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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on March 29, 2007

2007-03-30

On the afternoon of March 29, 2007, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on President Hu Jintao's visit to Russia, Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan's visit to Pacific island countries, the Renminbi exchange rate, the Six-Party Talks and the Darfur issue.

Qin: Good afternoon!

Present here today are more than 20 friends from the press of the Pacific island countries. Welcome!

The Chinese Government highly values the relations with the Pacific island countries. Our starting point of nurturing the relations is to safeguard the stability of the Pacific island countries and promote their sustainable development of economy. We are ready to strengthen the cooperation with these countries on different fronts and seek common development on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. Last April, Premier Wen Jiabao paid a visit to Fiji and attended the opening ceremony of the first meeting of the Forum on the China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation. Representing the Chinese Government on that occasion, he declared the measures China would take to reinforce the cooperation with these countries, involving various fields such as economy and trade, education, culture and health. We will earnestly and thoroughly adopt these measures for the benefit of the island countries' economic and social development.

We also hope you would convey the Chinese people's friendship back to your homeland. Enjoy your study and life in China!

Now, I have several announcements to make:

Special Envoy of Chinese President Hu Jintao and Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, Mr. Han Qide will attend the inauguration ceremony of Senegalese President Wade and the 47th anniversary marking Senegal's independence from April 3 to 4.

At the invitation of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Vice President of the European Commission Verheugen will pay an official visit to China from April 1 to 4.

At the invitation of the Chinese Government, H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of the Kingdom of Thailand will pay a visit to China from April 2 to 13.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Australian Foreign Minister Downer will pay an official visit to China from April 2 to 5.

Now the floor is open.

Q: The Nicaraguan President said he hoped Taiwan and the mainland would be united. But he didn't specify whether Nicaragua would establish diplomatic ties with China. What's your comment?

A: One important basis for China to develop relations with other countries is the One-China Principle, which has been universally recognized by the international community. We hope that relevant countries, including those maintaining the so-called diplomatic relations with Taiwan, recognize and abide by this principle.

We are sincere to develop relations with the countries yet to establish diplomatic relations with China, and hope normalize diplomatic relations with them on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit in accordance with the One-China principle.

Q: Concerning the Pacific island countries, will Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan visit the nickel mines invested by China Metallurgical Group in Papua New Guinea? Will he touch upon the issue of labor laws violation in relevant mines?

A: When I talked about Pacific island countries, you waste no time to grind your axe on my stone.

Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan will soon visit Papua New Guinea. The purpose of the visit is to further promote the current friendly cooperation between the two countries. We believe the friendly cooperation and exchanges in all fields between China and Papua New Guinea will be deepened and broadened through this visit.

As to the nickel mine issue you mentioned, we have also read some reports recently. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the issue. China's diplomatic mission and relevant enterprises in Papua New Guinea have made earnest investigations, which proved that the accusation is groundless.

The Chinese Government has always been requesting Chinese companies to abide by the laws and regulations of foreign countries as well as international labor standards, and protect local workers' legitimate rights and interests in developing economic, trade and labor cooperation overseas. In the future, we will continue to attach importance to this issue and strengthen the work in this regard, so as to ensure cooperation projects there conducive to local economic and social development, and promote the bilateral cooperation.

Q: During his visit to Russia, President Hu Jintao attended a number of cultural exchange activities, and signed economic and trade cooperation accords. How will the visit boost the development of the bilateral relations?

A: President Hu Jintao has just concluded his visit to Russia. During the trip, President Hu met with Russian leaders including President Putin, and exchanged views with them over bilateral relations and important international and regional issues, reaching broad consensus. The two sides signed China-Russia Joint Statement, and agreed to be sincere political partners of mutual trust, economic and trade partners of mutual and win-win benefit, partners of scientific cooperation aimed at joint innovation, harmonious and friendly partners of people-to-people cooperation, and security partners that unite together and help each other in cooperation in accordance with the spirit and principles set forth in the Sino-Russian Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, so as to continuously enrich the China-Russia strategic partnership of cooperation, and push for sound and steady development of bilateral ties. President Hu Jintao and President Putin also jointly attended the opening ceremony of the Year of China and the Chinese National Exhibition. During the visit, 21 trade deals were struck, a total of nearly $4.3 billion.

We are happy to see that President Hu Jintao's visit to Russia has been a complete success and effectively promoted the development of the China-Russia strategic partnership of cooperation. In the future, the two countries will further make joint efforts to implement the consensus reached by the two leaders.

