Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Chinese-German MOX project for peaceful purposes
China Tuesday reiterated that the proposed purchase of a mixed oxide fuel (MOX) production facility from Germany's Siemens is strictly for civilian, not military purposes. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said MOX fuel, which is composed of uranium and plutonium, can be used in nuclear generation of electricity.
China Tuesday reiterated that the proposed purchase of a mixed oxide fuel (MOX) production facility from Germany's Siemens is strictly for civilian, not military purposes.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said MOX fuel, which is composed of uranium and plutonium, can be used in nuclear generation of electricity.
However, the proposed deal has caused an uproar in Germany, where several legislators have expressed fears that the equipment could help China's nuclear weapons programme.
"These worries are over-sensitive,'' said Liu at Tuesday's regular news briefing. "This fuel in China will be used for peaceful purposes. I would like to emphasize that.''
Liu said as far as he knew, MOX is used in more than 30 light-water reactors and over 20 fast neutron reactors in countries such as France, Japan and the United States.
He told reporters that China is still negotiating the deal with the German side.
Details of the plan emerged last week when Schroeder, visiting China, said the Chinese had expressed interest in buying equipment from Germany that can convert plutonium and uranium to so-called mixed-oxide, or MOX, fuel for nuclear power plants.
Turning to the topic of the unsettled standoff on the Korean Peninsula, the spokesman said China will, as always, push for the continuance of the six-party talks.
"For China, the most important thing is to consult with all parties concerned to find common ground to restart the talks,'' Liu said.
He noted that solving the nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a very complicated process which cannot be accomplished by one single effort.
The spokesman said China supports the efforts made by the European Union (EU) to defuse the unsettled crisis with the DPRK.
A nine-member European Union delegation left for the DPRK via Beijing on Tuesday for a three-day visit aimed at pushing forward the proposed second round of six-party talks.
Liu said the EU delegates exchange views with Fu Ying, head of the Asian Affairs Department under the Foreign Ministry, when they arrived in Beijing on Tuesday.