|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on 6 November 2007|
On the afternoon of November 6, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Six-Party Talks, the Myanmar issue, situation in Pakistan, US Defense Secretary's visit to China and etc.
Liu Jianchao: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'd be happy to take your questions.
Q: It's reported that North and South Sudan will fully implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement by the end of this year. Do you have any comments?
A: We are happy to see that both North and South Sudan have recently reaffirmed their commitment to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and announced that a joint committee would be established to work on related mechanism and timetable to resolve unsettled issues. China applauds and supports the efforts of the North and South to proceed from the interest of national unity and reconciliation through dialogue and consultation in safeguarding the hard-won peaceful achievement and pressing ahead with the North-South peace process.
Q: Why does China fear Dalai, a 70-year-old pacifist?
A: Your question sounds quite odd. China does not fear anyone in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Any attempt to split China is doomed to failure. The Chinese Government has the resolve and capability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Q: Could you brief us on the JCCT and SED that will be held in Beijing in the latter half of this year?
A: SED and JCCT are important platforms for China and the U.S. to strengthen mutual understanding and facilitate the sound development of bilateral economic relations and trade through dialogue. SED focuses on strategic and long-term issues that bear on the overall situation in bilateral economic relations. JCCT and other bilateral economic cooperation mechanisms highlight promoting bilateral economic and trading cooperation and discuss specific relevant issues. This December, the 18th JCCT and the 3rd SED will be held in Beijing in succession. Vice Premier Wu Yi will continue to co-chair those meetings with her US counterpart. China is ready to make joint efforts with the U.S. to ensure that the meetings will be successful and conducive to China-US economic relations and trade.
Q: How does China view the current situation in Pakistan? Do you believe that Islamic militants taking control of large areas and countries with nuclear weapons may pose threat to regional security?
A: Pakistan is an important neighboring country to China. China closely follows the developments there. We believe that the Pakistani government and people are able to resolve their own problems and hope Pakistan maintain stability and development. Only stability and development can prevent the consequences you mentioned.
Q: I heard that the Six-party Talks Working Group on Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula will hold a meeting soon. Could you confirm?
A: I have not heard of the specific information of the meeting yet. We feel happy to see that the Joint Document reached on October 3 is being implemented effectively. The disablement of relevant nuclear facilities in the DPRK is under way, which is an encouraging progress. We hope relevant parties continue to work in line with the consensus reached and their commitment to implement the Joint Document in an all-round and balanced way so as to press ahead with the Six-Party Talks and denuclearization of the Peninsula.
Q: It is reported that the British Prime Minister will visit China next January. Could you share with us some details?
A: It is essential that high-level leaders of China and the UK enhance exchanges to push forward the China-UK comprehensive strategic partnership. We welcome Prime Minister Brown to visit China at a time convenient to both. As to my knowledge, China and the UK are conducting communication and consultation on that.
Q: Human Rights Watch issued a report lately, claiming that China has persistently violated press freedom, in particular, its commitment to allow greater freedom to foreign journalists in the Regulations on Reporting Activities in China by Foreign Journalists during the Beijing Olympic Games and Preparatory Period promulgated in January. Can you comment on that? My second question is, US Secretary of Defense Gates just concluded his visit to China. He said he brought up the Iranian nuclear issue during his meeting with China, claiming that a stable Middle-East conforms to the energy security interest of China. Do you have any comment? Will the sanctions against Iran affect regional stability there?
A: As to your first question, it is not up to organizations like Human Rights Watch to make such evaluations. All of you present here are the eyewitnesses of the implementation of the Regulations and nobody else knows it better than you over this issue. Since the Regulations took effect on January 1, Chinese governments at all levels have made enormous efforts for an all-round, balanced and accurate implementation. It is fair to say that it is far more convenient for foreign journalists to cover China through increasingly growing channels under the new rules and we are encouraged by that. We will continue to push forward the implementation of the Regulations to facilitate your work here. It is our common aspiration and our determination as well. During this process, if you find out there are areas that don't measure up, please let us know. We would be more than happy to sit down and talk about that with you.
As to your second question, the Iranian nuclear issue is one of the priorities in the exchange of views between US Secretary of Defense Gates and Chinese leaders and relevant military departments. Both the US and China have made their positions clear. I believe that we share the identical overall objective over this issue. We both uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and are willing to peacefully resolve this issue through diplomatic negotiations. We should focus on pushing forward dialogue and consultation between relevant parties. China hopes Iran and the IAEA resolve their pending issues through consultation and dialogue and applauds the dialogue between the EU and Iran. We hope the dialogue and consultation yield positive results. Concerning how the issue will evolve, we are willing to keep consultation and coordination with other parties to push this issue towards peaceful settlement through negotiations.
