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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on 26 April 2007

2007-04-28

On the afternoon of 26 April, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular conference and answered questions on the attack on a Chinese project team in Ethiopia, Canadian Foreign Minister's visit to China, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, the normalization of relations between the DPRK and Myanmar, Abe's visit to the United States and China-Vatican relations.

Liu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. The floor is open now.

Q: Could you please bring us update the situation of Chinese company attacked in Ethiopia?

A: Presently the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia are working actively to accelerate the rescuing work of the kidnapped Chinese workers with parties concerned. The injured are under treatment, and the remains of the victims are well kept. The joint task force formed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce and Sinopec arrived in Addis Abeba, the capital of Ethiopia, on the night of 25 April, to assist the Chinese Embassy with the rescuing and dealing with the aftermath work.

There have been several security incidents involving overseas Chinese. Relevant Chinese authorities are making further overseas security assessment to help overseas Chinese companies to conduct economic and trade cooperation safety and smoothly and ensure the safety of Chinese.

Q: Several Chinese workers were kidnapped in the attack in Ethiopia, similar incident happened in Nigeria. Will the Chinese Government and companies reconsider its investment and personnel disposition in Africa?

A: As China's overseas investment increases and cooperation strengthens in recent years, Chinese overseas enterprises are facing a new reality, sometimes their security under threat. Based on equality and mutual benefit, the economic and trade cooperation between Chinese enterprises and foreign countries serve the interests of all parties concerned. The cooperation is what both are happy to see and supported by both peoples. As for the problems that emerge in the cooperation, security issue in particular, the Chinese Government is making further assessment on overseas security conditions to provide further protection for Chinese enterprises' future overseas investment and economic and trade cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. This policy remains unchanged.

Q: Tomorrow the Japanese Supreme Court will issue its verdict on case of war compensation by Chinese laborers. The biggest controversy focused on whether the Chinese government has given up its citizens' right to claim compensation in the China-Japan Joint Statement. China has expressed its hope that Japan adopt an attitude responsible to history and properly handle the issue. Can you tell us exactly the measures are that China wishes Japan to take? What does China expect for the verdict tomorrow?

A: As a solemn political and diplomatic document signed by the Chinese and Japanese Government, Sino-Japanese Joint Statement constitutes the political basis of the restoration and development of the post-war Sino-Japanese relations. Neither party should unilaterally interpret the major principle or issues in the document, including judicial interpretation. As for the verdict of the Japanese court tomorrow, we request the Japanese side to handle relevant problems in line with the above-mentioned principles.

The conscription of the forced Chinese laborers was a grave crime committed by the Japanese militarists during the War of Aggression against China. The Japanese government should can treat seriously the court ruling, adopt an honest and responsible attitude to handle the question.

Q: The International Energy Agency predicts that China will be the world's No.1 greenhouse-gas emitter in a few months. Do you have any comment?

A: The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the reduction of green house gas emission. We have already set goals for the reduction of GHG emission In the 11th 5-year-plan and will make active efforts towards these goals. There are some consensuses among members of the international community on the reduction issue, still, differences remain here and there. We believe that climate changes have been mainly caused by developed countries due to their long history of emission and the current high quantity per capita. They should thereby assume more responsibilities. China will not turn around from it own responsibility on emission reduction and stands ready for international cooperation in this regard.

Q:According to Xinhua News Agency, 4 US tourists were arrested by the Tibetan Police because of holding up a banner saying "Free Tibet" yesterday. What is their current situation? When will they be released? What law have they violated? A US human rights group said that the living standards of Tibetans had deteriorated in the past few decades. What's your response to this?

A:About your first question, we have taken note of relevant reports. The case is under further investigation and will be handled by relevant authorities. All foreign citizens in China should abide by Chinese Laws and refrain from involving in any activities jeopardizing China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Concerning your second question, I don't know on what basis the group you mentioned claims that the living standards of the Tibetan people have deteriorated. What have they done to improve the livelihood of the Tibetan people? What makes them think they are qualified to make such accusation? In the past few decades, the Chinese Government has made great efforts in improving the living standards of the Tibetan people and promoting the economic and social development of Tibet. Anyone without prejudice should be able to see these facts. Many journalists present here today have visited and covered Tibet. We can see from your reports your affirmation of the economic and social progress of Tibet. Therefore, I think the group you mentioned should comment impartially and objectively on the issue.

Q: After the US Virginia Tech shooting, the Chinese media criticized that the US society was full of violence and discrimination on Asian males and accused the US government of advocating a policy of force. What's your comment on this? Do these views of the media represent the views of the Chinese Government?

