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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on December 6, 2007

2007-12-07

On the afternoon of December 6, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Six-Party Talks, the Iranian nuclear issue, China-Japan relations, UN conference on climate change and etc.

Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I will start with an announcement.

At the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Argentina, the Special Envoy of the Chinese Government, Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang will attend the power transfer ceremony of the President of Argentina on December 10.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: Dalai is on a private visit to Italy where some Italian officials and parliament members will meet with him. Do you have any comment?

A: Dalai is not just a religious figure. Rather, he is a political exile bent on engaging in activities aimed at splitting the motherland and undermining national unity under the robe of religion. The Tibet issue is not an issue of culture or religion, but a major issue of principle concerning China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is a matter of separation or anti-separation. No matter how and where Dalai conducts his activities, it is not an individual act or pure religious issue. He represents a political force aimed at splitting China and advocating Tibet independence, which the Chinese Government and people resolutely oppose. We urge relevant countries to proceed from the interest of bilateral relations, fully recognize the separatist attempt and nature of the Dalai clique and refrain from providing any venues or facilitations for their separatist activities.

Q: The US intelligence department issued a report on the Iranian nuclear issue recently. Will China follow suit to share with the international community its intelligence in this regard?

A: I responded to the report you mentioned this Tuesday and I do not have anything more to add. What I like to say is that China is willing to strengthen communications and consultations with other parties, making constructive efforts for a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue through negotiations.

Q: I have two questions. This morning, US Assistant Secretary of State Hill met with Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei. Could you give us more details? Second, EU officials said recently that China's growing impact on Africa might affect EU's interest there and EU should adjust its policy towards Africa by increasing input. Do you have any comment?

A: As to your first question, this morning, Mr. Wu Dawei, Vice Foreign Minister and head of the Chinese delegation to the Six-Party Talks, met and exchanged views with Mr. Hill on the current situation and the work in the next phase of the Talks. We have taken note of Mr. Hill's remarks during his visit to the DPRK and we hope the six parties continue to maintain cooperation and consultation, keep the sound momentum of the Talks so as to press ahead with the Six-Party Talks and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula as scheduled.

As to your second question, the Chinese Government always attaches great importance to Africa. China values its solidarity and cooperation with Africa, which is based on the principle of mutual respect and benefit, non-exclusive and conducive to the peace, stability and development of Africa and the world at large. We have also taken note that some western countries expressed their willingness to expand their input in Africa, which we warmly welcome. China shares common interest and concern with other countries over the African issue. We stand ready to enhance dialogue, exchanges and cooperation with those countries. Even if it turned out to be some countries raising their input in Africa because of China, I still believe it is a good thing. We will always be happy to see the joint efforts of the international community for poverty alleviation and sustainable development of Africa and the well-being of the African people.

Q:It is reported that during his meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura, President Hu Jintao did not bring up the sensitive historical issue, but expressed his hope that Japan could clearly oppose Taiwan's efforts to hold a referendum on its so-called "United Nations membership". Is it a signal that the focus of China's foreign policy toward Japan has now shifted from historical issues to current issues?

A: The Chinese Government has always stood firm on developing a good-neighborly relationship and cooperation with Japan. China is willing to work together with Japan to keep and further the current sound momentum of improvement and development of China-Japan ties. To achieve this end, it is imperative to respect each other's major concerns and properly settle the significant sensitive issues, including the historical issue and the Taiwan issue, in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, so as to keep consolidating the political foundation of the bilateral relations. For China, opposing Taiwan's attempts to hold a referendum on its so-called "United Nations membership" and seek for independence will contribute to this end, hence an issue of major principle and the key to ensuring the healthy and stable development of Sino-Japanese relations.

Q: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill recently said that he had no idea why the meeting of the delegation heads of the Six-party Talks was held up. Could you explain the reason?

A: The six parties have been in communication and coordination on the date of the meeting of the delegation heads of the Six-party Talks to schedule a date acceptable to all six parties. Discussions are still underway.

Q: My first question, does China believe it is still possible for the meeting of the delegation heads of the Six-party Talks to convene before the end of this year? The second question, the U.S. and other members of the UN Security Council asserted that they would continue to press for a new resolution on sanctions against Iran. When China makes its decisions on whether to support the sanctions against Iran, will it take into consideration the Iranian nuclear issue report released recently by the US National Intelligence Estimate?

A: The date of the meeting of the delegation heads of the Six-party Talks should not be scheduled by one party, but on the consensus of all the parties. As I said, parties concerned should cherish and maintain the current sound momentum, and phase in the implementation of the Joint Document in a comprehensive and balanced way. We hope that in the process of realizing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, each step forward by the parties will help them build up their mutual understanding and trust and march towards the goal set by all parties.

On your second question, on the Iranian nuclear issue, China has all along advocated for a strong international non-proliferation regime and against the proliferation of the nuclear weapons. We hope to see peace and stability prevail in the Middle East. That is why we believe that the Iranian nuclear issue should be resolved peacefully through negotiation. The action adopted by the UN Security Council should be conducive to achieving the above-mentioned goal. China will participate in relevant discussions in a positive and constructive attitude. We are studying the U.S. report on the Iranian nuclear issue and maintaining communication and consultation with various parties. We will make joint efforts for a proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.

Q: How will China comment on the progress of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali? Where does China stand over the proposals made by member states on emission reduction?

A: The Chinese delegation is attending the Bali conference in a positive and constructive attitude. Relevant parties put on the table their initiatives and plans for the international community to deal with climate change, and how to reach the post-2012 emission reduction target in particular. Facing the current challenge of the climate change, we should not deviate from the framework and basis of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, or deviate from and give up the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities". All countries should make active contributions within their capacity to deal with the global climate change in accordance with their different levels of development. The developed countries, in particular, should take the lead in living up to the emission reduction obligations, fulfilling their commitment, offering more financial and technical assistance to the developing countries and helping them enhance their capability to adapt themselves to and be better prepared for the climate change. In the meantime, the developing countries should pursue the common undertakings of dealing with the climate change on the basis of their respective sustainable development strategy. China will also strengthen cooperation with the international community in line with its own conditions and development strategy.

Q: You mentioned that China-Japan relations are now improving. But next week marks the 70th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre. Will China-Japan relations be derailed from the normal track by the feeling of the Chinese people?

A: On the issue of developing China-Japan relations, we hold that we should take history as a mirror for the benefit of the future. The purpose of keeping in mind the traumatized past is to better cherish the development of China-Japan relations which doesn't come by easy, and open up a brighter future for bilateral relations. We have all along been encouraging our citizens to view China-Japan relations from the correct perspective. We also hope that Japan can make joint efforts with China to follow the principle of taking history as a mirror for the benefit of the future and press ahead with the constant development of China-Japan relations.

If there are no more questions, thank you!

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