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FM: French president visit to boost ties
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy will pay a state visit to China from November 25 to 27 at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Jianchao announced at a regular press conference on Thursday.


Liu said the upcoming visit would be a great event for China-France relations this year. China expects and believes that the visit will advance the bilateral all-round strategic partnership up to a new stage, he said.


To consolidate and develop bilateral ties not only meets the fundamental interests of the two counties and two peoples, but also is conducive toward world peace, stability and development, he added.


This will be Sarkozy's first visit to China since he became president in May of this year.


US urged to treat sailors fairly


Liu said the cargo ship that struck a bridge tower in San Francisco has no business relations with the China Ocean Shipping Corporation (COSCO).


Media reports said that the cargo ship "Cosco Busan" struck the Bay Bridge in San Francisco on Wednesday of last week, spilling thousands of gallons of oil into the bay.


Liu said that there were Chinese crewmembers aboard but the freighter was run by a company of South Korea.


China hopes that the incident will be properly handled soon and the environmental impact of the oil spill will be reduced, Liu said.


China has urged the US side to ensure the safety and legal rights of Chinese crewmembers, he added.


Japanese PM's visit welcomed at early date


"We hope Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda can visit China as early as possible, and we hope his visit bears fruit," Liu said.


China believes maintaining high-level visits between the two countries could actively promote a more sustainable improvement and development of bilateral ties, Liu said.


Joint efforts called to promote East China Sea talks process


Liu called on Japan to make joint efforts with China to promote the process of bilateral consultations on the East China Sea issue.


"China is ready to promote consultations in accordance with the consensus reached between leaders of the two countries and the guidelines of relevant principles, and China will contribute to the realization of joint development to maintain stability in the East China Sea. We hope Japan will make joint efforts with China toward this goal," said Liu.


Liu also implied that the results of the latest round of consultations, held on Wednesday, would not influence Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo's plan to visit China.


"China and Japan, both influential countries in the region, attach great importance to their mutual relations. The two share broad common interests and cooperation fields. The East China Sea issue is just one part of China-Japan relations," said Liu.


Regret expressed over Japan's permission of Dalai Lama's visit


"We have reiterated many times our opposition to any country providing either convenience or platform for the Dalai Lama's activities aimed at separating China. We expressed our regret over Japan's permission to grant the Dalai Lama's entry into Japan and his visit to that country," said Liu.


He said that the Dalai Lama has long been engaged in activities aimed at separating China, and no country or people in the world that upholds justice would support such activities.


Iran encouraged to continue cooperation with IAEA, EU


China has encouraged Iran to continue dialogues and cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Union (EU).


Iran has stated several times that it has no intention of developing nuclear weapons, Liu said, adding that consultation and dialogues are required in order to help the international community to believe in Iran's sincerity.


China always advocates firmly maintaining an international non-proliferation system, Liu added.


Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visited Iran on Tuesday, and met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki and Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili.


Ahmadinejad told Yang that Iran is building positive cooperation with the IAEA and that Iran is willing to maintain active contacts with the EU.


Iran is also ready to continue its communications with China and other sides over its nuclear issue, Ahmadinejad said.


Mexican secretary of foreign relations to visit China


At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico Patricia Espinosa Cantellano will pay an official visit to China from November 21 to 24, Liu announced.


Liu said China attaches great importance to the visit by the Mexican secretary of foreign relations. During the visit Yang will hold talks with her and Premier Wen Jiabao will meet with her.


Liu said China hopes the visit can further strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between the two countries.


(Xinhua News Agency November 16, 2007)

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