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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on 5 July 2007


On the afternoon of July 5, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Six-party Talks, Australia issuing the Defense Update 2007, China-Japan relations and Russia to hose the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to start with a notice.

Mr. Liu Guijin, the special envoy on the Darfur issue of the Chinese Government, will brief you here later on his recent visits. Those interested are welcome to stay for the briefing after the regular press conference.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: When will the next round of the Six-Party Talks be held? Could you share with us more details of the meeting between the Chinese and the DPRK foreign ministers?

A: As to the resumption date of the Talks, relevant parties have put forward their views and proposals, for which China adopts an open attitude. At present, we are actively consulting with other parties and will update you in due time.

Chinese media has made full coverage of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's visit to the DPRK, that and I gave you detailed information at our last regular press conference. I have no more to add at this point.

Q: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Losyukov suggested holding the meeting of heads of delegations at an early date. Do you have any comment? Second question, today the IOC selected the city of Sochi of Russia to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, which exhilarated us greatly. What's your attitude?

A: I can see joy and pride on your face. We congratulate Sochi's winning the bid to host 2014 Winter Olympics and we'd like to share your happiness. We believe Russia can host a successful Winter Olympics.

As to your first question, we have noted the remarks of head of the Russian delegation and we are contacting and consulting with other relevant parties.

Q: Could you update us on the Chinese Government requesting the World Bank to delete part of the data in the report on environmental pollution in Chinese cities?

A: As far as I know, Chinese relevant authorities have had cooperation with the World Bank in environmental protection. The report you referred to has not been completed or released, hence no "China requesting the deletion of some data" issue. You could consult relevant authorities for more details.

Q: Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po said that the Pope's pastoral letter has created new barriers for further dialogue between China and Vatican. What's your comment?

A: China has made its position clear. I have no more to add.

Q: Australia issued the Defense Update 2007 today, claiming that China's stepping up military modernization might cause misunderstanding and lead to instability in the Asia-Pacific region. Do you have any comment?

A: The Chinese Government has reiterated our stance on many occasions that China firmly pursues a path of peaceful development and adopts a defensive policy of national defense. China is a positive force to safeguard and promote regional and world peace. The Australian government and leaders have also applauded and gave credits to China's foreign and defense policy on many occasions. Let me quote Australian Prime Minister Howard's remarks which I heard with my own ears: "Australia welcomes China's development and appreciates China's positive role in international and regional affairs. China's rapid development is beneficial to the whole world and containing China will bring no good. Australia is devoted to establishing a more intimate and effective partnership of cooperation with China." I could also quote Australian Foreign Minister Downer's recent remarks: "I believe none of us has to excessively worry about China's military expenses. The concern is largely an exaggeration." I think their words are the best answer to your question.

Q: Do you think the Defense Update contradicts with Prime Minister Howard's remarks? Will the Update affect China-Australia relations?

A: The Update has just been released and I have no time to read it through due to its length. But I believe that a country's foreign policy and documents of national defense should be consistent and coherent.

At present, the China-Australia relationship is going very well. Leaders of the two countries have kept close exchanges, and we have conducted dialogue and cooperation in comprehensive fields and established a comprehensive and win-win relationship featuring mutual-benefit and cooperation geared to the 21st century. We are willing to enhance exchanges with Australia, strengthen mutual trust and expand cooperation so as to promote a continuous, healthy and stable development of our bilateral relations.

Q: Japan's new Defense Minister Koike is a conservative official. Do you have any comment on her inauguration? Does China believe that the Six-Party Talks should not be resumed until the DPRK shut down its Yongbyon nuclear facilities?

A: We hope China and Japan make joint efforts to keep and promote the sound momentum for improving and developing China-Japan relations. Leaders of the two countries have reached a consensus on strengthening defense exchanges. We hope the two sides create favorable conditions for enhancing defense exchanges and mutual trust.

As to your second question, we believe it is urgent to comprehensively implement the September 19 Joint Statement and the February 13 Joint Document. Relevant parties should take positive measures to fulfill their commitment, carry out the initial actions in a comprehensive and balanced way so as to promote the Six-Party Talks smoothly.

Q: The former Japanese Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma said the US drop of the atomic bombs "could not be helped". Does China agree or do you believe it an act violating humanitarianism? According to Japanese media, the new Defense Minister Koike has close contact with Taiwan politicians and personages such as Lee Teng-hui. Do you have any comment?

A: As to your first question, we have taken note of such reports.

