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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on 17 April 2007

2007-04-18

On the afternoon of April 17, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Six-party Talks, the shooting incident in Virginia Tech University, Premier Wen's visit to Japan, Sudan's full acceptance of the 2nd phase of the Annan Plan, climate change and etc.

Liu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Let me start with several announcements.

First, at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao, Prince Albert II of the Principality of Monaco will pay a state visit to China from April 24 to 27.

Second, at the invitation of the Chinese Government, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong of the Republic of Singapore will pay a visit to China and attend the opening ceremony of the Expo Central China 2007 from April 23 to 26.

Third, the 13th China-ASEAN Senior Officials Consultations and the 2nd China-ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea will be held in Anhui from April 23 to 25. Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai, Deputy Foreign Ministers-in-charge from the 10 ASEAN countries and the Secretary General of ASEAN will attend the meeting.

As an important annual consultation mechanism between the two sides, the China-ASEAN Senior Officials Consultations are held in turns between China and ASEAN countries. The topics are mainly focused on Sino-ASEAN relations and international and regional issues of common interest.

Now the floor is open.

Q: The 60-day deadline for the initial actions has passed last weekend. Have the Six-party Talks been stalled? The DPRK did not shut down its nuclear reactor in Yongbyon on time, nor did they invite the IAEA officials back to the country. Besides, do you think the US has implemented their obligations on the issue of the DPRK-related funds in the BDA? Where are we now in the process of the Talks? What will be the next step for?

A: For the reason known to all, the initial actions of the February 13 joint document are postponed to some extent. In the past several weeks, relevant parties have conducted intensive consultation and made positive efforts to solve the technical question so as to properly resolve the funds issue and implement the February 13 joint document at an early date. Up to now, the views between relevant parties on how to solve the technical question have been setting closer. China will as always maintain communication and coordination with relevant parties to make unremitting efforts for the Six-party Talks progress and the implementation of the initial actions.

Q: What is the technical question in specific?

A: You have taken note of the statements by relevant parties on the DPRK-related funds issue last week, the US, Macau and the DPRK all included. The views of relevant parties on the issue are coming closer and issue is in the process of getting resolved. Parties still have some specific concerns which need further confirmation and clarification. We hope the process can be concluded soon.

Q: Shoichi Nakagawa, Chairman of the Policy Research Council of the Japanese LDP said that it was Japanese Prime Minister Abe who visited China but it was Chinese Primer Wen Jiabao instead of President Hu Jintao who visited Japan. It is not proper in diplomatic protocol. What is your comment?

A: I did not read the report you mentioned. If you quote correctly, Abe is the Prime Minister of Japan's Cabinet and head of government while Wen Jiabao is the Premier of China's State Council and head of the government. It is in line with the principle of reciprocity for Premier Wen to visit Japan at the invitation of Prime Minister Abe and to invite Prime Minister Abe to visit China. It is proper and right in diplomatic protocol. Prime Minister Abe said he is very happy to accept Premier Wen's invitation to visit China later this year. We are looking forward to his visit.

Q: Mr. Hill met with Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei in Beijing last week. Mr. Wu said we will have to wait two to three days for the reaction of the DPRK. Why did Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei say so? Second, there was a shooting incident in Virginia yesterday. According to the report, the suspect might be an overseas Chinese student. What is your comment?

A: On the first question, if you read thoroughly the statement by the DPRK, I think it is not hard to answer. The DPRK said they still need confirmation on the statement of relevant parties. The process for confirmation will take some time. We hope relevant question can be solved soon.

Second, this is a very unfortunate incident. We are shocked at the shooting incident on the campus of Virginia Tech University and express our deep condolence to the victims and sincere solicitude to the injured and the bereaved. You said the shooter is likely a Chinese student. I have taken note of relevant reports. According to my knowledge, now the real situation of the case is still under investigation. It is not proper to make any speculation at present.

Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing has already sent a telegraph of condolence to the US Secretary of State Rice. He said he is shocked at the shooting incident in Virginia Tech University and he condemns the violent act that has caused grave casualties. On behalf of the Chinese Government and people, Li Zhaoxing expressed deep condolence to the victims and heartfelt solicitude to the US government and people, especially the injured and the bereaved. He wishes the injured be recovered at an early date.

Q: On April 16th, the Sudanese Foreign Minister said that the talks between Sudan, UN and AU have made a breakthrough. Sudan will fully accept the 2nd phase of Annan Plan. What is your comment?

