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Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on 7 November 2006




On the afternoon of November 7, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu held a regular press conference.

Jiang: Good afternoon, friends from the press! I'd like to begin with several announcements.

At the invitation of Nong Duc Manh, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Minh Triet, President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Choummaly Sayasone, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and President of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and President of the People's Republic of China will pay successive state visits to Vietnam and the LPDR from 15 to 17 and from 19 to 20 November. At the invitation of President Abdul Kalam of the Republic of India and President Pervez Musharraf of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, President Hu Jintao of China will pay successive state visits to India and Pakistan from 20 to 23 and from 23 to 26 November. President Hu Jintao will also attend the 14th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam from November 17 to 19.

After the regular press conference, Assistant Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai will hold a briefing on President Hu Jintao's visit.

In order to implement the consensus reached by leaders of China and Vietnam in August this year, the Chinese and Vietnamese governments have decided to hold the first meeting of the Guiding Committee for China-Vietnam bilateral cooperation. State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan will co-chair this meeting with the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Massimo D'Alema, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Italy will pay an official visit to China from November 12 to 15. He will also attend the second joint meeting of China-Italy Inter-Governmental Committee.

As agreed by China and the U. S. and appointed by their respective governments, Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Burns will co-chair the third China-U.S. Strategic Dialogue to be held on November 8 in Beijing. The two parties will make in-depth exchange of views on the current China-U.S. relations and international and regional issues of common interest.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: Please brief us on the schedule of General Secretary Hu Jintao's visit to Vietnam. Vietnam is going to become the 150th member of WTO. What's China's comment? What expectation do you have for China-Vietnam relations, in particular trade and economic relations after Vietnam's accession to WTO? Does China consider a meeting on the sideline of the APEC meeting with the US, the ROK, Japan and Russia to discuss the resumption of the Six-Party Talks?

A: I suggest that all the questions on President Hu Jintao's visit could be raised at the briefing held by Assistant Minister Cui Tiankai later.

We congratulate Vietnam on its completion of negotiation on WTO accession. China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Vietnam, so as to make joint contribution to the healthy development of multilateral trade system.

Q: In the early morning, Madame Margaret Chan ranked the first on the five-candidate short list of WHO Director-General election. What comment does the Foreign Ministry have? How are her chances to win? In the days to come, how will the Foreign Ministry assist her in her campaign?

A: The Chinese Government extends full support to Madame Margaret Chan in her campaign for WHO director-general. Madame Chan is experienced and capable. We believe that she is suitable for the post. We also hope that the member states of the WHO Executive Board will support Madame Chan.

Q: Will Russian Prime Minister discuss building an oil pipeline during his visit?

A: At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister of Russian Federation Fradkov will pay an official visit to Chin from November 9 to 10 and co-chair the 11th Regular Meeting between Chinese Premier and Russian Prime Minister. He will also attend the events of the closing ceremony of the "Russia Year" in China.

The energy cooperation between China and Russia is part and parcel of the strategic and cooperative partnership between the two countries. To build a crude oil pipeline from Russia to China is an agreement between the leaders of the two countries. China-Russia energy cooperation is conducted on the basis on equality and mutual benefit. It serves the fundamental interest of the two countries and promotes our common development.

Q: How does China's new type of strategic partnership with Africa differ from its strategic partnership with other countries or regions? What new connotation does it suggest?

A: The Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation just successfully concluded. This summit has important significance for strengthening China-Africa cooperation and solidarity and promoting world peace and development. It is not today that China just started to strengthen cooperation with Africa. To enhance and develop our friendly relations and cooperation with African countries has been a crucial part of China's independent foreign policy of peace. China-Africa friendly relations passed the test of the vicissitudes in the international situation over the past five decades, the keystone of which is that China and Africa have consistently upheld the principle of sincere friendship, equal treatment, mutual support and common development.

China is the largest developing country in the world and Africa is a continent with the largest number of developing countries. The population of China and Africa account for more than one third of the world's total. The world will not achieve peace and development devoid of China and Africa's development. The new type of China-Africa strategic partnership of cooperation is an intrinsic demand by the cooperation between the two parties and the inevitable demand by world peace and development. We think this partnership will not only serve the fundamental interest of China and Africa, but also benefit world peace and development.

Q: What topics will be on the agenda of the talks between Undersecretary Burns and Vice Minister Yang Jiechi? Will they discuss the preparatory steps for resuming the Six-Party Talks and the benchmarks for verifying DPRK's denuclearization?

