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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on December 18, 2007

2007-12-19

On the afternoon of December 18, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda's visit to China, President Putin willing to be the next Prime Minister of Russia, the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali and etc.

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

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca C├ęspedes of the Republic of Bolivia will pay an official visit to China from December 20 to 24.

Now the floor is open.

Q: It is reported that Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei is now visiting the DPRK. Can you confirm? How long will he stay there? What is the purpose of the visit? Besides, it is reported that the experts began transferring radioactive fuel rods from the plutonium-making reactor in Yongbyon to water pools and it will take several months which means that the disablement process may not be accomplished by the end of this year. Do you have any comment?

A: I can confirm that Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei is visiting the DPRK now. The main purpose is to exchange views with the DPRK officials including Mr. Kim Kye Gwan about the current situation of the Six-party Talks and the work in the next phase.

On your second question, we believe that the Six-party Talks has make positive progress and the sound momentum should be maintained and promoted. Relevant parties have reached some consensus in the process on future goals, which should be translated into reality. The parties concerned should overcome difficulties, build up mutual trust and cooperate actively so as to implement comprehensively and in real earnest .relevant agreements.

Q: According to reports from the Japanese media, Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda is likely to visit China as early as December 27. Can you confirm? Have the date and itinerary been fixed? Besides, there were protests against China again in Hanoi last weekend. How do you react to that?

A: Prime Minister Fukuda once said that he hoped to visit China at the end of this year or in the beginning of next year. China and Japan are now having consultation and making preparation for the visit. We will release relevant information in due course once the visit is fixed.

On your second question, I have made our position clear at last Thursday's press conference. This position remains unchanged. China follows closely over the recurrence of the incident on the 16th which undermines China-Vietnam friendship. We hope the Vietnamese Government take effective measures to prevent such incidents from happening again. ]

Q: A study from California University finds out that infant mortality rate in Tibet is much higher than that of other parts of China, and a lot of Tibetan children suffer from chronic malnutrition. Do you have any comments?

A: This is the third time that you ask about Tibet and the Dalai Lama. I have no interest in commenting on such a report full of lies. What I would like to point out is that some people, including some journalists, seem to be very interested in the Dalai Lama and the old Tibet once under his rule. Let me ask you-- are you trying to build up a house for you to worship Dalai? If so, only Dalai himself is not enough. Also on display should be various tools to torture serfs. But I need to tell you, the dark serfdom in Tibet has gone.

Q: The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali produced a road map before it concluded last week. Do you have any comment?

A: The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali was concluded on the 15th of this month. Thanks to the joint efforts of all parties concerned, the Bali Road Map has finally come into being. The Map has identified the direction and established timetable for future negotiations on climate change. China congratulates on the success of the Conference, and welcomes the Bali road map. We will continue to take an active part and play a constructive role in future negotiations. We hope that since the road map has prescribed, developed countries will continue to take the lead in emission reduction beyond 2012, and provide financial, technological, adaptive and capacity-building assistance to developing countries to help them enhance their capability in mitigating and adapting to climate change. We hope that joint efforts will lead to a comprehensive and effective arrangement by the end of 2009 to strengthen the implementation of the Convention.

Q: Japan has successfully carried out a missile intercept test today. Would China interpret it as a blessing on Japan or a curse to the regional security? Will this pose a threat to the status across the Taiwan Strait? It is said that the reason for Japan and the US to jointly develop a missile defense system is to respond to China's development of medium-range missiles. Can you comment on this?

A: We take note that Japan has reiterated its adherence to the path of peaceful development on many occasions. We hope that Japan will honor its commitment to regional peace and stability as well as mutual trust among countries in the region.

Our position on the Taiwan question has been clear and consistent. The Taiwan question is an internal affair of China. We oppose any country to interfere in the Taiwan issue in whatever form.

China follows the path of peaceful development, and pursues a foreign policy of good neighborly relations. We are ready to work with other countries in the region as well as countries with interests in the region to enhance mutual trust, strengthen cooperation and safeguard peace, stability and security of the region.

Q: It is reported that China might sell J-10 fighter jets to Iran. Please confirm.

A: Foreign Ministry spokesperson already made clarification over this issue on October 25, pointing out that relevant report is untrue. I'd like to reiterate here that relevant report is groundless and irresponsible. China has never conducted any negotiation with Iran on the so-called fighter jets issue, and has never had any paln in this regard.

The Chinese Government has always adopted a prudent and responsible attitude towards arms export, strictly abiding by domestic policies and regulations as well as resolutions of UN Security Council and China's international obligations.

Q: Russian President Putin said on December 17 that he would take up the post as the Prime Minister in Russia's new government if Medvedev was elected President next year. How do you comment on this?

A: We have taken note of relevant reports. Russia is free to choose the development path conforming to its own national situation. We believe that Russia's 2008 presidential election will proceed smoothly. During President Putin's tenure, Russia's comprehensive national strength is rising markedly, and Russia is playing an important role in the international affairs. China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination has improved by leaps and bounds with the two countries' political mutual trust, strategic coordination and pragmatic cooperation reaching an unprecedented high level. Holding the Year of Russia in China and the Year of China in Russia has also infused great power into China-Russia relations. China applauds President Putin's important contribution to the development of the bilateral relations. We are ready to make joint efforts with Russia's new leadership to press ahead with the steady, healthy and stable development of China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination at a high level.

If there are no more questions, thank you. See you next time!

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