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Japan Wants to 'Ignore History'
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Japanese lawmakers wish to see photographs of Japan's wartime atrocities removed from Chinese museums because they want to avoid facing up to history and repenting for past crimes, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang stated at a press conference yesterday.


A group of Japanese lawmakers, principally hailing from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, vowed on Wednesday to put pressure on China to remove photographs and other exhibits and to stop screening films depicting Japanese wartime atrocities committed before and during World War II.


"The photographs record the horrors of the period to remember history. They are there not to continue hatred, but to prevent tragedies from recurring," Qin said.


Six-party talks


Qin said Beijing was keen for the six-party talks to resume as quickly as possible.


Christopher Hill, the chief US negotiator at the six-party talks, told reporters on Wednesday that he will visit China, South Korea and Japan next week to discuss the possibility of restarting the talks.


Hill said that the long-running banking dispute with North Korea could end "very soon" after Russia offered to help bring it to a close. The frozen funds issue has prevented the six-party talks from moving forward since March.


Nicaragua ties


On reports that Nicaragua is considering diplomatic ties with China, Qin said: "We hope related countries will respect and insist on the one-China principle to make the correct and wise choice."


This would be the second Central American nation to make such a move in recent weeks after Costa Rica established diplomatic relations with China on June 1 after severing ties with Taiwan.


China says the principle followed to forge diplomatic ties with Costa Rica could extend to other nations. Qin added that the Chinese government stands ready to create ties with all countries based on the UN Charter and Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence.


Military spending


Qin Gang slammed US remarks criticizing China's defense spending as "irresponsible," and retorted by asking Washington to stop selling weapons to Taiwan, an action which "sends any wrong signals to Taiwan secessionist forces."


Qin's remarks were in response to' statement. Richard Lawless, the US deputy undersecretary for defense for Asia, reportedly accused China of concealing weapons spending. Qin dismissed this claim, saying China moved for peaceful development and remained transparent in its defense expenditure.


Olympic security


China is ready to tackle security at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in cooperation with other countries, Qin said. Qin was responding to comments by Thomas Fuentes, assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the US, who said that the FBI stood ready to offer its expertise to China during the Games.


Fuentes is in Beijing for the sixth meeting of the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) between China and the US on law enforcement cooperation such as the fight against corruption, cyber crime, fugitives, human smuggling, intellectual property and legal assistance.


Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei and US Ambassador to China Clark Randt are present at the meetings along with officials from the Chinese Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Public Security and Justice and the US Department of State and Department of Justice, he said.


China-US trade issue


"We hope US senators will refrain from politicizing economic and trade issues, and from bringing pressure to bear," Qin said.


Qin made the remarks in response to a bill sponsored on Wednesday by four US senators that seeks to force through a revaluation of the RMB.


"The two sides should resolve trade problems in the principle of equal consultation," He added.


Qin expressed his hopes that the US Congress would take in the importance of the stable development China-US relations from a strategic perspective, and properly handle trade frictions.


China has adopted a managed floating RMB exchange rate, Qin said, among ongoing reforms of the currency.


Iraqi President to visit China


At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani will pay a state visit to China from June 20 to 26, Qin announced.


Qin said Talabani would hold in-depth talks with Hu, as well as meeting with top legislator Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao.


The two sides would discuss bilateral relations as well as international issues of common concern, said Qin, adding that agreements would be signed on increasing cooperation between the foreign ministries and in terms of education and health.


Besides Beijing, the Iraqi president will also tour the ancient city of Xi'an and Nanjing, capital of eastern Jiangsu Province.


(China Daily, Xinhua News Agency June 15, 2007)

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