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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on March 22, 2007


On the afternoon of March 22, 2007, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Six-Party Talks, China-Japan relations and other issues.

Liu: Good afternoon! I have no announcement to make. Now the floor is open.

Q: It is the 4th day this session of the Six-Party Talks. Is there any fresh progress? When will it conclude? What action will be taken to resolve the Banco Delta Asia accounts issue at an early date?

A: I understand your expectations for achievements of the Six-Party Talks. As I said at the last press conference, it is not easy to fix a conclusion date beforehand. This session is no exception. There are still some technical and procedural problems related to the transfer of the Banco Delta Asia accounts at present.

The parties concerned have made active and constructive efforts to this end. China has conducted active consultation around the clock with other parties in a highly responsible attitude. But the difficulty of this issue has exceeded everybody's expectation. It shall take more time, and parties will continue their consultation to properly handle this issue at an early date.

Q: It's reported that the head of the DPRK delegation for the Six-Party Talks is now at the Beijing Airport. Please confirm. Has this round of talks been concluded?

A: I cannot confirm the information you mentioned. Relevant parties conducted bilateral consultations today. I am not aware of the results there. It depends on the consultations of all parties as to how to follow with further steps. I mentioned just now more time is needed to resolve some technical and procedural issues.

In the meantime, as we can see from the talks in the past several days, the resolve of all parties remains unchanged in implementing the February 13 Joint Statement and the Initial Actions for the Implementation of the Joint Statement and pressing the Six-Party Talks ahead. We hope the parties concerned and the media can stay patient.

Q: What are the specific technical and procedural questions you mentioned? It's reported that the French President candidate Bayrou said that if China declined to press the Sudanese Government on the Darfur issue, France should boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. What's your comment?

A: When I talked about the technical and procedural issue, I was referring to the transfer issue of the DPRK's account in the BDA. I'm not in a position to tell you the details of the consultations given discussions are still going on out there. All parties are striving to solve this issue.

On your second question, China's position on the Darfur issue is very clear. We believe that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sudan should be ensured. And the Darfur issue should be settled politically through dialogue and equal consultation.

President Hu Jintao paid a state visit to Sudan this February and talked with the Sudanese President Bashir. President Hu Jintao raised a 4-point proposal on the Darfur issue. We have briefed the media comprehensively. We believe the 4-point proposal will be conducive to an early resolution of the Darfur issue.

The Darfur issue is complicated and sensitive, bearing on different religions and tribes as well as many other factors. We can not jump into any instant solution or rely on the efforts of any single party. Under the current situation, we believe that the international community should cooperate and conduct dialogue and consultation with the Sudanese Government on an equal footing. The Chinese Government stands ready to continue to work with the international community to play a constructive role there.

We also noticed the comments made by the French gentlemen. We need to verify the specifics. But if the report is true, it at least demonstrates that the gentleman you mentioned has no knowledge of the position of the Chinese Government on the Darfur issue.

Speaking of the Olympic Games, it is a splendid international sports event to promote the friendship of peoples from countries worldwide and enhance the cooperation between them. People from all nations are eager to participate actively in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The Chinese Government and people will welcome friends from all over the world to come to Beijing with open arms. China, with people of other nations, will make endeavors to present an outstanding and exceptional Olympic Games to the world.

Q: Who in your view should be blamed for the current obstacle in the Six-Party Talks? It's reported that Bank of China is not willing to accept the money transferred from the unfrozen DPRK accounts. Has the Chinese Government discussed with the BOC before the DPRK and the US making a deal?

A: It's not a time to blame any party. All parties, including China, have their own concerns, some of which should be addressed. We hope all parties can make joint efforts to resolve the issue at an early date.

Q: The Head of the DPRK Delegation to the Six Party Talks Kim Kye-gwan was seen have left the Diaoyutai State Guest House for the airport today. Is this round of talks still going on? Recently China has adopted the Anti-Money Laundering Law. Will China handle the BDA issue according to that? Or will China take measures beyond law in order to reach the ultimate goal of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula?

A: Currently I haven't got the information that the Six Party Talks has adjourned.

All Parties concerned have reached an agreement over the transfer of DPRK's funds at the BDA. The existing problems now are technical and procedural. Parties still have some concerns over the issue. Of course these issues will be solved in accordance with law. And in the interest of the process of the talks, the issues should be resolved within a reasonable and legal framework.

Q: Will all the 25 million dollars be transferred or just part of that?

