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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on 4 January 2007


On the afternoon of January 4, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.

Liu: Happy new year! Firstly, I have three announcements to make:

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of the State of Israel will pay an official visit to China from January 9 to 11.

At the invitation of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Republic of the Philippines, Premier Wen Jiabao of the People's Republic of China will attend the 10th China-ASEAN Summit, the 10th ASEAN Plus China, Japan and ROK Summit and the 2nd East Asia Summit to be held in Cebu Philippines from January 13 to 16, and pay an official visit to the Republic of the Philippines. During his trip to Philippines, Premier Wen will also chair the 7th China, Japan and ROK Summit.

At the invitation of Secretary of Foreign Affairs Romulo of Philippines, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will attend the China-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers' Working Lunch and East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers' Working Lunch to be held in Cebu from January 11 to 12. During his trip, Li will also chair the 4th Meeting of the Three-Party Committee of the PRC, Japan and the ROK.

Now the floor is open.

Q: It was reported yesterday by the Korean Central News Agency that the DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun passed away. I wonder whether the DPRK advised the Chinese government of this matter? Does China have any detail information about the time and cause of his death? Has China sent telegram of condolences to the DPRK? And do you think his death will have impact on the Sino-DPRK relations and the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula?

A: The DPRK has officially announced the death of Mr. Paek Nam-sun. Upon receiving the news of his death, Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing have respectively sent telegrams to the DPRK, expressing condolences on his death and solicitudes for his family members. We believe the friendly cooperative relations between China and the DPRK will march ahead with joint efforts by the two countries.

China is willing to work with the DPRK and other relevant countries to advance the Six-Party Talks and achieve the goal of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as soon as possible.

Q: It is reported that former Prime Minister of Thailand Dr.Thaksin is in Beijing. Can you confirm? And in what capacity did he come to China?

A: I don't know much about Mr. Thaksin's schedule. He has valid passport and visa, and all his activities in China are of nothing more than personal natural.

Q: According to Japanese media, Japan and the US basically reached an agreement on the contingency plan of joint actions in response to situations across the Taiwan Straits. The two sides agreed to hold a discussion on the specifics between the US military and the Japanese Self-defense Force this February. Some critics think this move may be aimed at containing China's rise in East Asia. What response does China have? In response to Chen Shuibian's possible visit to Nicaragua with a stop-over in the US next week, the Spokesperson of the US State Department said the US would handle this matter in accordance with the one-China policy and the principles of the three China-US Joint Communiques. What comment does China have? US President Bush will introduce a new policy on the Iraqi issue in the next few days and may announce the reinforcement of forces in Iraq. What response does China have?

A: As for your first question, we have taken note of relevant reports and express grave concern. As is known to all, Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory. Any actions or words between Japan and the US concerning Taiwan should observe the one-China priniple and honor their commitment. Now China's relations with both countries are improving. We hope the relevant parties can make more positive and benficial efforts for the development of bilateral relations.

As for your second question, the Chinese Government firmly opposes any official exchanges in any form between the US and Taiwan authority. Our position is clear-cut and consistent. Facts have borne out that the secessionist activities of "Taiwan Independence" forces are always the greatest threat to peace across the Taiwan Straits and the stability and prosperity in Asia-Pacific region. We hold that the US should not only commit to observe the three China-US Joint Communiques in words, but also translate it into real actions. The US should take concrete actions to honor its commitment to adhering to the One-China policy, observing the Three China-US Joint Communiques and opposing to "Taiwan Independence", have a clear perception of Taiwan authority's political schemes, forbid Chen Shuibian's activities in the US with any names or pretext, stop sending any wrong signals to "Taiwan Independence" forces, join hands with China in real actions to clearly oppose and firmly curb the secessionist activities of "Taiwan Independence", thus jointly safeguarding the peace and stability across Taiwan Straits as well as the overall interests of China-US relations. This is vital to both China and the US as well as the peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

As for your third question, we express concern over the turbulence in current Iraqi situations, hope relevant parties to take correct measures and concrete efforts to restore stability in Iraq and bring the Iraqi people a happy, secure and healthy life as soon as possible.

Q: Recently Vietnam criticized China for erecting some sovereignty markers at some basepoints of territorial waters in Xisha Islands, accusing it of "violating the sovereignty of Vietnam and therefore being completely invalid. " What comment does China have?

A: China has indisputable sovereignty over Xisha Islands, Nansha Islands and adjacent waters, for which China has sufficient historical and legal grounds. Based on 1982 UN Convention on the Law of Sea and 1992 Law of the People's Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, the Chinese Government publicized basepoints of territorial sea in Xisha Islands. It completely falls within China's sovereignty to erect sovereignty markers on the basepoints of territorial sea in Xisha Islands, in which no country has right to interfere.

Q: Iran's top nuclear negotiator Larijani is visiting Beijing. Whom will he meet with and what objective does he have? Besides, please tell us the specifics for Israeli Prime Minister's visit to China, including the meeting arrangement and the objectives of his visit. Israel expressed concern over China's accepting the visit by Hamas leaders. Are there any relations between the two visits respectively by Israeli Prime Minister and Iranian official? Thirdly, China's Foreign Minister announced a debt write-off for Equatorial Guinea. Can you tell us the specific amount of the forgiven debts?

A: As for your first question, the special envoy for Iran's leader and President Larijani will visit China from January 4th to 5th. During his visit, Mr. Larijani and Chinese leaders as well as relevant officials of Chinese Foreign Ministry will exchange views over bilateral relations, the Iranian nuclear issue and regional and international issues of common interest.

