|Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on 8 February 2007|
On the afternoon of February 8, 2007, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Six-Party Talks, the East China Sea issue and other issues.
Jiang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have no announcement to make today. Who would like to start first?
Q: The third phase of the fifth round of the Six-Party Talks is to begin this afternoon. It's reported that China has prepared a specific working plan. Can you confirm?
A: This afternoon, the third phase of the fifth round of the Six-Party Talks will begin in Beijing. Let's take a look at its detailed arrangements: the meeting of the heads of delegations will be held at 3 PM, the opening ceremony is at 4:20 PM, followed with the plenary session of all delegates. Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei is now meeting with the head of DPRK delegation Kim Kye-gwan. He held meetings with chief negotiators from Russia, Japan, the US and the DPRK yesterday respectively. As for your question, all parties will hold specific discussions during the Talks. We hope all parties can seize the opportunity, continue to display wisdom, seek and expand the converging points of their interests and properly address their concerns with a pragmatic attitude, so as to make this phase of the Talks a sound beginning for implementing the joint statement.
Q: Please brief us on the agenda and the arrangements for bilateral talks in this round of the Six-Party Talks. Hong long will the Talks last?
A: As for the specific arrangements, we will release updated information at the Press Centre. Please stay in contact with our staff there. As usual, this phase of the Talks will include meetings of heads of the delegations and plenary sessions for all members, during which bilateral and multilateral consultatations will also be held.
As for the duration of the Talks, we will consult all other parties to ensure early positive fruits out of the Talks. It still depends on the development and actual needs of the Talks.
Follow-up: Do you mean the meeting is open-ended?
A: We are open towards the duration of the Talks. How long it is going to last depends on the need of the Talks.
Q: It is reported that during this phase of the Six-Party Talks, discussions will be focused on how to implement the Joint Statement reached in September 2005. But Japan repeatedly expressed its hope to include the issue of the kidnapped Japanese by the DPRK into the agenda and the DPRK urged the US to lift the freeze on its account in a Macao bank first. In addition, will China's outer space test be discussed at the Talks? If it is discussed, how will it affect the implementation of the 9.19 Joint Statement?
A: We welcome and support Japan and the DPRK to exchange views over issues of mutual concern within and out of the framework of the Six-Party Talks and properly handle relevant issues. We hope the two sides address each other's concerns through consultations in line with the spirit of the 9.19 Joint Statement and take concrete measures to improve their relations.
As for the issue of Banco Delta Asia, we hope relevant parties to proceed from the overall interests, seek a proper solution at an early date, so as to create favorable conditions for this phase of the Talks to achieve positive progress.
With regard to the outer space test, we have repeatedly made our position clear. The tese is not targeted against any country, nor does it pose any threat to any country or violate any international conventions. China's test has no relations with the Six-Party Talks.
Q: It is reported that Mr. Hill informed Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei of the memorandum signed between the US and the DPRK at their talks in Berlin. Please confirm. Secondly, a bilateral meeting between Japan and the DPRK was reportedly scheduled this afternoon, but it is replaced by a bilateral meeting between Japan the ROK. Please tell us the reason for the change of the agenda.
A: Discussions in this phase of meetings will be focused on the specific actions and measures to be taken by parties and relevant working mechnisms to be set up at the initial stage of implementing the 9.19 Joint Statement.
Relevant parties have already made some contacts and consultations prior to this phase, which we deem as positive and helpful, laying certain foundation for this phase of the Talks.
You asked whether the bilateral talks between Japan the DPRK was cancelled, you can check with the Press Centre. All delegations are trying to fix a schedule at a time convenient to both.
Q: A research fellow of China's Institute of International Studies said yesterday that unless the US lifted its finantional sanctions against the DPRK completely, the Six-Party Talks is unlikely to achieve any fruit. Do you agree with his view? Did he consult the Foreign Ministry before he voiced his view?
A: It is his personal opinion.
As we can see from the previous rounds of the Six-Party Talks, as long as all parties keep patience and persistence, display sincerity and meet halfway from the opposite directions, they surely can overcome all difficulties in the way. We hope all parties to seize the opportunity of this meeting, exert sincerity, give full play to their wisdom and make concreted efforts to push forward the Talks for achievement.
Q:Besides the implementation of the Sep. 19th Joint Statement, is there any other goal for this session of the Six-party Talks?
A: The core of this phase of talks is to discuss the actions and specific measures to be taken by relevant parties at the initial stage of the implementation of the Joint Statement and the establishment of relevant working mechanism. The specific topics for this session will be consulted by the parties concerned during the meetings this afternoon.
Q: Some committees were suggested to be established during previous sessions of the Six-party Talks for dealing with specific questions and implementing the Joint Statement. Are the parties concerned still considering this idea?
A: I think you are talking about the suggestion to set up working groups. It is necessary to establish and improve the working mechanism for the implementation of the Joint Statement. With regard to what groups shall be established and how they shall operate, it will be explored by relevant parties during this phase of talks.
Q: On the marine survey by a Chinese ship, can you tell us the scope of the waters covered in the informing mechanism? Does China disagree with Japan on how to define the scope? Will this issue be discussed during the upcoming meeting between the two Foreign Ministers of China and Japan?
A: The mutual informing mechanism is an independent measure to enhance mutual understanding which will benefit the general interest of the bilateral ties. It does not affect the position of the two sides on questions concerning laws of the sea.
On the marine survey question, we have made our position clear. The normal survey activity by Chinese ships in waters near the Diaoyu Island is to exercise the legitimate sovereignty rights of China. It has no connection with the informing mechanism.
As for what will be discussed during the meeting between the two Foreign Ministers, I think they will exchange views on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest.
Q: The US will establish an Africa Command, which is said to be targeted at China. What is your comment?
A: We have taken note of relevant reports. It is the common aspiration of people in this region to maintain and promote lasting peace and stability of Africa. People of China and Africa enjoy profound traditional friendship. The friendly cooperation and exchanges between China and African countries are conducive to peace, stability, and development of Africa, and are welcomed and supported by African countries and people. We hope countries do more to promote peace, stability and development in Africa.
Q: What substantive progress does China expect from this session of Talks? Second, please brief us on the itinerary of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing's visit to India.
A: The opening ceremony for the Six-Party Talks will be held around 4:00 p.m. today. We will keep you updated in due course. Please pay attention to the information released by the press center.
On Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing's upcoming visit to India, I briefed you on his itinerary here Tuesday. He will meet with Indian Foreign Minister Mukherjee and Prime Minister Singh. He will also attend the ceremonies of relevant activities.
Q: According to the report of the Canadian Globe and Mail, a court in Urumqi tried a "Canadian citizen" Huseyin Celil for his involvement with terrorism. Officials from the Canadian embassy in Beijing requested to attend the trial. What is your comment?
A: Yu Shanjiang is a Chinese citizen and a key member of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which is enlisted by the UN as a terrorist organization. He is a criminal on international wanted list suspected of involving in a series of violent terrorist activities. Competent authorities of China are dealing with the case in light of law.
On the request of the Canadian side, since Yu Shanjiang is a Chinese citizen, the consular agreement between China and Canada does not apply here.
If there are no more questions, thank you. See you!