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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on December 11, 2007

2007-12-12

On the afternoon of December 11, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the China-Japan High-level Economic Dialogue, the EU-Africa Summit, the DPRK nuclear issue, and etc.

Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Now, I'd like to take your questions.

Q: It is reported that China deleted several lines of the press communiqué of the China-Japan High-level Economic Dialogue. Do you have any comment?

A: Thanks to the concerted efforts of China and Japan, the 1st China-Japan High-level Economic Dialogue was held successfully in Beijing on December 1. After that, the two countries issued press communiqués respectively. Not only both countries but also the international community think highly of this dialogue. However, several days later, some Japanese media run stories of "China's unilateral deletion of the joint document". We believe that those reports run counter to the atmosphere of friendship and cooperation between the two countries and are not in line with the fact.

Actually, the communiqué is neither a joint document nor joint press communiqué, rather, it is an account given by each country respectively on the meeting and this was made clear before the meeting. Therefore, it is natural that there are some differences in the two communiqués. As to the RMB exchange rate and energy issues mentioned by Japan, China's position has been expounded explicitly by Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan in his keynote speech and ministers participating the meeting.

We believe that the China-Japan High-level Economic Dialogue is a significant achievement of the development of bilateral strategic and mutually-beneficial relations. We hope the two countries work together and cherish the hard-won achievement to ensure constant substantial progress and contribute to the development of overall bilateral relations.

Q: Did you say that China refused Japan's request to modify the communiqué? Will this incident affect China-Japan relations?

A: As I just said, this is not a joint document or joint statement, but a respective account on the meeting, which means, the two communiqués are not exactly the same word for ward. I don't believe that this would affect the China-Japan relations. To let it happen will be a loss to the bilateral economic cooperation and trade. And we hope relevant people in Japan, Japanese media in particular, view this calmly in an objective light.

Q: Yesterday, four Russian parties nominated Medvedev, the First Deputy Prime Minister as the presidential candidate and President Putin endorsed the nomination. Do you have any comment?

A: We have taken note of relevant reports. The presidential election of Russia will be held next March, which is an internal affair of Russia. We believe the election will be held smoothly. Deputy Prime Minister Medvedev, a good friend of the Chinese people, has made positive efforts for the comprehensive and in-depth development of China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination. He also has contributed enormously to the Year of China and the Year of Russia activities during his post as the chairman of the Russian committee. We highly applaud and appreciate his efforts.

Q: It is reported that Lim Sung Nam, head of the ROK team of the working group on Economic and Energy Cooperation of the Six-Party Talks met with Chinese officials from the Foreign Ministry. Could you give us some details?

A: To my knowledge, as suggested by the ROK and agreed by all, the heads of the working groups' meeting on Economic and Energy Cooperation will be held in Beijing from December 11 to 12. The meeting, presided by the ROK, will discuss economic and energy assistance to the DPRK within the framework of the Six-Party Talks.

Q: Since China and Japan decided to release respective communiqués, why did they discuss on the content beforehand? Did China ever agree to write the RMB issue into its communiqué? Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said yesterday that China's move is unthinkable from the viewpoint of international practices and Japan was dissatisfied with that. How does China react to his remarks? Did the two sides sign the press communiqué before the release?

A: Ministry of Commerce is in charge of the China-Japan High-level Economic Dialogue. I did not participate in the dialogue, so I suggest you refer to the Ministry of Commerce for the details. But I'd like to stress that these documents were released respectively instead of jointly. And I believe that different wording for respective documents is not a violation of international practices. I don't think it is necessary or beneficial to get obsessed by this. We should proceed from the bilateral relations and lasting development of cooperation with each other and treasure the sound momentum of cooperation. Both of us have the responsibility to maintain and promote the relationship, rather than the contrary. You can find out whether the two sides signed the communiqué or not by yourself.

Q: Sinopec announced an important oil deal with Iran last weekend. The U.S. State Department said it was concerned and disturbed yesterday. Can you comment? Has Sinopec consulted the Chinese Foreign Ministry beforehand?

A: This is a business cooperation on energy between a Chinese company and Iran on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. Since it's a business deal, I don't see any necessity or position for the government to comment on that.

Q: During his interview with correspondents from Taiwan, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Christensen said recently that the U.S. opposes Taiwan's "Referendum on UN Membership", and views it as an attempt by the Taiwan Authorities to change the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. The U.S. will continue to express its concern to the Taiwan Authorities. Do you have any comment?

A: In disregard of the universally-recognized One-China principle, Chen Shuibian is bent on stepping up the "Taiwan Independence" separatist activists, including the "Referendum on UN Membership". These actions pose serious threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and are bound to meet resolute opposition from the international community. China attaches importance to the U.S. reiterated position on opposing the Taiwan Authorities' attempt to conduct "Referendum on UN Membership". Under the current circumstances, to effectively prevent Chen Shuibian from conducting the referendum is conducive to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and also in the interest of the international community, including China and the U.S.

Q: Last weekend, the EU-Africa Summit was held in Lisbon, Portugal. China's Africa policy became a focus during the summit. China's interest in the African continent was also discussed there. How does China assess the result of the summit?

