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FM: Flexibility Needed for Darfur Issue
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At a press conference yesterday in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang stated that China urges the Sudanese government to be flexible over on the Darfur issue and to consider a peace plan proposed by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Beijing has brought up the affair with Haj Ahmed El Gaili, Chief of Joint Staff of Sudanese armed forces, currently on an eight-day visit to China.

Qin reiterated that China wishes to see Darfur experience peace, stability and a stable economy.

He also said any solutions should not affect Sudan's sovereignty and unity, and pledged China's support for Annan's peace plan.

China will pursue its constructive role with the international community to push forward the issue.

Yesterday, Haj Ahmed El Gaili met with Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan with both sides agreeing to foster friendly cooperation.

El Gaili will later today meet wit Chief of General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Liang Guanglie.

Turning to Premier Wen Jiabao's visit next week to the Republic of Korea and Japan, Qin said the trip will build mutual trust and bilateral cooperation.

Wen will first travel to Seoul on Tuesday to meet with ROK President Roh Moo-hyun and Prime Minister Han Myung-sook, Qin said. He will then fly to Tokyo on Wednesday to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and deliver a speech to the Japanese Parliament.
"The premier will take this chance to expound China's stance on the improvement and development of Sino-Japanese relations and cooperation between the two countries," said Qin.

Wen's three-day visit to Japan will end with him taking in the sights of Kyoto, the country's former capital. 

"China hopes the visit will lay out the development of a mutually beneficial relationship relying on common strategic interests, improve trade cooperation as well as educational and cultural exchanges, including those between young people," Qin said.

China and Japan already have a consensus for moving past political obstacles, said Qin, adding that handling the historical issue in a proper manner was key to improving Sino-Japanese ties. 

Qin expressed his hope that both sides would stick to the path of "peaceful co-existence, friendship for generations, mutually beneficial cooperation and common development," appreciate the current momentum of improvement and use it to build stronger foundations for friendly cooperation.

On the East China sea issue, Qin dismissed claims that the differences thereon would influence the overall relationship between the two nations. He repeated that China advocates pressing ahead with joint explorations.

The ROK and Japan are both important neighbors of China, Qin said, adding that "it is of great importance if the three countries can build good neighborly and friendly relations based on mutual trust and cooperation."

Addressing Li Zhaoxing's visit to the South Asian Association Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and China's new observer status there, Qin said that China will promote exchanges and cooperation based on the principles of equality, mutual trust and reciprocal cooperation.

The SAARC is an important organization which plays a pivotal role in ensuring common development in south Asia.

Qin said that as neighbor of south Asian countries, China will play a full part in contributing to regional peace, stability as well as economic and social development.

Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing is currently attending the 14th SAARC summit in New Delhi, representing China's observer status.

Turning to the Solomon Islands which were hit by a tsunami, Qin said that the Red Cross Society of China has given emergency financial aid to its sister association in the Solomon Islands.

China has sent expressed its condolences for the loss and casualties caused by the earthquake catastrophe in the Solomon Islands.

A series of earthquakes, the largest measuring close to 8.1 on the Richter Scale, hit the Western Province of the Solomon Islands early on Monday morning, with a follow-up tsunami further battering the island.

At the moment, 20 casualties have been confirmed although the body count is set to rise.
Commenting on Ukrainian President Yushchenko's decision to dissolve the parliament, Qin stated China's call for political and social stability in Ukraine to be maintained, adding that Yushchenko's decisions is an internal affair of the Ukraine. 

He said China hopes that the friendly relations between China and the Ukraine will continue to grow.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko signed a decree to dissolve parliament on Monday and ordered a snap parliamentary election to be held on May 27, moves rejected by the parliament.

(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily April 4, 2007)

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