Chinese FM denies DPRK "refugees" in China 03-06-2004 16:01

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing Saturday refuted reports of the existence of refugees from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in China, saying these people are "illegal border crossers."

In response to a question raised by a correspondent from the Republic of Korea at a press conference, Li said, "These people you refer to are not refugees, but illegal border crossers."

China and the DPRK share a common border of some 1,300 km, and it is nothing strange to see some illegal border crossing between the two countries, said the minister.

The Chinese government can handle the issue well in accordance with domestic laws, international laws and the humanitarian principles, he added.

The minister said that China's method for handling the DPRK illegal border crossers has been highly praised by the international community.

He went on to accuse some few people of attempting to " politicize the issue" by confusing the concepts of "refugees" and "illegal border crossers" and even inciting those people to create political incidents such as forcing their way into foreign diplomatic institutions.

Asked about the China-ROK relations, Li said that specific matters concerning a proposed visit to the ROK by Chinese President Hu Jintao were under discussion between the two sides through diplomatic channels.

Economic, trade and cultural links between China and the ROK are developing rapidly these years, while the two countries are carrying out good cooperation, he added.

Editor:Wang  Source:Xinhua News Agency

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