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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on December 13, 2007

2007-12-14

On the afternoon of December 13, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Six-Party Talks, the name dispute between Macedonia and Greece, the Sudan issue, China-Japan relations and etc.

Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I will start with three announcements.

At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Emanuel Mori of the Federated States of Micronesia will pay a state visit to China from December 16 to 22, 2007.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Senegal, will pay an official visit to China from December 18 to 22, 2007.

On behalf of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Ambassador Sun Bigan, China's special envoy on the Middle East issue, will attend the international donors' conference for the Palestine Territories in Paris on December 17, 2007. After the conference, he will visit Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and Syria.

Now the floor is open.

Q: Dalai will meet with some Italian officials in Roman today. How do you comment on this?

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. We are resolutely opposed to any country sympathizing or supporting in whatever form Dalai's separatist activities.

Q: The 3rd China-US strategic economic dialogue has just concluded and the 5th China-US strategic dialogue will be held in Beijing. Could you give us some details about the 5th China-US strategic dialogue? When will it be held?

A: The arrangement of the 5th China-US strategic dialogue is still under consultation.

Q: Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei met with Chun Young-woo, head of the ROK delegation to the Six-Party Talks today. What did they talk about? Will the DPRK finish its nuclear program declaration within this year? Is there any progress on the two-day meeting of the working group on economic and energy cooperation? When will the energy assistance shipment be transported to the DPRK?

A: Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei met with head of the ROK delegation to the Six Party Talks Chung Yung-woo this morning. They exchanged views on the current process of the Six-Party Talks and the plan for the follow-up work.

The meeting of the working group on economic and energy cooperation was held in Beijing yesterday. The ROK presided over the meeting, and heads of the working groups of all parties participated. All parties discussed the economic and energy assistance plan for the DPRK and reached helpful consensus. Since the ROK was the chair, you'd better ask them for the specifics of the meeting.

With the joint efforts of all parties, positive results have been achieved during the process of the Six-Party Talks. The denuclearization work has been launched after the DPRK shut down its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon. The delegation commissioned by all parties took an inspection tour in Yongbyon and found the denuclearization work is proceeding smoothly. All parties are maintaining close communication and coordination in pushing forward the process of the Six-Party Talks. We hope the six parties continue to make joint efforts and implement their consensus comprehensively.

Q: Recently, U.N. special envoy Matthew Nimetz has left for Macedonia and Greece for a new round of mediation between Macedonia and Greece over the name dispute. The two countries agreed to negotiate on this issue in the beginning of next year. Do you have any comment?

A: China's position on the name issue of Macedonia is consistent and explicit. We hope Greece and Macedonia could resolve the dispute properly through consultation, which is in the interest of the long-term development of good-neighborly and friendly relations between the two countries and the lasting peace and stability of the Balkans. China accepts and supports any solution agreed by both Greece and Macedonia.

Q: It is reported that a Sudan rebel group attacked a Chinese-run oil field recently, could you confirm and comment on that?

A: The friendly cooperation between China and Sudan is based on mutual respect, common development, equality and mutual benefit, which facilitates Sudan's economic development and brings Sudan people tangible benefits. Chinese companies in Sudan have also actively participated in local welfare undertakings and contributed a lot to Sudan's economic and social development. Any threat or intimidation against the security of Chinese institutions and personnel in Sudan is unacceptable. We request related authorities of Sudan to take effective measures to ensure their safety.

Q: I have two questions. First, is Ministry of Foreign Affairs aware of the report that there was a group fighting between some overseas Chinese and foreign students in Canada? The second question is about China-Japan relations. Some Japanese newspaper reported today that on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Nanjin Massacre, there are not as many commemorating activities held by the government as by the civil society. Some Japanese scholars believe that commemorating the Massacre may affect China-Japan relations. Please comment on this.

A: I am not aware of the background of your first question. The Chinese Government always requests its citizens abroad to abide by local laws and respect local customs so as to live in peace and harmony with local people. Meanwhile, we urge countries concerned to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens there. China's diplomatic missions have the responsibility and obligation to protect the legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese citizens.

Today marks the 70th anniversary of Nanjin Massacre, before answering your second question, let me invite you in mourning for the innocent Chinese victims slaughtered in the Massacre seventy years ago. Past experience, if not forgotten, can serve as a guide for the future. The reason we commemorate the date is to learn from history for the benefit of the future. The Chinese Government maintains that we should develop a long-term and friendly cooperation with Japan in the spirit of "taking history as a mirror to guide us in the future". We hope that such a spirit will run through the development history of China-Japan relations, and that we will draw lessons from history and cherish the sound momentum of improvement and development of the bilateral relations. The two countries should work together to enhance our friendship and promote our cooperation so that there will be lasting friendship and shared development between us for generations to come.

Q: Mr. Hill, the US Chief Negotiator of the Six-Party Talks said that he was hopeful that the DPRK will be able to declare comprehensively its nuclear program within this year. Does China have similar expectation?

A: Thanks to the joint efforts of all parties concerned, the Six-Party Talks is making constant progress. The six parties issued October 3 Joint Document which further specified the goal and timetable for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsular. We hope that all parties concerned will make concerted efforts to realize the consensus and the common goal. Of course, there will be some difficulties and problems during the process, but so long as the six parties exert the same political will, we will be able to march towards the set goal.

If there are no more questions, thank you for your attendance.

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