We attach great importance to Israeli Prime Minsiter' s visit. Chinese leaders will meet or hold talks with Mr. Olmert. There is traditional friendship between the Chinese people and Israeli people. We hope the visit can further enhance the friendship between the two peoples and promote bilateral cooperation between the two countries. We are convinced during the talks and meetings, the two sides will make an in-depth exchange of views over the Middle-East issue. The Chinese side will elaborate on China's position on the Middle-East issue to the Israeli leader.

As everyone knows, China's relations with Africa have witnessed a smooth development. Particularly last November, China and Africa held Beijing Summit of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, at which China proposed eight major mesures for the development of China-Africa relations. Relevant measures will be implemented step by step. During Foreign Minsiter Li Zhaoxing's recent successful visit to Equatorial Guinea, the two sides exchanged views over enhancing bilateral economic and trade cooperation and reached a consensus over some specific cooperation projects.

Q: This weekend the French Socialist candidate for Presidency Royal will visit China. Please tell us some details.

A: At the invitation of the Chinese Communist Party(CCP), the leader of French Socialist Party will head a 15-people delegation to visit China from January 6th to 9th. The CCP leaders and Chinese state leaders will meet with the delegation. The two sides will exchange views over relations between the two parties and the two countries as well as other issues of common interest. We hope the visit can further enhance mutual understanding by more dialogues and communications between the Chinese side and all French major parties including the Socialist Party, thus pushing forward the constant development of China-France comprehensive strategic partnership.

Q: Does the visit by Israeli prime minister to China indicate China's support for Olmert, who was swamped with domestic troubles? Will the visit help push forward the Middle East peace process? Does China plan to invite Palestinian prime minister? If the US sends peace-keeping troops to Darfur, will China reconsider its participation in the UN peace-keeping mission in Sudan?

A: The Chinese government has consistently pursued the principle of non-interference into other country's internal affairs. As an arrangement agreed upon by our two countries, Prime Minister Olmert's visit to China aims to deepen and develop the friendly relations and cooperation between China and Israel. During his visit, the two sides will exchange views on the Middle East issue. We believe that Israel and China, as a principal party to the Middle East issue and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, will benefit the peace process in the Middle East by strengthening contacts, communication and discussion. China will continue to play a constructive role in resuming the peace talks in the Middle East and seeking a lasting and just solution to the Middle East issue.

China and Palestine maintains smooth channels for communication. China and Palestine will arrange for high-level exchange between them when they deem it convenient and necessary.

We are very glad to see progress has been made on the Sudanese Darfur issue recently. China will continue its positive and constructive role in the Darfur issue and effective cooperation with the UN.

Q: At a press conference today, Foreign Minister Aso accused China of predicting a headway for the Six-Party Talks before it was resumed, only to find itself failed by its prediction. He argued that China should be held accountable for the failure of the Talks due to its reluctance to exert pressure on the DPRK. What comment does China have?

A: China 's assiduous efforts to solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and propel the Six-Party Talks have been widely recognized and appreciated by the international community, including other parties to the Six-Party Talks. As is known to all, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is very complicated and demands flexible and practical attitude of the principal parties. All parties should play constructive role. China will also make further efforts to strive for steady progress of the Talks. From another perspective, I do not think the second session of the fifth round of the Six-Party Talks failed. In my opinion, this session reached important consensus, which is quite clear to all and I won't talk much about.

Q: Last year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Pakistan. What expectation does China have for China-Pakistan relations in the year to come?

A: China-Pakistan relations have been developing in a sustained and in-depth way. Last year, President Hu Jintao paid a milestone state visit to Pakistan, which won full success. The two sides made a comprehensive review of the development of China-Pakistan relations over the past decades and mapped out the plan for future cooperation. Both sides agreed that the development of bilateral relations had strategic significance and were important for the two countries, South Asia and the peace and stability in the world. Both sides were pleased and encouraged to see their all-weather relations passed the test of time. In the new year, China-Pakistan strategic and cooperative partnership will continue to stride ahead.

Q: This year marks the 15th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Israel. Will there be a celebration during the visit by Israel prime minister to China? You just said that China and Palestine has kept a smooth channel for contact, but we notice that China always reaches out its hands to officials of the PLO central committee and sidelines the Palestinian government. Does this signify that China only recognizes the committee of PLO instead of the Hamas government?

A: This year marks the 15th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Israel. During Prime Minister Olmert's visit to China, State Councilor Chen Zhili will attend a concert celebrating the 15th anniversary together with Prime Minister Olmert. Since China and Israel established diplomatic relations in 1992, our relationship has developed smoothly, with frequent exchange of high-level visits and rewarding cooperation on an extensive scale in the fields of trade, economy, culture, education and people-to-people exchange. We hold friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Israel serves the fundamental interest of both countries and people, and benefits the peace and development of the Middle East.

Chinese and Palestinian people have profound traditional friendship. For a long time, Chinese people have staunchly supported the just cause of the Palestinian people, and China has played constructive role in seeking the resolution of the Middle East question. China and Palestine has kept effective communication. We remember that China met with Palestinian official on the sideline of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum last year. In short, China will keep on doing those things that help solve the Middle East question and develop the Sino-Palestinian relationship.

If there are no more questions, I will put this meeting to the end. Happy new year again!

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