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Tuesday, April 25, 2000, updated at 09:40(GMT+8)

Chinese Defense Minister Meets Lebanese Guests

Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian April 24 met with Houssein Abdel Khalek, secretary- general of the Lebanese Supreme Defense Committee, and his party.

Chi, who is also vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission and State Councilor, said that the peoples and armed forces of the two countries enjoy traditional friendship.

He told the Lebanese guests that the Chinese government attaches importance to developing its ties with Lebanon.

China and Lebanon have maintained contacts in various fields during the past decades, noted Chi, adding that these contacts have furthered the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.

The Chinese army is willing to work jointly with the Lebanese armed forces to develop the friendly cooperation between the two sides, according to Chi.

On the Taiwan issue, he told the Lebanese guests that an election was held in Taiwan not long ago and stressed that whoever in power in Taiwan can not change the fact that Taiwan is part of the Chinese territory.

No form of "Taiwan independence" will be allowed, and the "one China" principle will absolutely not be compromised, he said.

Chi also briefed the guests on China's domestic situation, the reform and opening-up drive, and the military building.

Khalek briefed his Chinese hosts on the situation in the Middle East and expressed his hope that Lebanon and China will further deepen the cooperation between the two countries and their armed forces.

Kui Fulin, deputy chief of General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, and Zeidan Al Saghir, Lebanese ambassador to China, were among those present at the meeting.

The Lebanese guests are visiting China at the invitation of the Ministry of National Defense.

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Defense Minister Chi Haotian met with Secretary- general of the Lebanese Supreme Defense Committee.

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