Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang said on Tuesday China would never trade its sovereignty or principle when asked whether China would support sanctions on Iran if the United States stops selling weapons to Taiwan.
Qin made the remarks at a regular press conference. He said it is improper to connect China's stance on the Iranian nuclear issue with its opposition to weapons sales by the US government to Taiwan.
The Taiwan issue relates to China's sovereignty, territory integrity and reunification, and involves the Chinese people's feeling and China's core interests, he said, adding China has "very firm and clear" stance on the issue.
The stance is that "China firmly opposes arms sales by the US government to Taiwan," the spokesman said. "On the Taiwan issue, China would never trade its sovereignty and principles for others at any time," he added.
Qin said Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday, and the two sides exchanged views on bilateral ties, the Taiwan issue, the Iranian nuclear issue and other topics of common concern.
During the meeting, Yang reiterated China's stance on the Iranian nuclear issue, which is to hope for the earlier restart of talks on the issue and the world community's continuous efforts in solving the issue peacefully through negotiations, the spokesman said.
China would go on to play a constructive role in appropriately solving the Iranian nuclear issue, Qin added.
Yang stressed it is in the common interests of both China and the US to oppose and prevent Taiwan's proposed referendum on UN membership and maintain peace and stability across the Straits, Qin said.
Yang also urged the US government to take practical steps to fulfill its commitments in the three Joint Communiques, keep its solemn promise to China on the Taiwan issue, and stop selling advanced weapons to Taiwan, Qin said.
Yang also urged the US not to send misleading signals to the Taiwan authorities headed by Chen Shuibian, and to safeguard peace and stability across the Straits and the overall relationship between the two countries, he added.
When asked about China's comment on Iran's ballistic missile launching, the spokesman said China hopes for peace, safety and stability in the Middle East and the Gulf region, and wishes all sides concerned would make joint efforts in the process.
China attaches importance to food safety
Qin said China attached great importance to food safety and had taken effective measures in legislation, administration and media supervision.
Qin said obvious achievements have been made since China recently tightened supervising on food safety.
The rate of unqualified products in the export of food from the European Union (EU) to China stood at 0.84 percent in the first nine months of this year, while that from China to EU stood only at 0.2 percent, Qin said.
"We would make 100 percent efforts to resolve the 0.2 percent problem (unqualified food)," Qin added.
Citing Japanese official statistics released last July, Qin said, 99.42 percent of the food exported from China to Japan were qualified, which was higher than the US' rate of 98.69 percent in its exported food to Japan and the EU's rate of 99.38 percent.
Qin admitted that there is certain problems in Chinese food production, but such problems were very few, and China has taken responsible attitude in dealing with the problems so as to continuously raise the qualification rate of food and other products.
Noting that food safety was a challenge for the international community, Qin said all countries should join hands to maintain people's health.
Qin also called on media to make objective, true, just and responsible reports about Chinese food safety, saying China would not only enhance product quality, but also protect legitimate rights and interests of Chinese manufacturers and consumers.
China hopes EU will continue its support on Taiwan issue
China hopes and believes the EU will continue to support China on the Taiwan issue, Qin said.
"Taiwan issue was an issue of principle, and currently the Taiwan authorities had pushed forward the secession activities including so-called "Referendum for joining the United Nations", said Qin when answering questions related to the 10th China-EU summit to be held on Wednesday.
If Taiwan continues conducting secession activities, it would pose a threat to the development on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and to the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large, he said.
The spokesman said China appreciated the adherence of the EU on the one-China policy, and hoped the EU, the comprehensive and strategic partner of China, would continue to support China on the Taiwan issue.
On the Renminbi exchange rate issue, Qin said, China understood the EU's concern and would like to promote dialogue with the EU to safeguard security and stability of the international monetary and finance market.
He said China would push forward the exchange rate reform and gradually expand the RMB's convertability in accordance with the principles of initiative, controllability and progressiveness.
The comparatively stable RMB conforms to the interest of not only China, but also the region and the world, Qin said.
China to further strengthen cooperation with Australia
China is willing to move forward the China-Australia all-around cooperative relations healthily and steadily together with Australia, Qin said when asked about China's comments on the Labor Party leader Rudd's victory in the elections.
Qin said China attaches great importance to the China-Australia relationship, which is based on cooperation and mutual trust.
Its continuous development would benefit the two countries' common interests as well as regional peace and stability, and help boost common development and prosperity, he added.
Qin said the Chinese government appreciates the high attention paid to bilateral ties by the outgoing Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his government, and their active efforts in boosting the ties.
China is satisfied with the sound development of the China-Australia ties in recent years and believes the relations have a wide prospect, the spokesman said.
By defeating the ruling Coalition headed by Howard, Rudd won an impressive victory in the general elections on Saturday and would be Australia's 26th prime minister.
Macedonian President to visit China
President of the Republic of Macedonia Branko Crvenkovski will visit China from Dec. 4 to 9 at the invitation of President Hu Jintao, Qin announced.
Vietnam protest on navy exercise 'groundless'
Qin on Tuesday refuted Vietnam's protest that Chinese Navy's exercise in Xisha Islands has infringed upon its sovereignty as "groundless".
Qin said "Chinese Navy's routine exercise in Xisha Islands has been its normal activity within China's territorial waters."
China has indisputable sovereignty over Xisha Islands and adjacent water areas, and "no dispute exists between China and Vietnam" in this regard, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency November 28, 2007)