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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on 18 October 2007

2007-10-19

On the afternoon of October 18, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.

Liu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. First of all, I will start with a statement on the awarding of the so-called Congressional Gold Medal to the Dalai Lama by the US Congress.

On October 17, the US Congress awarded the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal at the Capitol in Washington. President Bush and several Congressmen were present and made remarks. The move of the US is a blatant interference with China's internal affairs, which has severely hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and gravely undermined the relationship between China and the US. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi summoned US Ambassador Randt on October 18 and lodged strong protest on behalf of the Chinese Government.

Tibet is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. Issues of Tibet are totally internal affairs of China. China is opposed to any interference in China's domestic affairs by any country or any individual by taking the advantage of the Dalai Lama issue. The words and deeds of the Dalai Lama for the past decades make it evident that he is a political exile bent on engaging in activities aimed at splitting the motherland under the robe of religion. The US Congress awarding a medal to him and US leadership attending the occasion and meeting with him is a grave violation of the fundamental norms governing international relations and the position repeated by the US Government on many occasions to recognize Tibet as an inseparable part of the Chinese territory. China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition. The Chinese people have a solid resolve to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Any attempt to interfere in China's own affairs by using the Dalai Lama issue is doomed to failure.

China urges the US to take effective measures immediately to undo the severe adverse impact of its erroneous act, cease supporting and conniving at the separatist activities of the Tibet Independence elements, stop interfering with China's internal affairs and take concrete steps to protect China-US relationship.

I also have an announcement to make.

As agreed by China, Russia and India through consultation, the trilateral meeting of foreign ministers of the three countries will be held in Harbin, Northern China on October 24. During the meeting, the ministers will mainly exchange views over international and regional issues and discuss trilateral pragmatic cooperation.

Now, I'd like to take your questions.

Q: What concrete effect will the US awarding a medal to the Dalai Lama have on China-US relations? What specific counter measures will China take?

A: What I want to emphasize is that the above-mentioned erroneous actions by the US have severely undermined China-US relations. We urge the US to take effective measures immediately so as to undo the damage of its erroneous act, cease conniving at and supporting the separatist activities of the Tibet Independent elements and stop interfering with China's internal affairs.

Q: Viet Nam was just elected the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2008-2009. What's China's reaction to this? Also, can you comment on General Secretary of the Communist Party of Viet Nam, Nong Duc Manh's visit to the DPRK?

A: China supports and congratulates Viet Nam on its election as the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2008-2009. We are ready to maintain close coordination and cooperation with Viet Nam in the Security Council affairs.

Viet Nam and the DPRK are both friendly neighbors of China. We welcome and support the continuous development of the relationship between Viet Nam and the DPRK.

Q: Some reports say that US President Bush has had a phone conversation with President Hu Jintao. Please brief us on that. My second question is, when receiving the award the Dalai Lama said that he didn't seek for Tibet Independence and he had no hidden purpose. What's your response to this?

A: On your first question, the two sides did not have any phone conversation recently.

On your second question, views vary concerning Dalai. The US leaders and Congress also made comments on Dalai's deeds during the awarding ceremony. What I want to say is that, the Chinese people know better than anybody else what kind person Dalai is, which I believe the US side is well aware of. Let's look back on the feudalist serfdom system in the old Tibet. I don't know if you have had any through study on this system. This is a very dark and cruel system and Dalai happens to be the ruler in that system. Dalai fled aboard after a failed armed revolt in 1959. Ever since then, he has never stopped manipulating overseas Tibet Independence elements to carry out anti-China separatist activities. Here are a few examples. Dalai scrabbled and controlled the so-called Tibet Government in exile and documented the so-called constitution for the exile Tibetans to pursue Tibet Independence. Dalai also asked the Han Chinese to leave Tibet and the Central Government not to station troops in Tibet. It is not difficult to see from his words and deeds that he is actually seeking for Tibet Independence. He claimed that he had given up on Tibet Independence. Yet it is merely his camouflage to gain international support. Therefore, Dalai is not a religious or a spiritual leader, but a ringleader of separatists and trouble-makers. I want to reiterate that any attempt to separate China using foreign forces is doomed to failure and so is any attempt to interfere with China's internal affairs using the Dalai issue.

Q: President Bush said that China should allow the Dalai Lama to go back to China. What is your response?

A: How to deal with the issues of the Dalai Lama and Tibet shall be decided by the Chinese people themselves. The Chinese people know what they shall do and other countries' teaching is not welcome.

Q: It is reported that the US expert team to the DPRK for verification will arrive in Beijing today. Will China be updated on the relevant situation? Since the release of the Second-Phase Actions for the implementation of the Joint Statement, what steps have the parties concerned taken to translate the document into reality? Is there any progress in this regard?

A: As you all know, the Second Session of the Sixth Round of the Six-party Talks set the Second-Phase Actions for the implementation of the Joint Statement and issued another important document in the process of the Talks marking new progress in the process. China sincerely hopes the parties concerned make concerted efforts to implement the document in a comprehensive, balanced and smooth way.

As the follow-up measures of the Second Session of the Sixth Round of the Six-party Talks, agreed by the six parties, the US expert team left for the DPRK to prepare for the disablement on October 11. According to my knowledge, they may conclude their work in the DPRK today. The officials from China and the US at the working level will meet this afternoon in Beijing, while I have no specific information at hand now. The Working Group on economic and energy assistance to the DPRK will also meet in the near future to discuss the relevant issues on the implementation of the Second-Phase Actions.

We are relieved to see the consensus reached by the parties concerned on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the Six-party Talks as well as the achievements of the work. We hope the parties concerned continue joining their hands to press ahead with the Talks.

Q: Yesterday the Parliament of Turkey adopted a resolution to approve that Turkish troops may cross the border to attack the Kurdish rebellion forces in northern Iraq. Do you have any comment?

A: China expresses concern over the recent development of the situation in the region. We sincerely hope that the parties concerned properly resolve relevant issues through dialogue and consultation.

Q:The Japanese media reported that, a consultancy company commissioned to dispose of chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China was investigated by Japanese police for accounting irregularities. What is your view on the Japanese government authorizing a private company to dispose of chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China? Do you think the incident will affect the disposal of those chemical weapons?

A: China has taken note of the report. The disposal of the chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China is an important work for the implementation of the Convention on the Banning of Chemical Weapons (CWC) and the Memorandum on the Destruction of the Chemical Weapons abandoned by Japan in China between the Governments of China and Japan. China hopes the incident will not affect the disposal of chemicals weapons abandoned by Japan in China and Japan can resolve the issue in a responsible attitude at an early date.

Q: Yesterday a Chinese official in charge with religious affairs said that China is ready to establish diplomatic relations with Vatican under the precondition that Vatican recognizes the one China principle and severs its so-called diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Please confirm.

A: China sincerely hopes to normalize relations with Vatican. You are very familiar with the two important principles in this regard. First, Vatican shall properly handle the Taiwan question and must sever the so-called diplomatic relations with Taiwan, recognize the government of the P.R.C as the sole legitimate government representing the whole of China and stick to the one-China principle. Second, Vatican should not interfere with China's internal affairs, under whatever name including that of religion. We hope that Vatican exert sincerity and take concrete steps to normalize the bilateral relations.

Q: The Dalai Lama said he has sent representatives to China six times before and he will continue to do so in the future. Will China accept the visits by his representatives and have dialogue with them?

A: I don't think the Dalai Lama has the sincerity in this regard based on what I see from his recent actions.

If there are no further questions, thank you!

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