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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on 12 July 2007

2007-07-13

On the afternoon of July 12, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Meeting of the Heads of Delegations of the Six-party Talks, Sudanese Vice President's visit to China, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's visit to Russia and the candidate for the next IMF Managing Director.

Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Before taking any questions, I have several announcements to make:

At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov will pay a state visit to China from July 17 to 18.

At the invitation of Vice President Zeng Qinghong, first Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit of the Republic of Sudan will pay an official visit to China from July 17 to 22.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki of the Republic of Macedonia will pay a working visit to China from July 17 to 20.

Mr. Sun Bigan, China's Special Envoy on the Middle East will pay visits to Egypt, Jordan, Palestine and Israel from July 14 to 21. He will exchange views with these countries on the current Middle East situation, the Palestinian-Israel situation in particular with a view to making peace and encouraging talks.

Based on consensus reached through consultation, the Heads of Delegations of the 6th round of the Six-Party Talks will meet in Beijing from July 18 to 19 to discuss the implementation of initial actions and the arrangement of follow-up actions.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: Do you mean that this round of the Six-Party Talks will begin with the meeting of the Heads of Delegations or take a fresh start? Second, could you share with us the schedule of the working groups? Third question, Mr. Wang Guangya, China's Permanent Representative to the UN, said at the UN Security Council that whether to lift the sanctions against the DPRK depends on the consultation between directly related parties. Does China think it is time to lift the sanctions against the DPRK? Besides, what do you think is the prerequisite for the lift?

A: I think you refer to the form of this meeting. As I know, this time, the Meeting of the Heads of Delegations will take the form of a meeting, and there are no arrangements as opening ceremony or other things.

I believe issues of common interest will be discussed during the meeting. China will make joint efforts with other parties so that the meeting could yield positive results.

As to your third question, relevant resolution of the UN Security Council has made it clear that all parties support a peaceful resolution of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through consultation and negotiation. Under current circumstances, we should cherish and maintain the positive momentum for the Six-Party Talks and push forward the Talks. Any move concerning the resolution of the UN Security Council requires the consensus of all Council members through discussion and consultation at an appropriate time and under appropriate conditions.

Q: What is China's expectation for the two-day meeting? Second, please share with us the schedule of the Sudanese vice President's visit to China. What do you expect out of his visit? Will China discuss the Darfur issue and the implementation of the third phase of the Annan plan?

A: As to your first question, I said earlier that we are looking forward that all parties discuss issues of common interest concerning the Korean nuclear issue and the Six-Party Talks. We also hope the Talks could get progress through the joint efforts of all parties.

As to the visit by the Sudanese Vice President Kiir, as I know, Vice President Zeng Qinghong will hold a meeting with him and other Chinese leaders will also meet him. They will discuss on bilateral ties and other issues of common interest, including the Darfur issue. Now that the AU, UN and the Sudanese government have reached a consensus over the third phase of the Annan plan through consultation, we hope relevant parties continue the consultation and translate the plan into real action at an early date.

Q: The ROK Ambassador to the US said in a speech yesterday that a foreign ministers' meeting of the DPRK, the US, China and the ROK will be held this year on the establishment of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. Besides, Mr. Hill also told Japanese journalists that such a meeting is possible. Has China received any suggestions about that? What do you think is the goal of the meeting beyond the Six-Party Talks framework?

A: So far, I haven't heard of any plan for China to discuss with other three parties on a foreign ministers' meeting.

We believe that denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of a permanent peace regime on the Peninsula is conducive to the lasting peace, stability and harmony in Northeast Asia, and also in the interest of all parties. There are clear stipulations of the establishment of a peace regime on the Peninsula in September 19 Joint Statement and February 13 Joint Document. I suggest you read through these two important documents.

China adopts a positive and open attitude towards relevant topics and discussions.

Q: It is reported that the Chinese company in Niger has withdrawn from Niger after one of its executives was kidnapped and the company threatened by rebel groups. Could you confirm and give us more details?

