Hu: Beijing ready to share its experiences with London; China hands over $50,000 flood relief to Nepal; Beijing urges Paris to respect its concerns regarding Tibet ahead of Dalai Lama’s meeting with Kouchner
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  • British Prime Minister Gordon Brown met Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing during the week. Both sides discussed various bilateral issues, including security issues related to the Beijing Olympics. President Hu stated that China was ready to share its experiences with Britain and wished the London Games in 2012 a success1.

    Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Zheng Xianglin handed over $50,000 as emergency flood relief to Nepal. Appreciating the Chinese effort, Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal noted that the gesture reflected the traditional friendship between the two countries2. Dahal also met the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing during the concluding ceremony of the Olympics.

    The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced that Jiangxi Province’s Geological Survey had found magnetite in Tibet with the ore content as high as 50-60 per cent. The Ministry noted that the potential iron ore resources of the region could reach more than 1 billion tons3.

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry also urged the French government to respect China’s concern over Tibet-related issues in the wake of the expected meeting of French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner with the Dalai Lama in France. Beijing urged Paris to not do anything that would hamper Sino-French bilateral ties4.

    The Chinese government has meanwhile reacted strongly to media reports that pilots belonging to its troubled northwest Uyghur region were suspended from their jobs due to security concerns. Dismissing them as “sheer fake reports,” Li Jian, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) stated that none of the pilots were suspended or relocated to work in other parts. Li noted that to date, the Chinese government had employed three Uyghur pilots - Aikebaier Maimaiti and Ailiyiming Niyazi, who served as Boeing 757 captains for the Xinjiang branch of China Southern Airlines, while the third, Dulihong, worked with the Xinjiang General-Use Airlines5.

    Reacting to developments in Pakistan in the wake of the resignation of Gen. Musharraf, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang hoped that Pakistan would maintain its political stability and economic progress. Qin noted that Musharraf had played an important role in developing the bilateral relations between the two countries6.

    On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 44-day bombardment of Kinmen by China, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou expressed his government’s intention to change Kinmen from “the killing field of the 20th century” to a “peace square” in the 21st century.
    Ma noted that reconciliation between Taiwan and China had already laid a foundation for peace in the Taiwan Straits. He added that Taiwan must also strengthen its defence capability by setting its defence budget at 3 per cent of its gross domestic product, not to provoke its neighbours but in order to prevent war7.

    In other developments, President Hu Jintao will visit Tajikistan and Turkmenistan from August 26 -30. Foreign Ministry officials expressed the hope that the visit to the two Central Asian countries would promote regional security and stability. Reports earlier noted that China and Tajikistan had cooperated in cracking down on East Turkistan separatists8.