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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on January 8, 2008

2008-01-09

On the afternoon of January 8, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on Indian Prime Minister Singh's visit to China, the Six-party Talks, the explosion in Icheon, ROK and etc.

Jiang: Good afternoon! First of all, I have two announcements to make:

At the invitation of Vice Prime Minister Pawlak of the Republic of Poland, Prime Minister Tariceanu of Romania, the government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Chairman Schwab of the World Economic Forum, Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan will pay official visits to the three countries from January 14 to 24 and attend the 2008 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

At the invitation of the governments of Czech, Bulgaria and Croatia, State Councilor Hua Jianmin will pay official visits to the three countries from January 13 to 21.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: What's the aim of the defense agreement just signed by China and Singapore? Indian Prime Minister Singh will visit China next week, what's the purpose of this visit? Will there be any discussions concerning the border issues and Dalai's "Government-in-Exile" in the talks?

A: On the first question, China and Singapore have just signed an agreement on defense exchange and security cooperation. Please consult relevant authorities for the specifics. The relations between China and Singapore have witnessed comprehensive and rapid development with in-depth and pragmatic cooperation in extensive fields. China is willing to deepen the China-Singapore friendly and mutually-beneficial relationship of cooperation in a comprehensive way.

On your question about Indian Prime Minister Singh's visit to China, I briefed the press here last week. China attaches great importance to Prime Minister Singh's visit, and hopes to deepen the traditional friendship between the two countries, expand pragmatic cooperation in all fields, and push forward the China-India comprehensive and strategic partnership of cooperation to a new stage through this visit. Prime Minister Singh will hold talks with Premier Wen Jiabao on January 14, and will meet with President Hu Jintao and Chairman Wu Bangguo respectively on January 15.

Important progress has been made in border negotiations between the two countries, where both have exerted proactive political will. China is ready to make concerted efforts with India to reach a fair and reasonable framework resolution acceptable to both and build up a peaceful and friendly border.

You also mentioned the Dalai issue just now. The Indian government's position on the Tibet issue is clear. We believe the Indian government will adhere to this stand and honor its relevant commitments.

Q: According to the ROK media, Pak Geun Hye, former member of the Grand National Party of the ROK will visit China as the special envoy of president-elect Lee Myung-bak. Would you please tell us whether the schedule has been fixed?

A: In the middle of this month, Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay a visit to the ROK as the special envoy of the Chinese Government, and Pak Geun Hye, former member of the Grand National Party of the ROK will visit China as the special envoy of president-elect Lee Myung-bak. The schedule is under discussion. We believe the relevant visits will strengthen the communication between the two countries and play a positive role in promoting the sound and sustained development of the bilateral relations.

Q: It's reported that there are 13 Chinese citizens killed or injured during the ice warehouse fire accident in Icheon, ROK. Can you confirm? Have the identities of these people been confirmed? How did they find their jobs there? In addition, are their relatives on their way to the ROK to deal with the aftermath?

A: On January 7 morning, gas explosion in an ice warehouse in the Icheon city, ROK, left 30 people dead and 10 missing. The ROK police has confirmed to China that there are already 12 Chinese dead and one injured. Our Ministry and our Embassy in the ROK take the accident seriously and has launched emergency mechanism. The Chinese Ambassador to the ROK and chief of the Consulate Protection Center of the Ministry have made emergent representations with the ROK, urging it to adopt concrete measures to avoid the recurrence of similar cases. The working group of our Embassy in the ROK went there to help deal with relevant issues on spot. The Foreign Ministry and the Embassy there are following the developments of the case closely.

Q: On China's relations with the Marshall Islands and Malawi. Both countries recognize Taiwan now. But it's reported that they are going to establish diplomatic relations with China. Please confirm.

A: I have no information in this regard now. But the Chinese Government's consistent policy is, China is ready to establish and develop friendly relations and cooperation with all the other countries in light of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the One-China principle.

Q: Mr. Hill, head of the US delegation of the Six-Party Talks will visit Beijing this week. Whom will he meet with? What's the purpose of his visit? When will the next round of the Six-Party Talks be held?

A: Mr. Hill, the US Assistant Secretary will visit China from 10th to 11th. Vice Minister Wu Dawei will meet and exchange views with him on relevant issues of the Six-Party Talks.

At present, the implantation of the second phase action of the Joint Statement set in the October 3 Joint Document is progressing actively. We hope relevant parties continue to make joint efforts to meet half way and press ahead with the denuclearization process of the Six-Party Talks. In this process, relevant parties have all along maintained sound and active communication and coordination on implementing their respective responsibilities and other relevant issues.

Q: Will Mr. Kim Kye-gwan visit China during Mr. Hill's stay here? Will there be meetings between the two or talks with Mr. Wu Dawei?

A: I haven't heard of that. You'd better ask the DPRK or the US officials directly.

Q: At present, there is some discrepancy between the DPRK and the US over the DPRK declaration of its nuclear programs. Has China received the list of the nuclear programs? If not, is China concerned about the delay of the declaration?

A: In the October 3 Joint Document, the DPRK agreed to make a complete and accurate declaration of its nuclear programs. We hope relevant parties implement the existing agreements in a comprehensive and balanced way so as to phase in the goals of the Joint Statement.

Q: Some international human rights groups claim that China take the advantage of the Olympics to crack down on dissidents. The arrest of Hu Jia is a case in point. Do you have any comment? Secondly, according to some reports, the Chinese Government is practicing trade protectionism. For instance, some authorities have attempted to prevent the Singapore Airlines from purchasing the shares of China Eastern Airlines. Do you have any comment on that?

A: I am not in a position to comment on the business act of airlines.

As to your first question, my observation is just the opposite. It is the case that some organizations and individuals trying to take advantage of the Olympic Games to play up some topics to vilify China. We resolutely oppose to that because it violates the principle and spirit of the Olympics and will surely get nowhere.

China is a country under the rule of law and its government protects the freedom of speech and other fundamental rights of the Chinese citizens. Everyone stands equal under the law and no one has any privilege beyond it. Punishment will only be imposed when one breaks the law.

Q: Some overseas Tibetans accused China of forcing some Tibetans to petition against Dalai's returning to China and of enhancing anti-Dalai propaganda in Tibet. Do you have any comment?

A: The Tibetan affairs are domestic issues of China. Tibet has been an inseparable part of the Chinese territories since ancient times, which is universally recognized by the international community. Some overseas forces advocating "Tibet independence" have been engaged in anti-China separatist activities. Dalai has long been involved in activities against China under the mask of religion and advocating Tibet independence in the name of greater autonomy. We firmly oppose that.

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

After the press conference, Jiang Yu answered questions on China-India joint medical team. She said, in commemorating the 70th anniversary of Indian medical team's presence in China, the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations will select 10 outstanding young doctors respectively to form a joint medical team providing free medical treatment to the public in the two countries. The public welfare program is a bid to carry forward the international humanitarianism of the Indian medical team and enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples. Over 100 distinguished guests from China and India including Premier Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Singh will attend the launch ceremony of the team. At the end of this year, Chinese doctors will leave for India and carry out commemorating activities there with their Indian counterparts.

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