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 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.