Special peninsula envoy heads for US
China's special envoy for Korean Peninsula nuclear question yesterday headed for Washington to try to revitalize six-party talks aimed at easing tension in the region.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a media briefing yesterday the visit by Ning Fukui was part of China's ongoing diplomatic effort to resume negotiations.
Liu did not reveal what message Ning, who accompanied Chinese Communist Party envoy Wang Jiarui on his Pyongyang visit last month, might deliver to the Americans.
Last week Beijing urged Washington and Pyongyang to hold direct bilateral talks under the framework of six-party talks in order to restart negotiations as soon as possible.
China has so far hosted three rounds of talks with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Republic of Korea, the United States, Russia and Japan.
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing had a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday on the six-party talks and the Taiwan question, the second such communication within five days.
In response to reports that China warned Australia not to use its treaty with the United States to confront China over the Taiwan question, Liu said China maintained that bilateral alliances should be strictly bilateral, calling on both countries to honour their commitments on Taiwan by adopting actual measures.
Under a US-Australian defence treaty signed after World War II, the two countries agreed to help each other in the event of an attack from or conflict with a third country.
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing urged Japan and US to lay off Taiwan earlier.
Liu Jianchao yesterday criticized recent comments by Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura that China should improve what he defined as anti-Japanese education, saying the comments were "totally groundless."
"We're astonished and dissatisfied with the remarks," Liu said.
Japanese militarists waged a war invading China in the 1930s and 1940s, bringing not only "irrecoverable damage" to the Chinese people but also lots of suffering to the Japanese people, Liu said.
The Chinese Government always advocates "taking history as a mirror and looking forward to the future" and educates its people in the spirit of keeping friendship between the Chinese people and Japanese people generation after generation, he said, saying it is totally groundless for the Japanese side to criticize China's history education.
"On the contrary, the Japanese side should correctly handle the historical issue, so as to make positive efforts to enhance friendship between the two peoples and improve bilateral ties," he said.
(China Daily 03/09/2005 page1)