China has rejected Israeli calls for sanctions against Iran following an unexpectedly long meeting between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and visiting Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni.
It is reported that in the meeting Livni expressed the hope that China would support imposing new sanctions on Iran. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Jianchao said at a regular press conference Tuesday afternoon that China does not support the use of sanctions as a general tool for handling international relations.
China believes the best choice is to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue peacefully and through diplomatic talks. It is in the common interest of the international community, Liu said.
Liu said at present relevant parties, including Iran, are seeking resolution through dialogues. At this moment, the use of such measures as sanctions should be avoided so as not to make the situation more complicated.
Livni arrived in Beijing Sunday for a three-day official visit at the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
Canada admonished for Dalai Lama's visit
In response to a public meeting involving Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Governor-General Michaelle Jean, and the Dalai Lama, Canada was asked to stop supporting and shielding Tibetan secessionists' activities to prevent further damage to bilateral relations.
Canada's actions are "seriously detrimental to China-Canada relations," Liu said when asked about the impact of Monday's meeting on bilateral ties. "The Canadian side violated the basic international norm and blatantly interfered in China's internal affairs," he added.
"The words and deeds of the Dalai Lama during the past decades show he is a political exile who engages in secessionist activities and undermines the unity of ethnic groups in the name of religion," he explained.
"China has been opposing countries and individuals using the Dalai Lama issue to interfere in China's internal affairs," he said, adding that China expresses "dissatisfaction and resolute opposition" to Canada's actions.
The Chinese embassy in Canada sent a letter to that country's government on Monday, hoping that Canada would take "concrete steps to safeguard China-Canada relations."
China defends its position on Darfur
Responding to British legislators' criticism of China for its role in the Darfur issue, Liu said their actions were "irresponsible."
Some UK lawmakers delivered a letter to the Chinese embassy in London on Monday, criticizing China's role in Darfur, and hinting at a boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics because as a result.
"To criticize China on the Darfur issue is an irresponsible act," Liu said. "China has been playing a constructive role in Darfur. It's there for all to see."
He reiterated China's support for the UN road map for a political solution to the problem and urged the Darfur rebels to participate in the peace talks.
"We regret that the legislators of some countries turn a blind eye to what China has done and is still doing in Darfur."
Japan criticized for Diaoyu Islands incident
Liu criticized Japan after the Japanese Coast Guard fired water canons at a boat carrying Chinese nationals off the coast of the Diaoyu Islands, saying it violated international law.
The Chinese citizens were protesting the so-called "actual control" and "enforcement right" of the islands by the Japanese. "The Diaoyu Islands and the nearby islets have been an integral part of China since ancient times and China has irrefutable sovereignty over them," Liu said.
The ministry has repeatedly offered incontestable historical and legal evidence backing Chinese ownership of the islands, and explained that Chinese citizens have a legitimate right to express such sovereignty.
Jordanian king visits Beijing
China hopes the Jordanian king's current visit to China would help further promote bilateral political trust and economic cooperation, Liu said.
Jordanian King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein arrived in Beijing on Monday, starting a four-day state visit as guest of President Hu Jintao.
"I believe leaders from both China and Jordan will exchange views on the Middle East peace process," Liu said.
China is willing to strengthen contact with relevant countries in an effort to push forward the Middle East peace process and China will continue to play a constructive role in this regard, Liu said.
Vice Premier to head for Kazakhstan
Vice Premier Wu Yi will head for Astana, Kazakhstan on November 7 to attend the fourth meeting of the China-Kazakhstan Cooperation Committee at the invitation of Kazak Deputy Prime Minister Umirzak Shukeev, who is to co-chair the upcoming meeting with Wu, Liu announced.
(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily October 31, 2007)