|Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on 21 June, 2007|
On the afternoon of June 21, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Six-party Talks, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's visit to Mongolia, the DPRK and Indonesia, the denial of Nanjing Massacre by Japanese MPs, China-US strategic dialogue, climate change and other issues.
Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I shall begin with an announcement:
At the invitation of Enkhbold, Foreign Minister of Mongolia, Pak Ui Chun, Foreign Minister of the DPRK, Hassan, Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will pay official visits to the three countries from June 30 to July 5.
Now I am happy to take your questions.
Q: The US Assistant Secretary of State Hill has arrived in the DPRK, do you know the details about the visit? Does China have any plan to resume a new round of the Six-party Talks?
A: We have taken note of the visit by Assistant Secretary of State Hill to the DPRK and hope his visit can promote the implementation of the initial actions by the parties concerned and improve the US-DPRK relations. As to the time for the resumption of the Talks, it needs the communication and consultation of all parties.
Q: Has the US informed China of his visit to the DPRK beforehand? Besides, is there any progress of the working groups' meetings? Will the WG meetings be held before the meeting of the Heads of Delegations?
A: China knows about Hill's visit to the DPRK. As to the WG meetings, the Six-party Talks are a mechanism and process. Within the mechanism, parties can have communicate and consult with each other by various forms, including the meeting of the Heads of Delegations, the Plenary Session and the WG meetings. So, when the Talks will be resumed and the specific form shall be discussed by the six parties.
Q: You said that Foreign Minister Yang will visit three countries. What is the specific time frame for his stay in the three countries respectively? What will be discussed in the DPRK, is the Six-party Talks included? Who will accompany him?
A: Foreign Minister Yang will be in Mongolia from June 30 to July 2, in the DPRK from June 2 to 4, and in Indonesia from July 4 to 5. As to the topics to be discussed in the DPRK, Foreign Minister Yang will exchange views with the DPRK side on the development of the traditional bilateral friendship and cooperation as well as the international and regional issues of common interest. I think the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue will be included.
It is a Foreign Ministry delegation headed by Foreign Minister Yang, and chief of relevant departments of the Foreign Ministry will accompany him. I have no name list of the delegation at hand yet.
Q: Will Mr. Hill come to Beijing after he visited the DPRK? Another question, Japan has suspended the import of frozen green pepper from China because of excessive amount of pesticide. Has China taken any measure to improve the situation?
A: Are you talking about bell pepper? I think the bell pepper in China is delicious. I myself like it very much. I have eaten it for so many years, while I am very healthy now. (Laughter)
There is a very strict inspection and quarantine system on the export product in China. We have strict procedures from production, circulation to export. I am not aware of the specific question you mentioned, and I suggest you refer it to the competent authorities of China.
I am not aware of Mr. Hill's schedule after his visit to the DPRK.
Q: Who will meet with Foreign Minister Yang in the DPRK?
A: China and the DPRK are discussing about who Foreign Minister will meet and his specific itinerary in the DPRK.
Q: It is reported that some MPs of Japan said the Nanjing Massacre can not be confirmed after requesting the removal of the pictures in China's Anti-Japanese War Memorials. They requested China to change the number "300,000" of the victims. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the July 7th Incident. What is your reaction to the series of actions by the right-wing forces in Japan? Second, it is reported that the US House of Representatives will vote on a resolution on the comfort women issue on July 30 after some MPs of Japan made the advertisement in the US denying the comfort women issue. What is your comment?
A: The Nanjing Massacre is an atrocity committed by the Japanese militarism in its aggression war against China. There is ironclad proof and international community has already made conclusion on the issue. The attempt of a handful of people in Japan to write off and cover this part of history is a flagrant challenge to international justice and the conscience of human beings which also exposes their lack of courage to face up to history.
During the Nanjing Massacre, more than 300,000 Chinese compatriots were tragically murdered. The 300,000 innocent victims will not leave alone those who attempt to distort and deny the crime of Nanjing Massacre.
I shall stress that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre. We hope Japan can abide by the spirit of "taking history as a mirror for the benefit of the future" and take an earnest and responsible attitude in properly dealing with the historical issue.
The conscription of comfort women, which brooks no denial, is one of the grave crimes committed by the Japanese militarism during the aggression war to the people of the victimized Asian countries including China. We hope Japan can properly and correctly handle the issue in an attitude responsible for history. As old Chinese sayings go, "Those who try to out-maneuver others will only make a fool of themselves." "The harder one tries to conceal a thing, the more it attracts attention." A handful of people in Japan made the farce, only exposing their lack of correct understanding of history and the courage to break away from the sinful history. They will be universally condemned by the international community.
Q:Some Dutch scientists said on Tuesday that China had already overtaken the United States as the largest CO2 emissioner in the world. Can you confirm that? And what measures will China adopt?
A: We have repeatedly expounded our position on climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gas emission. Where there are human activities, there is GHG emission. As a developing country with constant economic growth, China is inevitably to have the problem of increasing GHG emission. Nonetheless, if we want to be objective, there is always the other side of the coin. Though China's overall GHG emission is relatively large, in per capita terms, it is quite low due to the large population. Do you know how much is the annual per capita GHG emission of the Netherlands that you mentioned just now? It is 11.4 tons, three times more than that of China, which is only 3.66 tons.
