|Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on 14 June, 2007|
On the afternoon of 14 June, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Six-party Talks, China-US economic relations, China-Japan relations, Iraqi President's visit to China, climate change and other issues.
Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I shall begin with an announcement:
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Jalal al-Talabani of the Republic of Iraq will pay a state visit to China from June 20 to 26.
Now I am happy to take your questions.
Q: It is reported that the DPRK-related funds in BDA will be transferred tomorrow. Can you confirm? Will Assistant Secretary of State Hill visit China in the coming days?
A: I have read the report. We have taken note that the concerned parties of the Talks are making efforts to resolve the BDA DPRK-related funds issue. We hope the efforts can generate positive results as early as possible so as to implement the initial actions and press ahead with the Six-party Talks process.
On Hill's visit to China, I have not heard that the American side had made specific request to us.
Q: Some congressmen of the US introduced a bill this Wednesday to ask the Treasury Department to punish the countries that misalign their currency exchange rate. What is your response?
A: According to my knowledge, the bill was just proposed and has not been voted on yet. I elaborated on China's position and proposition on the issue at Tuesday's press conference.
We hope the US can view from a strategic perspective the significance of the healthy and stable development of China-US economic ties. The economic issue should not be politicized nor shall they try to exert pressure to resolve the issue. The two sides shall properly resolve the frictions and problems coming forth in the development of China-US economic relations in the principle of equal consultation.
Q: It is reported that Nicaragua may establish diplomatic ties with China. The Nicaraguan side has sent officials here to discuss the issue. Can you confirm? What is China's stance on the issue?
A: It is well-known to all that the Chinese government is ready to establish and develop normal state-to-state relations with the countries having no diplomatic relations with China based on the UN Charter and the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. China has good affection towards people in these countries. The Taiwan question is the sole obstacle for us to normalize relations with these countries. The principles for China to establish diplomatic relations with Costa Rica also apply to other countries having no diplomatic relations with China yet. We hope relevant countries can go with the trend of the times, respect and abide by the one China principle and make right and wise decision.
As to whether the Nicaraguan officials have come to China for consultation, I am not aware of the relevant information.
Q: Does China plan to resume the Six-party Talks at an early date after the BDA DPRK-related funds issue is resolved?
A: We hope the BDA DPRK-related funds issue can be resolved at the earliest possible date. China, like other parties, hopes to resume the Talks as early as possible.
As you all know, although we have some difficulties now, the position and commitment of the concerned parties to implement the initial actions, solve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and realize the de-nuclearization of the Peninsula through the Six-party Talks remain unchanged. We will maintain close communication and consultation with other parties and have exploration on the date and form of the resumption of the Talks.
Q: What role has Russia played on the solution of the BDA DPRK-related funds issue? Please brief us on the agenda and purpose of Iraqi President's visit to China?
A: I am not sure whether you have taken note of the response of Russian Foreign Minister on the issue. You shall ask Russia on the specific role they have played. We hope the current issues can be properly addressed based on the joint efforts and the consideration of the rational concerns of all parties.
Iraqi President Talabani will visit China from 20 to 26. President Hu Jintao, Chairman Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao will meet with him respectively. Besides Beijing, the President will also visit Xi'an and Nanjing. During his visit, the leaders of the two countries will exchange views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common interest. The two sides will sign cooperation documents between the Foreign Ministries and in education and health fields.
Q: The sixth meeting of the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) between China and the United States on law enforcement cooperation was held today. Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei made a speech at the meeting. Director-General Duan Jielong of Department of Treaty and Law of the Foreign Ministry also attended the meeting. My first question, what topics does China want to discuss with the US? Second, what will be the fields of cooperation between the departments of foreign affairs and law enforcement of the two countries for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games? Third, so far there has not been any extradition treaty signed between China and the US. What are the obstacles between the two sides in signing the extradition treaty?
