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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Conference on 7 September 2006

2006-09-08

On the afternoon of September 7, 2006, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference.

Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! I'd like to begin with an announcement.

The 14th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement will be held from September 15 to 16 in Havana, Cuba. Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will head a delegation of the Chinese Government to attend the Summit.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: It is reported that the Foreign Ministry will recommend Ambassador Sha Zukang of Chinese Permanent Mission to the UN Office at Geneva to assume the post of Deputy UN Secretary. Please confirm. Yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister said that Russia will consider supporting a UN resolution on sanction against Iran. However, China and Russia were against such a resolution. Will China consider supporting the resolution? It is reported that China sold genetically modified rice to Europe, and some organizations lodged a protest. What's your reaction?

A: As for your first question, I don't have information in this regard.

As for your second question, China stands for peaceful solution of the Iranian nuclear issue through negotiation and dialogue. This position remains unchanged.

On your third question, we have taken note of the report. China adheres to the principle of scientific experiment and supervision according to law on the research of genetically modified paddy. Now, we have not approved any single case of commercial production of GM paddy.

Q: What role will China play in Lebanon's peace process? Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero says that he will meet with Premier Wen Jiabao in Finland. Can you update us on the specifics of their meeting?

A: There has been certain relaxation in the situation between Lebanon and Israel after the approval of the Security Council Resolution 1701. Yet the current ceasefire is still very fragile with many uncertainties. It is imperative to enhance the UN Interim Force in Lebanon and have it deployed promptly. China has decided to maintain its military engineer battalion which is on duty under the UNIFL and have it rotated as scheduled. As to increasing our forces to the UNIFL, relevant authorities have intensified their study. The Chinese Government is concerned of the humanitarian status and economic reconstruction process in Lebanon, providing 20 million RMB yuan emergency material assistance in July and followed another 20 million RMB yuan assistance in August.

Premier Wen will be having a series of bilateral meetings during the ASEM Summit. Relevant arrangements are still under discussion. We will keep you updated once we have the details.

Q: The US Assistant Secretary of State Hill in is town for a visit. He says he is going to talk with China on how to implement the Security Council's resolution on the DPRK's launch of missiles and how to prevent it from developing WMD weapons. What measures will China take to prevent the DPRK from acquiring relevant technologies?

A: I would like to brief you on Hill's visit to China. Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei and Assistant Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai met with him. They focused their discussions on the Six-Party Talks. China reaffirmed that the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue should be addressed through talks and negotiation so as to ensure a nuclear-free peninsula as well as peace and stability of the peninsula and the region. China disfavors sanctions. Both believe that the Six-Party Talks is the realistic and effective way to promote a negotiated peaceful solution to the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue. They agree to endeavour to break the current stalemate and push for an early resumption of the Talks.

Security Council's resolution 1695 aims at finding a peaceful solution to the nuclear through dialogue and negotiation. It also endorses the process of the Talks.

Q: China promises to provide humanitarian assistance to the DPRK. Can you tell us exactly how much will be given? Did Chang Song-taek, first Vice Director of the Organization and Guidance Department of the Worker's Party of Korea visit China in the past few weeks?

A: To your first question, a short response, assistance of certain amount.

To your second one, I haven't heard any arrangement for the visit.

Q: President Bush admitted that the CIA had many secret prisons around the world. What position does China have on that? Are there any Chinese detainees? Will China asked the US to share more information?

A: We have taken note of the concern of the international community over the issue. China opposes and condemns terrorist actions of any form. However, all anti-terrorism efforts should be in line with the UN Charter and the norms guiding international relations. China and the US maintain cooperation against terrorism. China requested the US to repatriate the Chinese terror suspects in Quantanamo. I am not aware whether there are any other Chinese detainees elsewhere. Relevant information should be provided by the US Government.

Q:About China-Zambia relations, reports suggest that China will reduce its diplomats in Zambia and some Chinese companies have suspended their investment in Zambia. They also say that if Zambia's opposition party wins the election, China will suspend its diplomatic relations with Zambia. Can you confirm? The opposition party said the working conditions of Chinese companies there were below standards, what is your comment on that?

A: China and Zambia enjoy traditional friendship. The Chinese government has all along attached importance to developing the friendly cooperation between us in various fields. The Zambian government has long been pursuing the One-china principle and we appreciate that. We hope to boost China-Zambia relations on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. The report you mentioned is not consistent with the fact. China's economic and trade cooperation with African countries, including Zambia, is in the interest of the national economy and the people's livelihood of these countries and conducive to stronger friendly relations. During the process of cooperation, the Chinese government requires Chinese enterprises to abide by local law and build good credit. China-Zambia trade cooperation is in good shape on the whole. Last year, there was an unfortunate production incident. China dealt with it with a serious and responsible attitude properly. In the future, we will continue to develop trade and economic cooperation with African countries, including Zambia on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

Q: After the missile test by DPRK, has China invited in an official or unofficial way the leader of DPRK Kim Jong Il to visit China?

A: I answered this question at last press conference. I don't know where the media got such information. China and the DPRK share traditional friendship and have friendly exchanges at various levels. If any information is available on high-level exchange of visits between our two countries, we will announce at appropriate time. We are committed to developing the good-neighborly friendship and cooperation with the DPRK. Not only does it serve the common interest of our two countries but also benefit regional peace and stability.

Q: The nomination for the candidacy of WHO Director-General has completed. How will Chinese Foreign Ministry help Margaret Chan to run for this position? What's the possibility of her victory?

A: The Central Government of China attaches great importance to Madame Margaret Chan's campaign for WHO Director-General. She has excellent professional background, rich experience in health work, and good knowledge of WHO rules. She has made outstanding and widely-recognized achievements on her post in WHO. We are convinced that Madame Margaret Chan will be a competent and excellent leader of the world health cause. At present, the election work is proceeding in an orderly manner. The Central Government of China, including the Foreign Ministry and Health Ministry, and Chinese overseas missions extend full support and assistance to Madame Chan. Many countries speak highly of the exceptional talent of Madame Chan. We wish her good luck and victory in the election.

Q: It is reported that when meeting with Chinese officials, Mr. Hill said that the DPRK will be warned not to conduct nuclear test. Can you confirm? What specific measures will China take for the next step to push DPRK back to the Six-Party Talks?

A: The officials of Chinese Foreign Ministry exchanged opinions with Assistant Secretary of State Hill on the current situation of the Six-Party Talks. At present, the Six-Party Talks is confronted with difficulties, and we hope the parties concerned, especially the principle parties can exercise restraint, keep calm, show wisdom, and avoid any actions or words that may further escalate the conflict and tensions. It is unhelpful to accuse each other when encountering difficulties. The key is to take practical and constructive actions and create conditions for the early resumption of the talks.

The specific measures to be taken have to be decided through communication and coordination among the parties concerned. First and foremost, we hope the parties concerned can keep calm, exercise restraint, and show flexibility, so as to build mutual trust step by step. Only on this basis, can we move forward step by step.

If there are no more questions waiting, thank you and see you next time.

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