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Military spending transparent: FM spokesman
Updated: 2005-12-08 22:05

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said here Thursday that China's military spending is open and transparent when asked to comment a speech by Japanese Foreign Minister Aso Taro urging China to increase military transparency.

Qin said at a routine news conference that China adheres to peaceful development and a defensive national defence policy, adding its military expenditure should not only cover the livelihood and training expenses of those serving in the army but also meet the country's current national defence requirements in a world with numerous complicated changes.

China has already written clearly about its military expenditure in a white book on Chinese national defence, openly giving details on its military growth, said Qin.

"The Japanese side should not make a fuss over the military spending of China over and again but explain, as soon as possible,to its neighbors as well as the international community about its own military moves," said the spokesman. "Some of its recent moves have caused concern to both the neighboring countries and around the globe."

The most important thing, as Qin acknowledged, on the Japanese side, should be making substantive efforts by taking actions to overcome the political hurdles impeding the growth of friendly and cooperative relations between Japan and its Asian neighbors, including its relationship with China and the Republic of Korea (ROK).

Qin denied the possibility of discussing defence issues at the upcoming ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) plus China, Japan and the ROK Summit and the East Asian Summit by saying that the main focus of the summits would be on the economic and social issues of the region.

He added that there was no arrangement for a meeting to bring together the foreign ministers of China, Japan and the ROK in the near future for reasons known to all.

Dam under consideration to contain pollution

China has agreed to consider positive proposals, including building a temporary dam to stop the toxic spill from reaching a Russian city, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang Thursday.

"What China is going to do is what it takes to reduce the possible impact of the pollution to Russia to the minimum level," Qin said at a regular news briefing.

"The Chinese side has agreed to take positive consideration to build a dam in the Fuyuan waterway," he said.

The Fuyuan waterway,linking the Heilong and Wusuli rivers along the two nations' border, supplies water for homes and businesses in Khabarovsk, an important city in Russia's Far Eastern region. The city's water intake is in the lower reaches of the Fuyuan waterway.

The details about the dam are under discussion between China and Russia, said Qin.

The current pollution spill in Songhua River, a tributary of the Heilong River, was caused by an explosion at a Chinese petrochemical plant on Nov. 13 in northeast China's Jinlin province. It is estimated that about 100 tons of the carcinogens benzene and nitrobenzene fell into the river.

Qin said China and Russia have kept close and instant contact on preventive measures until now, which shows the spirit of Sino-Russian strategic partnership of cooperation.

A Chinese working panel left for Russia on Wednesday to discussthe issue with Russian departments, said Qin.

On Tuesday, the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources also sent an expert panel to Jiamusi, where the waterway stands, to study the possibility of building the dam.

According to the initial investigation, there are two advantages to constructing the dam.

"The water at the Fuyuan waterway is 0.91 meters at its deepest and 0.3 to 0.4 meters deep on average. In addition, the current velocity of water there is almost zero," said an expert.

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