A: As you have noted, the sixth meeting of the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) between China and the US on law enforcement cooperation was held on June 14-15 in Beijing. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei and the US Ambassador to China Clark T. Randt attended the opening session of the meeting this morning. Nine departments from the two side respectively, including Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Justice and the Supreme People's Procuratorate from the Chinese side, and State Department and Justice Department from the US, attended the meeting. The major topics of the meeting include anti-corruption, anti-terrorism, cyber crime, absconding, human trafficking, intellectual property rights and legal assistance. The two sides will discuss how to cooperate on these issues.
During the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, many officials, athletes and dignitaries from foreign countries will be in Beijing either to participate in the Olympic Games or attend the opening ceremony. Foreigners of all walks of life will also come to Beijing for traveling as well as watching the Games. Security is one of the important indicators of a successful Beijing Olympic Games. China wishes to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with relevant countries in this regard.
As for the question of extradition treaty between China and the US, China has all along taken a positive attitude toward signing extradition treaty with other countries. We are actively exploring the possibility of signing judicial treaties with relevant countries, including the US. Meanwhile, this process takes time as both sides have their own concerns. We hope that the US would take into consideration and understand concerns of the Chinese side, and reach consensus on extradition treaty with the Chinese side at an early date on the basis of mutual respect and consultation on an equal footing.
Q: What are China's specific concerns with regard to the extradition treaty?
A: Take the field of anti-corruption as an example, we are concerned about how to extradite those corrupt Chinese officials absconding in the US. We have kept making requests to the US in this regard. It is our hope that through the two sides' judicial cooperation, those absconding corruptors could be extradited back to China and brought to justice at an early date.
Q: US Deputy Under-Secretary of Defense Richard Lawless called on China to strengthen strategic dialogue with the US in the military fields, particularly that of nuclear weapons. When will this dialogue be held? Second question, a report of US Treasury Department issued yesterday did not list China as an "RMB exchange rate manipulator". What's your comment? Third, you made a comment on the unveiling of a memorial in Washington that mourns people who were killed under communist rule, saying that the US interfered in China's internal affairs. Could you please elaborate on how the US interfered in China's internal affairs?
A: As for your first question, I think you did not fully cover the US defense official's testimony in the Congress. In addition to saying that China and the US should strengthen defense dialogue, he also made irresponsible remarks on China's military capabilities and defense policy. We have expounded for several times on China's commitment in peaceful development, China's defensive defense policy, and stance and proposition on the Taiwan question. The US should be very clear about that. On China's military expenditure, we are transparent and open. We express opposition to the US official's remarks that disregard the facts, spread the China threat theory and interfere in China's internal affairs with so-called "China military capabilities issue". The US has pledged for many times to stick to the One China policy, abide by the three joint communiqués between China and the US, and oppose Taiwan independence. We call on the US to honor its pledge, stop selling weapons to Taiwan, and refrain from sending any wrong signal to Taiwan secessionist forces. We are ready to strengthen dialogue and exchange with the US in defense area with a view to promote mutual understanding and trust. It is also our hope that through the exchanges, the US could have a correct understanding of China's defense policy and principled position on the Taiwan question.
As for the RMB exchange rate, China implements a managed floating RMB exchange rate regime. We have initiated reform on the RMB exchange rate regime, a reform that will keep going on. In another word, the RMB exchange rate could experience ups and downs. The direction of the reform of RMB exchange rate regime is to reflect the change of the relation between demand and supply. We hope that the US side could have an objective and impartial view on this.
As for your third question, I already expressed our solemn stance yesterday. Some US political forces, out of "Cold War" mentality and political necessity, seek to provoke conflicts between different ideologies and social systems. This runs counter to the trend of the times and is unpopular. We express our strong dissatisfaction and stern opposition to the words and actions of the US side. We call on the US to discard the "Cold War" mentality of judging along the ideological line, stop interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, do more things conducive to the promotion of mutual trust and dialogue on an equal footing among different countries, and maintain with concrete efforts the momentum of constructive and cooperative relations between China and the US.
Q: Could you explain to us how did the US interfere with China's internal affairs by doing this?
