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FM: Lee's visit a blow to China-Japan ties
By Qin Yuding (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-28 00:31

Lee Teng-hui's trip to Japan dealt a serious blow to the political foundation of China-Japan relations, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao said yesterday.

The 81-year-old former Taiwan leader arrived in Japan on Monday on a sightseeing visa.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has lodged a strong protest to the Japanese Government over the issue, said Liu during a regular press conference yesterday.

"China will closely follow the development of the situation" said Liu, and will reserve the right to take further action.

According to China News Service, Lee, the chief representative of the radical force for "Taiwan's independence" on the Taiwan Island, is also planning to visit Japan next year during the cherry blossom season.

It said that Japan is very likely to issue another visa.

Regardless of the repeated solemn representations and firm opposition by the Chines side, the Japanese Government issued a sightseeing visa for Lee Teng-hui to visit the country.

China solemnly asked the Japanese side to consider the overall situation of China-Japan relations, and take effective measures to deal with the impact of the issue, said Liu.

Presidential election in Ukraine

Commenting on the presidential election in Ukraine, Liu said China would respect the choice of the Ukrainian people.

He said China and Ukraine are two friendly countries and China has noticed the result of the presidential run-off and would respect the selection of Ukrainian people.

Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko claimed victory Monday in Sunday's election.

Middl East tour

During a visit to the West Bank on Monday, Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan called for an international conference on the Middle East peace process, reported Xinhua.

Tang said the conference should be sponsored by the United Nations Security Council, which he hopes to play a constructive role in the peace process.

Tang made the statement at a joint news conference with chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization Mahmoud Abbas following their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

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