|Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on 10 July 2007|
On the afternoon of July 10, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Six-party Talks, the attack against Chinese workers in Pakistan and climate changes.
Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
We are very happy to have with us a special audience, winners of the 1st Hong Kong Cup Diplomatic Knowledge Contest from five middle schools in Hong Kong. I'd like to extend my greetings and congratulations to you all. I hope today's press conference could help to enrich your diplomatic knowledge. And I also hope you study hard, broader your vision, and make your due contribution to the better future of Hong Kong and our motherland.
Besides, also present here today are journalists from the press delegation of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, and a warmly welcome to you as well.
Now, the floor is open.
Q: I am also very happy to attend today's press conference. According to the ROK media, the Six-Party Talks will be resumed on July 18. Could you confirm?
A: You should be happy because I welcome you every time you come. (Laughter)
China is conducting close coordination with relevant parties about the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. We are endeavoring to hold a meeting of the heads of delegations in mid-July, which also requires a consensus of all parties.
Q: A few days earlier, three Chinese workers fell victim of an attack in Pakistan. What's China's comment? Why the Chinese workers became the target of the attack? Second question, an executive of a Chinese company was kidnapped by the Niger Movement for Justice in Niger. The rebel group claimed that the company funded the Niger government's arms purchases from China and Russia to strike local rebel groups. What's China's response?
A: As to the attack against four Chinese workers in Pakistan causing three deaths, the Chinese Government attaches great importance and strongly condemns the attack. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Embassy in Pakistan have made urgent representation to Pakistan, requesting the latter to carry out immediate investigation, bring the criminals to justice, properly treat the wounded and deal with the aftermath, and take concrete and effective measures to strengthen the protection over Chinese citizens in Pakistan so as to avoid recurrence of similar cases. The Chinese Government also warns the Chinese citizens in Pakistan to raise their awareness of precaution and self-protection.
As to your second question, as I know, relevant Chinese authorities are sparing no efforts to rescue the hostage. The hostage is still safe at this point.
China carries out cooperation featuring equality and mutual benefit in economic field and trade with Niger, which is conducive to local economic and social development and improvement of people's livelihood there. As known to all, China has persistently pursued the principle in foreign policy of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs. China adopts a prudent and responsible attitude in arms export. We also urge the Niger government to take effective measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and companies there.
Q: It is reported that the US Assistant Secretary Hill will visit China, the ROK and Japan soon. Please Confirm.
A: I haven't heard of when Mr. Hill will come to China yet. But as I just said, China is keeping close coordination with other parties for a meeting of heads of delegations in mid-July.
Q: FBI's office in San Francisco put an advertisement on a local Chinese newspaper to collect US-related security information. The ad also indicates that the Chinese national security authorities undermine the US national security interest. Do you have any comment?
A: China's national security authorities fulfill their duties in accordance with law. In safeguarding national security and interest, they never do anything to overthrow foreign governments, undermine others' sovereignty and territorial integrity or their security interest.
The contents of the advertisement are totally groundless, to which China wishes to express its indignation and resolute opposition.
A handful of people in the US act against the trend of times and cling to the cold war mentality, attempting to stain China's image and spreading the so-called China Threat Theory. Their unpopular activities will get no where. China urges those involved in the US to take immediate and effective measures to correct the erroneous act, eradicate the terrible impact and refrain from doing anything that will undermine the bilateral relations and friendship between the two peoples.
Q: You just said that a handful of people still cling to the cold war mentality. Could you point out who those people are? Are they members of the US government or just some individuals? What do you think their motivation is of spreading the China Threat Theory?
A: I wonder if you have seen the advertisement I mentioned. I believe that you, as an experienced US journalist, are fully aware of how the US media cover China, thus there will be no difficult for you to draw a conclusion.
Q: The DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il met with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on July 3. Why did the Chinese Foreign Ministry website and the Xinhua News Agency just describe Kim Jong-Il as the General Secretary of the DPRK Worker's Party and skipped his position as the Chairman of the National Defense Commission?
A: I think you are over sensitive about this. Is there anything inappropriate that we followed the precedents?
Q: Officials of US Department of Defense claimed that the US has raised concern to China over the China-made weapons used by the Taliban group in Afghanistan and Iraqi rebel group. Apart from that, according to Financial Times of Britain, US officials said that China-made weapons flew into those countries via Iran and they hoped China to tighten control over its arms export. Has the US raised its concern to China? Were China-made weapons found in Afghanistan and Iraq? Has the Chinese Government carried out investigation into that? Will China change its arms sale policy to Iran as a response to the US concern?
A: The Chinese Government has always been very prudent and responsible in arms export, strictly abiding by laws and policies and its international obligations. China strictly follows the three principles in arms export. The export should be conducive to the legitimate self defense capability of the recipient countries, should not undermine regional and international peace, security and stability, and should not interfere in the internal affairs of the recipient countries. China has normal arms purchases with some countries. The Chinese Government only sells arms to sovereign countries. And I'd like to point out that without the permission of the Chinese Government, China's export shall never be transferred to a third party.
Follow-up: Has the US raised its concern to China over the China-made weapons found in Iraq and Afghanistan?
A: I haven't heard of that.