A: You should read through the remarks of the US side to judge whether it has interfered with China's internal affairs. The Chinese Communist Party, as the ruling party of China, led the Chinese people to win the state independence and national liberation. Of course, we have had some difficulties and twists and turns, but the Communist Party of China has always been a Party of integrity. At present, the Chinese Communist Party is leading the Chinese people to build a well-off society and realize national prosperity. Internationally, the Chinese Communist Party, following the historical trend, is leading China to pursue peaceful development, stand for peace, development and cooperation, and work together with other countries to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity instead of drawing a line between different ideologies. Therefore, the Chinese Communist Party is the mainstay of the nation's democracy and prosperity and a positive force to promote world peace and common development.
Q: As I know, BP has stopped its oil exploration program in Nansha Islands due to the territorial disputes between China and Vietnam. What's your comment? Will the territorial disputes hinder China's exploration for natural resources in that area?
A: China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Islands and the adjacent waters. The so-called oil exploration conducted by the Vietnamese side and foreign companies in this area infringe on China's sovereignty, sovereign rights and interests as well as jurisdiction, and violates the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. We request Vietnam to stop relevant activities in this area and not to take any unilateral moves to further complicate the situation there. China's stance on the South China Sea issue is consistent and we are willing to seek joint development while putting aside differences and resolve the disputes appropriately with relevant parties through equal consultation.
Q: A league of congressmen of Japan asked the Chinese museums exhibiting the history of Chinese People's Anti-Japanese War to remove the "anti-Japan" photos, claiming that those photos distorted history and provoked anti-Japan sentiment. What's your comment?
A: The aggression war against China launched by the Japanese militarism brought grave sufferings to the Chinese people. Past lessons, if not forgotten, can be a guide for the future. Remembering this part of the history is not to pass on the hatred, but to prevent the tragedy from happening again so as to create a bright future.
On China-Japan relations, the Chinese government always holds the spirit of "taking history as a mirror and confronting the future". There was no so-called "anti-Japan" education in China. Relevant photos have recorded the miserable historical facts. Requesting the removal of those photos only shows their lack of courage to break away from erroneous history.
Q: This July 7th marks the 70th anniversary of Lugouqiao Incident. Are there any commemorative events to be held in China? Will the Japanese Government officials be invited then?
A: Japanese Militarists launched the Lugouqiao Incident on July 7th, 1937, which marked the breaking out of the full-scale Japanese Aggression War against China, and brought grave suffering to the Chinese people.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of Japanese Aggression War against China. At this moment, we should draw lessons from the past, cherish the hard-won peace and good life at present in the spirit of "taking history as a mirror and being forward looking", maintain the good momentum of improvement and development of bilateral relation, and press ahead with the friendship between two countries from generation to generation. I believe there will be commemorative events then.
Q: Portugal will assume the EU presidency in the latter half of the year, during which China-EU Summit will be held in Beijing. What do you think should be the major task in China-EU dialogue during Portugal's Presidency? As a developing country, will China accept a compulsory emission reduction target to be set out which is lower than that of developed countries according to the Kyoto Protocol?
A: Portugal will assume EU rotating presidency in the latter half of the year. We are looking forward to strengthen our dialogue and cooperation with Portugal, as well as maintain and promote the sound momentum of the development of China-EU Strategic Partnership.
We have iterated for many times our position on climate change. The current climate change is mainly caused by developed countries' medium and long-term emission in the industrialization and the high per-capita emission at present. The main task of the developing countries, including China, is to develop economy. So our emission now is for the purpose of subsistence. This is the reason why the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol have set out the principle of "common but differentiated responsibility". We hope this principle can be abided by, because the Convention constitutes the legal basis for the international community to cope with climate change.
According to the principle of "common and differentiated", before 2012, the developed countries have the obligation to meet the emission reduction target, after 2012 they shall also take the lead in shouldering the obligation. Although China is a developing country with only 1/3 in terms of per capita emission of that of developed countries, we realize that coping with climate change is the shared responsibility of the international community. We are ready to fulfill our own obligation and adopt active measures to deal with this issue together with international community. Under current circumstances, to set a compulsory emission reduction target for the developing countries including China is unacceptable.
If there are no other questions, thank you for attendance. See you!