Chinese and German leaders discuss Taiwan

2nd March 2006, Comments 0 comments

2 March 2006, BEIJING - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday discussed Taiwan, Iran and bilateral issues by telephone, Chinese state television said.

2 March 2006

BEIJING - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday discussed Taiwan, Iran and bilateral issues by telephone, Chinese state television said.

Wen repeated China's position that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian's scrapping of the National Unification Council this week was a "provocation" that had "seriously damaged" relations between Beijing and Taipei, the broadcast said.

He said Chen's move had put China on "high alert" against more "secessionist activities" in Taiwan, the island that Beijing still regards as a breakaway province that must be "reunified", by force if necessary.

Germany was "concerned" by this week's developments and hoped that disputes between Beijing and Taipei could be "peacefully resolved", Merkel was quoted as telling Wen by telephone Thursday.

Wen told Merkel that China believed there was "still a possibility" to resolve the standoff over Iran's nuclear programme under the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) framework.

He said all parties should show "patience, restraint and a constructive attitude" towards negotiating a diplomatic solution with Iran.

China supports Iran's negotiations with Russia and with the EU trio of Germany, Britain and France, Wen said.

China, one of the five veto-holding permanent members of the UN Security Council, has urged Iran to comply with international calls to halt its nuclear programme and has supported a proposal for Russia to enrich uranium for nuclear power plants in Iran.

Merkel was quoted as saying that it was "quite important" to find a diplomatic solution and that the EU trio wanted to negotiate with Iran, to avoid a deterioration in international relations with Iran.

Merkel is scheduled to pay an official visit to China from May 22 to 23.

DPA

Subject: German news

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