A: China is happy to see the consensus reached by Sudan, UN and AU on the 2nd phase of the Annan Plan. This is an important progress for resolving the Darfur issue. The tri-partite consultation mechanism based on equal dialogue is effective and it is of great significance for the proper resolution of the Darfur issue. We hope relevant parties implement the Annan Plan through equal dialogue and consultation so as to properly solve the Darfur issue and ensure peace, stability and development of the region as early as possible.

Q: About Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Japan. Premier Wen said the "Ice-melting Trip" was a success. From the Chinese Government's point of view, in which aspects has Premier Wen's visit to Japan scored points? The second question is about the Taiwan issue. In the Joint Press Communiqué, Japan only reiterated that it would stick to its position in the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration. Is China satisfied with this? The last question. China clearly stated in the Joint Declaration that it would provide necessary assistance on the issue of the kidnapping of Japanese citizens by the DPRK. What kind of specific help will China provide?

A: Premier Wen Jiaobao has just finished his official visit to Japan, thought quite brief, but fruitful and successful. Firstly, the two leaders have confirmed the connotation of the Sino-Japanese Strategic and Mutually-beneficial Relationship, as well as the specific measures to be taken by the two sides to promote the construction of that relationship in the future, which has historical significance to the development of Sino-Japanese relations.

Secondly, the two sides have reached many important consensuses in the field of economy and trade. One of the symbols is that the two sides have launched the mechanism of high-level economic dialogues between the two countries. As Prime Minister Abe put it, this is a historic event. We are happy about the startup of this dialogue mechanism and hope to lay out the future of Sino-Japanese economic cooperation through this mechanism and promote the development of economic cooperation between the two countries.

Thirdly, through the talks and meetings, the two leaders have reached extensive consensuses on people-to-people, cultural, sport and youth exchanges between China and Japan. Both sides expressed their commitment to making the Sino-Japanese Year of Cultural and Sport Exchanges a success through joint effort. The two sides also agreed that young people are the future of a country and a nationality, and also the future of our bilateral relationship. It is an important strategic consensus to further promote the youth exchanges between the two countries in the future.

Fourthly, the two sides have exchanged views and reached consensuses on regional and international issues of common interest, including the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue. The two sides agreed that, China and Japan, as countries of significant impact in Northeast Asia as well as in the world, should strengthen cooperation in international and regional affairs and jointly promote peace, stability and prosperity of the whole world. The two sides also exchanged views on important issues in our bilateral relations, including the historical issue and Taiwan issue. I would like to remind you that, on the Taiwan issue, during his talks with Premier Wen, Prime Minister Abe clearly noted that Japan would adhere to the positions stated in the three political documents between the two countries and not support the idea of "two Chinas", "One China, One Taiwan" and "Taiwan Independence". We attach great importance to these commitments and promises made by Prime Minister Abe on behalf of the Japanese Government. The two sides also conducted consultations on the East China Sea issue and agreed to accelerate the negotiation process on this issue so as to find a solution acceptable to both sides at an early date and make the East China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and affection.

On the issue of the kidnapping of Japanese citizens by the DPRK, Premier Wen has said on many occasions that the Chinese sides is sympathetic of Japanese people's concern on the kidnapping issue and hopes the issue will be solved properly through dialogue and negotiation between Japan and the DPRK. China is willing to provide necessary assistance. I believe we will play a role in it. However, the specifics will be determined according to the communications between the relevant parties.

Q: Foreign Minister of Chad is going to visit China in a few days. Will he discuss the Darfur issue with China?

A: About the Chadian Foreign Minister's official visit to China, my colleague Qin Gang answered your questions on last Thursday's regular press conference. Foreign Minister Allam-Mi will hold talks with Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and exchange views on bilateral relations and regional issues of common interest. Since the Darfur region of Sudan borders on Chad, Chad is also very concerned about the situation in the region. I believe China and Chad will exchange views on this. I will brief you on the visit in due course.

Q: The Foreign Ministries of China and Cuba signed an agreement yesterday. What are the contents of the agreement? What's significance of the Cuban Foreign Minister's visit to China to China-Cuba relations?

