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FM: Chad, China Crown Renewed Relations as Minister Visits Beijing
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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang Thursday announced that Chadian Minister of External Relations Ahmad Allam-Mi will pay an official visit to China from April 18-20, the first China trip of a foreign minister from Chad since the two countries resumed diplomatic ties last August.

Allam-Mi is invited by his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing, and during his stay, the two foreign ministers will hold talks and exchange views on bilateral ties and other issues of common concern, Qin said.

Allam-Mi will also attend a ceremony marking the renewed operation of Chad's embassy in Beijing.

Since the two countries resumed diplomatic ties last August, bilateral exchanges had seen a steady increase, Qin said, adding bilateral trade volume also witnessed remarkable growth.

"We are willing to exchange opinions with the Chadian side on developing bilateral relations and other issues of common concern during Allam-Mi's visit," the spokesman said.

China and Chad established formal diplomatic links in 1972 but China severed diplomatic relations with Chad in 1997 when the country "resumed" diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

On Aug. 6 last year, Li Zhaoxing and Allam-mi signed a joint resolution to recommence diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Also on Thursday, China condemned the two terrorist bomb blasts that shook the Algerian capital Algiers Wednesday morning.

"China opposes any form of terrorism and condemns the twin blasts incident in Algeria. We express our profound condolences over the victims and offer sympathy and solicitude for families of the victims," Qin Gang said in a statement.

The blasts, one of which targeted the prime minister's headquarters, have caused 33 deaths so far, Algeria's Interior Minister Noureddine Yazid Zerhouni told press on Thursday.

On Tuesday, three suicide bombers blew themselves up one after another in Morocco's largest city of Casablanca, killing at least one person and injuring dozens of others.

"We are shocked by the violent attacks in Algeria and Morocco and extended our condolences to families of those who died in the bombings," Qin said earlier Thursday at a regular briefing.

Turning to Sino-Japanese relations, Qin said that China would like to learn from Japan and work more closely with Japan in the energy sector.

On Wednesday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed a joint press communiqué calling for stronger cooperation on energy and environmental protection.

Noting China and Japan are both big energy consumers, Qin said Japan boasts advanced technology in the energy sector, particularly in clean energy and renewable energy.

"China would like to gain useful experience from Japan as the country pursues a path to sustainable development and strives to build a resource conserving and environmentally friendly society," Qin said.

Also on Thursday, Director of the National Development and Reform Commission Ma Kai co-chaired with his Japanese counterpart the first China-Japan energy policy dialogue in Tokyo.

"The dialogue will help China and Japan understand each other and work more closely," the spokesman said. "Hopefully exchange of this kind will continue and produce new fruits."

As for Sino-Portuguese relations, Qin said Macao's return to China has added new vigor to the relations on the eve of 20th anniversary of signing of the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration.

The governments of China and Portugal officially signed the Joint Declaration on the Question of Macao in Beijing on April 13, 1987, which explicitly stipulates that the Chinese government would resume the exercise of sovereignty over Macao as of December 20, 1999.

Since Macao's return in 1999, the Basic Law of Macao Special Administrative Region has been enforced and the principles of "one country, two systems," "Macao people governing Macao" and "a high degree of autonomy" have been carried out, Qin said.

Macao's economy is developing and progress has been achieved in Macao's cultural and social development, which we are glad to see, he added.

"Macao's return is a successful model of cooperation between the governments of China and Portugal," Qin added.

Qin said the Sino-Portuguese relations have developed continuously in recent years with leaders of the two countries keeping close contact and bilateral cooperation and exchanges in various fields expanding.

China is willing to work jointly with Portugal in pushing forward bilateral ties, the spokesman said.

In another development, Qin urged actions by all parties to promote progress of the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

"We hope relevant parties will consider the general situation, overcome difficulties and implement the initial steps of the February 13 joint document as soon as possible to promote the continuous progress of the six-party talks," said Qin.

The talks have been in recess since March 22 due to difficulties in resolving the issue concerning the transfer of the allegedly illicit funds of North Korea frozen in a Macao-based bank.

Qin said China hopes the issue can be resolved properly as soon as possible, adding settlement of the issue should be conducive both to safeguarding financial and social stability of Macao and promoting the process of six-party talks.

He stressed that the September 19 joint statement and the February 13 joint document have shown the political will of all the six parties to realize denuclearization of the Peninsula through dialogues and negotiations and through the six-party talks process, and such will has not changed.

Qin said he still had no information about when the six-party talks will be resumed.

Referring to the Darfur issue, China welcomes an agreement reached in a tripartite meeting among the Sudanese government, the United Nations (UN), and the African Union (AU), calling for resolving the Darfur issue through equal dialogues.

Representatives of the three parties reached the agreement on increasing UN logistic support for the AU peacekeeping force in Darfur on Monday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

"We hope parties concerned continue to implement the peace plan put forward by former UN chief Kofi Annan through equal dialogues, and properly settle the Darfur issue so as to promote early peace, stability, and development in the region," Qin said.

The Sudanese government, the UN, and the AU worked out last November a three-phase support package concerning the light and heavy logistic support to be provided by the UN to AU's peacekeeping force in Darfur.

In response to the latest situation in Kyrgyzstan, Qin expressed deep concern and called for international efforts to play a constructive role in maintaining stability in the country.

Qin made the remarks when asked to comment on whether the current situation in Kyrgyzstan would affect a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) scheduled to be held in the country's capital Bishkek in August.

According to reports, thousands of opposition members have launched protests and rallies since April 9 to press President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to step down. The president's decree last December to reverse several constitutional amendments and recover the authority to form the cabinet has triggered anger among opposition members.

Qin said the August summit is very important for the SCO development, noting the member states agreed to give full support to Kyrgyzstan, who is the present SCO's rotating chair, to properly prepare for the summit.

He said China sincerely hopes that Kyrgyzstan can maintain stability and develop its economy,as this is in the fundamental interests of the people in and beyond the country's borders.

Qin also announced that British deputy Prime Minister John Prescott will pay an official visit to China from April 19-25, at the invitation of Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan.

(Xinhua News Agency April 13, 2007)

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