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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on 17 May 2007

2007-05-17

On the afternoon of 17 May, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular conference and answered questions on China-Africa Cooperation, the situation in Pakistan, the role of former French President Chirac on China-France relations, May 12th collision accident and other issues.

Jiang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have two announcements to make:

At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President of the Federal Republic of Germany Horst Koehler will pay a state visit to China from May 23 to 26.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic will pay an official visit to China from May 20 to 23.

Now I would like to pick up your questions.

Q: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) expressed its willingness yesterday to discuss inviting 5 countries including China to join the organization. What's your comment?

A: Since 1995, China and OECD have conducted cooperation with enlarging content, multiple forms and sound effect in many fields. At present, China is the observer in the Committee of Scientific and Technological Policy and the Committee of Financial Affairs. China will also consider applying to be an observer in other committees. China is ready to further its cooperation with OECD.

Q: Australian PM and opposition leaders said that they were going to meet Dalai during his stay in Australia next month. What's China's comment? What impact will it have on China-Australia relation? Has China made representation with the Australian Government and opposition party?

A: The words and deeds of Dalai in past decades fully demonstrate that he is not purely a religious figure, but a political exile engaging in activities splitting the motherland under the pretext of religion. No matter under what pretext or where he goes, it's not a simple issue of religion or an individual act. He represents a political force aimed at splitting the motherland and "Tibet independence". The Chinese Government and people are strongly opposed to this. We hope countries concerned stay high alert of the secessionist attempt of the Dalai clique as well as his words and actions which will undermine their relations with China, and refrain from offering any support to it in any form.

Q: On the Tibet issue. Some Tibetan exile groups said yesterday that they will hold a Tibetan Olympics next year in Dharamsala where Dalai resides right now. What's your comment?

A: Tibet has been a part of China since ancient times. The Tibetan issue is China's domestic affairs, which brooks no dispute. The Chinese Government and people are now actively preparing for 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. We oppose to any attempt of any groups or individuals to politicize the Olympic Games.

Q: It's reported that there is massive gun fight in Karachi, Pakistan recently, leading to more than dozens of casualties. What's China's comment on the recent development of Pakistan's situation? Second question, French President Sarkozy formally assumed post yesterday. What's China's comment on the effort made by former French President Chirac for China-France relations during his tenure?

A: On your first question, as a friendly neighbor of Pakistan, China follows its domestic situation closely. We believe that the Pakistani government and people are able to properly handle the domestic political issues and maintain social stability.

As to your second question, Mr. Chirac, as a good friend of Chinese people, has always viewed and handled China-France relations from a strategic height. He has adhered to the one-China policy, opposed Taiwan Independence, stood for China's peaceful reunification, actively pushed forward bilateral pragmatic cooperation and strengthened consultation and coordination with China on major international and regional issues during his tenure as president. The China-France comprehensive strategic partnership has made great progress, setting a model for countries with different historical background, cultural tradition and development level to respect each other, co-exist with friendship, and conduct mutually-beneficial cooperation.

The Chinese Government and people applaud Mr. Chirac's contribution to developing China-France and China-Europe relations and believe that he will continue to be interested in and supportive for the development of China-France friendship. The Chinese Government is willing to join hands with the new French government to further deepen and expand our comprehensive strategic partnership.

Q: Today, Madam Nakayama Kyoko, the Japanese Assistant to Prime Minister in charge of the adduction issue met with Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei. What did they discuss?

A: Madam Nakayama Kyoko visited China as a guest of the Japanese Embassy in China. Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei met with her this morning and exchanged views with her on China-Japan relations and the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo will also meet with her later today.

Q: It is reported that the US Ministry of Defense announced the establishment of an African Command so as to expand its military presense in Africa. What's your comment?

A: We've taken note of this incident. China is willing to join the international community in safeguarding Africa's peace and stability and promoting its development and prosperity.

Q: The UK Foreign Secretary Beckett is visiting Beijing. Could you tell us her schedule? What topics did she discuss with China? Did the Iranian nuclear issue come up in the discussions?

A: The UK Foreign Secretary Beckett is visiting China from May 16 to 21. She will deliver a speech in China's Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC today. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will meet with her on the morning of May 18 and one of Chinese leaders will also meet with her.

This is Mrs. Beckett's first visit to China in this capacity. The two Ministers will exchange views on promoting the China-UK comprehensive strategic partnership and enhancing the cooperation between the two foreign ministries. We hope to, along with the UK, take the opportunity of the 35th anniversary of the establishment of China-UK diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level so as to push forward our comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level and broader perspective.

