|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Press Conference on February 15, 2007|
On the afternoon of February 15, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference. She answered questions on the Six Party Talks, trilateral Foreign Ministers' meeting among China, India and Russia, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing's visit to India and Japan as well as the Iranian nuclear issue.
Jiang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I shall begin with an announcement.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy will pay an official visit to China from February 28 to March 1.
With that, I am happy to take your questions.
Q: Three US senators requested the US Government to review the PNTR treatment to China. They criticized China for manipulating its currency, lack of IPR protection and setting up unfair trade barrier against the US export, leading to US high trade deficit. Do you have any comment?
A: China and the US are important trade partners. Bilateral trade and economic relations are generally good, bringing tangible benefit to both peoples. In recent years, the US export to China has been growing rapidly with a 21 percent average annual increase as the US statistics tell.
It is true that China-US trade is unbalanced. But it is also attributable to different accounting of the two countries. China does not seek for long-term and large trade surplus. China is happy to have more US commodities and ready to make efforts to better address the issue. In the meantime, we hope the US can take active measures to lift the restrictions on hi-tech export to China.
It is China's national strategy to protect IPR. It's required by the need for China to open wider to the outside world, to improve the investment environment and raise the capacity for independent innovation. The Chinese Government has a clear-cut position and firm determination on IPR protection. We have taken active actions with achievements witnessed by all. We will continue to improve the legal system, intensify law enforcement and strike against various infringements so as to protect the lawful rights and interests of IPR owners.
Q: How does China comment on the foreign ministers' meeting between China, India and Russia in New Delhi?
A: The foreign ministers of China, India and Russia held a meeting in New Delhi on February 14th, when they conducted active exploration into the key fields for trilateral cooperation and reached an important consensus.
The foreign ministers of the three countries also exchanged views over the Iranian nuclear issue, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, Middle-East, Afghanistan, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, cooperation in East Asia and other international and regional issues. After the meeting, they issued the Joint Communique on the Outcome of the Trilateral meeting between Foreign Ministers of China, Russia and India. The three foreign ministers stressed that the trilateral cooperation is aimed at enhancing the harmony and mutual understanding of international community, promoting development of the three countries as well as regional and world peace, stability and development. The trilateral cooperation is not directed against any other country.
Q: What comment does China have on France-Africa Summit held in France today? What position do you hold on China's cooperation with the EU to promote the development of Africa?
A: We celebrate the opening ceremony of France-Africa Summit today. China's cooperation with Africa is a part of South-South cooperation and also an important part of international development and cooperation. We are ready to conduct exchanges and cooperation with the EU and other countries and organizations, which pay attention to the peace and development in Africa and make joint contribution to peace and development in Africa.
During EU Commissioner for external relations Waldner's visit to China shortly ago, China and the EU discussed and exchanged views on the issue of Africa. With long-term exchanges and cooperation with Africa, China and the EU share common concerns and are committed to helping Africa maintain peace and stability and achieve sustainable development. We attach great importance to the EU countries' influence in Africa including France. We are ready to conduct exchanges and coordination with the EU to explore cooperation on African issue.
Q: What comment does China have on the outcome of this round of Six-Party Talks? Will the DPRK temporarily or permanently close the nuclear reactor in Yongbyon?
A: With the concerted efforts of all parties, this session of meeting adopted a common document, which determines the initiative actions to be taken by all parties in implementing the Joint Statement within the forthcoming 60 days. It signals an important step in the Six-Party Talks and ushers in a substantive stage towards the denuclearization of the Peninsula. We hope all parties to take concrete actions to honor their own commitment and implement the initiative actions in real earnest. China is ready to work with all other parties to launch relevant work and fulfill corresponding obligations as soon as possible.
As for specific issues you mentioned, all parties have made clear commitment in the Initiative Actions in Implementation of Joint Statement. Now it requires concerted efforts of all parties to implement it with concrete actions.
Q: Questions regarding the Six-Party Talks. First, when and where will the Working Groups meetings be held? Second, how much assistance does China prepare to offer the DPRK? Third, Japan said that it would withhold assistance for the DPRK until the issue of abducted Japanese is solved. Does China deem it an obstacle to solution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula?
A: On the question of Working Groups, the parties concerned agreed that China would head the Working Group on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the ROK the Working Group of Economic and Energy Cooperation and Russia the Working Group on Northeast Asia Peace and Security Mechanism. The Working Groups on the Normalization of DPRK-US Relations and DPRK-Japan Relations will be undertaken by these countries involved respectively. The six parties agreed to launch all the working groups within 30 days. Further discussion has to be made on operation, membership and venue of the WGs.
The common document provides that the detailed modalities of the energy assistance will be determined through consultations and appropriate assessments in the Working Group on Economic and Energy Cooperation.
On your third question, the Joint Statement on September 19 defined the overall goal of the denuclearization of Korean Peninsula, and all parties, including Japan, made explicit commitment to this goal. The common document mapped out the initial actions to be taken by all parties. We hope Japan and the DPRK would properly solve their problem through bilateral dialogue. Peace and security of Northeast Asia bear on the interest of all countries in this region. We hope to see Japan's active participation in the denuclearization process on the Korean Peninsula.
Q: Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing visited India recently. Please comment on the achievements of the visit.
A: Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing just concluded a very fruitful and successful visit to India. All the functions have been covered by the press. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and Minister of External Affairs Mukherjee announced important outcome after talks, including official launch of the hotline between them, establishment of consulates-general in Kolkata and Guangzhou and tourism offices in New Delhi and Shanghai, exchange of visits by one hundred young people of each country and opening of China-India Year of Friendship through Tourism.
Q: US Assistant Secretary Hill said that he had informed China of US plan to lift financial sanction against the DPRK within 30 days. What's China's reaction?
A: We have expressed our position on many occasions on the issue of financial sanction. We hope that the US and the DPRK will find a proper solution through dialogue and consultation at an early date.
Q: US Deputy Secretary Burns proposed on 14th to adopt a new resolution at the Security Council to intensify pressure given Iran's failure to honor Resolution 1737. What's China's comment? What's China's position on the Iranian nuclear issue?
A: On the Iranian nuclear issue, we hold that the overriding task for the international community now is to step up efforts and bring the issue back to the track of proper solution through negotiation. We hope the Parties concerned will take constructive measures to resume talks as soon as possible, so as to seek a lasting, comprehensive and proper solution. We maintain that the actions by the Security Council should be always conducive to peaceful solution of the issue through political and diplomatic channels.
Q: Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing arrived in Japan today to prepare for Premier Wen's visit. What expectation does China have for the visit? Will the two parties discuss questions related to the Six-Party Talks?
A: This afternoon, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will meet with Speaker of Japanese House of Representatives and Chief Representative of New Komeito. He will meet with Prime Minister Abe and hold talks with Foreign Minister Aso tomorrow afternoon. China attaches great importance to Foreign Minister Li's visit to Japan, which aims to further improve and develop China-Japan relations and prepare for Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Japan. This year marks the 35th anniversary of normalization of China-Japan relations and the start of China-Japan Year of Exchange on Culture and Sport, presenting an important opportunity to China-Japan relations. We hope the two sides will make joint efforts to preserve and carry forward the momentum of improvement and development of our relations.
If no more questions are awaiting, I have an announcement: during the Spring Festival holidays from February 18 to 24, the regular press conferences of the Foreign Ministry will be suspended on February 20(Tuesday) and 22(Thursday), and resumed on February 27(Tuesday). Happy Spring Festival!