|Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on 26 October 2006|
On the afternoon of October 26, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a press conference.
Liu: Good afternoon. I shall begin with an announcement.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Vieira of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, President Johnson-Sirleaf of the Republic of Liberia, President Michel of the Republic of Seychelles, President Mbeki of the Republic of South Africa, President Bouteflika of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria and President Mubarak of the Arab Republic of Egypt will respectively pay state visits to China during the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
With that, I would be happy to take your questions.
Q: Some media say the ROK feel reluctant to enforce UN sanction against the DPRK, what is your comment? Will the five parties except the DPRK discuss the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue during the APEC Summit? What is your expectation for the discussions on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue during the APEC Summit? It is reported that the Foreign Ministers of the five countries except the DPRK will hold talks this Friday. Do you have any further information?
A: On your first question, some people think the ROK is reluctant to enforce sanction against the DPRK. I believe it is within the country's sovereignty to implement a certain kind of policy on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. We believe that the ROK has played an important and constructive role in the promotion of the Six-party Talks in a long period of time. We are willing to enhance cooperation with all parties concerned including the ROK to promote the early resumption of the Talks and ease the situation on the Peninsula so as to realize denuclearization of the Peninsula as well as peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
On the second question, I have not heard about the meeting of the Foreign Ministers from five countries during the APEC Summit in Hanoi. Leaders of China will attend the Summit and exchange views on the topics agreed by relevant parties during the Summit, including economic, trade, scientific and technological cooperation in Asia-pacific region. If certain issue of interest comes up, we can have discussions.
On the last question, according to my knowledge, there is so such an arrangement for the meeting of the Foreign Ministers from five countries in Beijing this Friday.
Q:It is reported that the situation in Sudan is deteriorating day by day. Many people hope China can play its role in helping the Security Council break the deadlock there and persuade the Sudanese government to accept the UN peacekeeping mission. What is your comment? Besides, how will China protect its investment and interest in Sudan?
A: China has friendly and cooperative relations with Sudan and followed closely with the situation in Sudan. The overall situation in Sudan is moving towards relaxation. We all know that several parties in Sudan have signed a peace accord. We believe this momentum should be maintained. China also attaches importance to the situation in the Darfur region in Sudan. China has taken an active part in the UN discussion over the Sudan issue and played a positive role. We advocate that the UN play a larger role in the Darfur issue, and UN troops take over the African Union troops to carry out peacekeeping actions in Sudan. However, we also believe all moves should be agreed by the Sudanese government. As far as we know, the Sudanese government still has concern over the UN replacement of the AU peacekeeping troops, some of which need an appropriate resolution by the international community. As to whether China will take further measures to protect China's investment in Sudan, we will protect overseas Chinese enterprises and agencies based on our judgment of the situation. It is our policy to provide consular protection.
Q: China recovered its lawful seat in the United Nations on Oct 25, 1971. Could you share with us how China has participated in the UN over the past 35 years?
A: Oct 25, 1971 is a significant day to the Chinese people. With the backing of most of the countries around the world, China recovered its lawful seat in the United Nations. Over the past 35 years, China has taken an active part in the UN's work in fields of politics, economy, human rights, society, arms control and laws, persistently deepened its cooperation with the UN, earnestly fulfilled its international obligations, and safeguarded the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. I would like to share with you some details of China's role in the UN.
First, China has been dedicated to maintaining the authority and function of the UN Security Council and peacefully resolving regional hotspots through dialogue and consultation; Secondly, China has strengthened its role in the UN peacekeeping actions, which is a common concern. I'd like to share some concrete figures with you. So far, China has sent over 6000 military personnel, police, and civil officials to 16 UN peacekeeping missions, which means China now is the 12th largest contributor to peacekeeping operations, ranking the first among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Thirdly, China has endorsed UN's crucial role in international arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation, and earnestly participated in UN's discussion and negotiation of disarmament. Fourthly, China has played an increasingly important role in terms of UN social and human rights. China has acceded to 22 international human rights conventions, earnestly fulfilled international human rights obligations, and carried out extensive exchanges and cooperation in the field of international human rights. As one of the first member states of the UN Human Rights Council, China has been devoted to pushing forward the Human Rights Council in respecting historical, cultural, and religious background of all countries, and resolving human rights issues through universal, objective, and non-selective means. Finally, which is the concern of all, China's membership dues to the UN. China has always unconditionally and timely fulfilled its financial obligations to the UN. China's membership dues rose to 2.053% in 2006 from 0.995% in 2000, ranking the 9th among all the member states of the UN, and the 1st among all the developing countries. China will continue to take part in relevant UN work, closely cooperate with the UN, and play its due role in promoting world peace, stability, and development.
