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China opposes Vietnamese islands tour
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-20 22:38

China reiterated concern and strong dissatisfaction with the first tourist groups to the Nansha islands organized by Viet Nam, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan Tuesday.

The islands are disputed territory between the two countries.

Disregarding China's repeated representations and firm opposition, Viet Nam's tourist activities infringed on China's territorial sovereignty and violated the consensus reached between the two nations, Kong said.

Kong told reporters that Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi summoned the Vietnamese Ambassador to China on Friday to express China's strong concerns.

The move leads to a complication of the situation in the South China Sea and will not help resolve disputes, Kong said. Viet Nam also broke its commitments set forth in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea between China and the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations.

"We again urge the Vietnamese side to honour its commitments and immediately stop taking any action that may further complicate the situation so as to keep peace and stability in the South China Sea," said Kong.

Six-party talks

When answering an inquiry about the visit of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to China, Kong said China and North Korea are friendly neighbours with a tradition of high-level visits.

"It is very important for the two countries' leaders to communicate and keep in contact in various forms, to constantly exchange views on important international issues and issues of common concern," Kong said.

Kong said China is confident that the third round of six-party talks will be held before the end of June while meetings on setting up a working group will be held before the talks.

China has been in close contact with the other parties, said Kong, adding that China submitted a draft of a conceptual document for setting up a working group and all sides have accepted the draft.


Turning to the Iraqi issue, the spokesman reiterated China's position that the issue should be resolved within the UN framework. This stance remains unchanged, he said.

There are three requirements for the United Nations to play a key role in Iraq.

First, the safety situation in Iraq should be stabilized, Kong said.

Another one is that of "Iraqi people governing Iraq" with the restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Third, the reconstruction of Iraq should be started as soon as possible, Kong said.

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