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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on 9 January, 2007


On the afternoon of January 9, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.

Liu: Good afternoon! I would like to start with three announcements.

At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Emomali Rakhmonev of the Republic of Tajikistan will pay a state visit to China from January 15th to 21st.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU Commisioner for External Relations will pay an official visit to China from January 16th to 18th.

At the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Ecuador, Chinese Minister of Construction Wang Guangtao will attend the Power Transfer Ceremony on Ecuadorian presidency on January 15th as the special envoy of the Chinese Government.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: What's going on with the five Chinese workers kidnapped in Nigeria? What measures will the Chinese government take in the future to prevent such incidents? According to the US officials, financial talks between the US and the DPRK will be resumed this month, and, if it goes smoothly, the second phase of the fifth round of Six-Party Talks may be resumed this month. What's your comment?

A: On your first question, the Chinese government, competent authorities, and the Chinese embassy and consulate in Nigeria are exerting their utmost efforts to rescue the kidnapped Chinese citizens. At present, the five hostages are safe. Since the rescue work is ongoing, I shall not release more information. This incident also reminds all Chinese citizens who will work, study, and travel abroad to pay more attention to their personal safety and raise their awareness of self-protection. They should contact the Chinese embassies and consulates timely when coming across problems.

On your second question, we always hold that the US and the DPRK reach consensus on an early settlement of the financial issues so as to eliminate the unnecessary obstacles in the process of the Six-Party Talks as soon as possible. The Six-Party Talks is a practical and effective means to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, as well as an important platform for relevant parties to exchange views on building up a harmonious new pattern in Northeast Asia. To resume the Talks at an early date is a consensus reached at the second phase of the fifth round of the Talks by the parties concerned. We hope that all parties continue to seek and expand the convergence of interests with patience and flexibility, find a solution acceptable to all, so as to resume the Talks as soon as possible and make positive progress. China will continue to conduct constructive communication and coordination with relevant parties on how to make headways out of the Talks.

Q: US State Department announces sanctions against three Chinese companies last week for their alleged involvement in sales of embargoed weapons to relevant countries. What comment does China have?

A: The Chinese Government consistently adopts a serious and responsible attitude on preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. China firmly opposes proliferation in any form and prohibits any company or individual to engage in proliferation activities.

It is irrational for the US Government to invoke its domestic law to impose sanctions on Chinese companies without providing any evidence. We express firm opposition and strongly urge the US to correct its erroneous practice.

Q: On the terrorists of East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) who were shot dead in Xinjiang, what crimes have they committed? Do they have any link with Al-Qaeda?

A: The Xinjiang police raided a training camp of the ETIM in the Pamir plateau within the Chinese border on January 5. The police met the resistance of the terrorists and made counter-attack, killing 18 suspects and arresting 17 others, seizing 22 hand grenades and more than 1,500 semi ones. One police officer was killed during the raid, and another was wounded. As far as I know, the Public Security Department of Xinjiang held a press conference on the raid on January 8. The police are searching for a couple of suspects believed to have escaped during the raid. Subsequent information will be released by the Xinjiang Public Security Department.

The cracking down on East Turkistan terrorist forces by the Chinese government according to law has effectively protected the fundamental interests of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, especially safeguarded the right to survival, safety, and development of the people in Xinjiang Autonomous Region and China at large, and benefited the security and stability of China's neighboring regions and Central Asia. There is large amount of evidence that shows, including evidence we got from this raid, that the ETIM is associated with international terrorist forces, and that they have plotted, organized, and carried out a series of violent terrorist activities in China. ETIM has already been listed as a terrorist group by the United Nations.

Q: Will China discuss the Iranian nuclear issue with Olmert during his visit to China?

A: China attaches importance to Prime Minister Olmert's visit to China. We look forward to exchanging views with him on further consolidating and developing bilateral friendly cooperation and on issues of common concern including the Middle East issue and the Iranian nuclear issue.

Q: It is reported that China's former Chief Representative of China-Britain Joint Liaison Group Ke Zaishuo passed away in Beijing. Can you confirm?

A: Mr.Ke Zaishuo, China's former Chief Representative of China-Britain Joint Liaison Group passed away in Beijing today. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant departments are helping his family to deal with the aftermath.

Q: It is reported that some of the suspects have escaped from the raid. Will China cooperate with the neighboring Afghanistan and Pakistan to capture those suspects at large?

A: The action is taken by the public security department, and I have no more information to share with you. But I have to point out that there are "three forces" including the "terrorist force" in Central Asia. China has been conducting effective anti-terrorist cooperation with neighboring countries and the SCO member states, which is conducive to maintaining regional peace and stability and safeguarding the interests of all countries in this region.

Q: Japanese defense agency has been upgraded to Defense Ministry, which is criticized by the Chinese media. What's your comment? A Japanese senior lawmaker will visit Pyongyang today and exchange views with the DPRK side. What's your comment on Japan's efforts? What role will China play in improving the Japan-DPRK ties?

A: On your first question, we have noticed relevant reports and comments. Adhering to the road of peaceful development by Japan conforms to the fundamental interests of Japan itself and benefits regional peace, stability, and development. No matter what changes take place in the components of the Japanese government, we hope Japan continue its road of peaceful development.

On your second question, I think you are talking about Mr. Yamasaki's visit to the DPRK. We have noticed relevant reports, too. We always welcome that Japan and the DPRK strengthen contact and exchanges to enhance mutual trust and improve their relations. This is beneficial to peace and stability of Northeast Asia.

Q: The French Socialist candidate for presidency Royal talked about human rights issue during her visit to China. What comment do you have?

