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Sudan urged to ensure safety of Chinese
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China urged Sudanese authorities to take substantial measures to ensure the safety of Chinese institutions and citizens in the African country, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang said on Thursday at a regular press conference.


"Any threats or attacks on Chinese institutions and people in Sudan are unacceptable," Qin said in response to questions concerning a reported rebel attack on a Chinese-run oilfield on Tuesday.


Friendly relations between China and Sudan were based on mutual respect, equality, mutual benefits and development, and they have facilitated Sudan's economic development and brought substantive benefits to its people, Qin stressed.


Chinese companies in Sudan are actively engaged in local public causes and contribute to the country's economy and social development, he added.


Press reports said that rebels attacked a Chinese-invested oilfield in Sudan on Tuesday. The Sudanese military claimed about 20 rebels attacked an army camp near an oil facility but said the attack had been repelled.


Chinese, S Korean nuclear chiefs meet


Vice Foreign Minister and chief delegate to the six-party talks Wu Dawei met in Beijing on Thursday with his South Korean counterpart Chun Young-woo. Both sides exchanged views on the current six-party talks process and the following work plan, Qin said.


The meeting of the working group on economic and energy cooperation concluded in Beijing on Wednesday. Qin said all parties discussed the economic and energy assistance plan for North Korea and many important consensus points have been agreed.


"With joint efforts from all sides, positive outcomes have emerged in the six-party talks process, and the disablement of the Yongbyon nuclear facilities is going smoothly," Qin said.


"All parties are keeping close contact in pushing forward the process and we also expect continuous efforts to implement the agreement in an all-round way," he added.


Nanjing Massacre


China reiterated its principle of "taking history as a mirror and looking forward to the future" as the country mourned the victims of the Nanjing Massacre by the Japanese 70 years ago.


"We commemorate the day, to ponder upon the past, which can provide guidance in days to come, to take history as a mirror and look forward to the future, and to cherish peace," said Qin.


He invited the press corps to observe a moment of silence with him for those killed in the Nanjing Massacre before he answered.


He said China hoped that this spirit would permeate, from beginning to end, the development of China-Japan relations, and inspire the two sides to continuously draw lessons from history, in a bid to cherish the good momentum of the improvement and development of China-Japan relations.


He urged joint efforts to continuously develop friendship between China and Japan and enhance cooperation, so as to promote the development of friendly relations for generations.


Bells tolled in Nanjing as nearly 10,000 people gathered Thursday in the eastern China city at 10:00 a.m. to commemorate the 300,000 lives lost to Japanese forces 70 years ago.


The Japanese occupied Nanjing, then capital of China, on Dec.13, 1937, and began a six-week massacre. More than 300,000 people, including unarmed soldiers, civilians, women and children, were killed, according to historical records.


Macedonia, Greece name dispute


"China holds a consistent and clear stance on the name issue of Macedonia," Qin said, when asked to comment on a prolonged dispute between Macedonia and Greece over the country name.


Qin said China hopes the dispute will be appropriately settled through consultation, as such a settlement will favor development of neighborly ties and the sustained peace and stability of the Balkan region.


"The Chinese side supports solutions reached by the two countries," he added.


The name dispute between Macedonia and Greece broke out shortly after Macedonia gained independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991. Greece has said the country's name, the Republic of Macedonia, implies a territorial claim over the northern Greek province of Macedonia and could destabilize the region.


Instead, it has asked Macedonia to use the name "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM), under which the country joined the United Nations in 1993. Otherwise, Greece would block Macedonia's NATO and EU aspirations.


UN special envoy Matthew Nimetz announced last week that a new round of meetings between the two countries' negotiators are set to take place early next year in their respective capitals, with the first to be held in Skopje and the second in Athens shortly thereafter.


Donors conference for Palestinians


Sun Bigan, China's special envoy on the Middle East issue, will attend a donors conference for the Palestinians to scheduled for Dec. 17 in Paris as the representative for Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.


Sun will also visit Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and Syria after the conference, Qin announced.


Visit of Micronesian president


President of the Federated States of Micronesia Emanuel Mori will pay a state visit to China from Dec. 16 to 22 at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao, Qin announced.


Visit of Senegalese FM


State Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Senegal Cheikh Tidiane Gadio will pay an official visit to China from Dec. 18 to 22 at the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Qin announced.


(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2007)

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