|Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on 3 July 2007|
On the afternoon of 3 July, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's visit to the DPRK, the Six-party Talks, the commemorative activities for the Marco Polo Bridge Incident and the safety and quality of China's export products.
Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to start with several announcements.
At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council, Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolan of the Republic of Mauritius will pay an official visit to China from July 9 to 14.
At the invitation of the Chinese Government, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Dardari of Syrian Arab Republic will pay an official visit to China from July 8 to 11.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Dato' Seri Syed Hamid Albar of Malaysia will pay an official visit to China from July 9 to 13.
At the invitation of deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng of Singapore, Vice Premier Wu Yi will leave for Singapore and co-chair the 9th China-Singapore Joint Steering Council meeting of Suzhou Industrial Park and the 4th China-Singapore Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation from July 9 to 12.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Lavrov of the Russian Federation, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will pay an official visit to Russia from July 12 to 15.
Now, the floor is open.
Q: Last week the Pope addressed in his pastoral letter the hope to establish a constructive dialogue mechanism with China based on mutual respect. What is your response? Does China have a plan to have dialogue with Vatican?
A: I have already answered the question concerning Pope's pastoral letter last weekend. I have no more to add.
Q: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi is visiting the DPRK. Who has he met with? What message has been conveyed? Is there any progress on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the Six-party Talks?
A: As you all know, Minister Yang is visiting the DPRK. What I know at this point is, this morning he had talks with Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun and met with the Premier Kim Yong Il. When meeting with the Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun, the two Ministers applauded bilateral relations and reached consensus on the strengthening of bilateral cooperation. They agreed to enhance the dialogue between the Foreign Ministries so as to have timely exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest. Besides, they shall further tap potentials to enhance mutually-beneficial economic cooperation and trade for the benefit of the two peoples. In addition, the they also agreed to intensify exchanges and cooperation in culture, education and tourism.
On the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, they agreed to make joint efforts to implement the February. 13 Joint Document and promote the Six-party Talks.
In his meeting with the Premier Kim Yong Il, Foreign Minister Yang mainly exchanged views with Premier Kim on the strengthening of bilateral economic cooperation and trade. He said that the expanding of the friendly cooperation between China and the DPRKK is of major realistic significance. China is ready to join hands with the DPRK to translate the consensus of the two leaders into reality and enrich the content of China-DPRK relations so as to generate fruitful results. He noted that the economic relations and trade are important component of the bilateral ties. China stands ready to conduct practical and diversified cooperation with the DPRK in agriculture, light industry, mineral resources, information industry and science and technology in accordance with the principle of "government guidance, private participation and market orientation" as well as the spirit of mutual benefit and reciprocity and shared progress.
Premier Kim Yong Il said the DPRK cherishes the friendship with China and stands ready to consolidate and develop the traditional friendship and cooperation. He added that the DPRK views the bilateral economic relations and trade from a strategic perspective and wishes to strengthen two-way investment and trade based on equality and mutual benefit.
My understanding is Minister Yang will meet with Mr. Kim Jong Il this afternoon. We will keep you updated.
Follow-up: What message will Minister Yang convey to Kim Jong Il on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the Six-party Talks?
A: I think Minister Yang will elaborate on China's consistent position on the peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue through consultation and dialogue and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as well as lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia. We are ready to make joint efforts with the DPRK to enhance communication and coordination so as to implement the initial actions and promote the Six-party Talks.
Q: The ROK will transport 50,000 tons of crude oil to the DPRK next week. The US hopes the IAEA inspectors can go back to the DPRK at an early date. When will the Talks be resumed?
A: China is open to the date of the Talks. We will have consultation with relevant parties according to the development of the situation and the necessity so as to jointly set the date for the resumption of the Talks.
Q: During Minister Yang's visit to the DPRK, has the DPRK mentioned when it is going to shut down the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon?
A: I am not aware of what the DPRK said on the specific issue. What I learnt at this point is, the DPRK and China agreed that the commitment of relevant parties in the February.13 Joint Document shall be jointly implemented and the initial actions shall be translated into reality.
