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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on 28 December 2006


On the afternoon of December 28, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference.

Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! Now, I am ready to take up questions.

Q: Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Zhang Deguang is going to leave office. How does China comment on his work? What does China expect for the next Secretary General?

A: As the first Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Mr. Zhang Deguang has done a lot of work for the launch and effective operation of the Secretariat as well as the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Over the past three years when he was in office, the Secretariat worked in an efficient, orderly, well-coordinated way. Now, the member states of the SCO are steadily building political mutual trust, deepening practical cooperation and boosting the international influence of the organization. All is substantially attributed to the efforts of Secretary General Zhang. The heads of all the SCO members are satisfied with and highly appreciate Secretary General Zhang's work.

For the current stage, to further deepen the practical cooperation has become the core task of the SCO. We believe that the new Secretary General Nurgaliev will lead the entire Secretariat to make new efforts to this end. China will continue to support the work of the Secretary General and looks forward to close cooperation with the Secretariat under his leadership.

Q: The ROK representative to the Six-Party Talks said the DPRK representative had told the other parties at the Talks that it would abandon the Nyongbyong nuclear facility if the US lifted financial sanction. What's your comment? How will China impose sanction on the DPRK according to the resolution of the UN Security Council?

A: During the Six-Party Talks, the US and the DPRK stated their own positions on the financial sanction and the realization of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. All of you present today are quite clear about this. We hope the US and the DPRK can find out a proper solution to this issue at an early date through dialogue and consultation, so as to push forward the process of the Talks.

Resolution 1718 was adopted by the UN Security Council. As a responsible country and a permanent member state of the Security Council, China will implement the resolution of the Security Council in full faith.

Q: It is reported that Israeli Prime Minister Olmert will visit China in the new year. Please confirm. In addition, will Premier Wen Jiabao attend the summit meetings between ASEAN and other countries?

A: China and Israel have maintained exchange and cooperation at various levels and in all fields. As for the Israeli leader' visit to China, I haven't got exact information now. We will keep you updated as soon as there is any exact news.

China supports Philippines to host the summit meetings of East Asian countries, and the date is still under consultation. China will keep contact with relevant parties. We will release news in due time.

Q: Yesterday, some Japanese media said Premier Wen Jiabao will visit Japan next April. Can you confirm?

A: I have seen relevant reports. China and Japan have agreed in principle that Chinese leaders will visit Japan next year at the convenience of both sides. As for specific date, the two sides are still conducting consultations through diplomatic channels. We will tell you as soon as information is available.

Q: In your opinion, what did China and Japan achieve through this meeting of joint history study? Do you expect some consensus through this joint study over the differences that have long exited between the two countries? Do you think experts from China and Japan should respect each other's freedom of speech and academic study? And should the dissension concerning the Tokyo Trial be excluded from the agenda?

A: The first meeting of the China-Japan Committee on Joint History Study ended yesterday. The two countries have agreed to carry on the joint study on historic events in line with the principles in the three political documents between China and Japan and the spirit of " facing up to history for the benefit of the future", which were confirmed within the framework set by the foreign ministers from two countries met in Hanoi last November. The meeting defined the procedure and scope of work and decided to establish two sub-groups within the committee, respectively addressing ancient history and modern and contemporary history. It is also decided that the second meeting will be held in Tokyo next March.

On your second question, the experts from two countries may have different views on academic issues. Be it by scholars or governments, however, the history study must be carried on based on the respect for facts and an attitude responsible for history, future and the people. Scholars from two countries have committed themselves to working in the spirit of "facing up to history for the benefit of the future", which we hope can be earnestly honored throughout this joint study.

The Tokyo Trial ruled an undeniable international verdict with iron-clad evidences proven by history. And the international community has made an just judgment. Japan has clearly stated in several important international instruments such as the "Surrender at Discretion" that it accepted the decision in the Potsdam Proclamation to penalize war criminals. On this issue the domestic law should submit to, rather than collide with, the international law, which must be strictly observed.

If there are no other questions, I announce here a message that during the New Year's Holidays from January 1 to January 3, the press conference on January 2 (Tuesday) is to be cancelled as usual. The Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Office will take questions through telephone during the holidays.

Let me extend sincere gratitude to all of you for your close interest in and support to our work in the year of 2006. I wish you all the best in your work, life and health! We look forward to keeping good communication and cooperation with you.

Thanks again for your presence at the last regular press conference of 2006. See you next year!

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