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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on December 20, 2007

2007-12-21

On the afternoon of December 20, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Lee Myung-bak elected as ROK President, Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda's visit to China, China-India joint anti-terrorism exercise, Myanmar issue and etc.

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

Q: Do you have any comment on Lee Myung-bak being elected as the ROK president?

A: We congratulate Mr. Lee Myung-bak on his election as the ROK President. China is willing to join hands with the ROK in pressing ahead with the China-ROK comprehensive partnership of cooperation.

Q: Yesterday, US presidential candidate Obama of the Democratic Party suggested a complete ban of China-made toys for safety reasons. Do you have any comment?

A: We have expounded on China's position on product quality on many occasions. In fact, the Chinese Government attaches great importance to the quality of products. We have promulgated a series of laws and regulations, adopted effective executive measures and strengthened supervision and law enforcement over the manufacturing, distribution and sales of products.

In general, Chinese products are reliable and safe. Only a small portion of them do have quality problems, but it is not fair to negate the quality of all Chinese products. We should not have our view overshadowed by the trivial, nor should we politicize this issue. The quality of products made in the US is not 100% perfect, either. Can we totally ban US products? I believe it is not objective, rational nor fair. Christmas is approaching, we can assure the US consumers that Chinese products are safe and will bring more happiness to them.

Q: The newly-elected ROK President Lee Myung-bak said during today's briefing that Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun did not criticize the DPRK for its human rights situation during their presidency, and he will adopt a different policy in this regard and make some good-will advices to the DPRK. Do you have any comment?

A: China's position on the Korean peninsula is consistent and clear. We advocate for the peace and stability on the Peninsula, good-neighborly and friendly cooperation with the DPRK as well as sound comprehensive partnership of cooperation with the ROK. China always adheres to the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs while developing relations with them. We hope the ROK and the DPRK achieve reconciliation and improve their relations through dialogue and communications, which is conducive to the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and serves the common interest of both sides.

Q: According to Japanese media, the schedule of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's visit to China has been fixed. Could you tell us some details?

A: The date and schedule of Prime Minister Fukuda's visit to China is still under discussion. We will release relevant information shortly. I hope you have a little more patience.

Q: Could you brief us on Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei's visit to the DPRK? Is he satisfied with the disablement of the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon? What do you think will be the impact of Lee Myung-bak's election on the Six-Party Talks?

A: From December 17 to 19, Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei visited the DPRK. During his stay there, he met with DPRK Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun, exchanged views with Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan on the Six-Party Talks and inspected the disablement of the Yongbyon nuclear facilities.

The DPRK introduced its implementation of the second phase action plan of the Six-Party Talks, and expressed willingness to honor its commitment to pressing ahead with the Talks.

The disablement of the Yongbyon nuclear facilities is an important component of the second phase action of the Joint Statement and also a major step forward in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Relevant work is smoothly pushing forward according to the consensus reached. We hope parties, following the principle of action to action, earnestly implement their obligations and the second phase of action in an all-round and balanced way so as to achieve new progress in the Talks.

As to your second question, denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula through the Six-Party Talks is conducive to the lasting peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, in line with the common interest of all parties including the ROK and also the consensus of the parties. We believe no matter what changes take place in the ROK domestic politics, the ROK will work together with other parties to press ahead with the Talks.

Q: EU special envoy on Myanmar expressed recently his hope for China to play a constructive role in resolving the Myanmar issue as it has been doing in dealing with the DPRK nuclear issue. How does China view its role in the Myanmar issue? How do you assess the Myanmar situation? Will China request the Myanmar government to release Aung San Suu Kyi and others under arrest?

A: China hopes to see a Myanmar of stability, democracy, reconciliation and development. Since China and Myanmar are important neighbors to each other, peace, stability and development of Myanmar are not only in the interest of Myanmar, but also a concern of China. We believe that the Myanmar issue will have to be resolved by the Myanmar government and its people in the end. The principle of sticking to dialogue and consultation in resolving the Myanmar issue must be followed. Myanmar is a sovereign state. It is up to Myanmar government and relevant parties to deliberate and decide how to have in place real dialogue and reconciliation. The international community should play a constructive role on the basis of respecting Myanmar's sovereignty and opinion. China will continue to play a constructive role in properly resolving the Myanmar issue.

The situation in Myanmar is moving towards stability in general. At present, we should continue to support the good offices of the UN Secretary-General's special envoy Gambari on Myanmar, and support ASEAN to make greater contribution. China is ready to maintain communication with EU.

Q: It's reported that China and India have held their first joint anti-terror drill in Yunnan. Will you brief us on the specific date? Will China and India dissolve their suspicion through the drill? China and India have many rounds of consultation on the boundary issue. Is there any new progress?

A: On your first question, to my knowledge, China-India joint anti-terror drill started on December 19 and concludes on 27.

The purpose of the drill is to build up mutual understanding and trust, to enhance cooperation in non-traditional security field, to strike "three forces" jointly and to press ahead with China-India strategic partnership of cooperation.

You mentioned just now that whether the exercise will help to dissolve the suspicion between China and India or not. Actually, as important neighbors to each other and two major developing countries, China and India have extensive consensus on safeguarding world peace and common development as well as strengthening cooperation in various fields. Friendly cooperation is the main stream of bilateral relations. As for the differences between our two countries, it's quite normal that we do not always agree with each other. Japan and the US are strategic allies. Is it possible for them to see eye to eye on everything? We hold that we should follow the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit in building up consensus and dissolving differences during the process of development of bilateral relation and strengthening of mutual trust. As for the issues that cannot be resolved for the time being, we can set aside the differences in pursuit of common grounds so as to ensure the overall bilateral relations not to be affected.

China and India are initiators of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. We know how to deal with our bilateral relations.

China and India have boundary disputes, but both should proceed from the long-term interest and seek an early resolution of the boundary issue in the spirit of mutual respect and mutual understanding. This is in the common interest of both sides.

Q: During Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei's visit to the DPRK, did the DPRK produce any draft declaration list of its nuclear program? What are the achievements of his visit?

A:The Joint Document and Joint Statement have stipulated that the declaration of the nuclear program still needs further discussion by the six parties. We hope that all parties would fulfill their respective commitments in real earnest and implement the Joint Document in a comprehensive and balanced way.

I have already briefed you on the achievements of Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei's visit to the DPRK. We have strengthened communication and exchanged views with the DPRK through this visit, which is necessary and important for the Six-party Talks. Actually, China has always maintained close communication and consultation with other parties.

Q: Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei said that all parties should fulfill their obligations in light of the principle of action-to-action. What corresponding actions does the DPRK expect from the other parties for its disablement of nuclear facilities in Yongbyon?

A: Since the Joint Document has specified the commitments and obligations for the six parties in the second phrase actions for the implementation of the Joint Statement, all parties need to deliver their own commitments and carry out all consensus and agreements in an earnest and comprehensive manner. China would honor its commitments, fulfill its obligations and continue to play an active role in the Six-Party Talks.

Q: Please brief us on Bolivian Foreign Minister's upcoming visit to China, including the agenda, the officials he will meet with and the agreements to be signed by the two countries.

A: To my knowledge, Bolivian Foreign Minister Choquehuanca will pay an official visit to China at the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. He will meet with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Premier Wen Jiabao. I'm not aware of the agreements to be reached at this point.

Q: It is reported today that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will visit China, can you brief us on his schedule in China and major topics to be discussed?

A: We look forward to Prime Minister Brown's visit to China at an early date and hope that his visit will further promote the development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. The date and schedule is still under discussion. I'm not in a position to say more before it is finalized. But we will release relevant information in due course.

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

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