|Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on February 1, 2007|
On the afternoon of February 1, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu held a regular press conference. Jiang answered questions related to President Hu Jintao's visit to Africa, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, the consultations between China and Japan on the East China Sea as well as kidnapped Chinese citizens in Kenya.
Jiang: Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
Since I have no announcements today, let's start with your questions.
Q: Does China think the debris generated by its outer space test will affect other countries' peaceful use of the outer space? The US, Japan and other countries think that China's explanation for the test is not specific enough. Will China make more explanations for the test? China talks about the peaceful use of the outer space, on the other hand, the PLA Daily runs articles on "obtaining the power to control the space". Don't you hold these to be self-contradictory?
A: As for the test, we have clearly elaborated on our position, which remains unchanged. Since so many countries have interest in the peaceful use of the outer space, oppose weaponization and arms race in the outer space, let's joint hands to achieve this goal.
Adopting a defensive national policy, China is a staunch force for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. China has never conducted any arms race with any other country. Nor will it do so in the future. China doesn't pose a threat to any country.
Q: It is reported that Kim Jong-II's elder son is in Macao, can you confirm? The "US Commission on International Religious Freedom" criticized China for its deteriorating conditions of religious freedom and the international community should impose more pressure on China. Religious freedom should weigh as much as economic and trade issues in China-US strategic dialogues. How does China view the issue?
A: As for your first question, I haven't heard of the news you mentioned.
As for your second question, if the "US Commission on International Religious Freedom" made such remarks, it is another groundless accusation and attack against China's human rights and religion. It is witnessed by all that the Chinese Government protects its citizens' freedom of religious belief in accordance with law, under which Chinese citizens enjoy extensive human rights and religious freedom. We urge the commission to face up to China's development and its conditions of human rights and religion, refrain from using religious and human rights issues to interfere in China's internal affairs so as to protect its own image from being undermined.
Q: Yesterday Ta Kung Pao reported that Chun Xiao oil and natural gas field in the East China Sea has begun to supply Ningbo and Shaoxing of Zhejiang Province with gas since last September. Is this report true?
A: I don't know the specifics you mentioned. But China's exploration of relevant oil and natural gas fields are conducted in China's short sea on the continental shelf where China has no disputes with Japan.
Q: When will China and Japan hold the next round of consultations over the East China Sea dispute? When will Premier Wen and Foreign Minister Li visit Japan?
A: We always maintain that the disputes between China and Japan on the demarcation of the East China Sea should be resolved step by step through dialogue and consultation. China and Japan are yet to determine the specific date for the next round of consultations. We are open towards it.
During their meeting in Cebu not long ago, Premiers of our two countries reached a consensus over accelerating the consultations on the East China Sea.
As for the date of Premier Wen and Foreign Minister Li's upcoming visits to Japan, we will release news in due time as usual. China and Japan are discussing relevant arrangements. We are convinced that Premier Wen's upcoming visit to Japan will have important and far-reaching significance on seizing the sound momentum of bilateral relationship and promoting bilateral exchanges and cooperation in all fields.
Q: How do you like Hillary to be the US President?
A: The US presidential election is its domestic affairs.
Q: Human rights organizations will meet in Paris this week, urging the Chinese Government to abolish the capital punishment before 2008 Olympic Games and accusing China of lack of transparency in the execution of death penalty. Why doesn't the Chinese Government publicize the statistics of execution every year? Secondly, a former Canadian diplomat accused China of transplanting organs from prisoners to be executed. What comment do you have?
A: Over a half of countries in the world still practice capital punishment. China has always been making efforts to follow the constitutional spirit of "respecting and safeguarding human rights", strictly controlled the use of death penalty and safeguarded human rights through judicial procedures as required by the rule of law.
You just mentioned the statistics of capital punishment, I think you are not very aware of the conditions in China. The people's courts generally publicize the information of capital verdicts and execution through public announcement and bulletins, which are also covered by media in China. In judicial statistics, the total number of execution is in the report submitted by the Head of the Supreme People's Court to the National People's Congress. All these statistics are open to the public.
We are very prudent in transplanting organs of the executed in China. We have strict laws and regulations. To be specific, written consent from those to be executed themselves and the approval of relevant authorities of public health and the Supreme People's Court are required. Other relevant authorities also have strict regulations in this respect.
Q: It is said that the financial consultation between the US and the DPRK yesterday made little progress. Will such result affect negatively this round of the Six-Party Talks? Yesterday Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei said that this round of the Talks is likely to close within three or four days with results. What goal does China think this round of Talks should achieve to make it " successful"?
