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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on 20 November, 2007

2007-11-21

On the afternoon of November 20, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference and answered questions on China-Japan-ROK Leaders' Meeting, China-Japan Leaders' Meeting, China-EU Leaders' Meeting, the signing of the ASEAN Charter, and Baradei's Report on the Iranian nuclear issue and etc.

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

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council, Mr. Jose SOCRATES, Prime Minister of Portugal, which holds EU's rotating presidency, and Mr. Jose Manuel BARROSO, Chair of the European Commission will attend the Tenth China-EU Leaders' Meeting in Beijing on November 28.

Now the floor is open.

Q: How does China evaluate the report on the Iranian nuclear issue which was just submitted by Mr. Baradei, Director General of IAEA? And can you comment on the remarks of some US officials criticizing China for not being active enough on the Iranian nuclear issue when it could have played a greater role?

A: China is now studying carefully Director General Baradei's report on the Iranian nuclear issue. Our first impression will be, it is quite objective and professional. We applaud the efforts of IAEA and its Director General. China has taken note that according to the report, some progress has been made on the unsettled issues between IAEA and Iran, and Iran has certain cooperation with IAEA, yet, Iran has not suspended its uranium enrichment activities as required by relevant Security Council resolutions. China hopes that Iran will faithfully implement relevant resolutions of the Security Council, and continue to cooperate with IAEA so as to solve the unsettled issues comprehensively at an early date and defuse concerns of the international community. China also hopes that other parties concerned remain committed to diplomatic efforts and create conditions for an early resumption of negotiations.

On your second question, we have also taken note of some criticisms or even accusations of China on the Iranian nuclear issue. They are neither true nor helpful. China has been committed to safeguarding the international non-proliferation regime, and working on relevant parties for peaceful talks in its own way and promoting the peaceful resolution of Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations. China has taken part in consultations over relevant Security Council resolutions in an active and responsible manner, and has strictly implemented relevant resolutions. China's effort on a proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue is widely recognized.

When it comes to the Iranian nuclear issue, China and the US share the identical goal of safeguarding the international non-proliferation regime, and both countries believe that the Iranian nuclear issue should be solved through dialogues and negotiations. It is natural that the two countries cannot agree on all the issues. It will be helpful if there are more constructive cooperation and fewer accusations.

Q: The China-EU Leaders' Meeting will open next week. What kind of agreement does China expect the meeting to conclude? And what kind of achievement to score? Secondly, as the EU has been urging China to speed up the RMB revaluation, will China take any measures? Lastly, is China concerned when the EU is exerting even greater pressure on China over the foreign exchange rate and trade?

A: I have briefed you on the tenth China-EU Leaders' Meeting, which will be held at an important stage of the China-EU relations. With high expectations, China and the EU hope to take advantage of the meeting to promote a long-term, sound and stable development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two. This is the common aspiration of both governments and peoples. I believe that China and the EU will work together to reach consensus on a series of issues for further promotion of the China-EU relations. Despite some new situations in the development, we believe the foundation of the China-EU relations and the shared interests have not changed. Therefore, further promotion of the long-term, sound and stable development of the China-EU relations serve the interests of both sides.

China and EU have some frictions over RMB exchange rate and trade in the process of the development of their bilateral relations. These problems would not emerge if there were no development in their relationship and economic cooperation and trade. We should handle China-EU relations from strategic and long-term perspectives and solve these problems by narrowing our differences through dialogue and negotiations.

Q: In the discussion among WTO members on candidates for its Appellate Body yesterday, representatives from Taiwan expressed their concern that the judge recommended by the Chinese mainland might not be fair in handling trade cases involving Taiwan. Do you have any comment?

A: This is an issue involving personnel arrangements within the WTO. We believe that it will be properly solved through negotiations among relevant WTO members. You can refer to the Ministry of Commerce which is in charge of the WTO issues. I'd like to emphasize that we are firmly opposed to any attempts to bring up this kind of issue in international organizations out of political motives.

Q: The just concluded ASEAN Leaders' Meeting adopted the ASEAN Charter. Do you have any comment?

A: China believes that the signing of the ASEAN Charter is a milestone in the history of ASEAN since it was established 40 years ago. The Charter is a major achievement for the organization to strengthen its institutional building. China congratulates on the signing and believes it will guide ASEAN's constant efforts to enhance internal integration and make greater contribution to the peace, development, and prosperity of the region and the world at large.

Proceeding from the interest of long-term and sustainable development, ASEAN proposed a strategy to strengthen integration and build an ASEAN Community based on the three pillars of economy, security and social culture. China supports the integration process of ASEAN and stands ready to actively participate in it and provide support within its capacity.

Q: DPRK Foreign Minister said today that the Heads of Delegations' Meeting of the Six-Party Talks would be held in mid-December. Please confirm.

A: China will conduct communication and consultation with other parties on the next steps of the Talks in the following days. When the consensus is reached on the next round of Heads of Delegations' Meeting, I will update you in due time.

Q: Why did China refuse to attend the Political Director-Generals meeting over the Iranian nuclear issue which was scheduled in Brussels yesterday?

A: Due to the arrangement of schedule, China's competent officials could not attend the meeting you mentioned. We hope parties strengthen coordination in the future so as to find a time convenient to all.

Q: The spokesman of German Chancellor Merkel said yesterday that China's opposition could not prevent her meeting with Dalai. Do you have any comment? What punitive measures will China take against Germany?

A: I'd like to reiterate that China attaches importance to its relations with Germany. It is regrettable that the current relations were undermined. German leaders meeting with Dalai severely undermined bilateral relations and the common interest of both sides. We hope that Germany can proceed from the overall picture of bilateral relations and the fundamental interest of the two peoples and take concrete and effective measures at an early date to eliminate the negative impact of its leaders' erroneous acts for a better bilateral relationship.

Q: The advance team of China's peacekeeping military engineers will leave for Sudan on November 23. However, there were reports that the Sudanese government was still reluctant to allow the UN peacekeepers to enter Sudan. Does that mean China has persuaded President Bashir to change his mind? Could you give us some details about the China-Japan economic high-level dialogue? When will it be held and who will be the head of Chinese delegation?

A: Given the unprecedented scale of the hybrid action including the AU and UN and the complicated local situation, it is natural that the deployment might encounter some difficulties. The international community should maintain patience. China supports giving full play to the tripartite mechanism involving the UN, AU and the Sudanese government and a proper resolution of relevant issues through dialogue and consultation. China does not endorse politicizing technical problems. China is willing to continue our constructive role in the proper settlement of the Darfur issue and ensure smooth deployment of the peacekeeping mission in line with relevant UN resolutions. China will commit itself to the consensus reached with the UN and send an advance team to the Darfur region on November 23.

As to your second question, during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Japan this April, China and Japan agreed to launch the economic high-level dialogue and hold its first meeting within this year. Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan of the State Council will head the Chinese delegation with Japanese Foreign Minister as his counterpart. The date for the dialogue will be released in due course soon.

Q: You just said that the German Chancellor Merkel's meeting with Dalai has severely damaged China-Germany relations. Since Germany is an important member of EU, does that mean the China-EU relationship is also affected?

A: China attaches importance to the position of Germany in the EU and its role in promoting China-EU relations. We are glad to see the sound development of China-EU ties and we believe the communication between leaders will further promote the relations in which we have full confidence. In dealing with China-Germany relations, we should proceed both from the common interest of the two and the overall relations with the EU. We hope Germany take effective measures immediately to eliminate the negative impact as a result of its erroneous practice so as to mend the relations.

If there are no more questions, thanks for your attendance.

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