Follow-up: As far as you know, have Chinese weapons been exported to Afghanistan and Iraq?
A: I have not heard of such things. No matter in Afghanistan or Iraq, the most weapons found there are not made in China, and could not be made in China.
Q: Pakistani security forces stormed the Red Mosque in Islamabad, causing 40 people dead this morning. Do you have any comment?
A: We have taken note of the developments there. We believe the Pakistani government has the capability to properly handle relevant issues, and we hope Pakistan to maintain stability and development.
Q: Despite the 99% qualification rate of Chinese export products, many of them are found problematic now. Can you tell us why?
A: I have answered relevant questions in detail during the press conference last week and the Chinese competent authorities have briefed media on our policy and practice in this regard on many occasions. I don't think I need to repeat all that.
I'd like to point out the Chinese Government attaches high importance to the quality and safety of export products. We hope the international community and the media can be objective, calm and rational in dealing with relevant issues. It requires our joint efforts to resolve this issue and eliminate the negative impact of the issue.
Q:You just mentioned that China hopes to hold the meeting of heads of delegations of the Six-party Talks in mid-July. Does China hope the DPRK to shut down its Yongbyon nuclear facilities before the meeting? What topics does China hope the meeting to discuss? And what's your expectation for the meeting? Secondly, what topics did the visiting UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Myanmar discuss with Chinese officials?
A: On your first question, we hope relevant parties could take coordinated steps,fulfill their respective commitments at an early date, and implement the initial actions. As for the topics of the meeting of heads of delegations of the Six-party Talks, it still needs the consensus of all parties. I believe that the meeting will focus on the implementation of the initial actions.
On your second question, Mr. Gambari, UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Myanmar is invited to visit China from July 8 to 10. During his visit, he has exchanged views on the current Myanmar situation and UN's mediation efforts with Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and Assistant Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai respectively.
During their talks, Chinese officials said, as the neighbor of Myanmar, China hopes Myanmar could enjoy stability, economic development, national and social harmony, which will benefit Myanmar as well as the international community. The situation in Myanmar does not pose any threat to regional and international peace and security. The people of Myanmar should handle the affairs of their own, and the international society could provide constructive assistance. China supports the mediation efforts of UN Secretary-General and his Special Advisor on Myanmar.
Q: The attack happened in Pakistan today left many injured and dead. Are there any Chinese victims?
A: I haven't heard of any Chinese citizens injured or killed up to this moment.
Q: Besides the initial actions, will the heads of delegations of the Six-party Talks also discuss the work of next stage?
A: As an ancient Chinese philosopher always likes to say, "Only by moving step by step, can one reach distant destination." It is imperative for all parties to take positive measures and carry out the initial actions in a comprehensive and balanced way. Only on this basis can we discuss how to press ahead, so as to ensure the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as well as lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
Q: During Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's visit to the DPRK early this month, he met with General Secretary of Workers' Party of Korea Kim Jong Il. Did Foreign Minister Yang mention Kim Jong Il's heath to you?
A: Health issues are one's privacy. I am not in the position to comment.
Q: I'd like to know the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" which China advocates on the issue of climate change. How does China distinguish its own responsibility on climate change as compared to other developing countries? There are more than 140 developing countries in the world, which are divided into three categories of low income, medium-low income and medium-high income by the World Bank and China belongs to the third category. Could you clarify China's position on this issue?
A: I think it is really necessary to make clarifications after hearing your question.
I am not aware of how you understand the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. The principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" is not designed solely for China, but applies to the whole international community including developed and developing countries. "Common" means that all the countries are obliged to counter climate change. Meanwhile, we should take into consideration the major causes of the current climate change and the different responsibilities of the developed and developing countries due to their deferent economic and social development stages. China is not an exceptional case but a member of the developing countries. The principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" applies to China as well as other developing countries. Of course, the developing countries should adopt effective measures to combat climate change in the course of fulfilling the strategy of sustainable development in accordance with their national situation, economic development level and conditions.
Q: China says that it is ready to actively participate in the international community's efforts to deal with the climate change. However, not long ago at the G8 outreach session with five major developing countries, China, the leader of them, was reluctant to include the issue of climate change into the dialogue topics within the next two years. Why?
A: China is neither the leader of the developing countries nor the leader of the five developing countries at the G8 outreach session. It is our view that the five developing countries are equal. It is also our view that the dialogue and cooperation between G8 members and relevant developing countries should be based on an equal footing. China is ready to strengthen communications, dialogue and coordination with other developing countries on major international issues including sustainable development.
Q: The Kanwa Information Centre reported this month that China would build aircraft carriers by itself, and the first aircraft carrier will be built between 2010 and 2012. What's your comment?
A: A few months ago, China's relevant authorities and I myself already made response to this question at various occasions. I do not have anything new to add.
Q: China's state media reported that Zheng Xiaoyu, former head of the State Food and Drug Administration of China, was executed. Could you confirm? What messages does it send to the international community?
A: As a spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, I'm not in the position to answer this question. However, the execution of Zheng Xiaoyu shows the Chinese government's determination to combat corruption in accordance with the law and stick to the reform and opening up policy.
If there are no other questions, thanks for coming. See you.