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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on January 22, 2008

2008-01-23

On the afternoon of January 22, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on China-US Strategic Dialogue, Six Foreign Ministers' meeting on the Iranian nuclear issue, China-Germany relations, China-India relations and etc.

Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. First of all, I have an announcement to make. At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre of Norway will pay an official visit to China from January 28 to 31.

Now the floor is open.

Q: Could you summarize the Fifth China-US Strategic Dialogue? The US Government denominates the dialogue as "Senior Dialouge", while the Chinese Government names it as "Strategic Dialouge". Why are there two different names? US Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte gave his explanation for this at a press conference last week. Are you satisfied with his explanation?

A: We have already briefed the press on the Fifth China-US Strategic Dialogue. It was held in China from January 17 to 18. Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and US Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte co-chaired the dialogue. The two had extensive and in-depth discussion on the development and evolvement of international situation, on the means to ensure a long-term, healthy and stable development of China-US relations with a view to strengthening coordination and cooperation of the two countries in international and regional issues.

Five rounds of China-US Strategic Dialogue have been held since August 2005. In retrospect, the dialouge has served as an important platform for strategic communication between the two countries at the political level. The candid and in-depth communication on strategically important issues involving China-US relations between the two sides has undoubtedly played a positive role in enhancing mutual understanding and trust, and advancing China-US relations in all fields. It is agreed that in 2008, the two countries will continue to implement the important consensus reached by leaders, maintain high-level contact, deepen dialogue and cooperation, strengthen consultation and coordination in the international issues, properly handle the sensitive issues in bilateral relations and press ahead with the long-term, healthy and stable development of China-US relations.

I do not see any major difference in the wording. The two courtiers focused their discussions on strengthening bilateral dialogue, consultation and communication from the strategic and political perspective.

Q: The Israeli blockade of Palestine led to the power shortage in most area of Gaza. Do you have any comment? It's reported that China suggested to invite Iran to participate in Six Foreign Ministers' meeting on the Iranian nuclear issue. Can you confirm?

A: I already answered questions about Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip yesterday. China expresses concerns over the worsening of the situation in Gaza, hoping that relevant parties can adopt measures to improve humanitarian situation in the Gaza strip for the alleviation of tensions in the region.

China has all along followed and supported the peace process of the Middle East. We hope Palestine and Israel can seize the opportunity, continue to conduct serious and in-depth discussion on the final status of Palestine and adopt effective measures to achieve substantial result of the talks at an early date, with a view to establishing the independent Palestinian state in the end and realizing the peaceful coexistence of the two countries as well as peace and stability in the Middle East.

On the second question, six foreign ministers held a meeting on the Iranian nuclear issue in Berlin today. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was invited to the meeting to discuss diplomatic strategy on resolving the Iranian nuclear issue. We hope the meeting can make earnest and objective assessment of the current situation of the Iranian nuclear issue, obtain diplomatic result, so as to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue comprehensively and properly. China supports any suggestion conducive to achieving the above-mentioned goals. On the Iranian nuclear issue, various parties raised some proposals. China also played a constructive role in relevant discussions.

Follow-up: But Israel's blockade in Gaza is not a simple humanitarian issue. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that there are some fine-tuning in your position on Palestine-Israel disputes?

A: China upholds that Palestine and Israel should build up mutual trust, and sit down for political negotiations on the basis of UN "land for peace" resolutions, Arab peace initiative and Middle East "road map". They should solve disputes through dialogue for the ultimate realization of peaceful coexistence between the two countries and two nations.

Q: What's China's position on some illegal DPRK immigrants' request for asylum at foreign embassies in China?

A: China's position on this question is clear and consistent. These illegal DPRK immigrants came to China for economic reasons. They are not refugees. We have handled the issue according to domestic and international laws as well as humanitarian principle, which has been understood by relevant parties.

Q: Just now you said that China wants a serious and objective assessment over the present situation during the current six-nation meeting on the Iranian nuclear issue. What in your view is a serious and objective assessment?

A: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will expound on China's principles and positions on the Iranian nuclear issue at the meeting, please keep an eye on it.