Q:The US Senators Schumer and Graham will propose an act requesting China to revaluate RMB exchange rate. They claimed that the RMB exchange rate is deliberately undervalued and caused the US trade deficit and lost of millions of jobs. What is your comment?

A: The Chinese government has always been independent and highly-responsible on the RMB exchange rate. We proceed from the fundamental interests of China's economic and social development as well as the maintenance of economic and financial stability of the region and world at large. Then we can adopt an exchange rate policy and a rational exchange rate level suitable for China's national conditions. Since July 21, 2005, China began to implement a managed floating exchange rate system based on market supply and demand and with reference to a basket of various currencies.

We realize that some people in the US now have some concerns on the issues of the RMB exchange rate and trade imbalance. It shall be properly handled by the two sides in light of the principle of mutual respect, enhancement of communication and mutual understanding rather than exerting or threatening to apply pressure. I have to ask, should the RMB exchange rate reflect the market supply and demand? Or should we allow the dictates of some people in some country to prevail? China now adopts socialist market economy policies. The days of directive economy have long gone. We can not understand why some people in a country boasting market economy and free trade want to dictate other country. It is not rational or fair to blame China for its own economic problems on the US side.

Last year, the US Senators Schumer and Graham visited China. I attended the meetings. We listened to their views and elaborated on our positions and policies on the afore-mentioned issues in a detailed, comprehensive and in-depth way. We hope they can understand China's policies from an earnest, objective, and comprehensive perspective.

I would like to reaffirm that the Chinese government will unswervingly push forward the reform of the RMB exchange rate formation mechanism so as to ensure a basically stable exchange rate at rational and balanced level. This serves the interest of both China and the world.

Q: This week a Chinese American was indicted for disclosing state secretes concerning navy technology to China. Do you have any comment? Is he employed by the Chinese Government?

A: We have reiterated repeatedly that the allegations that China steals the US military secretes are utterly groundless with ulterior motives.

Q: Recently Sri Lanka's air force base suffered from an air strike, leaving three dead and sixteen injured. Do you have any comment?

A: The Chinese Government consistently opposes to any form of terrorist actions. We sincerely hope Sri Lanka can realize national reconciliation and social stability at an early date.

Q: The Japanese Diet Library released materials concerning the Yasukuni Shrine yesterday, which suggested that the Japanese Government participated in the co-worshiping of Class-A World War criminals and other people who died in the war. Do you have any comment?

A: I haven't seen materials in this respect. But our position on the Yasukuni Shrine remains unchanged.

I have to point out that China and Japan have reached a consensus on overcoming the political obstacles in our bilateral relations and promoting the healthy development of friendly and cooperative relations. Now China-Japan relations face a good momentum for improvement and development. We hope to join hands with Japan to properly handle relevant sensitive issues and constantly consolidate and expand the foundation of improving and developing our bilateral relations.

Q: In an article published in Wall Street Journal, Mia Farrow an American actress as well as the UNICEF good-will ambassador criticized China's position on the Darfur issue and called for a boycott against the Beijing Olympic Games, identical to the view of the French presidential candidate Bayrou. How do you comment on it?

A: I haven't heard of the actress you mentioned.

China has made clear its position on the Darfur issue on many occasions. We hope Darfur region to realize peace and stability at an early date. China shares the same goal with other countries at this point, for which we have made unremitting efforts. We hope the Darfur issue can be resolved politically through dialogue and consultation under the joint efforts of the international community, so as to relieve the humanitarian situation in the region at an early date and realize regional peace and stability.

Judging from the remarks of the two persons you mentioned, I can say they are unfamiliar with China's policy on the issue. We hope they can have a better understanding of China's position. It is not appropriate to link the Darfur issue to the Beijing Olympic Games in an attempt to gain people's applause and sympathy. We are confident and capable of hosting an exceptional and high-level Olympic Games.

I shall also point out that if someone wants to pin Olympic Games and Darfur issue together to earn more votes and raise their fame, he is playing a futile trick.

Q: US Treasury Department official Glaser is still in Beijing for the issue of Banco Delta Asia. Can you share with us its latest development? Now the deadline of 60 days is imminent. Is China still optimistic that parties will fulfill their obligations before the deadline?

A: As for your first question, what I can say is the US is intensifying consultations with all other parties.

As for the Six-Party Talks and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, as you may recall, I never used such terms as "optimistic" or "pessimistic". We always view the issue rationally. All relevant parties are making efforts for implementing the initial actions and promoting the process of Six-Party Talks.

If there are no other questions, thank you! See you next time.

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