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FM: China Adheres to Peaceful Development
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China's national defense policy that is defensive in nature, and will follow a road of peaceful development, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang Thursday in response to Australia's defense policy paper at a press conference in Beijing yesterday.

A new defense policy paper launched by Australian Prime Minister John Howard on Thursday stated that China's military modernization, especially its new and disruptive capabilities such as the anti-satellite missile, could lead to regional instability.

Qin said that Australian leaders had previously praised China's foreign and defense policies during dialogue with Chinese counterparts, said Qin, adding that a country's foreign policy should accord with its defense policy papers.

Qin said China-Australia relations had been progressing well with regular high-level contacts, and active cooperation in various fields.

"We would like to make efforts with Australia to push forward the continued, steady and healthy development of bilateral ties," the spokesman said.

Six-Party Talks resumption

"Various possibilities for the resumption have been floated," said Qin, adding that China was talking to other parties.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov was quoted by ITAR-TASS news agency on Wednesday that the talks could resume next week. China has "noted the remarks of the Russian chief delegate" and is talking to other countries about a swift resumption.

The talks could be brought back after a bout of frenetic diplomacy with US envoy Christopher Hill and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi both visiting the DPRK over the past fortnight.

The DPRK recently welcomed inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect its nuclear facility, a step seen as being highly conducive to the six-party talks process.

The IAEA has devised a verification arrangement in order to shut down and seal the Yongbyon nuclear establishment after its five-day visit last week.

According to the February 13 agreement, the DPRK should have shut down and sealed off its Yongbyon nuclear facilities within 60 days in exchange for 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil or equivalent aid.

China-Japan relations

"As long as one assumes a government post, particularly a high-ranking one, one must conduct oneself in a manner suitable for the country and in the interests of keeping friendly cooperation with neighboring countries," said  Qin.

Yuriko Koike was formally announced as Japan's new defense minister on Wednesday, becoming the first Japanese woman to hold the post. She replaces Fumio Kyuma, who resigned a day earlier, after saying that the use of the atom bomb by the United States in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II could have been justified.

"The Chinese and Japanese leaders have reached consensus on enhancing military exchanges between the two countries," Qin said, adding that more efforts should be made to host military exchanges and expand mutual trust.

US slammed for Taiwan official's transit stop

China has firmly upbraided the United States for permitting Taiwan's Annette Lu Hsiu-lien to make a transit stop on its territory, Qin said.

"China's stance has been constant and clear, as we firmly oppose any form of official exchanges between the US and Taiwan," Qin told a news briefing.

"We strongly urge the US side to abide by one-China policy, as lain down in the three Sino-US joint communiqués and oppose 'Taiwan independence', to prevent Lu from furthering any secessionist activities in the United States, and to halt sending mixed signals to 'Taiwan independence' forces. This would safeguard stability across the Taiwan Straits and the overall situation of Sino-US relations," Qin added.

China supports Pakistan's measures for stability

"As a friendly neighbor of Pakistan, China backs Pakistan's measures to safeguard social stability and economic development," Qin stated.

Qin's comment came after violence erupted over religious students of the hard-line Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, and law enforcers in Islamabad on Tuesday.

(Xinhua News Agency July 6, 2007)

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