And I want to stress that the current climate change problem is largely a result of the accumulated emission during the industrialization of the western countries and their current high per capita emission. The GHG emission of developing countries, including China, is still a result of subsistence. Although the Kyoto Protocol does not set an emission target for developing countries, China still sincerely and actively commits itself to reducing the GHG emission and has worked with the international community to address global warming. We have taken many measures on energy saving and emission reduction, including increasing scientific and technical application, expanding forestation and controlling the rapid population growth by family planning, which are all conducive to the reduction of GHG emission. We hope relevant people can see the question in an objective, calm and rational manner rather than directly attacking developing countries. Developed countries should also reflect upon their historical responsibility over the question.
Some people call today's China as the World Factory, where we see a shift of manufacturing from the West. Many of what the westerners wear, use and eat are made in China. It is not fair for the western countries to increase their production in China whilst at the same time attacking China over GHG emission.
I do not know how they calculated. Here I can assure you that the Chinese Government is working earnestly and responsibly with the international community to counter climate change.
Q: An international meeting on the Darfur Issue will be held in Paris next Monday. Who will go on behalf of China?
A: China supports any efforts conducive to peace and proper solution to the Darfur issue. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui will head the Chinese delegation to the meeting and present an overview of China's position and proposition.
Q: Hill's visit to the DPRK today marks the first visit by the high-level US official since former US Secretary of State Albright's visit in 2000. What comment do you have on the impact of his visit on future US-DPRK relations?
A: We have taken note of Assistant Secretary of State Hill's visit to the DPRK. We hope his visit can be conducive to promoting the Six Party Talks and the improvement of bilateral relationship between the US and the DPRK through dialogue and consultation, which will be positive for peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the whole area of Northeast Asia.
Q: Lawless said in a hearing of the Congress the other day that the US will strengthen research and development of cyber warfare to counter China's increasing threat in that field. Do you have any reaction?
A: I heard of that. China resolutely follows a road of peaceful development and adopts a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. China's development of military power is moderate and reasonable, which is to safeguard the nation's sovereignty, security, territorial integrity and interest of development while maintaining regional and world peace and stability for the benefit of promoting shared progress.
I often hear some inharmonious sound, just as you do, from the US over China's military power. The United States has repeatedly expressed their will to strengthen military exchanges and dialogue with China. We are happy to it happen and have strengthened military dialogue and exchanges with the US. We hope such exchanges and dialogue can be truly conducive to building and enhancing mutual trust and getting to objectively knowing each other. We hope to see the fruit of such dialogue and exchanges reflected in the remarks of the US.
Q: The 4th Sino-US Strategic Dialogue is now being held in US. What will be discussed and what achievements do you expect? What achievements have been made out of the previous three regular dialogues between the two countries?
A: The 4th Sino-US Strategic Dialogue is going on in the United States. The first-day meeting has just concluded and I haven't got any relevant information. We will brief you once we get it.
During this round of dialogue, views will be exchanged on Sino-US relations and the international and regional issues of common interest especially the long-term strategic issues. Four rounds of consultation have been held under the mechanism of Sino-US Strategic Dialogue, which has promoted mutual understanding and enhanced mutual-trust between the two countries. China and US are not only stakeholders but also constructive partners. We hope to jointly push forward the dialogue and cooperation in various fields and press ahead with the stable and smooth development of the constructive partnership between the two countries in strategic and overall perspective through enhancing dialogues and exchanges. We have great expectation for the dialogue. We hope and believe that the dialogue will be successful by the joint efforts of the two countries.
Q: Please brief us the details of Iraqi President Talabani's visit to China. Who will he meet with? What will they discuss? Will China increase its assistance and investment in Iraq? As for the climate change issue, you just mentioned that the developed countries transferred lots of their manufacturing to China. What kind of measures will China take on this aspect? Will China's exporting destinations get involved to resolve this issue and take their own responsibility?
A: China has really become a manufacturing location for the world. Given the fact, we hope relevant countries especially the developed countries could realize the fact and understand China's economic situation as well as its position in the current world economy so as to be more objective and rational over the responsibility which all parties should take on the emissions reduction issue. This doesn't mean that we will use it as an excuse to shake off our responsibility in climate change. On the contrary, China is positively and responsibly dealing with this issue. For example, the 11th Five-Year Plan on National Economic and Social Development has clear provided that by 2010 energy consumption per unit of GDP should be 20% lower than that of 2005 and forestry coverage be increased from 18.2% to 20%. These are endeavors we are making. The UNFCCC and Kyodo Protocol serve as a proper and reasonable mechanism and basis for the international communities to work together to explore how to enhance cooperation in the future.
As for the visit of Iraqi President Talabani, President Hu Jintao will host the welcoming ceremony in the Great Hall of the People and have a meeting with him late this afternoon. NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao will also meet with President Talabani respectively and exchange in-depth views on bilateral relations and current international and regional issues during his visit in China.