Q: It is reported that a ROK boat with 10 Chinese sailors was kidnapped off Somalia. Could you confirm? What did China do to rescue them?

A: The Chinese Government cared much about the safety of the boat and sailors abducted. The Foreign Ministry is closely following the development of the incident, taking positive diplomatic moves to learn more details, and coordinating with relevant countries to carry out rescue work through all channels possible.

Q: The DPRK stated that it might transfer its funds in BDA via an account of a third country. Could you confirm? What impact will this exert on the next round of the Six-Party Talks?

A: We have taken note of the comment by the DPRK Foreign Ministry. We hope this issue can be settled properly at an early date with the concerns of various parties being considered so we can finalize the initial actions and press ahead with the process of the Talks.

The February 13 joint document released after the fifth round of the Six-Party Talks is a great progress, demonstrating all parties' political will to denuclearize on the Peninsula. Relevant parties should make positive efforts to overcome difficulties encountered during the process so as to push for substance progress out of the Talks and the process of denuclearization of the Peninsula.

Q: The African Development Bank is having its annual meeting in Shanghai. The People's Bank of China said that China would establish a 5-billion-US-dollar development fund. Does that mean that China no longer need any financial aid from other countries or international organizations? Secondly, what is the benchmark for China's aid to foreign countries? How different is it from the Western countries' standard? Thirdly, China has said that no political strings were attached to its aids to Africa. Then, what about those countries who have official relations with Taiwan? Will you provide development aid to them?

A: Concerning your first question, during the Sino-African Cooperation Forum Summit in Beijing last year, the Chinese Government proposed 8 measures for the Social and economic development and the elevation of self-development capability of Africa, among which is the Sino-African development fund you mentioned. The purpose of this fund is to support and encourage strong and creditable Chinese enterprises to strengthen their economic and trade cooperation with Africa. The organization plan of the fund has already been released.

Concerning your second question, enhancing unity and cooperation with African countries is an important part of China's foreign policy. The overall principles and objectives of our policy to Africa are sincere friendship and equal treatment, mutual benefit and enhancement of cooperation, mutual support and close coordination and learning from each other and pursuit of common development. China's relationship with Africa is open and outward. Our cooperation with African countries is within the framework of South-to-South cooperation and part of international development cooperation. Our aids to African countries are sincere and selfless without any political strings. We are willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with the international community in providing aids to Africa and enhancing cooperation with Africa in all fields.

Africa cannot develop without its own efforts, in the meantime it needs support and help from the international community. We call on the international community, especially the developed countries to fulfill their promises of aiding Africa and take practical and effective measures in terms of debt deduction, trading conditions, market access and technology transfer and so on, so as to help African countries build up their capability of self-development and realize their sustainable economic and social development.

You have also mentioned our policies toward those African countries with no diplomatic relations with China. Up till now, there are still 5 countries in Africa who have not yet established normal diplomatic relations with China. However, the friendly people-to-people exchanges between China and these 5 countries have never stopped. China and the 5 countries are all developing countries with no fundamental conflict of interests politically. Our economies are complementary to each other with great potentials for cooperation. The Chinese Government is willing to establish and develop normal diplomatic relations with these countries based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. At present, delegates-in-charge of the 5 countries are also attending the AFDB annual meeting in Shanghai.

Q: Can you provide us with any further information on the ship collision accident on May 12th and the 16 missing crew members?

A: The Chinese Government attached great importance to the May 12th ship collision accident. The Chinese Sea Rescue Center of the Ministry of Communicationd immediately organized search and rescue for the missing crew members. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinated with the Ministry of Communication, the Shandong Provincial Government and other related departments on the rescue work and notified the relevant sides of the accident. We have also briefed the KOK Embassy in China on the development of the rescue work and helped to make sure the Korean officials and the relatives of these missing can come to China as fast as possible. We have also agreed to the Korean Government's request of sending its own team to join in the rescue work on site. At present, we are still trying our best to search for the missing persons and investigating the cause of the accident.

The relevant departments of Korea and the relatives of the missing crew members expressed their sincere gratitude to the Chinese Government for the timely and efficient rescue efforts. I have been just informed that the Ministry of Communications will hold a press conference on the collision accident at 4:30 this afternoon in the Rainbow Hall of the Beijing International Hotel.

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

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