China has a clear-cut position on the Iraq issue, saying the issue should be settled by political and diplomatic means within the framework of the United Nations, says a signed article Friday.
The article by Qu Xing, a professor with the Foreign Affairs College, says China maintains that no efforts should be spared to avoid war, the UN arms inspection group should continue their work in Iraq and implement Resolution 1441 adopted by the UN Security Council.
Iraq should strictly and fully implement relevant UN resolutions and eliminate any weapons of mass destruction, the article says.
Iraq's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be respected, while the purpose, principles and authority of the UN Charter should be upheld, says the article.
China's position on the issue complies with the basic norms governing international relations, the article says. It has made clear its stance on a series of controversial issues.
China backs the UN requirement for Iraq to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. But contrary to some other countries which are pressing for an end to Saddam Hussein's regime, China holds that it is up to the people of a country to choose their political system and leaders.
China opposes the use of force in handling international relations which could cause humanitarian disasters, and has stressed time and again that the priority at present is to strengthen inspections in Iraq in compliance with Resolution 1441 and that there is no need for a new resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq, the article notes.
Whether Iraq has abided by or violated UN resolutions, which constituted the legal basis for requiring Iraq to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, should be judged by the United Nations, the article says.
Under the current situation China has played a unique role and taken appropriate moves, said the article.
China has kept close contact with the United Nations, the United States, France, Russia and Germany and Chinese President Jiang Zemin has had telephone conversations with leaders of those nations to exchange views on the issue.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and US Secretary of State Colin Powell visited China recently and Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan went to the United Nations three times for consultations on the Iraq issue.
China had called for Iraq to cooperate more actively with the United Nations in implementing the UN resolution, at the same time it has also made efforts to promote mutual understanding between major powers, and to help maintain an atmosphere conducive to cooperation and consultation, according to the article.
The article quotes Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan as saying at a press conference in Beijing Thursday that China would hold to its position of finding a political solution to the issue within the framework of UN Resolution 1441 and there was no need for a new resolution.
Tang said the Iraq issue was at a critical juncture of military action or a political solution.
The tasks defined in UN Resolution 1441 had not been accomplished, especially the tasks of strengthening weapons inspections, the article says.
Efforts should continue to strengthen weapons inspections, find a political solution to the issue and avert war. As a result, China maintains that under the current situation there is no need to introduce a new resolution, setting aside Resolution 1441, the article quotes Tang as saying.
If, after Iraq has done everything to implement UN resolutions, but the international community still fails to safeguard peace, then people would probably better understand why China has always called for building more democratic international relations and establishing a multi-polarized world, the article says.