China Concerned Over Korean Peninsula Clash
Addressing the exchange of fire between North Korea and South Korea on November 23, China urged both sides to move forward cautiously and responsibly.
"We hope related parties do things conducive to peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula," said Hong Lei, a spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, cautioning both sides to exercise calm and restraint.
During the clash, North Korea shelled the Yeonpyeong Island, home to more than 1,000 South Korean residents, killing two marines and two civilians. Pyongyang claimed Seoul's shells fell on its side of a disputed maritime border before it opened fire.
In regard to reports of 2,000 nuclear centrifuges in operation in North Korea, China called for a return to six-party talks as soon as possible.
China hopes the concerns of related parties will be addressed within the framework of the talks, and various targets set in the Joint Statement of September 19, 2005 will be comprehensively implemented, Hong said.
Meeting Promotes Sino-Russian Ties
China will strengthen its ties with Russia by assisting with Russia's infrastructure construction and inviting Russian students to study in China, said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
At a press conference following the 15th regular meeting between the Chinese and Russian heads of government in St. Petersburg on November 22, Wen said the latest gathering reinforced political trust between Russia and China and significantly furthered bilateral cooperation.
Stronger China-Russia collaboration will not only benefit the two countries, but also contribute to regional peace and stability, he said.
Bilateral trade has resumed growth and is now near pre-crisis levels, said a joint communiqué issued by the two countries. There have been improvements in the trade structure, with an increase of trade in electromechanical and hi-tech products.
Official Chinese statistics show the China-Russia trade volume totaled $45.1 billion from January to October, surging 45 percent over the same period in 2009.k