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US Team to Taiwan for 5/20 Inauguration Opposed

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao Tuesday expressed China's opposition to the United States on sending a delegation to the Taiwan leader's inauguration on May 20.   

By dispatching a delegation to attend the inauguration, the United States is sending a wrong signal to the Taiwan authority, and that will hamper the stability across the Taiwan Straits, Liu said at a regular news briefing in Beijing.


"China has lodged a solemn representation to the US side," Liu said.


Reports said the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) announced that a US delegation led by Jim Leach, chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs for the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives, would attend the May 20 inauguration and the AIT also said no government officials were involved in the delegation.


Liu urged the US side to keep its promise of abiding by the one-China policy and the three Sino-US joint communiqu├ęs, opposing "Taiwan independence" and the Taiwan authority's unilateral attempt to change the status quo across the Taiwan Straits and its moving toward "Taiwan independence."


"We also urge the US side to handle the Taiwan issue properly and refrain from doing anything that may harm China-US relations and damage the peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits," he said.


China also resolutely opposes a US report criticizing China's human rights situation, the spokesman said. 


In the report titled Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The US Record 2003-2004 published by the US State Department, the United States rebukes the human rights situations in 101 countries and regions, including China, and summarizes the US efforts to promote the human rights in these areas.


Noting that the document reprimands the Chinese government without any reason and portrays China's human rights situation in a negative light, Liu said "China is in firm opposition to that."


The Chinese government has exerted its utmost to promote and protect human rights and the people's fundamental freedom, and persevered in wielding political power for the people and implementing the people-oriented ideology, said Liu, adding that China has made obvious progress in the sphere of human rights.


China advises the United States to do more to look into its own problems and think more of how to improve its own human rights situation, as it is important for the American side to know its own limitations and to refrain from meddling in the domestic affairs of other countries under the pretext of human rights, the spokesman said.


Also at yesterday's briefing, Liu said China expressed "regret" over Japan's position on the Taiwan-related proposal at the 57th World Health Assembly.


The 57th World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted with an overwhelming majority in Geneva on Monday a decision not to include on the agenda a proposal set forth by the Solomon Islands and a few other countries to invite Taiwan to participate in the WHA as an observer.


When asked for China's comment on the fact that Japan voted for the proposal, Liu said "we can only express our regret over Japan's attitude in the course of voting."


In response to a question on Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's imminent visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the spokesman said China has always been supporting Japan and the DPRK to increase contacts, promote their relations and settle the disputes existing between them.


The proper settlement of Japan-DPRK disputes and the improvement of bilateral relations are conducive to the peace and stability in the region, Liu said.


"China's attitude in support of their contacts remains unchanged," noted Liu.


A ranking Japanese cabinet official announced on the afternoon of May 14 that Prime Minister Koizumi would visit the DPRK on May 22 and hold a summit with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il.


Referring to Kazakh President Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev's current state visit to China, the spokesman said that China hopes the agreement between China and Kazakhstan on oil pipeline construction will be implemented quickly.


The agreement is an important result of Nazarbayev's visit, and is also a key component of China-Kazakhstan comprehensive cooperative relations, Liu said, adding "China is glad that the two sides have reached such an agreement."


On Monday, China and Kazakhstan signed a framework agreement to pave the way for full-range cooperation in oil and natural gas.


Specific content of the oil and natural gas cooperation agreement was not released, but a joint statement issued following the formal talks between the two heads of state said that to expand and deepen cooperation in areas of oil and natural gas is of strategic importance to the economic development of the two countries.


"The two sides will work together to finish the Atasu-Alataw Pass oil pipeline as soon as possible, and implement relevant oil development projects," the statement said.


Turning to the Iraq situation, the spokesman said China feels stunned and voices its regret over the assassination of Izzedin Salim, the rotating president of the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council (IGC).


Liu said that the incident once again indicates that the current Iraqi situation is stark and the top priority task is to restore peace, security and stability in Iraq at an early date.


Salim was killed by a car bomber at a checkpoint in Baghdad on Monday.


Moving on to the Korean nuclear issue, Liu said that the first working group meeting of the six-party talks achieved the expected goals.


Liu said the meeting was held in a candid, practical and constructive manner, and was helpful for the concerned parties to deepen their mutual understanding.


Liu said the conducive discussions made by all the parties, with a purpose to solve the nuclear issue, provided a basis for promoting the peace talks process.


The launching of the working group itself was an important progress, Liu said, adding that the working group meeting achieved the expected goals in such issues as the reconfirmation of the consensus made in the second round of six-party talks, the in-depth discussions on nuclear abandonment, security guarantee, nuclear freezing and counter measures, and the proposal of some new ideas and plans.


Liu reiterated that the specific date of the next round of six-party talks is still not set yet, and all the concerned parties would continue to make consultations on this issue.


Delegates from China, the DPRK, the United States, the Republic of Korea, Russia and Japan gathered in Beijing from May 12 to May 15 for the first working group meeting.


In another development, the spokesman said that Vietnam's move to build an airport on Nansha Islands will further complicate the situation in the South China Sea.


Liu said China holds a clear-cut stance over the issue of the Nansha Islands, and China has full historical and legal evidence to prove that it possesses indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and surrounding waters.


Vietnam's move has not only infringed upon China's territorial sovereignty and is illegal and invalid, Liu said, and this move also violated the commitments enshrined in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea Between China and the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations (ASEAN).


It is reported that Vietnam has begun building an airport at an island of Nansha Islands, and the project is expected to finish by the end of this year.


In response to a question pertaining to the future India-Pakistan ties after the formation of the new Indian government, the spokesman said China hopes India and Pakistan can maintain their momentum for improving bilateral relations.


Liu said that India and Pakistan are very important countries in South Asia, and how their relations develop will have a direct impact on peace, stability and development in the region.


For a remarkable period of time, the relations between the two South Asian nations have been improving and developing effectively, Liu acknowledged, adding that China hopes that the two countries could live in harmony, while making due a contribution to peace, stability and development in the region.


In response to a question concerning the escalating Israeli military action in Gaza Strip, the spokesman said China appeals for Israel to immediately halt its military actions, which destroyed large areas of civilian residence and left many civilians homeless.


Liu urged Israel to return back to the path of political settlement.


China voiced its deep sympathy to the Palestinians and has decided to offer humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian side along with the international community, Liu said.


(Xinhua News Agency May 19, 2004)

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Taiwan's Attempt to Access WHO Fails Again
Iraq Council Head Killed in Car Bombing
Six-party Working Group Meeting Ends
Koizumi to Visit DPRK
Kelly Urges Taiwan to Take Beijing's Resolve Seriously
China Indignant About Vietnam's Tourism to Nansha Islands
China Foils US Anti-China Bid on Human Rights
FM Spokesman: China Firmly Opposes US Congratulation to Taiwan Authority
Powell: No Support for Taiwan Independence
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