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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on 10 May 2007

2007-05-11

On the afternoon of May 10, 2007, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on the appointment of the special representative of African affairs, the Darfur issue, the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, and food and drug safety.

Jiang: Good afternoon. Before taking your questions, I have three announcements to make.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland will pay an official visit to China from May 16 to 21.

Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will be invited to pay an official visit to China from May 15 to 17.

The Chinese Government decides to appoint Ambassador Liu Guijin as the special representative on African affairs. As a veteran diplomat, Ambassador Liu is well aware of African affairs and once served as the Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Director-General of the Department of African Affairs and the Chinese ambassador to South Africa. Ambassador Liu will make relentless efforts to strengthen our work on Africa, maintain close contact with African countries and regional organizations, and promote continuous development of China-Africa relations. Given that the Darfur issue arouses wide interest among the international society, it will be a major focus for the recent work of special representative.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: Why did China appoint the special representative of African affairs? Could you share with us more information on the upcoming China-US strategic economic dialogue? Who will accompany Vice-Premier Wu Yi? Could you tell us more details about the phone conversation between President Hu Jintao and President Bush last night?

A: China has always attached great importance to Africa. Strengthening solidarity and cooperation with African countries is the cornerstone of China's diplomatic work. Last year, the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation was successfully convened in Beijing. We declared the eight-point proposal to strengthen pragmatic cooperation with Africa and support the development of African countries. The Chinese Government is working with relevant African countries to implement the proposal. Our hope is to enhance mutual political trust with African countries, strengthen exchanges and mutually-beneficial cooperation in all fields, and constantly promote the China-Africa neo-strategic partnership. This is in the interest of both sides, and conducive to world peace and development.

We will release information on the second China-US strategic economic dialogue in due course. Last year, the first China-US strategic economic dialogue was successfully held in Beijing. Initiated by the leaders of the two countries, the mechanism of the dialogue has become an important platform to push forward the sound and stable development of China-US economic and trade relations, and the constructive bilateral ties of cooperation as well. We hope to exchange in-depth views with the US on issues of common concern through this mechanism so as to constantly strengthen mutual trust and cooperation in all fields.

Last night, we already released information on the phone conversation between President Hu Jintao and President Bush.

Q: It is reported that over 100 congressmen of the US House of Representatives jointly sent a letter to President Hu Jintao, claiming that it will exert a negative impact on the 2008 Olympics if China does not pressure the Sudanese government on the Darfur issue. Can you confirm? What's your comment on that?

A: The Darfur issue has always drawn international attention. Recently, the overall trends over the Darfur issue have been in the positive direction. The international community has reached a consensus on solving the issue politically. Not long before, the Sudanese government, the UN and African Union have agreed on the second phase of the Annan plan, which proves that dialogue and equal consultation is the right way to resolve the Darfur issue appropriately, and the mechanism for the three parties to resolve the issue through consultation really works.

China has made unremitting efforts to resolve the Darfur issue properly. We've been working on the Sudanese Government and other parties through exchanging visits, sending special envoy, making phone conversation, and conducting coordination on various occasions including the UN. We have also provided humanitarian material and monetary assistance to the Darfur region and the African Union mission. Recent days, China has decided to send a contingent of 275 military engineers to participate in the implementation of the second phase of the Annan plan.

We believe that under present circumstances, relevant parties should promote peacekeeping missions and political process in a balanced way. On the one hand, we should further promote the political process in the Darfur region and carry out the Annan plan, on the other hand, urge the opposition groups in Darfur to resume negotiations with the Sudanese government so as to achieve comprehensive peace in the Darfur region at an early date.

The US has played a positive role in the Darfur issue, and the US special envoy has visited China. China and the US share the same objective in solving the Darfur issue politically. We are willing to work with the international community including the US for an appropriate political resolution of the Darfur issue.

Q: Is there any progress in the investigation of the contaminated pet food material exported from China? Have those involved been arrested?

A: Yesterday, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China released the results of investigation on the two companies which exported contaminated rice protein to the US. Accordingly, relevant authorities will impose legal actions upon the enterprises and related responsible individuals who have broken the law. The General Administration has informed the US of the results, and proposed to establish a feed safety cooperation mechanism. The US appreciated China's cooperation and expressed the willingness to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China in this regard.

