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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on 26 June, 2007

2007-06-28

On the afternoon of 26 June, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Six-party Talks, Sino-EU relationship, Zoellick's appointment as the new President of the World Bank, etc.

Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

On June 24, a motorcade of UN peace-keepers in Lebanon was attacked by a car bomb, causing casualties. China feels shocked at the news and strongly condemns the terrorist act. China expresses its condolence to the governments of Spain and Columbia as well as the families of the bereaved. We hope that the UN and the Lebanese Government find out the truth and bring the criminals to justice at an early date, and step up the security protection of the UN peace-keepers as well. China is ready to work with the international community to help the early restoration of peace and stability in Lebanon.

Now I am happy to take your questions.

Q: Deputy Secretary-General of the IAEA Olli Heinonen is going to visit DPRK today. There seems to be some new progress on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. Has China set the date of a new round of the Six-party Talk? Did Olli Heinonen meet any Chinese officials during his stay in China? If so, what did they talk about?

A: As you all know, the issue of DPRK-related funds in BDA has eventually been settled, and a new round of intense contacts has started. China applauds the positive attitudes and constructive efforts of all relevant parties. It is our hope that relevant parties continue to take positive actions, fulfill their respective commitments and implement the initial actions in a comprehensive and balanced manner, so as to move forward the Six-party Talks and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. China is having close communications and consultations with relevant parties on the next steps in the talks.

With regard to your second question, Mr. Olli Heinonen will brief China about his visit to the DPRK after he comes back. Relevant arrangements are still under discussion.

Q: The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill made two proposals yesterday. One is to establish a peace mechanism on the Korean Peninsula involving China, the U.S., the DPRK and the ROK, the other is to establish a broader Northeast Asia dialogue forum. Does China support these ideas?       

A: Parties concerned have made commitments, both in the September 19 Joint Statement and in the February 13 Joint Document, to a peace, stable and nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, as well as on the establishment of security cooperation mechanism in the Northeast Asian region. Both documents also have stipulations on those issues. The six parties will discuss related security issues in accordance with relevant commitments and stipulations. We have taken note of the various ideas proposed by relevant parties. China is open to whatever proposals that are conducive to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, peace and stability on the Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. China is ready to exchange views with all relevant parties in this regard.

Q: Please brief us in details about the communication between China and the DPRK on the visit of the IAEA inspection team to the DPRK. My second question is, will the DPRK be allowed to reserve its nuclear weapons which might have been made previously?

A: On the first question, we keep close communication and consultation with the parties concerned.

As for the DPRK nuclear issue, I'd like to review with you the goal of the Six-Party Talks, which is to achieve the de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula peacefully and verifiably. It is the goal shared by all the six parties. The DPRK made relevant commitments both in the Joint Statement and in the Joint Document, so did the other parties. We hope that the commitments be fulfilled by all parties concerned and the de-nuclearization process of the Korean Peninsula keep moving ahead.

Q: As for the Six-Party Talks, has the DPRK declared all its nuclear programs?

A: It is a common goal of all parties in initial actions to ensure the DPRK declare its nuclear programs.

Q: If Turkey attacked the PKK in northern Iraq, what's China's position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council? During Iraqi President Talabani's visit to China, did he discuss with China about Turkey's military actions in northern Iraq? Besides, Does China, like the United States and the EU, regard the PKK as a terrorist organization?

A: As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China advocates that all countries should abide by the universally-recognized norms governing the international relations, mutually respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolve their disputes peacefully though political negotiation. We should follow this principle in dealing with the issues you mentioned.

China always calls for respecting and safeguarding Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We hope Iraq could achieve political reconciliation among various religious groups and factions and press ahead with the process of economic reconstruction, so as to achieve the stability and development of the country at an early date. Chinese leaders have expressed the wish to the visiting President Talabani.

Q: The DPRK embassy in Beijing held a press conference this morning, saying that a DPRK woman had been kidnapped by Japan. Do you have any comment? A second question, the 9th round of China-Japan East China Sea Talks is being held in Tokyo today. Japan expressed optimism by saying that the talks would achieve good results. Can you comment on this?

A: Concerning your first question, I have taken notice of the relevant report. I am not aware of the specifics now.

Concerning your second question, as you know, the 9th round of China-Japan East China Sea Talks is being held in Tokyo today. Hu Zhengyue, Director General of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Kenichiro Sasae, Chief of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry headed their delegations respectively for the talks. The two sides will mainly discuss plans of joint development in this area.

Leaders and Governments of the two countries have reached important consensus on the East China Sea issue. We hope to fulfill the consensus through joint effort so as to make the Ease China Sea a sea of friendship, cooperation and peace.

Q: Could you elaborate on Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's visit to the DPRK? Whom will he meet with? Is China going to provide more economic aid to the DPRK? Who will accompany Minister Yang during the visit?

A: Concerning the itinerary and agenda of Foreign Minister Yang's visit to the DPRK, China is still coordinating with the DPRK. At present, I have no specific information to share with you.

Q: What is your comment on the appointment of Mr. Zoellick as the head of the World Bank?

A: We extend our congratulations on the appointment of Mr. Zoellick as the President of the World Bank. We hope Mr. Zoellick will carry out this important duty well, lead the World Bank to fulfill its institutions and functions faithfully and make positive contributions to the cause of poverty reduction and development of the world. We hope that under his leadership, cooperation between the World Bank and China will be maintained and continue to develop.

Q: The China-EU Summit will be held in Beijing at the end of November. Will you discuss the lift of EU's arms embargo against China? If Portugal, as the EU presidency in the later half of this year, puts the issue as the priority of the talks, what will be your response?

A: Concerning the lift of EU's arms embargo against China, our position has been consistent and clear. This position remains unchanged. We hope Portugal, while holding the EU presidency in the later half of this year, will make positive contributions to the development of China-EU relations.

At present, China and EU have established the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. We have conducted in-depth dialogues and cooperation on many issues in an extensive range. We hope and believe that the exchanges and cooperation between China and EU will be further strengthened during Portugal's EU presidency.

If there are no other questions, thank you for coming. Goodbye.

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