A: During Undersecretary Burns' visit to Beijing, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo will respectively meet with Burns and his company. The two sides will make an in-depth exchange of views on the current China-US relations and major international and regional issues of common interest.

The China-US Strategic Dialogue is important consensus between the heads of two nations. As two countries with important influence in international affairs, the dialogue between China and the US on the issues bearing on their major interest will help them deepen mutual understanding and enhance mutual trust. This will not only boost the stable development of bilateral relations, but also benefit the peace and stability of the region and the world.

Q: It is reported that heads of delegations to the Six-Party Talks will hold an informal meeting. Does China plan to hold such a meeting? If yes, will the DPRK attend?

A: We still hope that the parties concerned can make efforts to resume the Six-Party Talks as soon as possible. Since the DPRK's nuclear test, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has become more complicated and sensitive. Early resumption of the Talks will help ease the situation and conform to the interest of all parties as well as the expectation shared by the international community.

Owing to China's vigorous efforts, the heads of Chinese, DPRK and US delegations to the Six-Party Talks held an informal meeting in Beijing recently, during which they agreed to resume the Talks in the near future. China hopes that all the parties concerned will cherish and preserve the momentum of dialogue, work towards the same direction and strive for early resumption of the Talks.

Q: It is reported that Israel launched "Operation Autumn Clouds" on the Gaza Strip from November 1, which caused over 200 casualties on the Palestinian side. What's China's comment on that?

A: Recently, Israel launched a military operation against Gaza, causing heavy casualties on the Palestinian civilians, on which China is deeply concerned and worried. It has long been China's stance that the Palestine-Israel conflicts be solved through peaceful negotiations, and that we oppose any move to aggravate the tension in the region. We call on concerned parties to maintain restraint and avoid further worsening the situation.

Q: What's the specific date for resuming the Six-Party talks? The visiting Egyptian President said that Egypt is seeking to cooperate with China on the civilian nuclear energy development. Could you brief us some details?

A: China's consistent position is to properly resolve the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue and maintain peace and stability in the Northeast Asia through dialogue. To stick to peaceful dialogue and promote the process of Six-Party Talks is the right choice and.in the interest of various parties. I hope that various parties can support China's endeavor, strive for early resumption of the talks and further mitigate of the situation.

As to the specific date of the talks, we are consulting with relevant parties.

On the nuclear energy cooperation with Egypt. China and Egypt are the signatory parties to the Non-proliferation Treaty on Nuclear Weapons. There is a cooperation treaty on peaceful utilization of nuclear energy between our two governments. China is ready to cooperate with Egypt on the civilian nuclear energy in accordance with its international obligation and in the principle of equality and mutual benefit.

Q: I heard that the Under Secretary of State Joseph is visiting Beijing. Will he meet with the officials you just mentioned? Will he meet with other officials?

A: I will keep you updated after the meeting tomorrow.

Q: The Iraqi ex-President Saddam is convicted to death. What's your comment?

A: China always holds that the fate of Saddam is determined by the Iraqi people. We hope that the Iraqi political situation can realize stability as early as possible, and the Iraqi people live a peaceful and tranquil life.

Q: The Kyrgyz opposition party held demonstrations recently to call for constitutional reform. What's China's comment on this?

A: We noticed the relevant report on the mass assembly in Kyrgyz capital. Kyrgyzstan is China's friendly neighbor, and a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. China sincerely hopes that Kyrgyzstan can maintain stability, economic development and peaceful life for its people. This is in the fundamental interest of peoples both in Kyrgyzstan and this region. We believe that the Kyrgyz people have the ability and wisdom to resolve the present problem. We hope the international community can play a constructive role in helping maintain stability in Kyrgyzstan.

Q: The DPRK claimed that Japan should withdraw from the Six-Party talks. What's your comment?

A: It's in the interest of various sides to resume the Six-Party talks as soon as possible. We hope the rhetoric and action of relevant parties can be conducive to creating proper atmosphere for resumption of the talks.

Q: Will China hold bilateral talks with any party to the Six-Party talks during the APEC meeting?

A: Please raise your question in the briefing later.

Q: Could you brief us on the latest development of China-Egypt nuclear energy cooperation during the Egyptian President's visit?

A: African leaders made extensive contact with Chinese leaders during their visits. You can refer to relevant news reports concerning these meetings and talks, which we have publicized.

If there are no other questions, let's conclude the conference. Thank you for attendance!

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