Q: Will the Sudanese President attend the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation? In addition, the International Crisis Group just released a report urging the Chinese Government to allow the UNHCR to handle the DPRK refugees in China and allow their families to visit them. What's your reaction to that?
A: On your first question, Mr. al-Bashir, the Sudanese President will be in China to attend the Summit.
On your second question, our view on this issue is different from that of the international organization you mentioned. We do not think these people are refugees, rather, they are illegal immigrant coming to China from the DPRK. We will treat them with maximum humanitarianism. But at the same time, they have entered the Chinese territory illegally. We will continue to treat them in line with our domestic laws, international laws and the principle of humanitarianism. China's approach to this issue in the last few years has been gradually recognized by the international community and acceptable to all. We will continue to deal with relevant issues according to relevant principles.
Q: How has China been implementing the sanctions against the DPRK for the two weeks since Resolution 1718 was adopted? Does China still hope that the DPRK and the US will hold direct talks so as to resume the Six Party Talks at an early date?
A: I have been emphasizing in the past two weeks that China would earnestly, responsibly and seriously implement Resolution 1718 after it was adopted. We have developed an effective mechanism and mature practice. We will continue to strictly fulfill the obligation under Resolution 1718. At the same time, we have taken note that the UN Sanctions Committee on the DPRK has just been established, and measures and scope of the sanction are still under discussion, in which China will participate.
On your second question, in order to solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and handle the current tension on the Peninsula, the top priority will be to resume the Six-Party Talks as soon as possible. China hopes and welcomes all parties make active efforts for the resumption of the Talks so as to strengthen mutual communication, enhance mutual trust, and narrow the differences.
Q: Secretary Rice reportedly asserted the other day that the US supports the One China policy, but it will continue to fulfill its obligations to help Taiwan to defend itself as required by the Taiwan Relations Act. Do you have any comment?
A: Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. China has all along stick to the fundamental principle of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems". But we will never allow any one to separate Taiwan from China by any means. Nor will we brook any foreign interference into China's internal affairs.
The US Government and the Bush Administration have at various occasions reiterated their commitment to the One China policy, the three joint communiqués and their opposition to "Taiwan Independence" as well as the attempt by the Taiwan Authorities to change the status quo unilaterally. The US should strictly abide by and live up to its commitment and work with China to explicitly oppose and resolutely rein in the Taiwan secessionists so as to preserve peace and stability across the Straits and the overall interest of China-US relations.
Q: Will China directly exchange views with Sudanese leaders during the summit? Given that China is criticized for disregarding human rights and democracy in its cooperation with Africa, will China press Sudan to observe international standards? Besides, what's your expectation for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation? Will any documents be issued?
A: As to whether Chinese leaders will meet with Sudanese President during his stay in Beijing for the summit, according to the arrangements of the summit, Chinese leaders will meet with all visiting African leaders as long as time allows. No matter during the meeting with the Sudanese President or with leaders from other African countries, I believe a wide range of topics will be covered including bilateral relationship, cooperation between China and Africa and other issues of common interest.
Just now I elaborated on China's position on the Darfur issue. We have repeatedly responded to some international activists' accusation against China on the issue. In cooperation with Africa, China supports cooperation with relevant countries in an equal, open, transparent and mutually-beneficial way. Relevant cooperation is aimed at promoting the well-being of the Chinese and African peoples, at pushing forward the economic and social development of Africa and at the long-term prospect for the development of China-Africa relations. The friendly cooperation between China and Africa on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and respect is well-received by the African and Chinese peoples. What's wrong with it? We can't understand why some people criticize China on the issue. If the whole world acts in the same monolithic criterion, it is very hard to imagine whom the African countries can cooperate with. Therefore, all countries should view and handle relevant issues in a sensible and fair way. Many countries in the world are ready to see the development of Africa and help it to develop. Although China is a developing country, it is also ready to shoulder its duties in the development of Africa, focus on the interests of the African people and try our best to help African countries within our capacity. It is neither fair nor just to accuse China on that.
As for China's expectation for the result of the Beijing Summit, several major events will be held, including the opening and welcoming ceremonies, and a one-day close-door round table meeting We will brief you on the details of the talks in due time. During the summit, we will receive African guests with enthusiasm and friendship and conduct in-depth discussions about substantial issues including the development of Africa, China-Africa cooperation and so on. Secondly, Beijing Declaration will be released. Its specific content is under consultations between the tow sides. Thirdly, China will put forward a series of propositions and measures on China-Africa cooperation. We think Beijing summit will become a milestone on the history of China-Africa relations and raise the bilateral cooperation onto a new height and into a new stage.
