The Chinese government opposes auction of looted Chinese cultural relics, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said here Saturday.
Such an auction is "adding salt to injury" and it is "immoral",he said, when asked to comment on Christie's sale of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) bronze rabbit and rat heads sculptures.
"The sculptures are cultural relics looted from China and Chinahas the right to recover them," Yang said
The two bronze sculptures were looted from Yuanmingyuan, or theOld Summer Palace, by Anglo-French allied forces during the SecondOpium War in 1860.
China had tried repeatedly to dissuade Christie's from auctioning them. But the efforts failed.
(Xinhua News Agency March 7, 2009)