China opposes second UN resolution
Guardian - UK - Thursday, March 6, 2003
China, the one permanent member of the security council that had kept its
counsel in recent days, has today allied itself with France and Russia in
opposition to a US-British second resolution authorising war with Iraq.
During a phone call with France's president, Jacques Chirac, the Chinese
leader, Jiang Zemin, said his country did not believe that an additional
resolution was necessary, the official Chinese Xinhua news agency
He said that China supported the declaration Russia, Germany and France
made yesterday which called for more time for inspections, and threatened
to block any attempt to authorise military action.
"The Chinese side still supports using political means to resolve the
Iraq issue," Mr Jiang said. "The door of peace should not be closed."
UN weapons inspectors today returned to the Taji military compound north
of Baghdad to oversee the destruction of another six banned al-Samoud
missiles, bringing the total destroyed since Saturday to 34 out of an
estimated stock of 100.
Inspectors also were seen at al-Aziziya, a former helicopter airfield 60
miles south-east of Baghdad, where Iraq says it destroyed 157 bombs armed
with biological weapons in 1991.
The weapons inspectors have been overseeing excavations of the buried
bombs, and taking samples of the liquid sloshing around inside those
still intact to see if it includes - as Iraq claims - traces of anthrax,
aflatoxin and botulin toxin.
Iraq also has opened a pit where it says it dumped stocks of anthrax and
VX around the same time. Iraq has asked inspectors to analyse soil
samples to verify this, but the chief inspector, Hans Blix, is sceptical
about what the analysis might yield.
"If you pour some milk into the ground 10 years ago, then analyse the
soil, it might not be so easy to see whether it was one litre or two
litres or 100 litres," he said yesterday.
He said, however, that Baghdad has been cooperating more on several
issues in recent weeks, and inspections have been successful in limiting
Iraq's military capacity.
"Whatever capability [Iraq] has, it's smaller than before, and it is very
closely guarded," he added.
· Early today, aircraft attacked a mobile surface-to-air missile system
and an anti-aircraft battery 240 miles west of Baghdad, US Central
Command said, saying the Iraqi positions threatened their aircraft.