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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on 28 June, 2007

2007-06-30

On the afternoon of 28 June, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the 4th round of China-US Strategic Dialogue, US House Committee on Foreign Affairs adopting the "Comfort Women" resolution, the phone conversation between Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers and the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to start with an announcement.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Karabayev of Kyrgyzstan, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will pay an official visit to Kyrgyzstan from July 7 to 8, exchanging views with his Kyrgyzstan counterpart on the bilateral relationship as well as international and regional issues of common interest.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will attend the regular meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization MFA Council Meeting on July 9, a meeting to prepare for the SCO Summit in Bishkek in mid-August, and for participants to exchange views on deepening cooperation among SCO member states in all fields plus international and regional issues of common concern.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: Could you share with us the topics and results of the 4th round of China-US Strategic Dialogue held in Washington last week. Does China think it is a successful dialogue? What's China's comment on the DPRK's missile launch while allowing IAEA to conduct nuclear inspection? Mr. Li Jinhua, Director of China's Audit Office reported to the People's Congress yesterday that several ministries have violated the regulation. Could you tell us how things going on in the Foreign Ministry in this regard?

A: We have already updated the press on the 4th round of China-US Strategic Dialogue. Views have been exchanged extensively in an in-depth manner on China-US relations and international and regional issues of common interest. We believe this meeting is a success for it has enhanced our mutual understanding, in terms of our foreign policy and strategy in particular, strengthened mutual trust and pushed forward the China-US constructive relationship of cooperation. The US has released its evaluation in a statement from which we can see that we share the same opinion.

As to the DPRK's missile launch, we have taken note of relevant reports.

As a Chinese governmental institution, the Foreign Ministry must be supervised and inspected by China's Audit Office and the general public. If you find out any misbehavior of us you are welcome to speak out anytime. But I can assure you, our Ministry follows the principle of integrity, diligence, and thrift in our work for the interest of our people and our country. The Ministry strictly enforces relevant financial system and has smoothly passed the audit of China's Audit Office. Do you disagree?

Reporter: No. (Laughter)

Q: During Spanish King and Queen's visit to China, did China agree to loan a pair of giant pandas to Spain?

A: I can confirm the news. We hope that the Spanish people will like them and the lovely pandas, as the goodwill emissary of the Chinese people, can promote the friendly affections between our two peoples. Meanwhile, we hope the Spanish zoo can take good care of them, because they are our national treasures.

Q: Chen Shui-bian recently claimed that there had been no democracy or freedom in Hong Kong since its return to China ten years ago. What's your comment?

A: For the past 10 years since Hong Kong's return to the embrace of 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 observed and implemented. If you look at today's Hong Kong, you will see that it has maintained prosperity, that people's livelihood has continued to improve and that the democracy, freedom and rights of the Hong Kong people have been fully guaranteed. These facts are obvious to all and undeniable.

Q: The US House of Representatives' Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted a bill on the "comfort women", urging the Japanese government to acknowledge the "comfort women" issue, make official apology and shoulder the due historical responsibilities. What is your comment?

A: The position of China on the "comfort women" issue is consistent and clear-cut. The conscription of "comfort women" is one of the grave crimes committed by the Japanese militarism against the people of the invaded countries including China during the Second World War. We request the Japanese government to listen to the just appeal of the international community, properly and earnestly handle the issue left over from history in an attitude responsible for history.

Q: A higher court of Japan issued a verdict today to sustain the decision of the local court in the first trial and rebut the request for compensation by the forced Chinese labour conscripted by Japan during World War . What is your comment?

A: Like the conscription of the "comfort women", the conscription of the forced labour is also one of the grave crimes committed by the Japanese militarism against the Chinese people during World War Ⅱ. We also urge the Japanese government to seriously and properly handle the issue in an attitude responsible for history.

Q:On the pastoral letter from the Pope. What is the content of the letter? My understanding is that some bishops are meeting in Beijing to talk about the issue. Please confirm. Second, Foreign Ministers of China and Japan held telephone conservation this morning and discussed the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. Please share with us more information. Third, the Iraqi President Talabani said Iraq had agreed to purchase weapons from China for its police. Can you confirm? What kind of weapons will be sold to Iraq? Will the weapons be used only for the police or any other purpose?

A: I already answered your first question at the press conference last week. I shall stress that China adheres to the two principles to improve and develop the relations with Vatican. The policy remains unchanged.

This morning Foreign Ministers of China and Japan held telephone conservation and talked about the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. The two Ministers applaud the progress of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue in recent days. Minister Yang hopes that relevant parties can make constructive and positive efforts to implement their respective commitment in real earnest and translate the initial actions into reality so as to press ahead with the Six-party Talks. China is ready to make joint efforts with other parties including Japan to make unremitting efforts to this end. Foreign Minister Aso hopes that the initial actions can be implemented at the earliest possible date and Japan is ready to maintain communication and coordination with China in this regard.

China respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq. We have been participating in the reconstruction process of Iraq positively and constructively and we are ready to make our contribution in this regard. we are ready to maintain exchanges and cooperation with Iraq in various fields on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

Q: On the missile launch by the DPRK. You just said that China has taken note of relevant report. Does that mean China did not confirm the news? Japan said the action violated UN Resolution 1718. What is your comment?

A: On the missile launch by the DPRK, We have taken note of relevant report.

As to the UN Resolution you mentioned, we believe currently the Six-party Talks have demonstrated positive momentum and shall be maintained. We hope with the concerted efforts of the parties concerned, the Six-party Talks process can be pressing ahead.

If there are no further questions, thank you and good-bye.

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