A: This question is quite clear since the DPRK and the US have reached an agreement over the issue.

Q: Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei said earlier that there would be three issues on the agenda of this round of the Six Party Talks. Currently there hasn't been any substantive discussion over the last two. Does China think this will have any impact on the Six Party Talks? And will the deadline set for the initial actions be postponed?

A: As you said, Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei talked about the three issues on the agenda for the Sixth Round of the Six Party Talks at the opening ceremony. The first one has already been finished, while the second and the third haven't been fully discussed yet. However, relevant parties have had helpful exploration and preliminary exchanges of views over these two issues bilaterally. We have repeatedly advised all parties to have patience and prepare for the difficulties over the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, which is highly significant, complex and sensitive. The settlement of the issue will involve a difficult process, yet by no means can it be the reason for us to lose our confidence. For those that we have not been able to fully discuss in this session of talks, there is still time for us to do that later in the future. All parties concerned are willing to promote the Six-Party Talks and realize the ultimate goal of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Q: Does China believe the initial actions can be completed within sixty days? Why doesn't China criticize the DPRK since many people believe it is because of the DPRK that the Talks is now held up for some technical and procedural matters?

A: The goal of the Six Party Talks cannot be reached by China's effort only. Rather, it requests positive and constructive efforts from all parties concerned. We hope to see all parties have continuous and effective cooperation and take solid steps towards the goal of the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. Our goal can be reached so long as all parties are working together. The February 13 Joint Document is a package of documents. The key is that all parties should fulfill their commitments in a balanced and comprehensive way. It is not the time to criticize or blame any one, but to listen to and consider every party's concerns and actively look for solutions instead of allowing feelings to prevail.

Q: Is this the most difficult negotiation that China has ever participated in? Is this the most complicated diplomatic issue in the world?

A: I think it is at least one of the most difficult and complicated issues you may refer to.

Q: Chinese media run more positive reports on Japan recently. Is it because the Chinese Government is trying to create a favorable atmosphere for Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Japan in April? Or have the Chinese just become more interested in Japan? Chinese President Hu Jintao met with the Japanese LDP delegation during their visit to China. Prime Minister Abe applauded their visit when the delegation reported the trip to him. He said that he felt China's expectation for a successful visit to Japan and hoped to respond to it positively. What's China's comment on Abe's attitude? Do you believe that the China-Japan relationship is developing toward a better future? Are there any changes in the current China-Japan relationship as compared to before?

A: Chinese media are free to decide what and how to report. With Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Japan approaching, it is natural that they may run more stories on the topic. This is certainly a very significant visit. As Premier Wen put it, Prime Minister Abe's visit to China last year was an ice-breaking trip, and his visit to Japan will be an ice-thawing one. The increasing interest in China-Japan relations of the Chinese public and media is good for the development of bilateral ties. Without the support of the people, there is no way for bilateral relations to improve or develop.

Both China and Japan expect Premier Wen's visit to succeed with substantive results and promote the sound and stable development of bilateral relations. We are making down-to-earth preparations for the visit.

The ice-breaking trip by Prime Minister Abe to China last October proves that the China-Japan relationship is developing toward a better future. The ice-breaking and ice-thawing trips also indicate that there are still some pending issues in China-Japan relations. Both sides should enhance exchanges in political, economic and trade, cultural, scientific and education fields to enable bilateral ties to further develop on a solid social basis. China will continue to work for the success of Premier Wen's visit, hoping that Japan could actively respond to and coordinate with us.

Q: Has China done enough on the DPRK'S money transfer issue? Could other banks assist the transfer? Do you think that the DPRK's concern is justified?

A: The issue of money transfer is in fact a result of the disputes between the DPRK and the US. Now the two have reached a consensus on this issue, which is believed to be conducive to the Six-Party Talks. The current problem is technical and procedural. It is not a time to criticize or blame anyone. More efforts should be made to promote an early and appropriate resolution of the issue. All parties, including the DPRK, have their own concerns, and I believe all these concerns deserve careful study.

Q: Will the transfer be in cash or electronic?

A: At present, parties are discussing how to conduct the transfer. It is hoped that relevant experts and delegates of all parties could find an appropriate resolution.

Q: I asked the Bank of China of how to resolve the transfer issue today and was told that the Foreign Ministry will have the answers. Has the Chinese Foreign Ministry discussed the issue with the Bank of China?

A: If the Foreign Ministry has the answer, this issue has already been resolved. Now this issue is still under discussion.

If there are no more questions, thanks for your presence.

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