- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 8, 2005

CHINA

Beijing tries to allay U.S. energy concerns

BEIJING — China sought yesterday to allay U.S. fears that it will lock up global energy resources as President Hu Jintao left for next week’s summit with President Bush in New York.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick said Tuesday that China would be increasingly in conflict with the United States if it continues to pursue energy deals with countries such as Iran.

“China has no intention to seize or control oil resources,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters when asked to comment on Mr. Zoellick’s remarks. “We advocate cooperation and joint development on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.”

THAILAND

Muslim group said to spread rumors

BANGKOK — The government accused an Islamic separatist group yesterday of inciting the flight of 131 Thai Muslims to Malaysia by starting false rumors of an imminent government crackdown.

The government rarely singles out any group in the 20-month conflict, usually referring only to unnamed militants in the Muslim-majority southern provinces. Foreign Ministry spokesman Sihasak Phuangketkeow said militants coordinated with the Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO) to encourage the Thai Muslims to flee with rumors “that there was going to be some kind of hostilities directed against them.”

JAPAN

Typhoon kills 21; 11 people missing

TOKYO — Typhoon Nabi dissipated yesterday after crisscrossing the country in a path of destruction that left 21 dead and six missing in Japan, and five persons unaccounted for in South Korea.

The typhoon headed into the Sea of Okhotsk and was downgraded nearly a week after it first built up in the subtropical Pacific waters far to the south.

The worst-hit area was Miyazaki prefecture on Kyushu island, southernmost of Japan’s four main islands.

Weekly notes

An Indonesian militant received a seven-year prison sentence in Jakarta yesterday for his role in plotting last year’s suicide bombing at the Australian Embassy, which was blamed on a regional terror group linked to al Qaeda. Abdul Fatah, alias Heri Segu, shouted, “Allahu akbar” (“God is great”), when judges announced the sentence. They said he helped build the bomb. … The opposition National Party’s campaign to win next week’s New Zealand election stumbled yesterday as leader Don Brash’s credibility was attacked over links with a secretive Christian group. Mr. Brash, who entered parliament in 2002, denied he had lied by saying he did not know a pamphlet attacking the governing Labor Party and calling for a change of government was issued by members of the Exclusive Brethren church.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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