Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on 30 November 2006
On the afternoon of November 30, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu held a regular press conference.
Jiang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to begin with several announcements.
At the invitation of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Republic of the Philippines, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council will attend the 10th Summit of ASEAN plus China, Japan and the ROK, the 10th and the 2nd East Asia Summit in Cebu, the Philippines and will pay an official visit to the Republic of the Philippines from December 11 to 14. Premier Wen Jiabao will also chair the 7th China, Japan and ROK Summit.
At the invitation of the Secretary of Foreign Affair Salberto Romulo of the Republic of the Philippines, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will attend, from December 9 to 10, the ASEAN plus China Foreign Ministers' Meeting, the Working Luncheon of the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN plus China, Japan and the ROK and the Foreign Ministers' Working Luncheon of the East Asia Summit. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will also chair the 4th Meeting of the Three-Party Committee of China, Japan and the ROK.
In order to implement the consensus reached by President Hu Jintao and President Bush this August, China and the US will hold the first round of China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue in Beijing from December 14 to 15. As special representatives of the Heads of the two countries, Vice Premier Wu Yi of the State Council and the US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will co-chair the dialogue. Ministers, Secretaries and high-level officials of relevant departments from China and the US will also attend the Dialogue. The dialogue will further promote China-US economic cooperation and trade. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao will meet with the US delegation respectively.
Now, the floor is open.
Q: The US Assistant Secretary Hill has concluded two days' consultation in Beijing today. Can you brief us on the meetings between China, the US and the DPRK of the last two days? When can the date for the resumption of the Six Party Talks be set?
A: After the informal meeting between the heads of the Chinese, the US and the DPRK delegation to the Six Party Talks last month, the three parties held another round of informal meeting in Beijing from November 28 to 29. The DPRK and the US conducted bilateral consultation which lasted for a long time. China held several rounds of bilateral talks with the DPRK and the US respectively as well. The three parties exchanged in-depth views frankly on the promotion of the Talks. China believes the meetings are conducive to better understanding of each other's positions and concerns. As the chair of the Talks, China will engage with relevant parties to discuss issues including the resumption date.
Q: The Japanese Cabinet passed a bill recently to upgrade its Defense Agency to Defense Ministry. What's China's comment? Will it affect the Chinese Defense Minister's visit to Japan next year?
A: Thanks to the joint efforts of China and Japan, the relationship between the two countries has taken on a new look. The development of bilateral ties is now in an important period. We hope the two sides can work together to maintain the trend of improvement of the bilateral relationship and promote the communication and cooperation in various fields. We believe that Japan's adherence to the direction of peaceful development is beneficial to its fundamental interest as well as peace, stability and development of the region.
Q: The Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made a speech on the 33th anniversary of the death of Ben-Gurion, saying that Israel will resume peace talks with Palestine in order to settle the Middle East issue peacefully. What's China's comment on this? What actions China plans to take to promote the peace process in the Middle East?
A: China welcomes the position taken by Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and applauds the active measures adopted by Israel and Palestine recently to ease the tension in the Middle East. China hopes the two sides adopt practical measures to establish mutual trust and resume the peaceful talks.
As a member of the UN Security Council, China has been devoting to the settlement of the Middle East issue. Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun will shortly visit the related countries of the region including Israel and Palestine and conduct in-depth exchanges of views with parties concerned in order to bring relevant parties back to the track of negotiation.
Q: You have just announced Premier Wen Jiabao will attend the 10+3 and 10+1 meetings. How do you evaluate China- ASEAN relationship? What is China's expectation for the meeting?
A: On your first question. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the dialogue relations between China and ASEAN. Over the past 15 years, both sides have conducted broad and in-depth exchanges and cooperation in political, economic and trade, social and cultural fields with abundant achievements. China and ASEAN have established the strategic partner relationship oriented towards peace and prosperity and defined ten major fields for cooperation. The Commemorative Summit Marking the 15th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations was successfully held in Guangxi recently. The Joint Statement of China-ASEAN Commemorative Summit was issued, setting up the strategy for future cooperation of the two sides. It marks a new era for the China-ASEAN relationship.
