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More efforts urged to settle Iran nuclear issue
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China on Thursday called on the international community to ramp up diplomatic efforts for a proper settlement of the Iran nuclear issue.

Foreign Minsitry spokesperson Jiang Yu said on Thursday at a regular press conference that the Chinese side hopes that "Iran will abide by the UN resolution and continue to demonstrate flexibility and fully cooperate with the international community."

She also reiterated calls for peaceful settlement of the Iran nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations. "Our position on the Iran nuclear issue is consistent. We support the maintaining of the international nuclear non-proliferation system and the peace and stability of the Middle East area," she said.


Jiang said the Chinese side hopes for an early resumption of talks to break the stalemate and seek a comprehensive, long-term and proper settlement to the issue.


Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili has arrived in Beijing for talks on Thursday with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and meeting with State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan on Friday, Jiang said.


A meeting of five countries holding permanent UN Security Council seats, plus Germany, will be convened in Berlin next week on the Iran nuclear issue, according to the US State Department.


Fish boat robberies


China has asked Vietnam to seriously investigate a recent robbery of some of its fishing vessels by Vietnamese fishermen in the Beibu Gulf.


"China is highly concerned about the case, and has made representations to Vietnam and required the Vietnamese side to seriously investigate and handle the case, and at the same time, take effective measures to avoid further cases," said Jiang.


According to Jiang, on Jan. 7, some fishing vessels from south China's Hainan Province were robbed by armed Vietnamese fishermen amid normal operations in the Beibu Gulf, situated in the northern part of the South China Sea, leading to lost property.


She said Vietnam promised to coordinate with China in the investigation into the robbery.


"We are ready to make joint efforts with the Vietnamese side to safeguard stability in the Beibu Gulf and the immediate interests of the fishermen living along the gulf."


Taiwan Straits


Jiang said that the Chinese government hopes the United States will be cautious while operating in the Taiwan Straits, a highly sensitive region.


The remarks were made while answering media questions about the visit of Timothy Keating, Commander-in-Chief of the US Pacific Command.


Jiang said she hopes the US side would adhere to the promises it had made on the Taiwan issue and safeguard peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and the overall situation of China-US relations with concrete actions.


Keating reaffirmed the United States' adherence to the one-China policy during his visit, which the Chinese side appreciated, Jiang said.


She added that the stable and healthy development of China-US relations conformed to the basic benefits of the two countries and was conducive to the peace and stability of the Asian-Pacific region and the whole world.


Keating ended his four-day tour in China after leaving Guangzhou on Wednesday afternoon. This was his second visit to China since he was appointed commander-in-chief of the US Pacific Command.


China-Germany relations


China hopes that Germany and China will handle mutual ties from a strategic and comprehensive view, and ensure that the relations between the two countries develop in a healthy and stable way, said Jiang on Thursday.


The two sides need to recognize and pay attention to the important issues of concern to each other, said Jiang.


When asked to comment on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's words that Germany is willing to improve Sino-German relations, Jiang said China values Merkel's attitude greatly.


Merkel also revealed plan to visit China in October during the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) on Tuesday, and wished success for the 2008 Olympic Games.


Jiang said China attaches great importance to the ties with Germany, and always develops relations with Germany under the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, as well as the non-interference in each other's internal affairs.


Terrorist attack in Afghanistan


China was "shocked" by the terrorist attack against Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere and his delegation, which killed one person, said Jiang.


Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has sent a telegraph to Stoere expressing condolences for the victim, Yang told a regular press conference on Thursday.


Jiang said Yang also extended sympathy for Stoere, the injured and their families.


China strongly condemns and firmly opposes any form of terrorism and is willing to work with the international community toward world peace and stability, said Jiang.


A Norwegian delegation headed by Stoere was hit by a terrorist attack on Monday at a luxury hotel in the Afghan capital, Kabul. Stoere avoided injury. But a Norwegian journalist was killed and an employee of Norway's Foreign Ministry was seriously wounded.


China's worry about Kosovo independence


China is worried about the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders, Jiang said.


Jiang said how to solve the problem in Kosovo is a matter that relates to peace and stability in the Balkan region and the basic norms of international relations.


"The Chinese side believes that finding a solution acceptable to both Serbia and the Kosovo Provisional Institutions of Self-Government is the best way out, and the international community should continue making efforts in this direction," Jiang said.


(Xinhua News Agency January 18, 2008)

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