|Li Zhaoxing Meets with Russian Ambassador to China Sergey Razov|
On the afternoon of November 26, 2005, Foreign Minister requested to meet with Russian Ambassador to China Sergey Razov to inform the Russian side of the water pollution in Songhua River as a result of the blast that had occurred in a benzene plant of the Jilin Petrochemical Company under China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and the measures taken by the Chinese government to tackle the pollution.
Li Zhaoxing, on behalf of the Chinese government, expressed his apology over the possible harms to the Russian people by the major environmental pollution accident, saying China fully understands and attaches great importance to the concerns of the Russian side. After the water pollution incident occurred, Chinese leaders released several important directives and related departments in China repeatedly informed its neighbor of the details of the pollution incident, including the pollutant's species and density and the location of polluted stretches. The two sides have agreed to open up a hotline between environmental departments so that China informs Russia of the latest developments on a daily basis. China has blocked the discharging site of the pollutants into the river, redoubled the downward flow of the upstream hydropower stations and sped up the diluent speed in an effort to alleviate the impact of the water pollution.
Li stress China will cope with this incident conscientiously and responsibly, and continue to inform the Russian side of the relevant information periodically and at all times, acknowledging that China is still in the process of dealing with the pollution accident, and is ready to provide assistance and cooperation to Russia, if there is a need from the Russian side. The relevant departments of both nations will keep in close touch on this issue. China hopes and is convinced that the two sides would enhance cooperation and work jointly to overcome the impacts incurred by the disaster, in the spirit of the strategic partnership of cooperation.
Razov voiced his appreciation for China's briefing, saying that he will report to the top Russian leadership as soon as possible. On behalf of the Russian government and people, he also expressed sympathy and regards to the victims in the blast and the serious pollution in the lower reaches of the Songhua River. Razov noted that the Russian central and local governments are very concerned about the impacts of the disaster. The disaster is a common challenge for both Russia and China, and both sides should treat and deal with this issue from the strategic point of view of cooperation, strengthen communication and cooperation and jointly take effective measures so as to erase the impacts of the disaster. Russia also thanks China for its willingness to provide coordination in this regard.
Vice Minister Suo Lisheng of the Ministry of Water Conservancy and Vice Minister Zhu Guangyao of the State Environmental Protection Administration attended the meeting.