The Foreign Ministry yesterday extended China's deepest
condolences to Russia for the death of its former President Boris
Yeltsin, calling the departed statesman a "sincere friend" of the
Tirelessly devoted to improving the friendship between China and
Russia, Yeltsin made "remarkable" contributions to improving
bilateral ties while in office, ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao
As president, Yeltsin oversaw the creation of a strategic
cooperative partnership, solved border disputes and helped boost
all-round cooperation, Liu added.
Born on February 1, 1931, Yeltsin worked as a construction
worker, Communist Party official before being elected Russian
president in 1991. He was elected for a second term in 1996 but
stepped down on December 31,1999, giving power to Vladimir Putin,
saying that Russia should enter the new millennium under new
Turning to the Korean Peninsula nuclear standoff, Liu announced
that a cooperative agenda is maintained between all parties.
All concerned have reiterated their commitment in the joint
document signed at the end of the 5th round of six-party talks on
February 13, and China holds these important commitments in the
Some technical problems remain in transferring the funds of
North Korea, but the relevant parties are working to bring this
issue to a close at an early date, he added.
In another development, Liu condemned in the strongest terms a
violent armed attack on a Chinese oil company site in Ethiopia.
Nine Chinese and 65 Ethiopians working for the company were
killed while seven other Chinese were kidnapped in the attack by
more than 200 unidentified gunmen, according to Liu.
The attack began around 6 AM local time on Tuesday with 200
gunmen making a surprise attack on the company, located at Abole,
around 120 km away from Jijiga, capital of Somali State.
"The Chinese government strongly condemns this atrocious armed
attack, mourns for the Chinese and Ethiopian victims and expresses
deep sympathies to their families and those injured in the attack,"
Liu revealed the formation of a crisis taskforce
comprised of elements from the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry
of Commerce, the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia and the Zhongyuan
Petroleum Exploration Bureau whose employees were targeted in the
He stated that China had asked Ethiopia to take all possible
measures to ensure the security of Chinese agencies in the country
whilst pledging full help in resolving the attack.
(Xinhua News Agency April 25, 2007)