|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on 23 October 2007|
On the afternoon of October 23, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference on Mr. Gambari's visit to China, the Six-party Talks and Sino-Indian relations.
Liu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. First of all, I will start with two announcements.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan will pay a state visit to China from October 29 to November 1, 2007.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner will pay an official visit to China from October 31 to November 1, 2007.
Now, I'd like to take your questions.
Q: Mr.Ibrahim Gambari, the special advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Myanmar issue will arrive in Beijing tomorrow. Who on the Chinese side will meet him?
A: Mr.Ibrahim Gambari, the special advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Myanmar issue will visit China from October 24 to 25. He will exchange views with China on the current situation in Myanmar, the mediation efforts of the UN Secretary-General and other issues. State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Assistant Foreign Minister He Yafei will meet with him respectively.
Q: The UN World Food Program (WFP) has accused China of delaying food aid to the DPRK on the ground of railway transportation. Do you have any comment?
A: We have taken note of relevant report, and consulted authorities concerned for further information. As far as I know, China is delivering the food aid according to relevant agreements between China and WFP. The railway transportation between China and the DPRK is operating as usual without any problem.
Q: Yesterday, the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) elected new members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. How is this going to affect China's policy towards the Korean Peninsula?
A: To push forward the Six-party Talks and achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsular is an important task of the Chinese Government and China's foreign policy. In his report for the 17th CPC National Congress, Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPC, pointed out that China will continue to promote a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity. I think the harmonious world covers all regions around the globe with the Korean Peninsula included. China will firmly adhere to the policy of peaceful development and the strategy of opening up on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win result. China will continue to take a responsible and constructive attitude and play a positive role on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the realization of peace in Northeast Asia.
Q: The foreign ministers of China, Russia and India will meet in Harbin on October 24, 2007. How many times have they met before on the land of the three countries? What is the media arrangement for the meeting?
A: I need to double check for you on your first question.
(A journalist said: It will be the third of its kind.)
Thank you! You can answer his question. Would you like to come to the podium? (Laughter)
We have in place a mechanism for foreign ministers of China, Russia and India to meet. The upcoming foreign ministers' meeting is the seventh meeting of them on various occasions. During their meeting in Harbin, they will exchange views on the trilateral pragmatic cooperation and issues of common concern. All the journalists including foreign journalists based in China are welcome to cover the meeting and take the opportunity to visit Harbin in winter.
Follow-up: Will there be a joint press conference for the ministers?
Q: First question, India media reported that Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said that China no longer adhered to the principle of non-displacement of the settled population at the disputed border area. Please confirm and tell us China's position on the issue. Secondly, Sonia Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress, is about to visit China. Could you brief us her agenda? What is the purpose of her visit? Whom will she meet with? Thirdly, according to reports from Germany, a German official accused the Chinese government of supporting hackers to attack the websites of the German government and firms. Do you have any comment? If you deny the accusation, what do you think is the motive of the official in making such remarks?
A: On your first question, I have never heard that Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi had made such remarks. I don't know how these kind of news can find its way around.
China and India have maintained dialogue, consultation and negotiation on the boundary issue. It is in the mutual interest of China and India to press ahead with the boundary negotiation and maintain tranquility in the border region. China stands ready and will continue to make joint efforts with India to promote the settlement of the boundary issue in line with the consensus and principles agreed by the two sides.
On your second question, Madame Sonia Gandhi will be received by the International Department of the CPC Central Committee. China attaches great importance to her visit and believes the visit will play an important role in promoting mutual understanding, bilateral relations and cooperation. We wish her visit a success. On the specific itinerary, you may refer it to the spokesperson of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.
As to your third question, we have made our position clear on many occasions. You asked whether China will refute the accusation, while I think Germany should make clarification on the issue. We find it hard to understand and dissatisfactory to hear frequently accusations and remarks of this kind from Germany. Those who made the remarks should act responsibly. China will make representation with Germany and request it to clarify on the issue.
Q: Recently the PKK attacked a military camp in Southeast Turkey and killed Turkish soldiers, which has been condemned by some countries. Do you view the PKK as a terrorist group?
A: We are concerned about the recent tensions in the region. We hope the relevant parties can properly resolve issues through dialogue and consultation so as to maintain stability in the region.
Q: During the human rights dialogue between China and EU last week, EU criticized China's human rights record and expressed concerns over religious freedom in Tibet. Do you have any response? Will the human rights issue be brought up in the China-EU Summit at the end of November?
A: Last week China and EU held a new round of human rights dialogue and exchanged views on issues of their respective concern. We have taken note that EU has applauded the important achievements China has made on human rights in recent years, and raised some of their concerns as well. China has also expounded its positions and propositions on relevant issues. The dialogue and negotiation will help us enhance mutual understanding and narrow differences as long as it is based on an equal footing and mutual respect.
On the human rights issue, China's Constitution guarantees human rights. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the protection of human rights in accordance with law and will continue to protect the rights of the Chinese people in various fields.
Q: Could you brief us on the arrangement of the next phase of the Six-party Talks?
A: The consensus reached in the Six-party Talks, especially the Second-Phase Action for the Implementation of the Joint Statement reached by relevant parties on October 3 this year is being implemented smoothly now. According to my knowledge, the 3rd meeting of the working group on economic and energy cooperation will be held in Panmunjom on the 29th of this month. China will also send a delegation to attend the meeting.
Another important progress is that, up to now, two expert teams have visited the DPRK to discuss the disablement of the nuclear facilities. China has just been informed of their work in the DPRK by the US expert team that has concluded their visit there. From what we are informed, the work is in progress smoothly. There will be more teams going there shortly.
China will continue to enhance coordination and cooperation with all other parties to seize the sound momentum so as to implement the agreement in a comprehensive and balanced way and generate new achievements of the Six-party Talks. The work plan for the next phase will be decided after the discussion between China and other parties.
If there are no further questions, thank you!