A: As for Ms. Royal's visit to China, we think it is a successful one. She visited China at the invitation of the Chinese Communist Party. During her visit, Vice President Zeng Qinghong and State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan met with her in a friendly atmosphere. The two sides exchanged views over the development of China-France relations and issues of common interest. Both sides made positive comments on the important progress of China-France relations over recent years and feel glad to see the ever deeper political mutual trust, stronger economic cooperation and trade as well as closer strategic cooperation. Ms. Royal said that the rapid and harmonious economic and social advancement in China is conducive to world peace and stability and also provides Europe with an important opportunity. As for human rights issue you mentioned, we are ready to continue dialogues with France in this regard on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

Q: Where are the arrested Xin Jiang terrorists detained? Does China have its own Guantanamo? The US special envoy on Sudan will visit China. Please tell us more specifics.

A: I have no more details for your first question. The arrested terrorist suspects will be handled in accordance with law. There is no Guantanamo in China.

Secondly, the US special envoy on Sudan Natsios is visiting China from today till 12th. He will exchange views with China over the Darfur issue. Relevant activities are still under arrangement. China follows closely the Darfur issue, hoping all relevant parties to seize opportunities and conduct dialogues and consultations so as to reach a consensus on how to resolve the issue properly at an early date. China will continue to play a constructive role and strengthen coordination and cooperation with all other parties.

Q: Will Ms. Royal touch on France's trade deficit with China during her visit? Why is there no meeting arrangement between her and President Hu Jintao? Has the Chinese Communist Party invited other French presidential candidates to visit China?

A: As for your first question, China's trade with the EU countries including France has achieved tremendous progress over past few years. If my memory is correct, EU has become China's largest trading partner for the successive three years. Both sides hold positive and active attitude towards the trade between China and the EU and have the determination to further promote bilateral economic and trade cooperation, which are considered beneficial to both China and the EU. I think such is the case for China and France. Economic and trade cooperation between China and France still have great potentials. The two sides are ready to take necessary measures to enhance bilateral economic and trade cooperation and properly address their respective concerns, such as trade deficit on the French side and recognition of China as a full market economy on the Chinese side. We are ready to exchange views frankly with the EU including France over these issues, thus enabling the sustainable and healthy development of economic and trade cooperation between China and EU as well as China and France.

As for your second question, relevant arrangements for Ms. Royal's visit to China are discussed and agreed by the two sides. I think the French side is satisfied with that. The visit has achieved the anticipated goal. More exchanges between the Communist Party of China and French Socialist Party as well as other parties in France play an important role in the overall development of China-France relations. The CPC is ready to enhance exchanges and dialogues with all parties of other countries on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and non-interference in each other' internal affairs. Over the past few years the CPC has conducted various cooperation and exchanges with all other countries in this regard. No matter whether the parties take part in presidential election or not, we are ready to have friendly exchanges with them as long as they are willing to develop friendly and cooperative relations with China.

Q: It is reported that President Hu Jintao received the invitation to visit Japan this June when meeting with a Japanese guest. Can you confirm?

A: You may refer to the delegation headed by the Chief Representative Ota of Japan's New Komeito. President Hu met with the delegation. When Prime Minister Abe visited China last year, both sides agreed to resume the high level exchanges between the two sides. We will make necessary arrangements according to the need in the development of bilateral ties. If I have further information, I will keep you updated.

Q: There is criticism from the Taiwan authorities that the mainland gets the diplomatic recognition of African countries by providing loans and aid to them. What is your comment on that? Can you confirm that Mr. Wu Dawei will visit Japan next month?

A: We in China like to describe this as "a burglar shouts 'stop thief'". China never engages in the so-called dollar diplomacy. The diplomatic relations between China and other countries including African nations are based on equality, mutual benefit and respect. This kind of accusation reflects their despicable thinking.

As for whether Mr. Wu Dawei will visit Japan next month, I have no information.

Q: Will Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing pay a visit to Japan next month?

A: Chinese government holds a positive attitude towards the high-level exchanges of visits between the two sides, including that between the foreign ministers. It is encouraging to both that the Sino-Japanese relations have witnessed a constant improvement and development with increasing high-level exchanges of visits after Prime Minister Abe's visit to China. As for what measures will be taken for the next step, we are keeping close communication with Japan so as to further promote the healthy and steady development of Sino-Japanese relations. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries. We hope and stand ready to take the advantage of this opportunity to drive forward the Sino-Japanese relations and friendship.

Q: What comment do you have on Pakistan taking the office as the rotating chair of Group-77?

A: China keeps close cooperation, coordination and consultation with Pakistan and other member states of G-77. There are meetings between China and G-77 during the UN General Assembly every year. The development of relations between China and Group-77 is fruitful. As the largest developing country in the world, China has identical or similar views with G-77on many international issues including building a harmonious world. China congratulates Pakistan on becoming the chair of G-77. We are willing to maintain close cooperation with Pakistan and strengthen the links and cooperation with G-77.

Q: A question concerning China, the US and Taiwan. China expressed its concern and made representation with the US on allowing "President" Chen Shuibian to stopover in the US. I wonder what the next step would be? Will it affect the Sino-US relations?

A: I want to point out several improper expressions in your question. Since you are present here at the press hall of Foreign Ministry of the People's Republic of China for our press conference, I hope you respect the One China Principle as a Chinese. There is no so-called "President" in Taiwan. Besides, it is improper to line China, the US and Taiwan in parallel. Taiwan is part of China. The Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. As for Chen's transition visit, I made comments yesterday, which I believe you must have taken note.

If there are no other questions, the press conference concludes here. Thank you!

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