China ready to work with others at G20 - FM

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China is ready to work with the United States and other countries at the Group of 20 summit in London in April in an effort to put the world economy back on track, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Saturday.

China is ready to work with the United States and other countries at the Group of 20 summit in London in April in an effort to put the world economy back on track, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Saturday.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi speaks a the press held by the Second Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, March 7, 2009.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi answers questions during a press conference held by the Second Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, March 7, 2009. [Xinhua] Video more photos 

Yang made the remarks at a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on the sidelines of the ongoing session of the National People's Congress, China's parliament.

"The pressing task now is that all countries must work together to make the upcoming financial summit in London a success," Yang told the reporters.

The top Chinese diplomat hoped the summit can boost confidence, strengthen coordination on macroeconomic policies, stabilize financial markets, and kickstart necessary reforms in the global financial system and regulatory regime.

President Hu Jintao will meet Barack Obama for the first time since his US counterpart took office in January on the sidelines of the April summit in London, according to Yang.

Beijing is ready to work with the new Obama administration to improve bilateral ties, especially against the backdrop of worsening international financial crisis, he added. "China and the United States share broad common interests."

Dalai Slammed for "Greater Tibet" Attempt

 


China Daily reporter Zhang Haizhou raises a question to the Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi  during a press conference held on the sidelines of the ongoing NPC session at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing March 7, 2009. [Xinhua] more photos

 

The minister warned against secessionist activities by the Dalai Lama and called for an international understanding of Beijing's position on this matter.

The Dalai Lama attempted to establish the so-called Greater Tibet on a quarter of the Chinese territory, driving away all the Chinese people of other ethnic groups who have been living in Tibet for generations, Yang told the reporters.

"Would Germany, France or other countries accept that a quarter of their territory be separated," asked he.

Yang went on to urge other countries not to allow the Dalai Lama to visit their countries. "It's not a matter of doing a favor to China, but rather an obligation under the basic principles of international relations."

Beijing's difference with the Dalai Lama has nothing to do with religion, human rights, ethnic relations or culture, he said, adding that Dalai is "by no means a religious figure, but a political figure."

The self-claimed Buddhist was behind the violent riots, which killed at least 18 civilians and caused tremendous trouble to the people's life in Lhasa last March.

France Urged to Make Positive Steps

Turning to ties with France, Yang urged the European country to make 'positive' signs to mend the soured bilateral relations, saying China was not to blame for the current problems.

But he said he is fully confident about the long-term development of the Sino-French relations.

Bilateral relations suffered a setback after French President Nicolas Sarkozy met the Dalai Lama in Poland in early December, despite strong protest from China.

The recent auction of the looted bronze rabbit and rat heads sculptures by Christie's in Paris 'added more salt to injuries' when the two counties were acting cautiously to repair their ties.

"China has the right to recover them," the Yang claimed, reiterating the Chinese government's opposition to the relics' auction.

Such an auction was "immoral", he said.

The bronze rabbit and rat heads sculptures were looted from Yuanmingyuan, or the Old Summer Palace, by Anglo-French allied forces during the Second Opium War in 1860.

China had tried repeatedly to dissuade Christie's from auctioning them. But the efforts failed.

Stronger ties with Russia

On relations with another major world power Russia, Yang pledged practical cooperation cooperation in various fields, including energy, and science and technology, as the two countries celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

He called a recent agreement on oil pipeline project a "mutually beneficial and win-win result". Under the deal signed in February, China will lend US$25 billion to Russia in exchange for a 20-year oil supply starting from 2011 with a total volume of 300 million tons.

Two countries, both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, should join hands to promote world multi-polarity and greater democracy in international order, he said.

"We should make greater contribution to promoting world peace, stability and development."

Sound Africa Ties

Responding doubts about China's foreign policy in Africa, the minister said China-African cooperation is mutually beneficial.

He refuted speculations that China's relations with Africa are 'energy- or wealth-oriented'.

"You could ask those African countries that have no oil or natural gas, would they evaluate China higher or other countries higher," he said.

The two sides' cooperation in the energy industry helped African countries translate their resources into economic advancements, according to Yang. The two sides should continue it, he added.

On the Darfur issue, Yang urged all parties concerned should make positive contributions to facilitate the solution instead of doing the opposite. China hopes to see an early solution to the Darfur issue through dialogue and peace talks.

China-Japan Food Safety Cooperation

Talking about last year's tainted dumpling case, Yang called for the launch of a long-term cooperation mechanism on food safety between China and Japan, saying China took food safety issue very seriously.

Ten Japanese suffered stomachaches and vomiting last January after consuming frozen dumplings made in China, reportedly tainted by pesticide residue. A probe last February indicated that the poisoning is an individual, deliberate incident only.

The Chinese side is determined to continue the investigation until the case is resolved, Yang said, adding that the Japanese side's cooperation is important.

Other Highlights of the Press Conference include:

Six-party Talks on Korean Nuclear Issue

Minister Yang urged concerted efforts to advance the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, saying the most important task now was to advance the talks to a new phase.

He admitted the talks encountered difficulties at present. "Having difficulties is normal in handling a complicated problem." 

"The important thing is that all parties should act according to the agreement made on September 19, 2005, and join hands to fulfill the second phase action plan at an early date, and advance the talks to the third phase."

Yang also noted that China is following the development after Pyongyang announced the test fire of a communication satellite.

"We express our concern ... We hope that all parties will do more things that are helpful," said he.

FTA Talks with ROK

The minister said that Beijing and Seoul should start negotiations on launching Free Trade Area as early as possible.

A further expansion of the bilateral market would be helpful to boosting Asia's confidence in combating the global financial crisis.

China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) should set an example of opposing protectionism on trade and investment.

Beijing to Help HK, Macao through Crisis

With strong support from the central government, people in Hong Kong and Macao will succeed in combating against the financial crisis, Yang claimed.

He said his ministry is committed to supporting the regions in their multilateral exchanges in the combat against the financial crisis.

Hong Kong officials will join the Chinese delegation for the London summit after their presence at the Washington financial summit last year, he said. "Beijing support government officials and people in the two regions to participate in overseas multilateral events."

 

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