Chinese and American presidents. To meet in Washington
Photo: AP

China wants peaceful solution to Iran nuclear dispute

Despite agreeing to discuss new sanctions against Islamic Republic, Beijing says will continue to seek diplomatic solution to issue. Chinese President Hu Jintao to attend multi-nation summit on nuclear security in Washington this month

China will continue to seek peaceful solution to the Iran nuclear issue, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Thursday, after Beijing agreed to discussions on new sanctions on Tehran.


The United States and other Western powers have said China has agreed to serious negotiations about a proposed new UN Security Council resolution on Iran, which they say wants the means to make nuclear weapons.


China has been reluctant to back such sanctions and has repeatedly called for more diplomatic efforts to seek a solution. As a permanent member of the Security Council, Beijing has the power to veto any resolution.


The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that President Hu Jintao will attend a multi-nation summit on nuclear security in Washington this month, ending weeks of uncertainty about whether he was going.


China had been coy about plans for Hu's visit, which would come just days before the US Treasury is slated to release a semi-annual report that could officially accuse China of keeping its currency artificially low to give its exporters a competitive advantage.


Domestic political pressure is building on the Obama administration to label China a "currency manipulator" in that report, which could embarrass Hu.


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang confirmed during a news conference that Hu would attend the Washington meeting.


US President Barack Obama will host the summit on April 12-13, and some observers had speculated Hu would not go because of recent tensions between the two powers.


"China strongly values the nuclear security issue and opposes nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism," said Qin.


On Thursday a Chinese newspaper, the Global Times, urged Hu to attend the summit, saying it was important for a country of China's stature to be present.


"The China-US relationship, as I said a few days earlier, is an important bilateral relationship, and I hope it can follow the path of long-term, healthy, stable and comprehensive development," Qin said when asked if Hu would meet with Obama during the trip.


After the nuclear summit, Hu is scheduled to attend a summit of Brazil, Russia, India and China in Brasilia. He will then travel to Chile, an important source of minerals for China, and Venezuela, a long-term ally and source of petroleum.


פרסום ראשון: 04.01.10, 10:48
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