China supports Russia against terrorism
China is prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with Russia in the fight against terrorism.
In the wake of the seizure of a school and up to 400 hostages in southern Russia, Chinese President Hu Jintao told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a message that the Chinese Government would support all actions to combat terrorism, safeguard national security and protect lives and property.
Hu expressed his profound condolences to the victims and deep sympathy for the Russian people facing a growing threat from bombings and hostage-takings.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan also stressed that China stands ready to make unremitting efforts together with the international community to safeguard world peace and stability.
"Terrorism is the common enemy of all people in the world," Kong said at Thursday's regular briefing.
Facing a wave of deadly terrorist attacks in Russia, the United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting, decrying the mass hostage-taking at a school in southern Russia and demanded the "immediate and unconditional" release of all hostages.
The call for a special session came after a heavily armed gang seized a school in southern Russia and took hostage up to 400 people, including many children, in what appeared to be a Chechen rebel operation.
A day earlier, a female suicide bomber blew herself up in central Moscow, killing 10 people and injuring 51. On August 24, two passenger planes were downed, apparently by bombs, killing 90 people.
The council "condemns in the strongest terms" the heinous terrorist attacks in Russia, said a statement read by Council President Antonio Yanez-Barnuevo of Spain.
The statement, which was adopted at a formal council meeting, urged all states to co-operate actively with the Russian authorities in their efforts to find and bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these terrorist acts.
The council "reaffirms that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, whenever and by whomsoever committed."
Messages of support rang in to Moscow, with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan saying he was appalled by the attack and US President George W. Bush pledging that "we stand with the Russian people."
Bush called Putin on Wednesday and condemned those behind the hostage-taking.
Bush offered his condolences to the victims and to the Russian people. Both leaders stressed their strong commitment to working together to defeat global terrorism, White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said.
France sharply condemned the hostage-taking.
"We are also particularly indignant at the hostage-taking in Russia's North Ossetia region threatening children, their parents and their teachers, on the day of return to school," said the French Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Cecile Pozzo di Borgo.
France called on the kidnappers to release the hostages and "expressed at this dramatic moment its solidarity with the Russian people," she said at a news conference.