objective for a nuclear-free, peaceful and stable Korean Peninsula. Meanwhile, "the legitimate concerns of the DPRK should be addressed."
"The six-party talks present a realistic choice for the resolution on the nuclear issue through dialogue," he said, adding that the talks are in the interest of all the parties.
The pressing task of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is for the two major parties concerned to gradually increase trust and understanding, said Li.
Both the US and the DPRK are sovereign states, Li said while answering a question from an Associated Press reporter about what steps China would take to "compel" the DPRK back to the six-party talks.
Li said peace is the most valuable thing, and called for concerted efforts of all parties concerned to resume the six-party talks, which will be conducive to realizing a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and maintaining peace and stability there.
He said after receiving the verbal message from President Hu Jintao, DPRK top leader Kim Jong-il said they still pursue the objective for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
"They are ready and willing to continue to participate in the six-party talks," Li said. "They hope the rest of the parties should display more sincerity."
President Hu to attend APEC summit in ROK
Li confirmed that President Hu will attend the informal leaders' meeting of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation in the Republic of Korea (ROK) this year.
Hu's itinerary will be announced by the Foreign Ministry spokesman, he said without giving details.
It is "very likely" that President Hu will go to the United States this year for celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, the diplomat said.
China's sovereignty over Diaoyu Islands 'indisputable'
China has "indisputable, historical and legal sovereignty" over the Diaoyu Island and the adjacent islands. Relevant problems should be solved through talks on the basis of facts and should not affect the healthy development of the Sino-Japanese ties, he said.
He called for concerted efforts of the two countries in handling historical issues and the Taiwan issue "properly" as well as continuing to strengthen cooperation on the basis of the two nations' "overall interests."
The minister said that "proper conditions and atmosphere" should be created to facilitate the resumption of the exchange of high-level visits between China and Japan.
"We should proceed from the fundamental interests of the peoples of both countries and follow the principle of 'drawing lessons from history and looking into the future,'" said the minister.
In response to a Japanese reporter's question when the premier and prime minister of China and Japan can resume the exchange of visits after several years of halt, Li said that he believes Japan and China, and the peoples of both countries, should carry forward their friendship from generation to generation.
"Over the past couple of years, the leaders of the two countries have been meeting for several times on multilateral occasions, and they have had very friendly discussions," he added.
Li said relations between China and Japan were achieved as a result of the "long-term and arduous efforts" made by generations of leaders, governments and peoples of the two nations.
"It is a hard-won result and deserves to be cherished," said the minister.
To maintain sound relations with Japan is a set policy of China and the Sino-Japan friendship should continue from "generation to generation."
China opposes hegemonism, stressing peace, democracy
China opposes hegemonism and advocates peace, multilateralism and democracy in international relations, Li told the press conference.
"The theme of our times is peace and development but hegemonism remains a threat," Li said, reviewing late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's remarks on China's foreign policy of peace.
"We are against any country that practices hegemonism; we are against any country that commits aggression on others; and we are fair in our words and in our deeds," he said.
China receives 52 heads of state and government in 2004
Li said that a total of 52 heads of state and government of foreign countries visited China in 2004.
"Over the past year we received 29 visiting heads of state and 23 heads of government of foreign countries," said Li.
Top Party and state leaders of China, including President Hu Jintao, top legislator Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao, and Jia Qinglin, chairman of the Chinese People 's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), visited 34 countries across the world last year, added the minister.
"It is very important for us to make friends in the international community as we are trying our best to implement the principle of 'doing diplomatic work for the people,'" he explained.
China now has 235 diplomatic missions worldwide, with a total of 5,600-strong staff members. Among them, more than 3,200 are from his ministry, Li said.
China's energy import exerts limited impact on global oil price
China, both an energy consumer and producer, should not be responsible for the world's rising oil prices, Li said.
"Although China's energy import has increased a little bit over the past two years, its import only accounts for approximately 6 percent of the world's total traded oil," he said.
It's true that China's energy demand has increased to certain extent as the country's economy has been growing rapidly in recent years, but the demand is mainly to be met domestically, he said.
Besides, he added, there is a big potential of saving energy and improving the use of energy efficiency in China's domestic energy supply.
Therefore, the media criticism saying that China is a major impact on the world's oil price is "groundless," he said.
China ready to further friendship, cooperation with Singapore
In response to a Singaporean journalist's question on Sino-Singaporean relations, Li said China appreciates the Singaporean government's adherence to the one-China principle and opposition to "Taiwan independence."
He said China is willing and ready to further deepen the friendly relations and cooperation with Singapore in the United Nations and other international organizations as well as the regional cooperative frameworks of "10+1" and "10+3", meaning the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus China (10+1), and plus China, Japan and the ROK (10+3), respectively.
The ASEAN groups Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Singaporean diplomatic relations.
(Xinhua News Agency March 7, 2005)