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Statement by Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing of China at the International Conference on Iraq

(Brussels, 22 June 2005)

Mr. President,

On behalf of the Chinese Government, I would like to express my congratulations on the convocation of the International Conference on Iraq, and wish it a complete success.

An ancient city dating back to a millennium ago, Brussels has witnessed both the scourge of war and celebrations of peace. It reminds me of the paramount value and importance of peace. I sincerely hope that the international community can build up consensus and work together to help bring peace and development to the Iraqi people as soon as possible.

Mr. President,

China supports an early and appropriate solution to the relevant political, economic and security issues in keeping with Resolution 1546 and other Security Council resolutions. Now I would like to make a few observations:

First, politically, "Iraqi people administering Iraq" should be realized. Iraq belongs to all the Iraqi people, and its future can only be decided independently by the Iraqi people. We should help the Iraqi Interim Government and the Iraqi people promote the peace and reconstruction in the country, ensure the representativeness, inclusiveness, and transparency of its political process, and encourage dialogue and reconciliation among its ethnic groups and factions in the interest of smooth reconstruction.

The situation in Iraq bears on peace and security in the region and the world as a whole. To solve the Iraqi issue, it is necessary to let the United Nations play a crucial role, hear what Iraq's neighbors and the Arab countries have got to say, address their legitimate concerns and give scope to their positive role.

Second, with respect to security, a comprehensive approach should be adopted. A smooth reconstruction hinges, to a large extent, on a sound security environment in the country. We condemn violence against civilian population, and hope that the multinational forces in Iraq will live up to their responsibility to get the security situation stabilized. It is important to quickly rebuild the Iraqi military and police force. But we should also understand that there are more profound causes behind the existing security problems, which call for a comprehensive approach.

At the meeting of foreign ministers of countries neighboring Iraq in last April, the participating countries made a commitment to fight trans-boundary terrorist activities through cooperation and improve the security situation in the region. China welcomes and supports such moves and hopes that the international community will give them a helping hand.

Third, economically, Iraq's "blood-making" capability should be restored. Years of sanctions and war have destroyed the lifeline of the Iraqi economy. As far as its economic reconstruction is concerned, restoring its "blood-making" capability and bringing out the full potential of its abundant natural and human resources would be the most important thing to do. The international community should honor its commitment of aid made at the Madrid Conference and strengthen the coordination among the countries and the relevant international organizations. A fair and transparent environment serves to galvanize the enthusiasm of the various parties for Iraqi reconstruction.

Mr. President,

The Chinese people are trustworthy friends of the Iraqi people. We are acting earnestly on our US$25 million aid program for Iraq and our pledge to substantially reduce Iraq's debt. We have provided US$1 million to help Iraqi general elections, and trained diplomats, economic managers and energy sector professionals for Iraq. China will continue to work for the Iraqi reconstruction process. We wish the Iraqi people peace and well-being.

Thank you!

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