China has always actively supported and constructively participated in the reconstruction process of Iraq including providing assistance to it. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, on behalf of the Chinese Government, announced that China will offer a grant of RMB 50 million assistance to Iraq this year on the International Compact with Iraq held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt this May. Besides, we would like to largely reduce and write off the debt Iraqi owed to us. We have helped Iraq to train people specialized in economics, electricity, diplomacy and management. Chinese companies are also willing to participate in Iraq's economic reconstruction. We hope Iraq can achieve security, stability and development at an early date and the Iraqi people can enjoy stable life as early as possible. China will continue to play a constructive role in the reconstruction process of Iraq with other members of the international community.
Q: Firstly, China is the largest carbon-dioxide emitter. Why do you think the per-capita emission figure should be taken into consideration rather than the total volume? What's your comment on the criticism that China hides behind the per-capita emission figure? Secondly, there are more than 100 countries which are qualified as developing countries. Different from other developing countries, China has sent astronauts to space. You said that China is a developing country, how to define the developing country? And what kind of developing country China is?
A: As for your first question, it is not scientific and reasonable to measure the emission standards of different countries by the total emission figure. For example, the Netherlands has a population of 16 million, while China has 1.3 billion. If you compare the total emission figure, you will find that China's population is the world's largest and China is a major economy, therefore its emission will certainly be much higher than that of the Netherlands. That's why we can't only focus on the total volume.
China is a developing country which is at the preliminary stage of socialism at present. What does that mean? It means that our productive forces are still not as developed as to meet people's growing material and cultural needs. China's overall economy scale is large, but our per-capita GDP has just reached 2000 US dollars. So we should view China from a comprehensive perspective. China is a developing country, which means it is still in the process of development. You mentioned that China sent astronauts to space. We do have advanced technologies, which prove that China is in the process of development. I don't believe you really want to see a China stuck in poverty and backwardness. A poor and backward China does not serve the interests of the Chinese people nor people in the world.
I suggest you read carefully the article on People's Daily written by Premier Wen Jiabao several months ago. It tells you China's current status of development, its main tasks and it domestic and foreign policies. It will be helpful for you to understand today's China.
Q: Some British Media are very concerned about the case of the "Black Brick Kiln". What measures has the Chinese Government taken to help the families finding the victims of the case?
A: The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the "Black Brick Kiln" case and is investigating and handling it according to law.
Q: Will China allow the International Labor Organization and other labor organizations to come to China to investigate the case? My other question is, it is reported that some countries along the Mekong River are planning to build a bridge across the river, connecting China and Bangkok of Thailand by road. What is China's response to this suggestion? What impact will the bridge have on the trade and tourism between China and other countries in the region?
A: I don't know whether the International Labor Organization will come to China or not. However, we have all along maintained sound communication and cooperation with the ILO.
I am not aware of the construction of the bridge on the Mekong River. China is playing an active role in the development cooperation of the Greater Mekong Sub-region. There is the GMS Economic Cooperation Program which includes China, Viet Nam and other countries in the region. The relevant countries have prioritized certain areas for future cooperation, such as infrastructure construction, which includes not only roads and bridges, but also the information industry, the environment and the use of resources.
Q: I have a question on the return of Hong Kong. What significance does the return of Hong Kong have for China to overcome the humiliation caused by the Opium War and the national unity of China?
A: I don't know how you would cover the incident by raising such a big question. The return of Hong Kong to the embrace of the motherland marks the end of colonial reign in Hong Kong. This is something that all Chinese people, including the Hong Kong compatriots should be proud of.
For the past 10 years since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, the Basic Law and the principles of "One Country, Two Systems", "Hong Kong People Governing Hong Kong" and Hong Kong enjoying a high degree of autonomy have been faithfully implemented. The Central Government unswervingly supports the SAR Government to rule by law, so that Hong Kong will maintain prosperous and stable and that the legal rights and freedom of the Hong Kong compatriots will be guaranteed. Looking ahead, we have every reason to believe that the Basic Law and the principles of "One Country, Two Systems", "Hong Kong People Governing Hong Kong" and Hong Kong enjoying a high degree of autonomy can continue to be implemented successfully in Hong Kong and that Hong Kong will have a better future.
Q: You just said that China has become a big trading country. I have also noticed that the plan to deal with climate change recently promulgated by the Ministry of Science and Technology includes a special research program on the relationship between trade and emission. Do you think that China's position as a big trading country should be taken into account in the post Kyoto Protocol negotiations? Will it become one of the factors for future considerations?
A: The arrangement of the post Kyoto Protocol should take into account the practical situation of developing countries, including China, their concerns and interests and of course those of developed countries, so as to find a balanced and reasonable solution. We already have certain regulations in this aspect, for instance, the principle of "common but differentiated responsibility". China will continue to participate actively and constructively in international consultations on the various projects of the post Kyoto Protocol to deal with climate change. Since I am no expert in this aspect, I was only talking about the principles. I suggest you make further inquiry to the relevant authorities.
Q: Which Chinese leaders will attend the ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong?
A: There will be Chinese leaders attending the ceremony of the 10th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong. As for whom, I am not authorized to release any news.
If there are no other questions, thank you for coming. Goodbye.