Thursday, August 07, 2008

Text of Chinese Foreign Ministry's statement

BEIJING - Text of a statement by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang in response to President Bush's speech, posted on the ministry's Web site Thursday and translated from Chinese by The Associated Press:

With the common efforts made both by China and the U.S., the Sino-U.S. relationship has developed steadily in the last few years. The two countries have conducted fruitful talks, communication and cooperation bilaterally and on a range of international issues. Facts prove again that although there are divergences between China and the U.S., there is a wide range of common interests, and a basis for cooperation. A good Sino-U.S. relationship is a benefit to the people of both countries, and helps peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and throughout the whole world.

We are willing to work together with the U.S. on strengthening dialogue and cooperation, appropriately dealing with divergences and sensitive issues and helping the relations to develop constructively and stably.

The Chinese government puts people first, and is dedicated to maintaining and promoting its citizens' basic rights and freedom. Chinese citizens have freedom of religion. These are indisputable facts.

As for the divergence on human rights and religions, we always advocate that both sides talk from a basis of mutual respect and equality, to enhance understanding and diminish divergence, and enlarge mutual consensus.

We firmly oppose any words or acts that interfere in other countries' internal affairs, using human rights and religion and other issues.

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