US Defense Secretary Robert Gates will visit China from November
4 to 6 at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Cao Gangchuan, Foreign Ministry spokesperson
Liu Jianchao said Thursday at a regular press conference.
Gates is expected to meet with Chinese state and military
leaders and exchange views on international and regional security,
bilateral and military relations, and other major issues of mutual
concern, Liu said.
"We believe Gates' upcoming trip is an important event in
Sino-US relations this year, and attach great importance to it,"
China hopes the visit will help strengthen understanding and
trust between the two militaries in a bid to promote healthy
development of bilateral ties, the spokesman added.
It will be Gates' first China trip since becoming defense
secretary in December of last year.
China to attend London meeting on Iran nuclear
China will attend a six-nation meeting on the Iranian nuclear issue, scheduled for November
2 in London, said Liu.
Zhang Yan, director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Department
of Arms Control, will represent China at the meeting that Britain,
France, Germany, the US, and Russia will also attend.
"We insist on safeguarding the current international
non-proliferation system and a peaceful solution through diplomatic
negotiations to the Iranian nuclear issue," said Liu.
He said China has actively participated in relevant consultation
and work with the UN and the other five countries on the Iran
"At present, the Iran nuclear issue is becoming a very difficult
situation. We hold that under current conditions, all concerned
parties should make efforts in the way of peaceful negotiation and
dialogues," said Liu.
"China encourages Iran to further strengthen contacts and
consultation with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency),
and we also support Iran having contacts with the EU, to promote
the development of the issue towards a peaceful solution," said
US experts head for N Korea
A working group of US experts left Beijing Thursday for North
Korea in preparation for disabling nuclear facilities early next
Sung Kim, director of the US State Department's Office of Korea
Affairs and leader of the 9-member team, told reporters at a hotel
in downtown Beijing that the main focus of their trip is "to go
there and get (disablement) started as soon as possible."
"As soon as we are set up in Yongbyon we will begin. Hopefully
early next week," Kim said.
The team, comprised of officials from the US Energy Department
as well as scientists and technicians, is scheduled to stay in
North Korea for one or two weeks and then another team will replace
them, according to Kim, who also voiced the hope of disablement
being "accomplished before the end of this year."
"We had pretty good understanding to disable the three
facilities in Yongbyon this year," Kim said.
Top envoys from North Korea and the US discussed the disablement
issue on Wednesday and how they would progress before the end of
Two days of working-level talks involving China, North and South
Korea, the US, Russia, and Japan ended on Tuesday at the truce
village of Panmunjom.
Attendants mainly discussed the next-stage of assistance to
North Korea and achieved consensus. China's Ambassador for the Korean Peninsula Issue Chen Naiqing and other
Chinese officials joined the meeting, according to Liu.
The working group is one of five established under the February
deal. Others work on the denuclearization of North Korea, the
establishment of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, and the
normalization of Pyongyang's diplomatic ties with Washington and
Attempt to sabotage stability and development in Tibet
doomed to fail
Any attempt by any person by any means to sabotage stability and
development in Tibet is doomed to fail, Liu said, adding the
Dalai Lama is a political exile who is attempting to separate the
According to Liu, certain countries and persons showed interest
in the Dalai Lama for two reasons. "Some people have been misled by
him, while some hope to change something through him," he said.
"Actually, they can change nothing," Liu stressed.
No one "can change the firm determination of the Chinese people,
including the Tibetan people, to safeguard China's sovereignty and
territorial integrity, nor can they change China's determination to
engage in development, stability, and prosperity in Tibet," he
In response to a question on the proposed December meeting
between the Pope and the Dalai Lama, Liu said that China urged the
Vatican not to do anything which will hurt the feelings of the
Chinese people, and he urged the Vatican to show its sincerity in
improving ties with China through earnest acts.
Certain actions taken by certain countries on the Dalai Lama
issue have already brought damage to their ties with China, he
said. Moreover, these acts "will further undermine their image in
the minds of the Chinese people and also their credibility in
observing basic norms of international relations," he said.
He hoped relevant parties would face the problem and stop
interfering in China's internal affairs, in an effort to maintain
bilateral ties with concrete acts.
Slovenian PM to visit China
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa will pay an official visit
to China from November 8 to 11 at the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Liu announced.
(Xinhua News Agency November 2, 2007)