A: The Chinese side attaches great importance to Cuban Foreign Minister Perez's official visit to China. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing has held good talks with him. The two sides both appraised China-Cuba relations positively and expressed wills to promote the comprehensive and in-depth development of bilateral relationship through joint efforts. As an achievement of the visit, the two ministries signed a cooperation program. The main contents of the program are strengthening policy consultations between the two Ministries, timely exchange of views on regional and international issues and enhancing exchange of training of diplomats and the mechanism of exchanging visits. We hope to deepen the understanding of policies between the two countries and promote the development of bilateral relationship through the exchanges between the two Foreign Ministries.

Q:Greenpeace has released a statement, accusing China of importing tropical hard wood of thousands of cubic meters for its domestic furniture industry, which has destroyed the local forest. Do you have any comment on that? Another question, is there any Chinese student injured in the Virginia Tech shooting?

A: As an important part of the global trade, the legal timber trade has nothing to do with the illegal logs. China has very strict supervision procedure on the import of timber and other forest product, which is monitored jointly by the State Forestry Administration, the Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs according to law to combat illegal activities. As a major timber importer, China attaches great importance to the cooperation with the exporting countries. We hold the principle of mutual benefit and long-term sustainable development in the exploration and utilization of forest resources. China urges its enterprises to strictly abide by local laws in forest harvesting and processing and actively conduct all-round cooperation and exchanges with those nations in the preservation and cultivation of forest resources for the benefit of joint development.

As for the Virginia Tech shooting, as far as I know, there is no Chinese student injured.

Q: The United Nations Security Council will discuss global warming from the perspective of security. What position will China hold in the meeting? Does China consider global warming a threat to its future?

A: The question of global warming and climate change is fundamentally an issue of development, which originated from massive amount of the greenhouse emission by industrialized countries in the past three hundred years. Developed nations should bear major responsibilities. Developing countries should also attach importance to the environmental protection for the benefit of sustainable development. China attaches great importance to climate change and stands ready to work with the international community. You may have noticed that the Chinese leaders would discuss at home and abroad over environmental protection, sustainable development and climate change every time they met with foreign leaders. During Premier Wen's visit to the ROK, energy efficiency, clean energy technology and development of environmental protection technology have been listed among the key cooperation projects between China and the ROK.

As for the meeting you mentioned, Chinese officials in charge of the issue will attend the meeting.

Q: What is your expectation for the next round of the Six Party Talks? What is the prospect of the Talks since the sixty days' deadline has already passed? Last week, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun said that China was only able to provide 80 million RMB humanitarian assistance to Sudan for China was still a developing country. However, my research suggests that China has invested billions of dollars in Sudan on oil, pipeline, road and other infrastructure construction. Is it contradictory?

A: Currently, all parties concerned are having consultation over the technical problem of DPRK's fund in the BDA. Their views have been setting closer to be identical. They all reaffirmed their commitment to the February 13 joint statement. We believe in the promotion of the proceeding of the Six Party Talks as long as all parties exert sincerity and flexibility.

Investment and aid are both forms of cooperation, supplementing instead of contradicting each other. Our aid to Darfur is to improve the current condition there and help relieve the local people from difficulties. The cooperation in investment between China and Sudan in economy, trade, energy and other areas is conducted on the basis of mutual benefit just like that between China and other countries. The cooperation, welcomed by Sudanese people, will play a positive role for the long-term social development and improvement of the living standards of Sudan.

Q: It is reported that a China-Japan 24-hour military hotline will be set up. Why does China consider it necessary? The Italian Prime Minister said the other day that the EU should coordinate with Japan in providing aid to Africa in order to counter China's influence. Do you have any comment on that?

A: During his meeting with Prime Minister Abe, Premier Wen proposed to strengthen the dialogue and communication between the two defense authorities, inform each other of major military and security measures and accelerate the establishment of maritime crisis management mechanism. Prime Minister Abe also expressed the will to enhance cooperation in security and establish a defense liaison mechanism. The consensus reached by leaders of China and Japan displays that both sides attach great importance to military and security cooperation, communication and dialogue. Relevant mechanisms will be established accordingly. As for the military hotline you mentioned, I have not heard of any of its details.

I believe it will be great if all countries in the world joint their hands to provide aid and assistance to Africa. It shouldn't be any exclusive act or will. The Chinese aid to Africa does not undermine any country's interests. China welcomes developed countries to extend a helping hand to Africa. And I find it hard to understand hearing that some countries want to jointly exclude China over this issue.

If there are no other questions, thanks for coming.

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