A: After a 7-years' break, the EU-Africa Summit was held again in Lisbon, Portugal. Participants endorsed "the EU-Africa Joint Strategy" and "Action Plan", expressing their strong aspiration to strengthen cooperation under the new circumstances. China welcomes the new-type EU-Africa strategic partnership, and hopes that this partnership, which is going to take equality, mutual benefit and mutual respect as its basis and preconditions, will be conducive to strengthening their cooperation and promoting peace, stability and rejuvenation of Africa, and creating sound development opportunity for Africa.

China shares common concern and interest with the international community, the EU included, in promoting peace and development of Africa. We are ready to work with the international community to make our due contribution to this end.

Q: On Sunday, some Vietnamese protested on the issue of Nansha Islands in front of the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam. Do you have any comment?

A: It is a consistent position of the Chinese Government that China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands and adjacent waters in South China Sea. We are well aware of Vietnam's different claims in different periods of time. The leaders of China and Vietnam have exchanged views on the issue on various occasions and reached consensus on working together to properly settle maritime disputes through dialogue and negotiation so as to maintain the stability in the South China Sea and the overall interest of bilateral relations.

We are deeply concerned over the recent developments in Vietnam which will undermine the friendly relations between China and Vietnam. We hope that the Vietnamese Government would take a responsible attitude and adopt effective measures to prevent the situation from further developing and the bilateral relations being undermined.

Q: Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi is visiting Pakistan today. It is reported that China will help build nuclear power stations for Pakistan. Could you confirm?

A: China and Pakistan are traditional friendly neighbors, and have maintained close exchanges and cooperation. We already announced special envoy Wang Yi's visit to Pakistan yesterday. During his visit, Mr. Wang Yi will meet Pakistani President and leaders of the care-taker government, having an in-depth exchange of views on issues including bilateral relations and the situation in Pakistan. But I have no idea about the nuclear power stations in question.

Q: The newly renovated Nanjing Massacre Museum put up a statue of Goddess of Peace and added contents emphasizing the spirit of looking to the future despite those stressing the atrocity of the Japanese military aggressors. Meanwhile, the figure of 300 thousand victims killed in the Nanjing Massacre is still highlighted there. Is it contradictory to the contents added up in the Museum? How do you comment on that?

A: In fact, highlighting the figure of 300 thousand victims in the Nanjing Massacre is precisely to bear in mind the spirit of remembering the history, taking history as a mirror for the benefit of the future. We must always refresh our memory if we want to educate future generations to cherish the currently improving and developing China-Japan relations and to work for the long-term goal of China-Japan ever-lasting friendship. The figure reminds us of the bitter history in which the war of aggression launched by the Japanese militarists traumatized heavily not only the Chinese people but also the Japanese people.

Q: It is reported that in revenge on  the US for the recent military frictions, China will not allow Hollywood movies to be shown in its cinema between next January and March. Can you comment on that?

A: I haven't heard of it, therefore can not confirm. Last Friday an official from Ministry of Commerce of China also said that he was unaware of it when asked the same question. We need to double check about it.

Q: Yesterday, the "Tibetan government in exile" released a report on Tibet's development and environment, asserting that it is up to the Tibet itself to decide how to develop. However, it also says that it is willing to cooperate with Beijing to improve the situation in Tibet. Could you please comment on this?

A: I am not in a position to respond directly to the comments made by the Dalai clique in disregard of facts, because they have told so many lies. I would like to point out that there is only one truth despite all their tricks. No matter what comment the Dalai clique makes, it has refused to recognize Tibet as part of China and bent on splitting Tibet from China. That is the essence of this question.

The Dalai clique always claims that the culture and the environment of Tibet have been destroyed. But as a matter of fact, the social economy and culture of Tibet have developed healthily and the Tibetan people are living an increasingly happier life. In Tibet, the only thing that has been destroyed and will never be restored is the cruel and dark serfdom that the Dalai clique is keen to reintroduce. The better Tibet develops, the worse they feel. We urge them to follow the trend and be aware of the situation, take concrete action to abandon their attempt and activities aimed at splitting China.

Q: Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei will visit Pyongyang. Has his schedule been arranged with the DPRK?

A: Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei will pay a visit to the DPRK next week. He will talk with Kim Gye-gwan, head of the DPRK delegation to the Six-Party Talks, and exchange views with him on issues of mutual interest.

Q: My question is about Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's visit to China. Why does China hope to make it happen within this year? How long China hopes him to stay here? The date of his visit has not been fixed yet. The reason Japan gives is, the conflict between the ruling and the opposition party on the new Anti-Terror Measures is getting intensified and they have to sort out domestic issues first. Do you have any comment?

A: We welcome Prime Minister Fukuda's visit to China in due course. Not long ago, when meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao in Singapore, Prime Minister Fukuda said he would try to visit China  within this year or at the beginning of next year. China respects and welcomes his decision. As to the schedule and agenda of his visit, we need to stay in communication and consultation with Japan through diplomatic channel. We hope Prime Minister Fukuda could visit China as soon as possible at a time convenient to both and we also respect Japan's decision.

Q: The 2010 Winter Olympics is going to be held in Vancouver. On the back of the olympic badge is printed "Made in Taiwan". The organizing committee requests the place of origin not to be marked or to shift the production to the Chinese mainland. Do you have any comment?

A: The One-China principle is universally recognized by the international community. We hope this principle be followed in not only international political but also business intercourse. I am not aware of the details of the issue you mentioned.

If there are no more questions, see you next time. Thanks.

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