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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on 26 September 2006


On the afternoon of September 26, 2006, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference.

Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! Now, the floor is open.

Q: First, the new Japanese administration headed by Abe is formed today. How will it affect China-Japan relations? Secondly, will China send a congratulatory telegraph to the new Japanese leader? Thirdly, during his campaign for the president of the Liberal Democratic Party, Mr. Abe said he attached importance to Asia. Does China have any expectation for his attitude? Fourthly, Mr. Abe stated that he would not definitely say whether he will visit the Yasukuni Shrine or not, which is different from Koizumi's attitude. Will it bring about any positive impact on the summit meeting between China and Japan? Fifth, you didn't directly comment on Koizumi's foreign policy at last press conference. But Koizumi met with former President Jiang Zemin and President Hu Jintao several times. Do you have any comment?

A: For your first question, we hope the new Japanese leader can make efforts for the improvement and development of China-Japan relations.

For your second question, on the congratulatory telegraph, it is a question of general knowledge.

For your third question, we hope the new Japanese leader can honor his words with actions.

Fourthly, China has a consistent and clear position on the Yasukuni Shrine.

For your fifth question, I already answered it at last press conference and have nothing new to add.

Q: Is it possible to hold the summit meeting between new Prime Minister Abe and President Hu Jintao within this year? Under what conditions can the meeting be held? Do you have any comment on Taro Aso remaining as the Foreign Minister?

A: We have repeatedly elaborated on relevant positions on the timing and conditions for the summit meeting between China and Japan. All present here today are very clear about it. Our position remains unchanged.

As for your second question, Foreign Minister Aso is a member of the new Japanese administration. We hope the new Japanese administration can endeavor for the improvement and development of China-Japan relations.

Q: The free trade agreement between China and Chile will begin to take effect from October 1st. How will it influence China-Chile relations and the development of relations between China and the whole of Latin America?

A: Last year, China and Chile reached an agreement on the negotiations of free trade area. The next step is how to follow up relevant agreements and input more vigor for the development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation. We attach great importance to trade and economic cooperation with Latin American countries including Chile. Since China and Chile as well as other Latin American countries are all developing countries, we share common interests and demand. We are ready to enhance mutual exchanges and dialogues and promote mutually-beneficial cooperation, bilaterally, regionally and internationally. As for the specifics of FTA, I advise you to refer your question to the Ministry of Commerce.

Q: Reports from Seoul suggested that Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei will visit the ROK to discuss the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. Please confirm. Last weekend, an American scholar who returned from the DPRK claimed that the DPRK was planning to extract plutonium for nuclear weapons, hoping to pressure on the US for bilateral talks. What position does China have on it? Does China encourage the bilateral dialogues between the US and the DPRK outside the framework of the Six-Party Talks?

A: As for Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei's visit to the ROK for consultations. It is under discussion between the two countries.

On your second question, it is our consistent position to ensure the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons, as well as safeguard peace and stability of the peninsula and North-east Asia. We will continue to make constructive efforts for this goal, hoping that relevant parties can do the same.

On your third question, China encourages and supports direct contact and dialogue between the US and the DPRK. As major parties concerned, both are hoped to adopt a flexible and pragmatic attitude with a view to properly resolving the issues between them through consultation.

Q: Taro Aso is reappointed as Foreign Minister, what is your comment on his foreign policy, especially that towards China?

A: I have already answered your question. I shall stress that we attach importance to developing good-neighborly and friendly relations and cooperation with Japan so as to realize peaceful-coexistence, friendship from generation to generation, mutually-beneficial cooperation and common development. China-Japan relations are very important. China-Japan relationship is one of the most important bilateral ties both for Japan and China. We hope the new leadership of Japan, the new administration, various parties in Japan, as well as the Japanese peoples from all circles of life can make efforts for the improvement and development of China-Japan relations.

Q: When will China-Japan strategic dialogue end?

A: The dialogue is going on now, and it will proceed as long as necessary.

Q: Abe said that it is not right for China to refuse China-Japan summit for some individual political obstacles. China and Japan should make joint efforts on this issue. What kind of endeavor in your view China shall make?

A: The Chinese government attaches great importance to the good-neighborly and friendly relations and cooperation with Japan. Our attitude is very clear and Japan is well aware of it. Japan is also very clear about the sticking point of the current barriers in China-Japan relations. We hope the new leadership of Japan can make constructive efforts for the improvement and development of China-Japan relations. China is willing to work with Japan to improve and develop China-Japan relations.

In recently years, China has proposed a series of important propositions on the improvement and development of China-Japan relationship. The key is whether these policies and propositions can be fully understood by Japan. As for in which direction we shall make efforts for China-Japan relations, we believe the spirit of "taking history as a mirror for the benefit of future" and the three political documents between China and Japan should be honored in real earnest.

If there are no more questions, thank you. Good-bye!

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