CHINA / National

FM brands spying claims 'fictitious'
By Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-05-19 07:53

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao Thursday deflected concerns over reports of Beijing's purchase of US military equipment, saying the allegation of spying is "totally fictitious."

Liu said China has a set of strict examination and supervision procedures for military trading and the Chinese military's importing enterprises will never purchase any military products from clients who fail to provide legal and effective documents.

The defence came after a Taiwanese man who worked as a sales representative for the Pentagon's biggest supplier pleaded guilty on Wednesday to plotting to ship advanced US weapons to China, including parts for US fighter jets.

"The so-called allegations that China is conducting intelligence collection of military science and technology in the United States are purely fictitious," Liu told a press briefing yesterday.

It is reported that the Taiwanese man also pleaded guilty in a US federal court to being a covert agent for China.

Talking about the Korean nuclear stand-off, Liu confirmed that Christopher Hill, top US delegate to the Six-Party Talks would visit China next week as part of a renewed push to revive the stalled negotiations.

Hill is scheduled to visit Beijing next Wednesday and Thursday and hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei.

He will then fly to Seoul.

Hill's visit comes as the New York Times reported that Washington was considering a new approach to Pyongyang that would involve beginning negotiations on a peace treaty at the same time as the Six-Party Talks.

Liu said the Six-Party Talks are presently facing difficulties and require the relevant sides to adopt a flexible attitude and push for the early resumption of discussions in order to make continuous progress.

He said China would "welcome the two sides to take practical measures to narrow their differences and build a consensus," pushing forward the goal of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and a lasting peace in Northeast Asia.

Though there was no breakthrough in the fifth round of talks on the East China Sea issue, which were held in Tokyo yesterday, Liu told reporters that both China and Japan have gained a further understanding of each other's position, which is conducive for the narrowing of differences.

He said China is willing to continue sincere talks with Japan on this issue in a responsible and active manner to narrow the gap.