A: I have expressed the Chinese Government's position on the Virginia Tech shooting incident on last week's press conference. The tragedy has caused heavy casualties. We strongly condemn this violent activity. The Chinese Government and people express deep condolences to the victims and extend sincere solicitude to the bereaved and those injured in the incident.

I would not comment on the views of the Chinese media.

Q: The Canadian Foreign Minister MacKay will pay a visit to China. Will he discuss the case of Huseyin Celil with China? The Canadian side has requested consular access to Celil. Will China allow? Will you share details of the case with the Canadians? Who will meet with Minister MacKay?

A: We welcome Minister MacKay's official visit to China and expect it to play a positive role on the improvement and development of Sino-Canadian relations.

During the visit, many issues will be discussed. I believe the discussion will cover the enhancement of mutual political trust, economic cooperation, cultural exchanges, personnel exchanges and cooperation on international affairs. Whether the Celil case will be discussed, I can't make any prediction now. We have made the Chinese Government's position on the Celil case clear to the Canadian side on many occasions. It is entirely China's internal affairs. Its essence is an issue of counter-terrorism and has nothing to do with Canada. We hope that the Canadian side will not interfere with China's internal affairs.

During Minister MacKay's visit to China, Chinese Foreign Minister and other relevant officials will meet with him.

Q: It is reported that Pentagon said it might sell F-22 fighter jets to Japan, which may change the security situation in Northeast Asia. Can your comment on this?

A: We have taking notes of the reports. We hope the relevant arrangement will not affect adversely peace and stability in Northeast and East Asia.

Q: Is there any new development on the BDA issue? What's role has China played? Do you think the US hould do more to resolve this issue?

A: DPRK's funds transfer issue has not been completely solved. Some difficulties still exist in this regard. The relevant parties have been keeping contacts so as to resolve this issue at an early date. China will continue to make efforts for the settlement of this issue.

Q: It is reported that the US FDA officials will come to China to investigate the case of poisonous pet food whose ingredients are imported from China. Can you confirm? Whom will these officials meet with? Secondly, the DPRK and Myanmar declared to resume of their diplomatic relationship. What is your comment?

A: According to the information I've got from relevant authorities, the US said that they found melamine in the pet food. The US FDA hopes to send officials here for further information, exchanging investigation results and consulting technology inspection, and we will be happy to cooperate. The Central Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine already sent invitation to the FDA on April 23.

As for your second question, both the DPRK and Myanmar are friendly neighbors of China, we are happy to see and welcome the improvement and development of their bilateral relations.

Q: It is reported that four US Christians were arrested in Aksu municipality of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Please confirm. Will the Chinese Government allow the US consular access? The second question, the French president candidate Royal claimed that she might boycott the Beijing Olympic Games so as to exert more pressure on China for a large role on the Darfur issue. What is your comment?

A: As for your first question, we are consulting relevant authorities to verification. I have no information to share with you at present.

As for your second question, the true is, the Chinese people are knee to greet the 2008 Olympic Games and are making meticulous preparations. People of the world also look forward to a successful Olympic Games in Beijing which will promote the exchanges and friendship worldside. We believe that Beijing Olympic Games will be an exceptional and high-level sports event through the efforts of the Chinese people and people around the world. We believe that boycotting or opposing Beijing Olympic Games betrays the good wish of the people of the international society, no matter under what excuse or for what political reasons. I hope relevant parties and politicians can be objective and calm in their words and deeds.

Q: Does the Chinese Government have any contact with Vatican recently on the establishment of diplomatic relations? Will Vatican play a role on the appointment of Chairman Fu Tieshan's successor?

A: China is opposed to the interference in China's internal affairs by Vatican under the name of religious affairs. This position remains unchanged that we are We are ready to improve and realize the normalization of China-Vatican relations on the basis of the two fundamental principles.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Abe will visit the United States and hold talks with President Bush. The US officials said they might discuss the topics concerning the rise of china and the Taiwan issue. What topics you would like them to discuss? Are you concerned about them talking about the Taiwan issue?

A: I have taken note that Prime Minister Abe will visit the United States. It is up to the Japanese and US leaders to decide what to discuss. If their topics somehow relate China, I hope they will arrive at a correct conclusion.

If there are no more questions, I'd like to make an announcement. During the May Day holiday, the regular press conferences on May 1st (Tuesday) and May 3rdh (Thursday) will be cancelled. The next press conference will be held on May 8th (Tuesday). Wish you a nice festival. Thanks!

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