|Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on 10 April 2007|
On the afternoon of 10 April, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular conference and answered questions on Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to the ROK and Japan, the Six-Party Talks, Darfur issue, Pakistani Prime Minister Aziz's visit to China, the South China Sea and other issues.
Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have three announcements to make:
At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz will pay an official visit to China from April 16 to 20 and attend the 2007 Annual Conference of Bo'ao Forum for Asia.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Hungary Kinga Goncz will pay a working visit to China from April 14 to 19, 2007.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cuba Felipe Perez Roque will pay an official visit to China from April 15 to 18, 2007.
Now, the floor is open.
Q: Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun held talks with Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir during his visit to Sudan last weekend. What response did President Bashir take towards China's urge for further flexibility on Annan Plan? Did Dai Bingguo, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister, discuss the deployment of the UN peacekeeping troops in Darfur when he held a telephone conversation with his American counterpart Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte? When does China expect the UN peacekeeping troops to be fully deployed in Darfur?
A: The Chinese Envoy, Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun paid a visit to Sudan the other day. He met and talked with President Bashir and other Sudanese high-ranking officials. He also went to Darfur where he visited three refugee camps and personally observed the humanitarian and security situation there.
During his visit to Sudan, Zhai Jun reaffirmed China's opinion on Darfur Issue and worked on Sudan on the political solution of the Darfur Issue, especially the implementation of Annan Plan. President Bashir said Sudan accepted Annan Plan in principle and would have better communication with parties concerned on the details. The Sudanese Government expects peace and stability to be realized in Darfur as early as possible.
Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo exchanged views with US Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte on the situation in Darfur, including the implementation of Annan Plan, in their telephone conversation last night.
China holds a consistent and clear position on Darfur Issue that it should be solved through political endeavor. We are willing to make positive and constructive effort to ease and improve the humanitarian and security conditions in Darfur and achieve peace and stability of this region through coordination and negotiation with the international community.
When to implement the Annan Plan and deploy the UN peacekeeping troops requires the parties concerned to discuss and agree upon some details, in particular the Sudanese Government, the African Union and the United Nations. China is ready to play a constructive role on that.
Zhai Jun will be back to China soon. We will inform you promptly of more details about his visit to Sudan.
Q: A question on Pakistani Prime Minister Aziz's visit to China. Pakistan and China share a close relationship. Last year, President Musharraf visited China and President Hu visited Pakistan. How do you comment on the significance of Prime Minister Aziz's visit?
A: China and Pakistan are friendly neighbors, and China is very pleased to have such a great friend and neighbor. Over the past years, whatever vicissitudes might take place in the situation in the two countries and the world, the friendship between us has never changed and our friendly cooperation kept striding ahead. Leaders of the two countries exchanged visits frequently and have stayed in close consultation on how to deepen the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.
We look forward to the visit by Prime Minister Aziz to China, which will enable China and Pakistan to make an extensive and in-depth exchange of views on how to deepen our good-neighborly and friendly relations and the international and regional issues of common interest. We may reach more consensus and thus push forward China-Pakistan relations. We wish the visit by Prime Minister Aziz a full success. China is willing to make joint efforts with Pakistan to this end.
Q: Does China think the DPRK will shut down its Nyongbyon nuclear reactor within the 60-day deadline? If not, does it indicate the ending of the Six-Party Talks and the abolition of the February 13 common document? Do the parties have to draw up a new agreement?
A: The parties concerned encounter some difficulties when implementing the agreement on initial actions in the February 13 common document. This is only natural, because the Six-Party Talks has always been full of difficulties and twists and turns rather than a smooth sailing. But I don't agree with the comments that claim the failure of the Six-Party Talks and invalidity of the February 13 common document only for the difficulties in the initial actions. My fundamental rationale is that the six parties share strong consensus on realizing the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and negotiation, the normalization of the relations between the countries concerned and lasting peace and security on the Peninsula. This consensus is a firm commitment and remains unchanged. As long as we keep this willingness, I believe the six parties will bear in mind the overall situation, continue dialogue and consultation, well consider the interest and concern of all parties involved and overcome all difficulties to steadily press on with the Six-Party Talks. China is willing to maintain contact and communication with other parties.
Q: Did the DPRK inform China of the latest progress on shutting down the Nyongbyon nuclear reactor? Did it tell China whether it's going to return to the Six-Party Talks?
A: I said just now that we encounter some difficulties when taking the initial actions and the parties concerned are stepping up efforts to overcome the difficulties as soon as possible, in order to implement the February 13 common document at an early date. I noticed the remarks by Mr. Kim Kye-gwan when he met with New Mexican Governor Richardson. I believe the DPRK has not changed its resolve to implement the February 13 common document, push forward the Six-Party Talks and realize the denuclearization of the Peninsula. As for when the parties will return to the negotiation table, the six parties are working on that.
Q: US State Department said the US and the DPRK have found some technical solution to the money transfer on the DPRK's account. How do you think this issue can be solved? Hill may visit China later this week. Will he meet with Wu Dawei?
A: When the BDA transfer issue can be resolved hinges on whether the parties concerned, the US and the DPRK-the two principal parties in particular, can find a solution considering the interest and concern of all parties and acceptable to all as soon as possible. Since the first session of the Six-Party Talks, the parties concerned have been making efforts to this end. We hope a breakthrough can be made at an early date.
I also heard the news that Mr. Hill is going to visit China. China is keeping close communication and consultation with the other parties on the Six-Party Talks. You are correct in saying that Wu Dawei is in the company of Premier Wen Jiabao in his visit to the ROK and Japan. Hill is in Japan now. China and the US are discussing on Mr. Hill's visit to China.
Q: You said the BDA transfer is a matter between the DPRK and the US. But isn't the failure of transfer is attributable to the Bank of China to some extent? Has Mr. Wu Dawei met in the ROK the US delegation that just finished a visit to Pyongyang?
A: As a public company, the Bank of China is ought to honor its international obligations and abide by the relevant law. The government of the Macau Administrative Region also has its own international obligation and concern on this issue. A proper solution has to accommodate the interest and concern of the parties involved, such as China, with Macau Administrative Region included. If you think the Bank of China should be held accountable, you might as well recommend the banks in Japan to accept the transfer.
The itinerary of Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to the ROK is very pressing. I have not heard so far that Vice Minister Wu Dawei has a meeting arrangement with the US delegation.
Q: The US announced that it would sue China to WTO for piracy and market access. What's your reaction to that?
A: The spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce made an official response this afternoon. I suggest you should take a look of his statement.
Q: China's trade surplus in March fell by 38% as against the same period of last year. What's your comment?
A: The Ministry of Commerce will hold a regular commerce tomorrow. Please refer your question to them.
Q: It is reported that the Vietnamese government took a further move to designate the oil and gas areas for bidding in the South China Sea, and will hold a election of so-called "National Assembly deputies". Vietnam will also cooperate with BP in building a natural gas pipeline on the Nansha Islands. What's China's comment on this?
A: China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. Any unilateral action taken by other countries in the waters infringes on China's territorial sovereignty, sovereign rights and interests and jurisdiction, and thus is illegal and invalid.
Under the joint efforts of the parties concerned, the situation in the South China Sea remains stable on the whole. The new actions of Vietnam at the Nansha Islands violate China's sovereignty, sovereign rights and interests and jurisdiction, break the important consensus between the leaders of two countries on the marine issue and contravene the principles in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and is not helpful for the stability of South China Sea. China expresses grave concern over this and has made solemn representations to Vietnam.
If there are no other questions, thank you for your presence. See you.