|Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on 12 December 2006|
On the afternoon of December 12, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference.
Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to begin with three announcements:
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Nursultan Nazarbayev of the Republic of Kazakhstan will pay a state visit to China from December 19 to 23, 2006.
At the invitation of Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Zhaoxing, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Kubis of Slovak Republic will pay a working visit to China from December 19 to 21.
At the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, former Minister of State of the Palestinian National Authority Abdel Kader I.F.Hamed and former Minister of Justice of Israel Yossi Beilin will head delegations to the Israeli-Palestinian Seminar on Peace Process in the Middle East to be held in Beijing from December 14 to 17. Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will meet with the Palestinian and Israeli delegations.
China firmly supports all efforts conducive to peace in the Middle East.
Now the floor is open.
Q: How long will the second session of the fifth round of the Six-Party Talks last? Please brief us on the arrangements of talks and meetings.
A: Through the consultation of the parties concerned, the second session of the fifth round of the Six-Party Talks will be held in the DiaoYuTai State Guest House on December 18. The heads of the delegation will lead the delegations to the talks. The talks will be held in both bilateral and multilateral form. The parties will make in-depth exchange on the full implementation of the September 19 Joint Statement issued last year and realization of the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
As for the duration of the meeting, it depends on how the meeting will fare. China holds an open attitude on that.
We hope relevant parties can adopt concrete measures and strive for positive results from the meeting in a flexible and practical attitude. China is ready to continue our contact and consultation with relevant parties and play a positive and constructive role for realizing denuclearization of the Peninsula and lasing peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
Q: What measures will China adopt to define the meeting as a success or a failure? In other words, what's China's expectation for this meeting?
A: The success of the meeting depends on whether the meeting is going in the direction of realizing denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and achieving lasting peace and stability in the Northeast Asia. China will play its due role in this. Relevant parties have made clear their respective commitment and responsibility. China is willing to strive for implementing the statement in a comprehensive and balanced way. As for the result of the meeting, it calls for joint effort of various parties.
Q: Tripartite meeting among China, the US and the DPRK in November achieved no agreement on when to resume the Six-Party Talks and its agenda. Now various parities agree to resume the talks on December 18. Does that mean the US and the DPRK have achieved some agreement? Is there any change in their stance? Is the DPRK's response to the US package of proposal included in the talks' agenda?
A: The Six-Party Talks is the result of the joint effort of various parties. As for the stance of the US and the DPRK, both of them are ready to relaunch the talks.
The agenda of the Six-Party Talks is how to implement the September 19 Joint statement in a comprehensive and balanced way. The statement has a rich contents. I suggest you to read it carefully again.
Q: The US Assistant Secretary of State Hill has raised a package of concrete suggestions to the DPRK. What suggestions or incentive measures will China forward in the upcoming talks?
A: Various parties will fully exchange views on their respective concerns and ideas after the talks resume.
Q: The talks will be resumed on December 18. The heads of delegation may begin contact two or three days ahead. What bilateral or tripartite meetings will be held? During the meeting, what working group meetings will be held?
A: On the form of the Six-Party Talks, there are multilateral and bilateral meetings. As to when heads of delegation will arrive in Beijing, I have no confirmed information. The Six-Party Talks is a platform for various parties to keep contact and consultation in flexible forms. Like what happened during the Six-Party Talks last year, all parties can maintain communication no matter within or outside the meeting room.
Q: The Six-Party Talks which will begin on December 18 is only a week from Christmas. Do you think one week is enough? Will it yield concrete fruit?
A: Do you want to have a relax Christmas or a busy one? Maybe I can convey the will of the press to the heads of delegation. I'm not a fortune teller, and cannot foresee the progress of the meeting. But we hold an open attitude to the duration of the meeting. We will size up the progress of talks and consult with various parties on this accordingly.
Q: What's the importance of the consensus achieved last September have on the upcoming talks?
A: The statement you mentioned should be the September 19 Joint Statement. The resumption of the Six-Party Talks show that relevant parties is ready to discuss together how to implement respective commitment and the Joint Statement in the talks in order to realize denuclearization of the Peninsula. The September 19 Joint Statement achieved last year provides a good foundation for discussion. We hope that relevant parties can make endeavor to the goal and direction stipulated in the Joint Statement.
Q: Recently,a referendum on a " new constitution" was held in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. What is your comment on that?
A: The Chinese government respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and supports the Resolution of the UN Security Council on the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. We hope the parties concerned can find a proper solution as soon as possible in accordance with the norms of international law recognized by the international community. China is ready to join hands with the international community to make unremitting efforts for the peaceful solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh question.
Q: The US Trade Representative Office issued a report criticizing China has not honored its commitment upon the entry into the WTO. The report says if China does not improve its record, the US will impose sanctions against China. What is your comment on that? The US Treasury Secretary Paulson will visit China later this week, and will the issue be discussed? What is your expectation for Paulson's visit to China?
A: To my knowledge, Chinese Ministry of Commerce will make a response towards the report.
