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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on March 1, 2007


On the afternoon of March 1, 2007, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue, "China threat", China-Japan relations and other issues.

Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. First of all, I'd like to make an announcement:

At the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Ghana, Vice Chairman Abduldhat Abdulrixit of the National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference will attend the ceremony for the 50th anniversary of Ghana independence on March 6 to 7 as special envoy of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: The human rights organization Amnesty International issued a report today on migrant workers of China, claiming that Chinese migrant workers were suffering from economic exploitation and inadequate legal protection. The deputy representative of Asian-Pacific Office of the organization said that China's economic wonder was created at the cost of human rights. What's your comment?

A: The Chinese Government has always attached importance to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of working people. Now, China is undergoing a process of urbanization and industrialization unprecedented in China as well as in the world. In this process, huge excessive labor force in rural areas moves to cities for job opportunities. They are playing a very important role in China's urban and economic development. All levels of governments and Chinese people fully respect their sweat and toil. Of course, it is undeniable that we do see violation of legitimate rights of migrant workers in some areas and organizations. The Chinese Government pays serious attention to this matter and governments at different levels are making vigorous efforts to protect the rights and interests of migrant workers. If you read reports of Chinese media and see what Chinese leaders said and did, you will find how much importance the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese Government attach to rural migrant workers' rights and interests and how much the society cares for them. We will continue to do so in the future.

The accusation of that lady from Amnesty International is anything but professional. I don't expect her to be an economist. But such a comment is biased and ill-founded. What holds key to China's economic development? The key is that we found a correct way fit for China's development, adhere to the policy of reform and opening-up and rely on the wisdom and industriousness of Chinese people.

Q: Next week, US Assistant Secretary of State Hill will meet with DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Kwan in New York. What does China expect from this meeting?

A: DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Kwan is heading for the US and will meet with Head of US Delegation to the Six-Party Talks Hill in the days to come. We welcome this meeting and regard it as an important effort made by the parties concerned to take initial steps for implementing the Joint Statement. We hope that the parties concerned will make joint effort and take a good and surefooted start on the way to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, normalization of the countries concerned and the lasting peace and stability on the Peninsula. We look forward to seeing good progress at the US-DPRK meeting.

Q: Mexico files a complaint to WTO against China for subsidizing Chinese enterprises. What's your comment?

A: This is a trade question and should be answered by the competent authority. China stands for trade exchange with other countries in line with WTO rules. The differences, if any, should be properly handled through friendly consultation according to international practice. Meanwhile, being a victim itself, China is opposed to protectionism.

Q: It is reported that the NPC session to be held next week will ratify some boundary treaties between China and Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam and Laos. Is the NPC ratification a precondition for the treaties between China and other countries to take effect?

A: Your question involves an international practice. The international treaty signed by a sovereign country shall be ratified by its legislative organ before taking effect. China does not make any exception here. The international treaties signed by Chinese Government should be submitted to the NPC for ratification.

Q: Some American and Japanese officials recently criticized the intransparency of China's military power and its outer space test, accusing China of a possible threat to other countries. What comment do you have?

A: I answered such questions at last press conference and we have reiterated on various occasions. Since some people are reluctant to buy any reasoning, I will make a simple metaphor:if your neigbor is always peeping into your house at your door and crying: " Why don't you open your door to show me what is inside?" How do you feel about it? Don't you think you should call the police?