As to your second question, anyone, no matter who he (she) is, which party he (she) is affiliated to, and what political view he (she) holds, as long as he (she) holds a position in the government, especially a senior position, he (she) must fulfill his (her) duty proceeding from the national interest and safeguarding friendly ties of cooperation with neighboring countries.

We hope the current good momentum for improving and developing China-Japan relations could be kept and developed. An important precondition is that Japan appropriately deals with the Taiwan question because it is the political foundation of the bilateral relations. We hope Japan fulfill its commitment in the three Sino-Japan political documents.

Q: On July 3, clashes broke out between Pakistani security forces and religious students of the Red Mosque in Islamabad, causing over 100 injuries. Do you have any comment?

A: China, as a friendly neighbor of Pakistan, supports measures taken by the Pakistani government to safeguard social stability and economic development.

Q: It is reported that some Chinese acrobats were being held captive illegally by three Chinese men in Las Vegas. Do you know any details? How has China worked with the US to rescue them?

A: I haven't read this report. We can check for you.

Q: Minister for Defense Nelson of Australia will visit China and hold talks with his Chinese counterparts next Monday. What's your expectation? Your quotation from Prime Minister Howard's speech is different to the defense policy paper launched by him. Will China ask Australia to make clarification?

A: As for the agenda of Australian Defense Minister's visit to China and the topics to be discussed in their talks, you may refer your question to the Defense Ministry. But I'd like to point out, China stands ready to enhance the dialogue and exchanges with Australia in various fields including defense. The goal is to deepen mutual trust and promote the mutual-benefit cooperation between the two countries. We hope to enhance the objective and correct understanding of the international community including Australia through dialogue and exchanges on China's road and goals of peaceful development. We will make full use of this opportunity to elaborate on our policy and proposition on foreign affairs and national defense fields to Australia.

Q: Lu Hsiu-lien made a "transit stop" in the US en route to Central Latin America. Do you have comment?

A: China firmly opposes the United States making any official exchanges with the Taiwan Authorities in any form. China's position is consistant and clear. We have made solemn representations to the US, urging it to honor its commitments to the one-China policy, abide by the three Sino-US joint communiqu├ęs and oppose "Taiwan independence", refrain from allowing Lu to make any splittist activities in the United State in any names or excuses, and stop sending wrong signals to the splittist forces for 'Taiwan independence', so as to safeguard the stability across the Taiwan Straits and the overall interest of Sino-US relations.

Q: It is reported that Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi assured President Hu Jintao that he will try to help China gain the EU's recognition of China's full market economy status. Could you confirm? If it is correct, did China make any commitment to Italy in return?

A: You've described the issue as a business deal, like when you give me something, I'll have to give you things in return. In fact, to recognize China's full market economy status serves the interests of China as well as EU and its members. I hope the EU can make a correct and wise decision at an early date to recognize China's full market economy status so as to promote the China-EU economic and trade relations for the benefit of China, EU and its members. We hope both EU and its member states can make active efforts to develop China-EU relations, and we applaud such kind of positive efforts.

Q: In your view, will the Six-party Talks start only after DPRK shuts down the Yongbyon nuclear complex? South Korea has begun to ship 5,000 tons of heavy oil to DPRK. Will China participate in the fuel aid to DPRK? What aid will China provide to DPRK?

A: Six-party Talks are talks among the six parties. They have the same goal and shared interests on the issue of Korean Peninsular denuclearization. The parties also have made commitments accordingly. At present, it is imperative for them to fulfill their respective commitments, and implement the initial actions in a comprehensive and balanced manner. All parties should make efforts in this regard.

China has been committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsular, playing a constructive role in the process. We also made our commitments in the September 19 Joint Statement and February 13 Joint Document. You could be assured that as a responsible country, China will definitely fulfill its commitments strictly and comprehensively.

Q: According to KBS, ROK, DPRK, China and the U.S. recently discussed a plan to hold four-party foreign ministers' meeting on the issue of DPRK denuclearization. Can you confirm? What do you think is the significance of the four-party foreign ministers' meeting? My second question is, it is reported that the department of public security in Jilin province recently captured an illegal migrant who carried a gun. Is the intruder a North Korean soldier? Did China make representations to the DPRK about the incident?

A: with regard to your first question, as far as I know, China did not discuss with other relevant parties about the plan of four-party foreign ministers' meeting.

As for your second question, I do not have more information. But China has always opposed to illegal migration activities. Relevant departments of China will carry out their respective duties in accordance with laws in safeguarding the border security.

If there are no other questions, thanks for coming. See you.

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