Q: Some export products from China like pet food, medicine, tooth paste, and fish become controversial in the world. Why?
A: Can you tell me the reason? If there is less hyping-up by the media, I think the situation may be better. (Laughter)
In fact, the Chinese government attaches great importance to the quality and safety of China's export products. We have been very responsible and made many earnest efforts in the manufacturing, distribution, import and export of the products as well as in legislation, law enforcement, supervision, and management in order to ensure the quality and safety of China's export.
The recent continuous coverage of quality and safety issue of Chinese products resulted from the following factors: First, some misunderstandings largely caused by hyping up of the media that develop to panic. Second, different imports and exports inspection systems and policies of China and other countries. The third, a handful of law-breaking businessmen both at home and abroad. The number of problematic products is quite limited. Can they represent all Chinese exports? Can you deny the quality and safety of Chinese products just because of the individual cases? We understand the concerns of foreign consumers on the quality and safety of commodities, food and drug in particular. However, we also hope that the international community, the media in particular, can be objective and sensible in understanding or covering relevant issues. Take the Chinese exports to the US for instance, from 2004 to 2006, the qualification rate has been above 99%, which is ever a bit higher than that of US exports to China.
We are willing to cooperate with other countries to ensure food safety and quality so as to provide safe, reliable and high-quality products for consumers at home and abroad. Exaggerating, complicating and politicizing relevant issues should be avoided. We believe that, through our unremitting efforts, Chinese products can continue to have its due share globally. Made in China should not labeled as "watch out" for consumers, but stands for safety, good price and high quality.
Q: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said recently that China should make further efforts to face up to climate change. What's your comment? World Bank deleted part of its report on the impact of environmental pollution on the health of Chinese citizens under the request of the Chinese Government. Could you confirm?
A: I have taken note of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's relevant speech and I hope you analyze and understand his speech completely and objectively. The Chinese Government has persistently held that the international community should abide by the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities while facing up to climate change. This does not necessarily mean that developing countries could make no efforts for climate change, on the contrary, developing countries including China should take part in resolving this issue on the basis of their national situation and economic development level. China has always been doing that and will strengthen its efforts in the future. Meanwhile, we call upon the developed countries to shoulder their due responsibility and provide more capital and technical assistance to developing countries so as to help them to better confront the challenges of climate changes. In that sense, helping the developing countries means helping the developed countries themselves and helping the world to have a blue sky and clean water.
As to your second question, we have also taken note of the report and is verifying with relevant authorities. We will let you know as soon as we have it.
Q: From this week on, the Memorial for Anti-Japanese War of China and some civil groups will begin to hold activities commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. Do you think that those activities might add uncertainties for current China-Japan relations? Some believe that China having such activities is a political need to counter Japanese right-wing forces which deny the history of its aggression against China. What's your response?
A: The Chinese Government has always stood for "taking history as a mirror and face up to the future" in dealing with relevant historical issues between China and Japan. We remember the past to cherish present peace and happy life so as to create a brighter future. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident and the Nanjing Massacre and is a sensitive year. We should keep the above spirit in mind and appropriately handle relevant issues so as to keep and promote the momentum of better China-Japan relations.
Q: Japanese Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma resigned today. What impact will this exert on China-Japan relations? What's China's comment?
A: I have noted reports. This is Japan's internal affairs.
Q: Last week, a clash targeted at a China-funded petroleum company took place in Ecuador. What's your comment? Ecuadorian President Correa said he would pay a visit to China soon. Could you share with us some details?
A: As far as I know, recently, in the Orellana Province of Ecuador, a clash targeted at petroleum companies that operates there took place and involved the production of a China-funded company. Some local policemen were wounded in the clash and there were no injuries or deaths with the China-funded company.
China attaches great importance to the incident and the Chinese embassy in Ecuador has expressed our concern to Ecuador. Currently, the situation in local petroleum area has become stable and the oil production has returned to the normal track.
As to Ecuadorian President's visit to China, we will release the information in due time.
If there are no more questions, thanks for your presence. Bye!