Q:In the telephone conversation between President Hu Jintao and President Bush, what else were discussed apart from bilateral relations and economic cooperation and trade?

A: President Hu Jintao and President Bush also exchanged views on climate change and the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

Q: What is China's expectation for the 2007 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group to be held in Shanghai next week?

A: The 2007 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group will take place in Shanghai, from 16 to 17 May 2007. This is the first time for the ADB to hold annual meetings in an Asian country. China supports the meetings to be held in China with a view to promoting ADB's efforts in poverty-relief and development in Africa. The meetings will further enhance the exchange of experiences in development and promote China-Africa comprehensive cooperation. The theme for this year's meetings is "Africa and Asia: Partners in Development". Premier Wen Jiabao will attend and address the opening ceremony.

China joined the ADB in 1985. China takes a 1.117% share of the ADB by the end of 2006. Since China's entry into the Bank, China's donation on seven different occasions has added up to $ 314 million. China vigorously supports the infrastructure building, poverty relief and education in Africa as well as China-Africa economic cooperation.

Q: What is your comment on the out-going British Prime Minister Blair?

A: You raised the question a little bit earlier. In recent years, China-Britain relations have maintained a sound development momentum. The two countries have put in place a series of important mechanisms for exchanges of high-level visits and political dialogue. The two countries have conducted comprehensive and pragmatic cooperation in broad fields.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level. We would like to take this opportunity to make joint efforts with Britain to promote China-UK comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level and broader scope.

Q: Is it the first time for China to appoint the special representative for African affairs? What is the new development of the Six-Party Talks? When will the Talks be resumed?

A: It is the first time for the Chinese Government to appoint the special representative for African affairs. I will keep you updated on Ambassador Liu's activities.

On the Six-Party Talks. It is imperative to properly solve the BDA DPRK-related funds issue at the earliest possible date. The relevant parties are making positive efforts. We hope they continue to work on the issue for its early settlement so as to implement the 2.13 Joint Document and press ahead the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Q: What in specific did President Hu and President Bush talk about on climate change and the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula? Are they worried about the deadlock of the Talks?

A: I have already elaborated on China's view on the current situation of the Six-Party Talks.

On the climate change. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the issues of climate change, energy and environment. China and the US have common interests and great cooperation potential in climate change. China is ready to make concerted efforts with the international community including the US to promote the international cooperation in energy and environmental protection.

Q: On the case that two Chinese enterprises are involved in the illegal export of pharmaceutical ingredients to Panama. Did China begin to investigate the two companies?

A: The Chinese Government is very concerned about the incident. Relevant authorities are continuing the investigation. You may contact the authorities-in-charge for further information.

Q: The US FDA officials are still in China. What cooperation do they have with China? The incident does not involve only pet food but the food security in general. What is your comment? Besides, what measures will China take to crack down upon the faked drug?

A: The Chinese Government cares much for food and drug security. The State Council promulgated the 2007 special plan for food security improvement. The purpose is to strengthen supervision and management on food production and processing security. The Foreign Ministry is not in charge of receiving the FDA officials. You may make inquiries to the competent authorities.

Q: It is reported that the Shijingshan Amusement Park has copied the cartoon image of the Disney Land. What is your response?

A: I have taken note of the report. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to IPR protection and protects the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors and IPR-holders in accordance with law. Over the years, we have devoted a lot of resources, worked intensively and made unprecedented achievements. China's IPR protection work has passed the annual review of WHO in the past years. It has been widely recognized by the vast majorities of the countries, international organizations and enterprises.

Q: Dalai Lama has cancelled his scheduled trip to the Brussels, Belgium. Is it because China has applied pressure on Belgium?

A: The China-Belgium relations have maintained sound development momentum over a long time, evidenced by close ties at various levels and fruitful cooperation. China appreciates the Belgium Government's long-term adherence to the one China policy.

The Dalai Lama's words and actions in the past decades have fully proved that he is by no means a purely religious figure, but a political exile engaged in motherland-splitting activities under the camouflage of religion for years. No matter what activities he attends in whatever names and in whatever places, it's neither a purely religious issue nor a private act. He represents a political force blowing for "Tibet Independence", which we firmly oppose. We hope relevant countries stay high alert against the attempts of the Dalai Lama clique to undermine their relations with China and split the motherland.

If there is no more question, thanks for coming. See you next time!

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