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

2006-12-27

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

Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

As is known to all, in recent years, Chinese Foreign Minister has consistently chosen Africa as destination of his first visit each year. He will not make an exception of 2007 but start off earlier than before. Now, I'd like to make the following announcement:

At the invitation of Minister of Foreign Affairs Diallo of Republic of Benin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Francophone Affairs Micha of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Communities Monteiro of the Republic of Guinea-Bisseau, Minister of Foreign Affairs and African Cooperation Allam-mi of the Republic of Chad, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and Francophone Affairs Zoumara of Central African Republic, the Government of the State of Eritrea and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Meraphe of the Republic of Botswana, Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Zhaoxing will pay official visits to the seven countries from 31 December 2006 to 8 January 2007.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: It was reported by Zimbabwean state media last week that China and Zimbabwe had begun to discuss China's 2-billion-dollar concession loan to Zimbabwe. Please confirm and brief us more on that.

A: We made a double check with the department concerned after we saw the report, only to know it is anything but true.

Q: What consensus did the six parties reach at the second session of the fifth round of Six-Party Talks? Did the parties hold consultation after the Talks ended? Has the date of resumption been fixed?

A: Head of Chinese Delegation and Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei summarized the consensus reached at the second session of fifth round of the Six-Party Talks when he announced recess. I'd rather not repeat his summary here.

It serves the interest shared by all the countries concerned to realize denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and negotiation, maintain peace and stability of the Peninsula and thereby attain and safeguard the peace and stability of the entire Northeast Asia. China will stay in close communication and cooperation with the parties concerned. Meanwhile, we hope the delegations to the Talks will ponder over this matter during the recess after they reported to their governments. They should exert wisdom, show patience and flexibility and continue to review the past development. We hope in this way the parties will expand their common ground, find out a proper approach to pushing forward the Six-Party Talks and strive for steady progress of the Talks. China is willing to play a constructive role to this end, and we also expect other parties to make vigorous efforts.

Q: The DPRK delegation to the Six-Party Talks said that the next round of the talks cannot be held until the DPRK and the US finished their financial dialogue. Does China concur with that? It is said that the DPRK has expressed its willingness to make concession. It is ready to abandon the nuclear facility in Nyongbyong if the US lifts the financial sanction. Can you confirm?

A: Regarding the financial sanction, financial experts of the US and the DPRK have communicated on this issue at this session of Six-Party Talks. Now, the two sides better understand each other's concern. We welcome and support their dialogue and consultation in order to properly solve this issue at an early date.

The Joint Statement of September 19 clearly stipulated that the six parties should take coordinated steps to implement the joint statement in a phased manner and in line with the principle of "commitment for commitment, action for action". They should endeavor for the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. We hope the parties concerned will bear in mind the overall situation and do more to push forward the Six-Party Talks.

Q: Japan and China started a meeting today to talk about the differences between the two sides on history issues. What specific issues will be discussed? What is your expectation for this meeting?

A: I take note that you said the two sides will have a discussion on the differences between the two sides on history issues. I don't agree with you on your wording. It is the consensus between our two governments and leaders to have dialogue and exchange on the history of China-Japan relationship between the historians from the two countries. The purpose is to enhance the objective perception of history and mutual understanding through joint study on the 2000-year exchange history between China and Japan, the unfortunate modern history and the 60-year relationship after the Second World War. The dialogue and exchange are conducted in accordance with the principles in the three political documents and the spirit of "facing up to history for the benefits of future relations". To my knowledge, the opening ceremony will begin at 4:00 p.m. today, and then a plenary session of committee members will be held. Tomorrow the committee will hold another plenary session in the morning, a group discussion in the afternoon and later a closing ceremony. China is willing to do research with the Japanese experts in the above-mentioned principles and spirits.

Q: A question on the joint history study between China and Japan, You became spokesman when China-Japan relations reached its nadir in history. We hadn't expected that there would be such a meeting today. What is your feeling as a spokesman?

A: Your question seems that you would like me to make a summing-up at the end of the year. In recent years China-Japan relationship once has experienced difficulties and twists and turns. The reason is well-known to all. We stress that an important foundation in China-Japan relationship is to view and deal with history issue in a right way. When the issue is handled in a proper and right way, China-Japan relations will enjoy healthy, stable and smooth development. Otherwise, difficulties and obstruction will turn up and they are not in the interests of both sides. We are glad to see that since this autumn, there are some positive developments in our bilateral relations. Now China-Japan relations have taken on a sound momentum of improvement and development. At the very moment, we shall cherish all the more the hard-won situation and properly handle some major issues bearing on the development of bilateral relations. We believe that the decision by the two governments and leaders to do joint research on history is more than right, and it can help us properly handle relevant issues, correctly understand historical facts through dialogue and exchanges. Based on this, we can create better foundation for the brighter future of China-Japan relationship.

Q: It is reported by Chinese media that Chinese and Japanese experts would discuss on the Nanjing Massacre. Can you confirm? The Catholic church on the mainland is likely to consecrate a new bishop on their own accord. Will it have any impact on the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Vatican?

A: To correctly understand and handle the history issue is an important political foundation for the healthy and stable development of the Sino-Japanese relations. The aggression war waged by Japan last century, including the atrocious massacre in Nanjing, is an undeniable historic fact proven by iron-clad evidences. The international community made a verdict thereof long ago. We hope the two sides will reinforce the objective perception of history through joint research in the spirit of "facing up to history for the benefit of future relations"

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The principles of the Chinese government concerning its relations with Vatican remain unchanged. One of them is that Vatican cannot interfere in China's domestic affairs in name of religion. We hope Vatican can contribute to the improvement of our bilateral relations.

If there are no other questions, thank you for presence. See you next time.

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