Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, April 16, 2003

No Staff of Iraqi Embassy in China Seeking Asylum

No staff of the Iraqi Embassy in China have applied for political asylum, said Liu Jianchao, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tuesday.


No staff of the Iraqi Embassy in China have applied for political asylum, said Liu Jianchao, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tuesday.

Liu said China would deal with the issue of the Iraqi Embassy in China in accordance with international and Chinese laws.

Liu revealed that China would resolve the issue of billions of dollars of debt Iraq has owed China through friendly consultation and in line of international laws and norms.

On the looting of the Chinese Embassy in Iraq, Liu said China considered it the obligation of parties engaged in war to secure the people and property of foreign embassies and consulates according to international law.

The Chinese government had made emergency representations to the United States, and the latter had promised to take effective measures to prevent any further impingement upon the Chinese Embassy, Liu said.

China would closely monitor the development of the case, Liu added.

DPRK New Stance on Nuclear Issue Hailed
China hailed the new position of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to participate in multilateral dialogues to solve the nuclear stand-off on the Korean Peninsula.

"We appreciate the position of the DPRK in solving this issue through dialogue," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao at a regular briefing.

The DPRK said on Saturday that it will not stick to any particular dialogue format for settlement of the nuclear issue if the US drops its anti-DPRK policy, a change from its past stance insisting on bilateral talks with the US.

Since tension escalated over the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula last autumn, China has pushed for a peaceful resolution through dialogue.

"We think the format of the dialogue is not important, and that the key lies in the sincerity of the parties concerned to resolve the issue," said Liu. "We hope that the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula will soon embark upon a road to a peaceful resolution."

Liu declined to specify which countries should be included in the multilateral dialogues, saying that it is up to the parties concerned to decide.

"China has never said that it is opposed to the participation of any party in such a multilateral dialogue," Liu said when asked if Japan and Russia will be involved. "We are open to any plan that is in the interest of a peaceful solution."

He said that up to now no specific plan has been discussed.

"We believe that the nuclear issue can be settled through peaceful processes such as dialogue and we hope that the relevant parties will work toward this end," said Liu.

Investigation of the Attack on Chinese Passengers Goes on
Liu also briefed the press on the attack on Chinese passengers aboard a bus bound for the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on March 27. Twenty-one people were killed in the incident in Kyrghyzstan, including 18 Chinese.

Liu said the two countries are cooperating closely in the investigation, adding Kyrghyzstan has also promised that it will do its utmost to ensure the safety of Chinese nationals in the country.

A China News Service report said that the bodies of 15 Chinese victims were carried back to Xinjiang.

WIPO Summit Postponement Regrettable
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the postponement of the Summit on Intellectual Property and Knowledge Economy, planned for April 24 to 26 in Beijing, was regrettable.

Liu Jianchao noted that China agreed to host the summit at the request of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

China attached great importance to the summit and made a great effort to prepare for it, he said. "We are very regretful at the decision of the WIPO a few days ago saying that the summit could not be held as scheduled."

The WIPO announced on its official website that it "greatly regrets" that the summit "cannot be held as scheduled owing to prevailing circumstances."

"New dates and other relevant information regarding this event will be made available on the WIPO website in due course," said the announcement.

China expressed its thanks to all parties that had been actively involved in preparing for the summit, Liu said, and was willing to join with them to go on contributing to the growth of world intellectual property.

Chinese FM to Attend SCO FM Meeting
Chinese Foreign Minster Li Zhaoxing is expected to visit Kazakhstan later this month and attend the foreign ministers meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) during the visit.

"The meeting is very important and will make preparations for the upcoming SCO Summit in Moscow," spokesman Liu Jianchao said.

Participants of the SCO FM meeting will confer on the Iraq issue and other international issues of common concern, he said, adding that "I believe the exchange of views will be helpful."

Affect of SARS on tourism understandable
The problems facing the tourism industry as a result of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) were understandable, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Liu said the worldwide tourism had clearly slumped because of SARS, especially international tourism. It was also understandable that some Chinese tourists canceled trips to foreign countries for their security and health.

Liu said figures released by the World Health Organization on April 10 showed that SARS had been found in 19 countries and regions worldwide.

Liu also expressed an understanding of the worries and concerns of some countries for their tourists in China.

He noted that with proper protective measures, the security of foreign tourists on China's mainland could be effectively guaranteed.

Liu said the affect on China's economy and tourism was inevitable, but the Chinese side was confident of overcoming the temporary difficulty with the common efforts of all Chinese people.

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