A: You can refer your question on the financial consultations to relevant parties. The third phase of the fifth round of the Six-Party Talks is under active preparation. It conforms to the common interests of all parties to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula peacefully through dialogue and consultation. All parties will benefit from the normalization of relationship between relevant countries, a peaceful and stable Peninsula and a new harmonious Northeast Asia that enjoys peace and stability. So we hope all parties to make concerted efforts, display sincerity, so as to meet halfway and enhance mutual trust. By so doing, we hope to push the next phase of the Talks for positive fruits and make it a sound beginning for implementing the Joint Statement.
Q: Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei said he expected the next phase of meeting to conclude within three or four days with fruits. Do you agree with him?
A: The duration of the Talks will depend on its development.
Q: On January 30, the working site of a Chinese company in Kenya was robbed, causing one Chinese engineer dead and another injured. Now can you tell us how would you like to describe the case? What follow-up measures have the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Commerce Ministry taken? In addition, another 9 Chinese citizens have been taken hostage in Nigeria. What comment do you have on the frequent occurrence of such cases in Africa recently?
A: In the early morning of January 30 of local time, China Road and Bridge Corporation' highway project in Kenya's Mombasa was attacked by gunmen, causing one Chinese engineer dead and another injured.
After the incident, the Chinese Government attached great importance to the case. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and its embassy in Kenya immediately launched the emergency mechanism, made urgent representations to the Kenyan Embassy in China and Kenyan Foreign Ministry respectively, lodged condemnation on the criminal act and requested Kenya to investigate the case fast, catch the attackers and take concrete and effective measures to ensure the safety of life and property of Chinese agencies and citizens in Kenya. The Chinese Embassy in Kenya dispatched a task force to Mombassa to visit and bring solicitudes to the injured and other Chinese citizens. They also assist the company to deal with issue and take measures and precautions to enhance security. Now the injured has been recovered from the critical status but needs to stay in hospital for a few days.
A: It is learned that Kenya has set up a task force to investigate the case and has taken measures to better protect relevant Chinese companies and personnels. Chinese Embassy to Kenya will stay in close contact with relevant Kenyan authorities so as to properly handle the case as soon as possible.
As for the Chinese citizens kidnapped in Nigeria, we are working all out to rescue them.
Q: It is reported by Hong Kong media that Kim Jong-il's son is living in Beijing and Macau with a Portuguese passport. Can you confirm?
A: I don't have any information about that.
Q: The Bishop of Hong Kong said he hoped China could follow Vietnam's example to develop relations with Vatican. Can you give us a brief account on recent contacts between China and Vatican and the prospect for future relations?
A: China is sincere in improving relations with Vatican. But we have our principles as well. The two fundamental principles for us to improve relations with Vatican remain unchanged.
Q: President Hu is on his trip to Africa and will arrive in Sudan in a few days. President Hu is said to be under pressure to talk with the Sudanese Government about the Darfur issue. What opinion do you have? And what will be discussed during President Hu's stay there?
A: The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the Darfur issue. We look forward to peace, stability and the economic reconstruction of Darfur at an early date, which is the point of departure for China in dealing with this issue. We hope parties concerned will find a proper solution through dialogue and consultation when the Darfur issue has witnessed some positive progress recently. China will continue to play a constructive role.
Q: US Treasury Secretary Paulson said in Washington yesterday that the international community is losing patience with China's slow pace on its currency reform. What is your reaction? What comment do you have on the Uigurs prisoners in Guantanamo?
A: China has been implementing a managed floating exchange rate system since 2005. We will take active and cautious measures to improve this system based on the principles of activity, controllability and gradual advancement so as to ensure the success of the reform.
International community should be concerted and resolute in fighting against terrorism, a common enemy of the world. We would like to advance the anti-terrorist operation along with other countries. The East Turkistan forces are part of the international terrorist camp. As for those Chinese terrorist suspects in Guantanamo, we hope the United States can proceed from the interest of the international anti-terrorism cooperation, bilateral relations and relevant international law, and repatriate them back to China.
Q: Has China already got some detailed information from the United States or the DPRK about the content of the financial talks between the two which ended yesterday? Will the next round of the financial talks be held on the sidelines of the Six Party Talks?
A: I don't have information in this regard. We hope and urge parties concerned to take practical and effective measures to comprehensively implement the 9.19 Joint Statement so as to advance the Six-Party Talks and create a future of mutual benefit and win-win result.
Q: Many Chinese corrupted officials and criminal suspects have fled to Canada, with which China hasn't set up any extradition mechanism. Will China plan to sign treaty with Canada in this regard?
A: China has approved the United Nations Convention against Corruption. As a contracting party, China will earnestly perform its obligations. We hope this convention will serve as the international legal basis and an effective tool for countries in combating corruption. China holds a firm position on anti-corruption and has adopted effective measures.
If there are no other questions, let's conclude here. Thanks for your presence. Goodbye!