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Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on 13 February 2007

2007-02-14

On the afternoon of February 13, 2007, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Six-Party Talks, Foreign Minister Li's visit to Japan, the fire of a foreigners' detention center in Yeosu, ROK, and other issues.

Jiang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I will make an announcement first.

At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Rajapaksa of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka will pay a state visit to China from February 26 to March 4.

Now I'd like to answer your questions.

Q: Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Kohona is to visit to China. Please give us some details.

A: I will check for you for the details of his visit.

Q:Please brief us on the development of the Six-party Talks. Will there be a closing ceremony today?

A: The meeting of the heads of the delegations concluded this morning with positive progress achieved out of the consultations. Parties might reach consensus and come up with a joint document.

The press center will release the schedule for this afternoon. Please follow their announcement.

Q: Will Foreign Minister Li still be visiting Japan? Will he make preparation for Premier Wen's visit to Japan in April? Japanese newspaper reported that President Hu won't visit Japan this year. So is it fair to say that Premier Wen will be the highest-level leader from China to visit Japan this year?

A: Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing has started his visit to Indian and Japan. According to his schedule, he will reach Japan on February 15. The purpose of Foreign Minister Li's visit is to press ahead with the improvement and development of China-Japan relations, and to make preparation for Premier Wen's visit to Japan. He will meet with Prime Minister Abe and Foreign Minister Aso. They will exchange views on bilateral relations and issues of common interest.

Q: Some foreign journalists planning to visit Tibet were refused. Is there any change for the Regulations on Reporting activities in China for Foreign Journalists During the Beijing Olympic Games and Its Preparatory Period? Does the Regulations apply to Tibet?

A: The new Regulations should be abided by generally when foreign journalists conduct reporting activities in Tibet and elsewhere. In the meantime, due to restraints in natural conditions and reception capabilities, Tibetan local authorities have some regulations for foreigners' access there, which should be abided by. Please contact the local foreign affairs office for conducting reporting activities in Tibet.

Q: The DPRK asked for 1 million tons of heavy oil in exchange for closing down their nuclear facilities in Yongbyon. What's China's comment?

A: There are still important meetings to be held in the afternoon. You will get the latest shortly. I think that you will be able to get answers to the specific issues you mentioned later.

Q: You mentioned that various parties might reach consensus and issue a joint document. What will be the content? Will it be a joint statement or a president statement?

A: I understand that you're eager to know the outcome of the talks this afternoon. The press center will release relevant information. I suggest you to wait patiently for the most accurate and first-hand information released by the press center.

Q: Have you identified the remaining three Chinese citizens killed in the fire in Yeosu of South Korea? What is the cause of the fire? What measures does China hope the Korean government take in the case?

A: The Chinese government is quite concerned about the fire in the detention centre in Yeosu. The Ministry and our Embassy in the ROK had made urgent representation to ROK's Embassy in China and the competent authorities in the ROK, requesting the ROK to find out the cause to the fire as soon as possible, try their best to rescue the injured Chinese, and properly handle the aftermath. Meanwhile, they should take effective measures to prevent such incident from happening again. Our embassy and consulate in the ROK have sent their staff to the detention centre immediately for further information, to see those injured in the fire, and help to deal with the aftermath. Currently, we are maintaining contact with the ROK and following closely the developments there.

Q: When will this afternoon's meetings of the Six-party Talks start and end? What role will China play in the future working groups?

A: Please be patient. You will be able to get the latest information very soon.

Q: Have China and Canada reached an agreement on the repatriation of Lai Changxing?

A: Our position on the Lai Changxing case remains unchanged. The early repatriation of Lai is in the mutual interest of China and Canada.

Q: When meeting with the former chief of the Japanese Defense Agency, Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan said China will not conduct similar tests in the outer space in the future. Can you confirm? If it is true, why does China decide not to conduct this kind of test in the future?

A: China sticks to the road of peaceful development and pursues an independent foreign policy of peace as well as the national defense policy which is defensive in nature. China has all along been a staunch force for the maintenance of world peace and stability.

On the outer space question, we have upheld the peaceful use of the outer space and supported the strengthening of international exchanges and cooperation on the peaceful use of the outer space. We are firmly against weaponization and arms race in the outer space. We have never participated in arms race of whatever form in the outer space. Nor will we do so in the future.

In recent years, China and Russia have joined many other countries in actively promoting the Disarmament Conference in Geneva to adopt an international legal document in the prevention of weaponization and arms race in the outer space through negotiation. We have made detailed proposals, among which a clear proposition for the prohibition of weapon deployment in the outer space is included. Besides, China has made joint efforts with members of the UN to support the adoption of a resolution to prevent arms race in the outer space by the UNGA for successive years. Our position on the issue remains unchanged. China will continue to work with the international community for progress in this area.

Q: Russian President Putin criticized the US foreign policy and NATO's activities when he was visiting Germany. What is your comment on his remarks?

A: In a world with both opportunities and challenges, all countries shall strengthen cooperation, seize opportunities, and deal with challenges so as to make joint efforts for a harmonious world featuring durable peace and common prosperity.

Q: Can you confirm the remarks by Minister Cao Gangchuan?

A: We have stated for many times that China's test in the outer space not long ago is not targeted at any country. Nor does it threaten any country or violate any international treaty. China has all along upheld the peaceful use of the outer space and is firmly against the weaponization and arms race in the outer space. We have never participated in arms race of whatever form in the outer space. Nor will we do so in the future. This is our consistent and clear position.

If there is no other question, thank you! See you!

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