Q: Except the current one, are there any other DPRK cargo ships detained in Hong Kong?
A: The Marine Affairs Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR Government had a routine safety check of a DPRK cargo ship. The reason for the check is that it fails to reach the safety sailing standards. The ship is a normal commercial ship and contains no sensitive items.
Q: The US Treasury Department released an investigative report that China may become a dissemination and trading place for the DPRK counterfeit dollars. How does China view DPRK's counterfeiting actions and what measures will China take to prevent the counterfeit dollars from passing through China?
A: China does not know anything about the information the US talked about. We firmly oppose to any illegal financial activities.
Q: What position does China hold on the new draft resolution proposed by some countries on the Iranian nuclear issue? Secondly, what comment does China have on the EU policy paper on China? Thirdly, will the leader of Zimbabwe attend the China-Africa Cooperation Forum?
A: On the first question, we are studying the new resolution drafted by relevant countries. China has always supported the international nuclear non-Proliferation regime, opposed to nuclear weapons proliferation. We hope to see the Middle East free from new turmoil, and hold that the Iranian nuclear issue should be resolved peacefully through dialogue. And the UN Security Council's actions should be conducive to realizing the above-mentioned goals.
On the second question, this is the 6th China policy paper issued by the European Commission since 1995. China is studying the paper carefully. We appreciate and welcome the positive effort by the EU to strengthen China-EU relation. Under the current international situation, to strengthen and develop the China-EU comprehensive partnership and expand and deepen mutually-beneficial cooperation serves the fundamental interest of both and conducive to peace, stability and development of the world.
On the third question, President Mugabe of Zimbabwe will head a delegation to attend the Beijing Summit.
Q: The US is going to have mid-term election. The Democratic Party is likely to win the majority in the House of Representatives. Does China care for the election? What about your expectation for the results?
A: The middle term election is the internal affairs of the US, which we will not intervene in. No matter what kind of change happens to the US political situation, we will continue to develop constructive and cooperative relations between the two countries. Under the current circumstances, it is conducive for both China and the US to strengthen cooperation and consultation on international and regional issues. It is very important for regional and global peace, stability and development.
Q: India has elected a new foreign minister. Has Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing sent congratulation to him? How do you evaluate the current India - China relations?
A: Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing has sent congratulation to the newly-elected India Foreign Minister Mukherjee. We believe that through our joint efforts, China-India strategic and cooperative relations will be pushed forward consistently. This year marks the "Friendly Year between China and India". Both China and India have held a series of activities to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples and strengthen exchange and cooperation in various areas between the two countries. Sound China-India relations serve the interest of both peoples. To strengthen China-India cooperation is conducive to regional and international development. We are willing to make joint efforts with India to strengthen China and India strategic and cooperative relations.
Q: What's China's expectation to the up-coming ASEAN-China Commemorative Summit? How do you view future ASEAN-China relations? China and ASEAN will issue a joint statement. Please brief us on the details.
A: Next week is a very busy one for China's diplomacy. China-ASEAN Commemorative Summit for the 15th anniversary will be held in Nan Nin. Premier Wen Jiabao and national leaders from 10 ASEAN countries will attend the summit. Mutual political understanding has strengthened between China and ASEAN after 15 years. China and ASEAN have become good partners, neighbors and friends. ASEAN appreciates highly China's policy of being friends and partners with neighbors. We're very pleased to have high degree of mutual trust with ASEAN countries.
China-ASEAN economic cooperation and trade has gained sound momentum in the past few years. At present, the trade volume between China and AESEAN has exceeded $130 billion. This has brought real benefit to the people of China and AESEAN countries. Especially the on-going FTA negotiation between China and ASEAN has progressed smoothly. We believe relevant arrangement can be conducive to the development of economic and trade relations between China and ASEAN. We also have fruitful cooperation in security and the prevention of infectious pandemic disease.
Both sides will take this summit as an opportunity and exchange views on the development of bilateral ties. We endorse that ASEAN continue to play a dominant role in the process of cooperation in East Asia. We will keep you updated with the topics and results of this summit. I believe many of you will go to Nanning to cover the event. I hope you can have a chance to interview leaders of countries so as to better understand their views and attitudes towards the cooperation between ASEAN and China.
If there are no more questions, we concluded here. Thanks for your presence!