|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on January 3, 2008|
On the afternoon of January 3, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Six-party Talks, Indian Prime Minister Singh's visit to China, the postponement of Pakistan's general election, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's visit to Africa and etc.
Jiang: Happy New Year!
I would like to begin with an announcement. At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of the Republic of India will pay an official visit to China from January 13 to 15.
Now the floor is open.
Q: On January 2, Pakistan's election committee announced that the general election originally scheduled on January 8 is postponed. Do you have any comment?
A: This is the internal affair of Pakistan. China respects Pakistan's decision and hopes the general election will be held smoothly and Pakistan can maintain stability and development.
Q: Could you share with us more details about Singh's visit to China? Are there any agreements to be signed?
A: We warmly welcome and attach great importance to Singh's upcoming visit to China. We hope the visit can enhance the friendship between the two peoples, expand mutually-beneficial and friendly cooperation of the two countries, and promote the long-term stable and healthy development of China-India strategic partnership of cooperation..
Currently, the development of China-India relationship enjoys a sound momentum. Last year, the two countries jointly held the Year of India-China Friendship through Tourism. The two countries maintain frequent high-level exchanges of visits, cooperation in various fields, and sound coordination in regional and international affairs. Bilateral trade volume reached 34.2 billion US dollars from January to November last year, an increase of 54% over the same period of the previous year. The special representatives on the boundary issue of the two countries met three times and had helpful exploration on the framework to solve the issue.
China and India are the two largest developing countries in the world. Confronted with the same tasks of development, the two countries are devoted to the maintenance of peace and stability of the region and the world at large. We are ready to join hands with India to lift our strategic partnership of cooperation to a new height.
As to the specific achievements of the visit, they are still under discussion.
Q: Could you brief us on the fifth China-US strategic dialogue?
A: Once I have the confirmed information about the dialogue, I will keep you updated.
The mechanism of China-US strategic dialogue is an important platform for the two countries to enhance communication at the strategic and political level. It is conducive to enhancing our mutual understanding and trust, and to promoting exchanges, coordination and cooperation in various fields. It plays a major role in promoting the stable development of bilateral relations and to maintain regional peace and stability.
Q: The DPRK failed to meet the year-end deadline for the declaration of its nuclear programme. Do you have any comment? Is it a setback in the Six-party Talks process? Does China have any direct contact with the DPRK on that? Second question, does China expect any breakthrough on the boundary issue between China and India during Singh's visit to China?
A: on the first question, with the concerted efforts of the parties concerned, the second-phase action of the Six-party Talks is under implementation. The pace is faster in some fields, and slower in others, which is normal. China expects relevant parties to continue to honor their commitments in real earnest and implement the second-phase action in a comprehensive and balanced manner. We believe that the full implementation of the second-phase action will usher in a broader prospect for the Six-party Talks.
On the China-India boundary issue, the special representatives of the two countries met three times last year and had helpful discussions on the framework to solve the issue. We are ready to make joint efforts with India to strive for a fair and reasonable solution acceptable to both countries at an early date.
Q: US State Department spokesman said that US Assistant Secretary Hill will visit countries including China and the ROK this weekend. Could you give us some details? Whom will he meet with during his stay in China?
A: I have also heard of it. However, we are yet to get the confirmed information.
Q: Could you give us the schedule of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's visit to Africa next Monday?
A: At the invitation of Dr. Zuma, Foreign Minister of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. MBUSA, Congolese State Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. BATUMUBWIRA, Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Burundi and Mr. Seyoum, Foreign Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will pay official visits to the four countries from January 7 to 11 this year.
China and Africa have over 50-year-long traditional friendship. It is an integral part of China's foreign policy to consolidate and strengthen the solidarity and cooperation with African countries. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's visit is to enhance mutual understanding, deepen traditional friendship, expand mutually-beneficial cooperation and implement the achievements of the Beijing Summit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation so as to press ahead with the new type of China-Africa Strategic Partnership of Cooperation. During his visit, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will have talks with the foreign ministers and meet with heads of states or governments of the four countries.
If there are no more questions, thanks for your attendance.