A: At present, Chinese and Niger governments and other relevant parties are making positive efforts so that the Chinese hostage could be rescued at an early date.

China and Niger have, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, carried out cooperation in economic field and trade which is conducive to economic development and improvement of people's livelihood in Niger. The Chinese Government encourages Chinese enterprises to continue the friendly cooperation of equality and mutual benefit in various fields with African countries including Niger.

Q: Please brief us on the schedule of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's visit to Russia.

A: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will leave Beijing for his official visit to Russia this afternoon. During his stay, he will hold a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and meet other Russian leaders as well. Apart from Moscow, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will also visit St. Petersburg. We will release information regarding this visit in due course.

Q: You said the main task of the Meeting of the Heads of Delegations is to discuss the arrangement of follow-up actions. Could you explain to us in details the steps for the follow-up actions? Will the meeting discuss the energy assistance to the DPRK?

A: The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is quite complicated. The Six-Party Talks is not a smooth journey. Many factors are involved, including the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, normalization of ties between certain countries, establishment of a permanent peace and security regime in Northeast Asia and economic and energy cooperation between relevant parties. Therefore, in a process so systematic, comprehensive and complicated, all parties should, bearing a common goal in mind, proceed from the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and peace and stability in Northeast Asia, respect each other and take others' concern into consideration, carry out equal dialogue, and fulfill their commitment under the principle of "action to action" and "coordinated consensus" so as to continuously push forward the Six-Party Talks.

Q: Prior to the Meeting of the Heads of Delegations of the Six-Party Talks, does China, the host of the Talks, have any expectation or requests for other parties? Does China set any pre-condition for the DPRK to attend the meeting?

A: Let's review the background of this meeting. The issue of the DPRK-related funds in BDA has been resolved and positive progress achieved in the Six-Party Talks, which is a momentum to be maintained. The Meeting of the Heads of Delegations is conducive to keeping and promoting such a momentum. The Six-Party Talks is a venue of dialogue and negotiation, and requires the six parties to take coordinated measures, make joint efforts and fulfill their commitment.

Q: It is reported that China plans to hold a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Six-Party Talks at the end of this month or during the ARF meetings in Manila. But the US Assistant Secretary Hill said yesterday that the arrangement at this point may be difficult. When will the meeting of the Foreign Ministers be held?

A: As for the Foreign Ministers' meeting of the Six-Party Talks, all parties concerned have put forward their own suggestions towards which China adopts a positive and open attitude. We hope that a consensus could be reached on the time and venue of the Foreign Ministers' meeting through consultation among relevant parties.

Q: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be selecting a new Managing Director soon and the EU has nominated a candidate. There is an opinion that the new Managing Director should come from an Asian country. What's China's view?

A: We've noted that the EU has decided to recommend former French Finance Minister Kahn as the new IMF Managing Director. China will study the proposal and consult with other IMF members. We hold that the concerns and requests of the developing countries on international economic and financial affairs should be taken into full consideration in the discussion over the candidates for IMF post.

Q: It is reported that a few days ago several foreign missionaries in China were expelled. Could you confirm? Does it have anything to do with the 2008 Olympic Games? My second question is, the U.S. and Myanmar held a talk earlier in Beijing. Please brief us about the talk and the role that China played for the talk.

A: About your first question, I have also read related reports and consulted relevant authorities. They told me that there was no such thing. I don't know where you got the information. Maybe you could give me more information about the source of the report so that I can double check for you.

About your second question, at the requests of the U.S. and Myanmar, China recently helped arrange a meeting between the representatives from the two countries in Beijing. It is our view that it is positive and helpful for them to talk to each other directly and exchange views frankly on issues of common concern, which would promote mutual understanding between them.

If there are no other questions, I'd like to make an announcement. Since the summer holiday is coming, and many journalists are planning their vacations, Foreign Ministry's regular press conference will break from next week to September 3 and resume on September 4 (Tuesday). During the summer break, we will continue to release updated information. You are also welcome to raise questions to the Spokesperson's Office by telephone.

Wish you all a happy summer holiday! Thank you. See you.
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