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President Hu to Attend Outreach Session of G8 Summit
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At the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf, Chinese President Hu Jintao will attend the outreach session of the G8 Summit held in Germany and pay a state visit to Sweden from June 6 to 10. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu made the announcement at a regular press conference Thursday in Beijing.

Jiang said Hu will attend a multilateral meeting of leaders of the five developing countries participating in the session on June 8, and besides, he will also hold bilateral meetings with leaders of some countries to the session, adding detailed schedule is still under discussion.

Hu will pay a state visit to Sweden from June 8 to 10, the first visit by a Chinese head of state to Sweden since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1950, according to Jiang.

She said President Hu will meet with Swedish King Gustaf, Speaker Per Westerberg and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, respectively, reviewing the development of bilateral ties and making plans for future development.

She said Hu will also meet with people from various circles of Sweden, attend a ceremony of the returning of the replica of the 18th century Swedish merchant ship "Gotheborg" from a China tour and deliver a speech at a banquet.

The two sides will sign a number of cooperation agreements on environmental protection and other subjects, Jiang added.

Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi will attend the 11th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and activities related to the Year of China in Russia from June 8 to 12, announced Jiang.

Jiang said Vice Premier Wu will attend the forum and the theme year activities at the invitation of Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev.

Jiang said Wu's participation in the abovementioned activities is a big event of the Year of China in Russia program, adding Wu will attend a series of activities, including a round-table meeting on China-Russia trade and investment cooperation, opening ceremony of "Shanghai Week".

According to Jiang, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is the largest economic forum in the CIS (the Commonwealth of Independent States) and middle and east Europe region, held annually in June in St. Petersburg, Russia.

China sent delegation to the forum in 2005 and 2006, she added.

On the North Korean frozen funds issue, Jiang called for proper solution to it with consideration of all parties' concerns.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei met with visiting US representative Christopher Hill on Wednesday to discuss issues related to the six-party talks including North Korean funds held by the Macao-based Banco Delta Asia, said Jiang.

Saying he had "a good exchange" with the Chinese side, Hill said the discussion touched on "where we are in the six-party talks process".

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister He Yafei also discussed with Hill Sino-US relations. Both sides appraised the progress of bilateral ties which featured multi-level exchanges, effective consultation and cooperation in international and regional issues, as well as the in-depth Sino-US Strategic Economic Dialogue and strategic dialogue mechanism.

China and the United States wanted to continue to implement the consensus reached by both leaders to enhance cooperation, dialogue and mutual respect, and properly handle differences, especially on the Taiwan issue, Jiang said.

In another development, China hopes Japan to seriously consider the just demands of former Chinese laborers who were forced to work in Japan during World War II.

Jiang told the press conference that the impressment of laborers was a severe crime committed by the forces of Japanese militarism during their invasion of China. It is also an issue left over from history between the two countries.

China has been demanding the Japanese government to seriously consider the issue and properly handle it.

The Japanese Supreme Court in late April rejected a damage lawsuit filed by former Chinese laborers, saying Chinese individuals had no right to demand war reparations from Japan.

The five plaintiffs demanded the Tokyo-based construction contractor Nishimatsu Construction Co. to apologize and issue compensations.

The lawsuit was filed in 1998 by Shao Yicheng, Song Yicheng and three families of the deceased laborers, who were among some 360 Chinese forced by Nishimatsu Construction to toil under bitter conditions at a work camp in Hiroshima prefecture in southern Japan during World War II.

Also on Thursday China expressed its strong displeasure on the Japanese government allowing Lee Teng-hui to visit Japan.

"The purpose of Lee Teng-hui's tour is to create fanfare for 'Taiwan Independence' and sabotage China-Japan relations, and we have expressed our strong displeasure to the Japanese government for its decision to allow this visit," Jiang said.

It was reported that Lee Teng-hui arrived in Japan on Wednesday for a visit, during which he said he hoped to visit the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, where his elder brother is enshrined together with Japanese war criminals of World War II.

On the Darfur issue, Jiang said that to impose new sanctions on Sudan would only complicate the Darfur issue and is not conducive to the settlement of the issue.

China hopes all parties concerned would exercise restraint and patience, fully implement the third phase of UN peacekeeping plan known as the Annan plan, continue to improve the humanitarian and security situation in the Darfur region, and push forward the political process of dialogue and consultation for the settlement of the issue.

Jiang noted positive progress has been made on the Darfur issue recently thanks to the joint efforts from all relevant parties, adding that the Sudanese government is now waiting for UN-AU (African Union) proposals on carrying out the third phase of the Annan plan.

In order to solve the Darfur issue, the AU, the UN and the Sudanese government agreed last November on a three-phase support plan, also known as the Annan plan as it was put forward by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Referring to Iran nuclear issue, Jiang said China hopes the new talks between Iran and EU could produce positive results, which will help to resume formal negotiation at an early date and finally seek comprehensive, long-term and proper solutions to the Iran's nuclear issue.

It is the best choice to solve the Iran nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiation, said Jiang, adding it accords with the common interests of international community.

Iran said on Sunday that the fresh round of nuclear talks between Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana will be held on Thursday as scheduled in Madrid, Spain.

In late April, Larijani and Solana held two rounds of talks in the Turkish capital of Ankara over Iran's uranium enrichment program.

Jiang also announced on Thursday that Owen S. Arthur, prime minister of Barbados, will pay an official visit to China from June 6 to 10 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2007)

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