On your second question, the 10th Summit of ASEAN plus China will focus on discussions over practical cooperation. In line with the consensus reached by leaders at the ASEAN-China Commemorative Summit, China will put forward a series of concrete suggestions so as to further consolidate and enhance the bilateral strategic partnership.
Q: The US bipartisan group on Iraq unanimously suggested withdrawal from Iraq and enhanced engagement with Iran and Syria. What's China's response to this?
A: On the issue of withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq, China has persistently held that the Iraq issue be handled properly in compliance with relevant resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council. We also hope to see a stabilized Iraq governed by its people, who can enjoy a peaceful and stable life as soon as possible.
China has always followed closely to the situation in the Middle East. We believe the development of bilateral ties between relevant countries is conducive to peace and stability in this region.
Q: Could you share with us the meeting between Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and Margaret Chan last night?
A: Margaret Chan, WHO's Director General-elect came to Beijing and exchanged views on future cooperation with relevant authorities of the Chinese government. Premier Wen Jiabao met with her, and President Hu Jintao will hold a courtesy meeting with her tomorrow. Last night, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing hosted a reception for her, with ambassadors from over 30 member states of the WHO executive committee to China and representatives from UN agencies to China present.
The Chinese government has always supported the work of the WHO, and maintained good cooperation with the WHO. The Chinese government endorses Margaret Chan's greater contribution to the international community in the new position. China stands ready to strengthen its cooperation with the WHO, and make due contribution to the development of global public health.
Q: Has the date for the China, Japan, and ROK Summit been set? What's China's expectation for this Summit?
A: The 7th China, Japan, and ROK Summit will be held on December 11 in Cebu, the Philippines. As the incumbent coordinator of the trilateral cooperation, China will also chair this Summit. China is looking forward to in-depth exchange of views with Japan and the ROK over trilateral cooperation as well as international and regional issues of common concern so as to actively contribute to the consolidation and promotion of trilateral cooperation, and peace, development, and prosperity of the region.
Q: Is there any change of China's position on the Korean nuclear issue after this informal meeting?
A: We believe that the Six Party Talks is the effective mechanism to address the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and an important platform for consultation and dialogue. China has all along been committed to making peace and encouraging talks among relevant parties. We hope that parties concerned can support China's efforts and proceed from the overall interest of peace and stability in the Peninsula and Northeast Asia in order to settle related issues peacefully through negotiation and dialogue. China will always work with all parties to press ahead with the process of the Talks so as to ensure a nuclear weapon free Peninsula and safeguard the long term stability of the Peninsula and the Northeast Asia.
Thank you for your presence. Bye.
After the press conference, a journalist called to ask the following question:
The US Defense Secretary-elect Gates claimed in a written testimony submitted to the Congress that because China was endeavoring to become a great power in Asia, the US should monitor the growth of military forces in Chinese mainland, and make preparations to assist Taiwan in defense. What's China's comment?
Jiang Yu noted: China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace, and a policy of "making friends and making peace with neighbors" towards neighboring countries. China adheres to the path of peaceful development and adopts a defensive national policy. It is recognized by the international community that China is an important force to promote peace in the Asia-Pacific and the world at large. As a sovereign state, China believes that it is completely reasonable to enhance national defense to safeguard national security and territorial integrity.
Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. The Chinese government adheres to the fundamental principle of peaceful reunification and "one country, two systems". However, China will never allow any one to separate Taiwan from China by any means or allow any foreign interference in China's internal affairs. The US government and leaders have reiterated on many occasions that they adhere to the one-China policy, abide by the three Sino-US Joint communiqués, oppose Taiwan Independence and Taiwan authorities' unilateral moves to change the status quo. The US shall faithfully fulfill its commitment, join hands with China to explicitly oppose and firmly contain Taiwan Independence and safeguard cross-strait peace and stability and the overall interest of Sino-US relations.