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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on 25 October 2007

2007-10-26

On the afternoon of October 25, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference on the Myanmar issue and Sino-Russian relations.

Liu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. First of all, I will start with two announcements.

At the invitations of Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyayev of the Republic of Uzbekistan, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov of Turkmenistan, President Alexander Lukashenko of the Republic of Belarus and Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov of the Russian Federation, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council will attend the Sixth SCO Prime Ministers' Meeting to be held in Tashkent, and pay official visits to the Republic of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation respectively from November 2 to November 6, 2007. During his visit to Russia, Premier Wen will attend the 12th Sino-Russian Prime Ministers' regular meeting and the closing ceremony of the China Year.

During his visit, Premier Wen Jiabao will have an in-depth exchange of views with the above-mentioned state leaders respectively on the promotion of bilateral relations, deepening of cooperation of mutual benefit, and international and regional issues of common interest. Premier Wen will also work with Prime Ministers of other SCO member states, studying and planning the implementation of the Bishkek Summit consensus and the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation of SCO members as well as further cooperation in economic, cultural and other fields. A series of important documents on cooperation will be signed during Premier Wen's participation of the SCO Prime Ministers' meeting and his visit to the four countries.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni will pay an official visit to China from October 28 to 30, 2007.

Now the floor is open.

Q: State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Assistant Foreign Minister He Yafei met with Mr. Gambari, the special advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Myanmar issue respectively during his visit in China. Please brief us on those meetings. The oil field blocks of a Chinese company in Sudan were surrounded by the troops of the south. How is the current situation like?

A: Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister He Yafei held talks with Mr. Gambari who is in China for a visit on the afternoon of October 24. He Yafei noted that China follows closely the situation in Myanmar and has always urged relevant parties to exercise restraint, properly resolve the issue through dialogue and consultations and promote democracy and development so as to resume stability at an early date. He said, the Myanmar issue, interwoven with complicated historical and realistic factors, should be settled by the Myanmar government and its people. The international community should provide constructive assistance in a just, objective and balanced manner and do more things to enhance mutual understanding among relevant parties and encourage their dialogue. China supports the mediation work of Mr. Gambari and the UN Secretary-General.

Gambari briefed He Yafei on his visits to Asian countries and his plan for the follow-up work, including the arrangement of another visit to Myanmar. He said that he will strengthen the cooperation between UN and Myanmar and press ahead with the proper resolution of the Myanmar issue.

Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi also met with Mr.Gambari this morning. Wang Yi stressed that as neighboring countries, China and Myanmar share a 2210-kilometer border line. China hopes that the parties concerned in Myanmar properly handle relevant issue through dialogue and make joint efforts to realize stability and development there, which will serve the interest of the Myanmar people and chart the course for the joint efforts of the international community. China will continue to make endeavor for that. Mr. Gambari appreciated China's support for his work. He said that the mediation work of the UN Secretary-General is in process. The world needs a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Myanmar.

As for the meeting between State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and Mr. Gambari, I don't have the specifics at present. We will release relevant information in due course. Please keep yourselves updated.

The recent conflict in Sudan between the north and the south has affected the security of Chinese oil companies and workers. China is highly concerned about the situation there. We hope the parties concerned cease fire comprehensively and immediately, resolve the current issue through peaceful negotiations so as to achieve peace, stability and development in Sudan. We also hope that Sudan take concrete measures to ensure the safety and property of the Chinese citizens. My understanding is, Chinese oil workers in Sudan are safe now.

Q: Turkish troops crossed the border and attacked the PKK forces in northern Iraq. Can you comment on that? Has China discussed this issue with Turkey?

A: I have already answered this question at the press conference this Tuesday. China expresses concern over the recent tension in this region. We hope that the parties concerned could properly resolve relevant issues through dialogue and consultation so as to maintain peace and stability in this region.

Q: A Russian newspaper reported that China will sell J-10 fighter jets to Iran in the next two years. Could you confirm? Could you brief us on Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Livni's visit to China?

A: As for your first question, I've taken note of relevant report and checked with competent authorities. Regrettably, the report from Russia is untrue. China has not conducted any negotiation with Iran on the so-called fighter jets issue. Media should not run groundless reports and we hope relevant newspaper make necessary clarification.

With respect to the second question, during Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Livni's visit in China, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will host talks and Chinese leaders will meet with her. They will exchange views over the bilateral relations, the Middle East issue and other international and regional issues of common interest.

Q: China launched a lunar orbiter yesterday. When will China plan to join the Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies? Whom will Sonia Gandhi meet with during her visit in China?

A: The outer space is the common wealth of mankind. It should be utilized entirely for peaceful purposes and benefiting mankind. The successful launch of China's first lunar orbiter Chang'e-1 is another major effort of the international community in outer space exploration. We believe that with the cooperation and joint efforts of the international community, mankind can have a clearer understanding and better use of the outer space peacefully. As for the agreement you mentioned, I need to double check for you.

Sonia Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress Party, is invited by the Communist Party of China for a visit from October 25 to 29, during which she will meet with CPC and China's state leaders. Besides Beijing, she will also visit Xi'an and Shanghai. We attach great importance to President Sonia's visit to China and we believe her visit will further promote the relations between the two parties, enhance the understanding between the two peoples and push forward the friendly cooperation between the two countries.

Q:Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo will visit China tomorrow to discuss the Myanmar issue with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. What is China's expectation for his visit?

A: Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo is about to visit China tomorrow. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will host talks with him. They will exchange views on bilateral relations and the Myanmar issue.

China attaches great importance to ASEAN's role on the Myanmar issue. Singapore is a key member of ASEAN. We hope that we can arrive at some consensus on the Myanmar issue and jointly play a constructive role for the relaxation of situation in Myanmar and the realization of reconciliation and stability there.

Q: How does China view the movement in the UN by some countries to abolish death penalty? Secondly, could you brief us on China's relations with Russia?

A: We have expounded our positions on death penalty on many occasions before. China has been more prudent on applying death penalty, more stringent on the quality of proceeding of cases, and more just in the procedure for trial since the Supreme People's Court retrieved the review power of death sentences. I believe that you must have noted these changes. Countries vary in their conditions. It is up to themselves to make their own decisions on whether or not to abolish death penalty accordingly.

As for Sino-Russian relations, the strategic partnership for coordination between the two countries is currently in a good momentum. The two countries enjoy high level of mutual political trust, fruitful cooperation in various fields and effective communication on international and regional issues. We are satisfied with the development of the Sino-Russian strategic partnership for coordination. We hope that through our joint efforts, the cooperation between the two countries in political, economic, trade, scientific and other fields will be further deepened and developed. This year marks the second decade of the partnership and serves as a fundamental bridge between the past and future. We are ready to work with Russia to press ahead with the bilateral relations in a direction conducive to peace and stability in the two countries and the world at large.

Q: Did Mr. Gambari, the UN Secretary-General's special advisor on the Myanmar issue, convey any message to China during his meetings with Chinese officials?

A: As special advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Myanmar issue, Mr. Gambari briefed Chinese officials on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's observations and positions on the Myanmar issue during his meetings here.

I have to conclude today's press conference here. Thank your for coming. See you!

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