Mr. Jalili, Secretary of the Iran's Supreme National Security Council and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator was in China last week. During his visit, Chinese leaders met with him and expounded on China's position on the Iranian nuclear issue. China maintains that the issue should be solved through diplomatic negotiations, and supports international non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in the Middle East. The Iranian nuclear issue is at a critical moment. We hope the international community including Iran will make joint efforts to resume negotiation for a comprehensive, lasting and proper settlement.

Q: US Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte said that not only himself, but Secretary of State Rice will call for an additional sanction against Iran. What are the differences between China and US on the sanction?

A: We believe the Security Council's actions should be helpful for a comprehensive and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.Under the current circumstances, the international community should intensify diplomatic efforts, make joint efforts for the early resumption of negotiations so that the issue will be solved properly through negotiations and diplomatic approaches.

Q: Indian Prime Minister Singh paid a visit to China not long ago, reflecting a sound momentum of development of the China-India relations. Meanwhile, China and Pakistan enjoy traditional friendship. Yet there are still some pending disputes between India and Pakistan. Would the development of China-India relations affect China-Pakistan relations?

A: China and India are two major developing countries and also important neighbours to each other. To improve and develop our bilateral relations and strengthen cooperation in a wide range of fields is not only in the interest of the two countries but also conducive to regional peace, stability and prosperity.

China and Pakistan are strategic partners of cooperation. China highly values its relations with Pakistan. To promote comprehensive cooperation with Pakistan is China's established policy. We are ready to work with Pakistan to further deepen China-Pakistan strategic partnership of cooperation.

As a neighbour to both India and Pakistan, China supports India and Pakistan to improve their relations.

Q: State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan met with Myanmar Vice Foreign Minister U Maung Myint yesterday. What did they discuss? Did they talk about the domestic situation in Myanmar and the construction of gas pipelines between China and Myanmar?

A: On the 21st this month, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan met with Myanmar Vice Foreign Minister U Maung Myint, who is also the special envoy of Myanmar Prime Minister. Mr. U Maung Myint briefed China on current situation in Myanmar, saying that Myanmar is dedicated to domestic reconciliation and faster democratization.

China supports Myanmar's efforts in maintaining stability and realizing democracy and development. We believe that the international community should have an objective view over the current situation in Myanmar and the efforts of its government, and provide constructive assistances. Unbridled sanctions and pressure will not help. China supports the mediatory efforts of the UN Secretary General and his special envoy Ganbari. We hope that Mr. Ganbari will have full communication with Myanmar to set a proper timeframe to visit Myanmar at an early date.

As to the specific cooperation project between China and Myanmar you mentioned, I can check it for you.

Q: Which officials from the Chinese Ministry of National Defence attended the Fifth China-US Strategic Dialogue? Also, to which ministry should foreign military ships apply for port call to Hong Kong?

A: The Information Office of Chinese Ministry of National Defence has briefed the media on this. You can ask them directly.

As for your second question on foreign military aircrafts and warships' application for port call to Hong Kong, including that of the US, we have always dealt with their application case by case in light of the principle of sovereignty. This will remain unchanged in the future. China and the US have regular channels to communicate.

Q: On the China-Germany relations, what did Germany do to improve its relations with China?

A: In the past four months, China and Germany both made tremendous efforts to overcome the difficulties in their bilateral ties. The two Foreign Ministers have had communication for many times and the contact between the two countries at other levels has been maintained. Germany has stated explicitly that the German Government attaches great importance to developing relations with China, that it will continue to pursue the One China policy, recognize Taiwan and Tibet as part of China, and resolutely oppose Taiwan's "referendum on the UN membership". It has also made it clear that Germany does not support nor encourage any attempt to seek for Tibet independence. We hope that the German Government and leaders will honor their commitment, fully respects and takes serious China's major concerns over issues of its core interest. We hope that Germany will work with China to promote a long-term, healthy and stable development of the relationship between the two countries, on the basis of mutual respect, equal treatment and non-interference in each other's internal affairs and other basic norms governing international relations.

Q: Is Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi going to meet with his German counterpart today?

A: According to present itinerary of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, he will meet with German Foreign Minister Steinmeier on January 22. On the morning of January 23, he will meet with US Secretary of State Rice.

Q: It is reported that Chen Shuibian will go to the Nansha Islands. What is China's position?

A: China possesses indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and its ajacent waters. We have the resolve and capability to safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will continue to be devoted to peace and stability of the South China Sea.

If there are no more questions, thanks for your attendance. See you next time.

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