Q: Chinese President Hu Jintao met with US Secretary of Defense Gates this morning. Could you brief us on the meeting? How did they exchange views on the Taiwan question? Is China satisfied with the US response?
A: I got the briefing just now for I did not attend the meeting, and I'll share with you all I have got. In the morning meeting, President Hu Jintao told Defense Secretary Gates that, in recent years, the China-US relations have generally maintained a momentum of steady development with frequent high-level exchanges and those at all levels as well as remarkable achievements of cooperation in all fields. The two countries have also maintained consultation and coordination on major international and regional issues. President Hu noted, maintaining and developing sound China-US relations is in the fundamental interest of the two countries and peoples and of great significance to the peace, stability and development of the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large. China is willing to work with the US to proceed from a strategic and long-term perspective to develop bilateral ties. We will continue to strengthen dialogue, expand consensus and deepen cooperation and properly handle the sensitive issues in bilateral relations in the spirit of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, cooperation and win-win outcome so as to firmly promote steady and sound development of the China-US constructive ties of cooperation. President Hu also briefed Gates on our position over the Taiwan question.
Secretary Gates thanked President Hu Jintao for meeting with him and congratulated China on the achievements made in the preparation of the Beijing Olympic Games. He said that the military relations between China and the US have made positive progress with opportunities for further development. He hopes two armies enhance mutual trust and promote relations through strengthened dialogue. As to the Taiwan question, Secretary Gates reiterated that the US adherence to the One China policy remains unchanged.
Q: The Myanma issue is an important topic in the forth-coming ASEAN Summit later this month. Will China expect any new initiatives out of the summit? Another question, do you have the latest development of disablement of the nuclear facilities in DPRK by US expert team?
A: On the Myanma issue, we have taken note that Mr. Gambari, the Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General on the issue of Myanmar is there for a visit. As I know, his visit goes smoothly. We wish it positive results. Of course, we do not think that a couple of visits alone are likely to solve the problem. Therefore, patience is necessary. Meanwhile, it's noteworthy that, in final analysis, it depends on the Myanma government and people to solve the problem. I hope that the international community can play a constructive role in contributing to the early realization of reconciliation, stability, democracy, and development of Myanma.
As for your second question, according to the joint document on Implementing the Second-Phase Actions of the Joint Statement reached in October, the work on disablement has begun. We do not have the details in this regard since parties engaging in disablement are mainly the U.S. and DPRK. But I'm sure that when the work of disablement comes to a certain stage, other parties will be updated.
Q: If ASEAN calls on the Myanma military government to release Aung San Suu Kyi, will China support it?
A: ASEAN is a regional organization with Myanma as one of its members. It is the business of ASEAN and its members to decide to agree on certain issue. We support ASEAN to play a constructive role in the Myanma issue. Meanwhile, we think that to resolve this issue finally relies on the Myanma government and people. If they don't respond actively, it will be quite difficult to get the issue settled.
Q: After German Chancellor Merkel met with Dalai Lama, relations between China and Germany have been adversely affected. How can the situation be improved?
A: The relations between China and Germany are significant for both countries. We attach great importance to the development of bilateral relationship. Both China and Germany are countries with major impact, the comprehensive and friendly relations and cooperation between the two are conducive to both. The current difficulties in bilateral relations are totally caused by the German leader's decision to meet with the Dalai Lama. We hope that Germany can take effective measures at an early date to undo the serious damage on bilateral relations as a result of its relevant wrong actions. We also hope that bilateral relationship can develop smoothly along the sound track. It's consistent with the interest of both parties.
Q: Whether the situation along the Turkey-Iraq boarder was discussed during meetings between the U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates and Chinese leaders? Could you brief us on the positions of the U.S. and China on that issue?
A: I only attended the meeting between Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and the U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates yesterday afternoon. During the meeting, the situation along the Turkey-Iraq boarder was not discussed. I'm not sure whether the issue was discussed on other occasions or not. China expresses concern over the recent situation there. We hope that parties concerned can properly resolve problems through dialogue and consultation. We find that parties concerned have made some efforts to solve the problem, hoping to see a peaceful and threat-free region at an early date.
If there are no further questions, thank you for attendance.