FM urges Japanese PM to stop shrine visit
Updated: 2006-03-07 16:35
China again urged Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and other top
Cabinet members to stop visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, an issue at the center of
tensions between the two countries.
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing holds a press
conference in the Great Hall of the People on the sidelines of the ongoing
session of the National People's Congress in Beijing March 7, 2006.
The Japanese leaders should stop actions hurting feelings of the Chinese
people and people in other countries victimized by Japan's wartime aggression,
said the Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing at a press conference on the
sidelines of the National People's Conference in Beijing on Tuesday.
"It is a serious issue. The Chinese people can never accept Japanese
leader worship World War II Class-A war criminals," Li
Moreover, Li again called the Japanese Government to properly deal
with historical issues and abide by the principles of the three political
documents signed by the two countries, including the Sino-Japanese Joint
"We hope the Japanese government keep its promise on the Taiwan question
through practical actions," Li added, vowing that China will continue to develop
Sino-Japanese friendly co-operative relationship on the principle of reviewing
history and facing the future.
East China Sea gas dispute
Li told reporters that China and Japan concluded on Tuesday the the
fourth round of consultation on the East China Sea gas issue.
The foreign minister discribed the two-day talks as "pragmatic" and
"constructive". The two sides agree to convene new talks as soon as
possible, Li added.
Hu Zhengyao, director of the Asian Department of
Chinese Foreign Ministry, and Kenichiro Sasae, head of the Asian and Oceanian
Affairs Bureau of Japanese Foreign Ministry, participated in the consultation as
head of respective Chinese and Japanese delegation.
Since October 2004, China and Japan have convened three rounds of
consultations on the East China Sea issue.
During the press conference, the Chinese FM also tried to downplay the
increase of China's defense budget, saying the country spent far less than the
Li pointed out that China's military spending, in per capita terms, was just
1/77 of the United States.
China at the weekend unveiled a 14.7 percent jump in 2006 defence spending
compared to the previous year, or a total of 283.8 billion yuan (US$35.3
"The military expenditure of China, though increased somewhat, is way less
than the military expenditure of the country where you come from," the Chinese
Foreign Minister told a US reporter at a news briefing.
national defence policy is transparent, it is completely defensive in nature,"
he told the news conference.