The Guardian June 9, 2004


China calls for Iraq sovereignty

While welcoming another UN Security Council resolution to 
cover Iraq's new situation, China's Foreign Ministry has called 
for substantial amendments to the resolution submitted by the US 
and British governments.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the Iraqi 
interim government should exercise full sovereignty, in the 
political, economic, security, judicial and diplomatic areas, 
including the power to control and dispose of all natural and 
economic resources, sign economic cooperation agreements and 
contracts, and enjoy judicial independence and the power to 
administer prisons in Iraq.

China also called for a time limit on the stay of the US-led 
multinational force as well as a say by Iraqis on their 
operation, after power was transferred to a new Iraqi government 
on June 30.

In a three-page paper, China said that the multinational force's 
mandate would expire in January 2005 in keeping with the 
timetable of the Iraqi political process, and its extension 
should have the consent of the new Iraqi Government and be 
decided by the Security Council.

The United States and British draft resolution does not give a 
timetable for the withdrawal of their forces. It only stipulates 
that the force's mandate would be reviewed one year later or at 
the request of the Iraqis.

Nor does it mention whether the new Iraqi government would have 
full control of its army, have a say on the multinational force's 
actions or have the right to sign economic contracts with foreign 
countries.

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