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FM: China will not surrender to terrorism in any form
Updated: 2004-06-10 21:24

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said Thursday that China would not surrender to terrorism in any form and the country would continue to participate in the reconstruction process of Afghanistan.

Liu made the remarks at a routine press conference in a reply to reporters' questions. He said China and Afghanistan have a tradition of friendship and have forged good cooperation so far, vowing that China would not withdraw from the country's reconstruction project.

More than 20 gunmen raided a Chinese construction site in northern Afghanistan early Thursday, and 11 Chinese workers have so far been confirmed killed and four others wounded.

China considers the incident as a terror attack, to which should be attached great importance by various parties, especially by the Afghanistan side, Liu said, calling on the Afghanistan side to learn lessons from the incident and take more effective measures to ensure the safety of nationals of various countries in Afghanistan's territory.

China has been a target, as well as a victim, of terrorism for a long time, and that's why China supports the campaigns against terrorism in all forms, Liu noted, expressing the hope that the international community should continue effective strikes on terrorism.

According to Liu, the Chinese workers had just arrived in Kunduz province when the assault took place and they didn't even know each other very well. The attack happened at around 1:00 a.m.local time when most of the workers were sleeping.

Chinese workers did not receive adequate protection, Liu added.

Upon hearing the news, Chinese leaders strongly condemned the terrorist activities, according to Liu.

They instructed the foreign ministry, the Chinese Embassy in Afghanistan and other relevant departments to put all their strength into rescuing the injured workers, properly deal with the incident and assist the Afghan side in ensuring the safety of other Chinese people in Afghanistan.

The Chinese leaders also asked the foreign ministry to send their deep condolences and comfort to the victims and their families, Liu said.

According to Liu, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Afghanistan started their work immediately after learning of the incident. Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo has called people in charge of the Afghan foreign ministry.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry's Asian Department has also held an emergency meeting with the Afghan ambassador to China, demanding the Afghan government to take all measures possible to rescue the injured workers, ensure the safety of other Chinese citizens in the country, and meanwhile launch an investigation into the incident and bring the murderers to justice.

The spokesman said the foreign ministry has also notified the commerce ministry and the China Railway Shisiju Group Corporation (CRSGC), employer of the workers. Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Sun Yuxi had also rushed to the scene.

The injured workers have been sent to a hospital in Kunduz province, where medical staff of the United Nations are also helping with the treatment, he said. An 11-member work team sent by the CRSGC is to set off Friday to Afghanistan to deal with the incident.

Liu said that in his phone conversation with Dai, Afghan Vice Foreign Minister Zalmay Aziz also expressed condolences to the victims. Aziz said Afghan leaders attach great importance to the incident, and he has instructed relevant departments to hunt down and severely punish the murderers.

The Afghan side will cooperate well with the Chinese side in rescuing the injured and dealing with the aftermath, and take all measures to guarantee the safety of Chinese people in Afghanistan, Aziz said.

Pentagon report "has ulterior motives"

Liu also refuted a recent report issued by the Pentagon on Beijing's military forces, saying that the report was filled with cold war mentality and had ulterior motives.

The Pentagon report suggested Taiwan would attack the Three Gorges Dam, the world's biggest hydroelectric project, to counter a possible Chinese attack.

Liu Jianchao said if it is true, it reflects the report was filled with cold war mentality and had ulterior motives.

He said the basic principles of "peaceful reunification" and "one country, two systems" that China adheres to on the Taiwan issue will not change and the Chinese government is willing to try its best, with the utmost sincerity, to realize a peaceful reunification.

But, Liu said, China will never tolerate "Taiwan independence",neither will China allow anybody to split Taiwan from the motherland with any means. "Nothing can shake the determination of the Chinese people to reunify its motherland."

Liu said China urges the United States to take concrete steps to fulfill its commitments of adhering to the one-China policy, abiding by the three China-US joint communiques and opposing "Taiwan independence".

The spokesman also asked the United States to refrain from sending wrong signals to Taiwan so as not to harm the peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and the interest of the United States itself.

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