US visa counseling firm applies for approval
The Shanghai company that offered US visa counseling services, which was closed for overcharging, has come to realize its problems and is applying for approval, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Thursday.
During a routine press conference, spokesman Liu Jianchao said that since the company closed in April, the Foreign Ministry has asked the US Embassy in China several times to urge the company to abide by the laws and regulations.
The ministry will pay close attention to the process of this issue, Liu noted.
The company provided charged counseling for US visa information and appointment reservation services. Relevant Shanghai departments received some reports from Chinese citizens complaining that the company had overcharged them and thus an ensuing investigation was carried out.
The outcome of the probe revealed that the company's services had never received any permit from the relevant Chinese authorities and the service fee the company charged was also not approved.
Under such circumstances, the relevant Chinese departments asked it to suspend operation immediately.
China expresses regret over Dalai Lama's Britain visit
China has expressed regret and dissatisfaction to Britain on the Dalai Lama's upcoming visit to the country, said Liu.
Liu made the remark in response to a question on the Dalai Lama 's visit arranged by Britain, saying China has reiterated its stance to the British side that China is in opposition to the Dalai Lama's activities aimed at splitting China and damaging national unity.
"China also opposes any country's official extending invitation to the Dalai Lama in any form or name," Liu told a regular press conference. The British side, regardless of China's representations, arranged the visit, about which China is regretful and dissatisfied, Liu added.
China to further cooperate with OAS members
China hopes sincerely to strengthen cooperation with the Organization of American States (OAS) and comprehensively promote the friendly cooperation with all OAS members in all fields.
Liu Jianchao made the remarks in response to a question on China's goal to become an observer of the OAS, whose members all agreed to accept China as its sixth permanent observer on Wednesday.
The OAS is the most important political organization in the western hemisphere, and plays an active and important role in maintaining regional stability and security, promoting peace and development, and boosting unification, Liu said.
The Chinese government attaches importance to the role of the OAS, he said. The cooperation between China and American nations in political, economic, social, culture and other areas have seen rapid expansion and enjoy a bright future.
"We are delighted with the decision and would like to thank all nations who supported China's application," he said.
The Chinese side is willing to take concrete actions for further enhancing cooperation with all American nations for common development, he said.
China hopes nuclear group will consider its application
China hopes the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will consider its application to join, said Liu.
When asked about China's plan to join the NSG, Liu said that China supports the NSG's positive role, objectives and principles in nuclear non-proliferation.
China hopes, by joining the NSG, to make its due contribution to international non-proliferation endeavors, he said.
Established in 1975, the NSG is an unofficial organization of countries with nuclear capability which exercises control on nuclear exports. It has played an important role in nuclear non- proliferation and nuclear export control.
China applied to join it on Jan. 26 this year.
China's envoy to visit Middle East
Ambassador Wang Shijie, China's special envoy on the Middle East issue, will visit Palestine, Jordan and Syria starting from June 1, the spokesman said.
Wang will exchange views with the three sides on the relaxation of the current tensions in the Middle East and promotion of the peace process, Liu said.