We have talked a lot about whether China poses a threat. I hope you can understand from China's diplomatic philosophy. First, China seeks no hegemony. As a developing country for now, China is not in any position to threaten others. Even if China becomes a developed country in the future, it will not threaten others. China never seeks hegemony. Secondly, China doesn't play power politics, nor does it interfere in others' internal affairs or impose its own values or ideology on others. Thirdly, China advocates the equality and mutual respect between countries. All countries in the world have an equal participation in world affairs and consult with each other on each matter. China never bullies the small or the weak. Fourthly, China determines its position and policies on the merit of each matter. We keep a fair position in what we say and do and never play double standards. We don't use different rulers when gauging others and ourselves. We believe in "Don't do unto others what you don't want others do unto you ". Fifthly, China advocates multilateralism, handling international relations in accordance with the UN Charter and well-recognized norms governing the international relations, safeguarding the UN's authority and strengthening international cooperation. We oppose unilateralism, never do anything undermining UN's authority, and never raise our own will above the well-recognized international law and norms governing international relations. Sixthly, China advocates peaceful solution to international disputes through consultation rather than arbitrarily resorting to force or threat of force. China maintains a rational level of national defense strength completely for the sake of safeguarding its own sovereignty, security, territorial integrity and national unity, instead of expansion or waging any foreign agression war. Seventhly, as a responsible member in the international community, China faithfullly honors its international duties and obligations and firmly opposes to any form of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means. We don't go back on our words for international conventions, nor do we wantonly use or abandon international conventions depending on whether we can take advantage of them or not. Eighthly, China respects the diversity of the world and civilization and advocates different civilizations to exchange and learn from each other's strengths. We oppose stirring conflicts and confrontation of civilizations, nor do we link terrorism with any specific ethinic group or reglion.

Above all, we are firmly committed to the path of peaceful development and working with the international community to build a harmonious society of lasting peace and worldwide prosperity. Therefore, China can win friends, win trust and win cooperation. We feel very safe. We are convinced those who can understand and agree with China's diplomatic diplomacy won't deem China a threat.

Thanks for your patience to listen to my long statement. Since some people in the world always call China "a threat", I gave a systematic account of China's diplomatic philosophy here, which will help you understand China's foreign policy and its path of peaceful development.

Q: What new measures will China take next for the Iranian nuclear issue, such as sending new envoys to Teheran or inviting some Iranian officials to visit China? In addition, China is in charge of the working group for the denuclearization of Korean Peninsula. Please brief us on the development of this working group.

A: China always advocates a peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiation. Under current situations, we hope Iran can actively respond to the concern of international community and UN Resolution 1737. The international community should maintain calmness and restraint and continue to push forward an early resumption of negotiations through diplomatic efforts including efforts outside the UN Security Council. China is ready to work with other relevant parties to play its own role for a proper and peaceful solution of the Iranian nuclear issue.

I know all of you have much interest in the working group for the denuclearization of Korean Peninsula. I am following its development almost everyday. I can tell you, China is conducting close consultations with other relevant parties on specific arrangements of this working group such as its operation, attendance of representatives and launching time. Now there is still no exact information. We will keep you updated with the latest information.

Q: Please confirm the reports that three working groups of the Six-Party Talks are to hold meetings in Beijing on March 12th. What's your comment on the Japanese Government's recent decision to launch its National Security Council next year in order to increase Japan's defense capability?

A: Currently I am unable to confirm the venue of the working groups' meetings. We are keeping close contact with other parties.

It is up to the Japanese Government to decide what institution to be set up. We hope that Japan will adhere to the road of peaceful development.

Q: You just mentioned that China is one of the victims of trade protectionism. Would you point out what countries are using it against China?

A: Trade protectionism unfolds itself in increasingly diverse disguises nowadays. I suggest you search WTO's data, which will show you that China is the most frequent prey to anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations.

Q: It is reported that Nepal hopes to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization. What's your comment?

A: I haven't heard of such news. The issue of membership or observer status should be determined based on consultation and consensus by the members of the organization.

Q: Chairman of Japan's LDP's General Council Yuya Niwa visited the Memorial Museum of Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japan this morning. Do you think this a good signal released by the Japanese side prior to Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Japan? US Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte will visit Beijing next week. Can you tell us who will meet him?

A: Properly handling the issue of history holds key to the healthy and stable development of China-Japan relationship. Last October, the two sides reached consensus on overcoming the political obstacles to bilateral relation as well as promoting its healthy development. From then on, the leaders of the two states have met on several occasions. Premier Wen Jiabao of Chinese State Council also will pay a visit to Japan. We can say that China-Japan relationship now is on the right track towards improvement and development. This owes to the efforts by both sides, and is worth cherishing. We are ready to work with Japanese people from all walks of life who care for and treasure the relationship, so as to push it forward in a healthy and stable way.

For the visit of US Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte you just mentioned, to my knowledge, China's Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Binguo will hold talks with him. Besides, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will also meet with Mr. Negroponte.

If there are no further questions, thank you and bye.

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