FM calls for US, N.Korea flexibility in nuclear talks
Relations with big countries
China has maintained sound relations with big countries over the past year, said Li.
Li, who served as Chinese ambassador to the United States in 1998-2001, said Sino-US relations have being making headway as the two countries share extensive interests, calling for "a long-term and strategic view" to promote healthy development of the Sino-US ties.
The view should be, in the first place, used in handling the most sensitive issue in the Sino-US relations, namely, the Taiwan issue.
"It is essential for the two countries to abide by principles in Sino-US joint communique," said the foreign minister, urging the two countries to conduct mutual cooperation in a wide range for the benefits of the two peoples.
According to the minister, it is very likely for President Hu Jintao to attend the 60th anniversary celebration of the United Nations (UN) as the UN secretary-general Kofi Annan has warmly invited Hu for many times to visit the UN headquarters and attend the celebration.
As the world's two important countries, Li said, China and the United States should take concerted efforts to further build the constructive cooperative partnership.
However, he said, "a handful of people in the United States still let their mentality linger in the Cold War era," adding that the theory of China threat is unfounded and unscientific.
According to Western media, the top diplomat said, the US defense expenditures reached 455.9 billion US dollars, 3.9 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2004, while China spent 211. 7 billion yuan (25.5 billion US dollars) on national defense, 1.6 percent of its GDP.
In 2003, the US defense expenditures took up 47 percent of the global total, exceeding the accumulated expenditures of the following 25 biggest defense spenders, Li said.
"China is a staunch force for peace-making and it's ridiculous to accuse China of a threat," he said.
The minister also said relations between China and Japan were achieved as a result of the "long-term and arduous efforts" made by generations of leaders, governments and peoples of the two nations.
"It is a hard-won result and deserves to be cherished," he said, reconfirming that sound relations with Japan is a set policy of China and the Sino-Japan friendship should continue from " generation to generation".
He called for concerted efforts of the two countries to handle historical issues and the Taiwan issue "properly", and continue to strengthen cooperation on the basis of the two nations' overall interests.
The minister also stressed China's "indisputable, historical and legal sovereignty" over the Diaoyu Islands and the adjacent islands. Relevant problems should be solved through talks on the basis of facts and should not affect the healthy development of the Sino-Japanese ties, he added.
"We should proceed from the fundamental interests of the peoples of both countries and follow the principle of 'draw lessons from history and look into the future'," said Li, calling for "proper conditions and atmosphere" to facilitate the resumption of the exchange of high-level visits between China and Japan.
The journalist-savvy minister defined relations between China and Russia as being "successful and fruitful".
The two sides had completely resolved the boundary issues left over from history during Russian President Putin's state visit to China last year and the Sino-Russia border line has become a border of "peace, friendship and cooperation" since then.
"It is beneficial to the peoples of both countries, and peace and stability in the region and the world," said Li.
He noted that the Sino-Russia economic, trade, cultural, education and military ties have been developing steadily.
According to the foreign minister, the two countries are conducting effective and substantive cooperation in more than 100 inter-state organizations, including the United Nations, and regional organizations including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.