I shall stress that during the five years since China's entry into the WTO, we have honored our obligations and commitment in real earnest and abided by the rules of the WTO. The Chinese market is becoming more and more open. It is our firm basic state policy to open up to the outside world.
China and the US enjoy broad common interest in economic and trade field. The healthy development of Sino-US economic and trade relationship is beneficial not only for China but also for the US. As for some differences between us, we hold that they shall be resolved through dialogue and friendly consultation based on the principle of equality, mutual-benefit, and development. In the near future, the US Treasury Secretary Paulson will head a delegation to China for the first round of China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue. We hope we can increase our mutual understanding and promote trade and economic cooperation between us through the Dialogue.
Q: It is reported that recently a company in the US auctioned a dinosaur egg nest fossil from China at a high price. Will China demand the return of the fossil?
A: We are very concerned about the report. The competent authorities of China are investigating the case. If the result proves that the fossil is from China, the Chinese government will demand the return of the fossil according to relevant international convention.
Q: Today "Premier" Su Tseng-chang of the "Executive Yuan" in Taiwan will "pay a visit to" Gambia. What is your comment on that? According to the report of the China Times, Chad severed "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan because China once provided 50 million dollars to the president of Chad. The president of Senegal was the go-between in the deal. What is your response?
A: On the first question, we are firmly opposed to any secessionist activities aimed at creating "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan" on the international stage by the Taiwan authorities in any name, pretext, or form. We hope and advise the countries concerned to have a correct perception of the situation, follow the trend of times and abide by the One China principle generally recognized by the international community.
On the second question, the Chinese government does not practice "dollar diplomacy". On the contrary, in recent years it is the Taiwan authorities that have engaged in "dollar diplomacy" on the international arena to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan". The act has caused instability in relevant countries and regions. The Chinese government advocates developing friendly cooperation with other countries in line with the principle of equality and mutual benefit based on the One China principle. The cooperation is beneficial for the people in those countries as well as the development of relevant countries and regions.
Q: Could you share with us more information on the Seminar of Israeli and Palestinian People for Peace on the Middle East Question? Who will attend the Seminar? What achievements shall be made? Has China hosted the similar Seminar before?
A: The former Minister of State of the Palestinian National Authority Abdel Kader I.F.Hamed and former Minister of Justice of Israel Yossi Beilin will head delegations to the Israeli-Palestinian Seminar on Peace Process in the Middle East. During the Seminar, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will meet the members of the two delegations, and Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun will make a speech at the Seminar. Chinese Special Envoy on the Middle East Question Sun Bigan and some experts on the Middle East will attend the Seminar. We have been and will be devoted to the promotion of Middle East Peace Process.
This is the first time for China to hold such a Seminar.
Q: Will Premier Wen Jiabao attend the postponed summits between ASEAN and other countries next month? What's your comment on the death of former Chilean leader Pinochet?
A: China understands the Philippines' announcement of postponing the Summits of East Asian countries. Relevant parties are under consultation to set a new date for the Summits. As to whether Premier Wen Jiabao will pay a visit to the Philippines, the two parties will decide that through diplomatic channels.
Q: Indian Prime Minister Singh will visit Japan this week. What's your comment on that? Will this visit exert any influence on China-India relations?
A: Prime Minister Singh's visit to Japan is a matter between India and Japan, on which I am not in the right place to comment. However, I'd like to say that China, Indian, and Japan, as important countries in this region, have broad common interests in safeguarding regional peace and stability and enhancing common development. These three countries, together with other countries in this region, should, on the basis of peace, development, and cooperation, build up a new security concept, strengthen dialogue, exchanges and cooperation, and devote themselves to the peace and prosperity of the region.
Q: Will China and the US hold bilateral talks before the strategic economic dialogue? I noticed such sentences in the TV programs celebrating the fifth anniversary of China's accession into the WTO that "China could not develop in isolation from the world, and the world could not develop without China". Does that indicate the view of Chinese leaders on the relationship between China and the world?
A: I haven't heard of any bilateral talks between US and Chinese competent authorities before the strategic economic dialogue. Both parties attach much importance to this strategic dialogue, in which many cabinet members of the US and ministerial officials of China will be present. The dialogue is an opportunity for the two parties to conduct comprehensive and full exchanges on issues of common concern.
I think the expression you mentioned refers to the speech delivered by Vice Minister of Commerce Yi Xiaozhun on CCTV. His speech expressed exactly the relationship between China and the world. The development of China is much more closely linked with the outside world, and China's development is in the interest of not only itself, but also all countries around the world. In fact, Chinese leaders have stated on many occasions that China adheres to the path of peaceful development, which means that on the one hand, we safeguard and promote world peace by developing ourselves, and on the other hand, we realize China's development by safeguarding and promoting world peace. We stand for friendly cooperation with other countries so as to realize mutual benefit and a win-win situation.
Q: When will the US Treasury Secretary Paulson arrive in Beijing? When will President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao meet with him?
A: Mr. Paulson will surely arrive in Beijing before the dialogue, and you could consult the US side about the exact date. We will timely release his meetings with President Hu and Premier Wen.
If there are no more questions, thank you. See you!