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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on March 13, 2008

2008-03-14

On the afternoon of March 13, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the East China Sea issue, Chinese police's investigation in Japan of the dumpling issue, foreign journalists' reporting activities in China, the visits of the Peruvian President and ROK Foreign Minister to China and etc.

Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have two announcements to make.

At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Alan Garcia Perez of the Republic of Peru will pay a state visit to China from March 18 to 21.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Yu Myung-hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea will pay an official visit to China from March 20 to 22.

Now the floor is open.

Q:Can you give us some specific information of Peruvian President Garcia 's visit to China?

A:During his stay in China, President Garcia will meet and have talks with Chinese leaders including President Hu Jintao, Chairman Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao and Mr. Li Changchun. They will exchange views on bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common interests.

Peru is a good friend and partner of China and one of first in South America establishing diplomatic relations with China. The China-Peru relations have witnessed smooth development over the past 36 years of diplomatic ties. In 2005, the two countries established comprehensive partnership of cooperation, with frequent high-level exchanges and further economic cooperation and trade. The two sides have kept sound cooperation in international affairs. China attaches great importance to the upcoming state visit of President Garcia and believes it will further enhance the pragmatic and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries and promote further development of the bilateral relations.

Q: According to report by the Japanese media, Japan has proposed to submit the East China Sea issue to the International Tribunal. Do you have any comment on the report concerning its coverage of the positions held by the two countries? My second question is about the dumpling case in Japan. It is reported that the Chinese police is going to send another work team to Japan. Could you confirm?

A: Regarding your first question, I would like to point out that the report by the Japanese media is totally unfounded.

I'd like to reaffirm that on the East China Sea issue China's position and claims stand on a solid international legal base. Meanwhile, China and Japan should resolve the dispute through negotiations in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. At present, both China and Japan agree to proceed from the overall situation of the bilateral ties and discuss the issue of "putting aside disputes and seeking joint exploration", which would benefit both countries.

As for your second question, as agreed by the police of China and Japan, the Ministry of Public Security of China will soon send task force composed of experts on investigation and laboratory test and experiment of poison to Japan. These experts will exchange views with Japanese police on issues related to the investigation and experiments on the dumplings case. Police of the two countries are willing to strengthen cooperation to find out the truth at the earliest date.

Q:It is reported that China has banned climbing Mount Qumalanma from its side. Could you confirm? In recent times, there have been many protests on the Tibet issue. I think that more protests of this kind are to happen. Will this pressure China to change its position on the issue?

A: With regard to your first question, as far as I know, the Tibet Mountaineering Association has made clarification on it. Please consult the Tibet Mountaineering Association for further information.

In the past couple of days, a few monks in Lhasa made some disturbances in an attempt to provoke social unrest. This is a political scheme carefully planned by the Dalai clique in a bid to separate Tibet and sabotage the Tibetan people's normal life of stability and harmony.

Thanks to the efforts of the local government and the democratic administration committees of the temples, the situation in Lhasa has been stabilized. I would like to stress that, 49 years ago, the Chinese Government launched democratic reform in Tibet and liberated millions of serfs. Since then, earth-shaking changes have taken place in Tibet. The people of various nationalities in Tibet share aspiration for national unity, ethnic solidarity and social harmony. The attempt of the Dalai clique is doomed to failure. No forces can stop the development and prosperity of Tibet.

I don't know why you assume that more events of the kind are to happen and based on what that you draw such a conclusion. But I can tell you that the Chinese Government is firm on its determination to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. People of various nationalities in Tibet firmly support national unity and ethnic solidarity. We are firmly opposed to any attempt to separate Tibet from China. The things that you wish to see will not take place.

Q: On the Olympics and the media. Foreign journalists warmly welcome the Regulations on Reporting Activities in China by Foreign Journalists during the Beijing Olympic Games and the Preparatory Period taking effect last year. However, the implementation in localities has encountered many difficulties. Do you believe by adopting the measures, China has fulfilled its international obligations and its commitment while bidding for the Olympics? Will those breaking the rules be held responsible?

A: The Regulations on Reporting Activities in China by Foreign Journalists during the Beijing Olympic Games and the Preparatory Period went into effect on January 1, 2007 in line with our commitment to the IOC in bidding for the Beijing Olympics. The Chinese Government adopts an earnest, positive and responsible attitude. Relevant authorities and various localities have made tremendous efforts for the earnest implementation of the Regulations. I believe any unbiased journalist could feel that with the reform and opening-up, the environment for the reporting by foreign journalists have been increasingly improved and they have been enjoying more conveniences and better services. The implementation of the Regulation is on the whole good, winning the applause from the international community including foreign governments and press.

It is natural that some problems may arise during the process. There are two reasons. First, China is a vast country with a large population. The actual situations vary in different places. It takes time for relevant authorities, the localities in particular, to digest the Regulations and translate it into reality. On the other hand, some related journalists should also reflect on themselves for the problems encountered. Many of the alleged cases of "blocking interviews" you mentioned are mostly because some reporters challenged Chinese laws and tried to interview people without their consent. Besides, some foreign journalists violated their professional morality, distorted facts or even fabricated news.

We both have to make efforts so that the Regulations could be further fulfilled, a better environment for reporting be created and more Chinese people and authorities willing to be interviewed. So, stop complaining about the Chinese Government, which has been doing and will continue to do its due part, and ask yourselves what you should do.

I would like to reiterate that China's opening-up will be continuously pressing ahead. The door has been opened already. It will never be closed again. We will continue to work for a better environment for journalists in China. You have my assurance on it.

Q: Will China and Japan conduct further consultation on the oil and gas fields in the East China Sea before President Hu Jintao's visit to Japan?

A: Leaders of China and Japan have reached a consensus on the resolution of the East China Sea issue. Given its complexity, the issue could not be resolved overnight. The two sides should remain calm and make joint efforts to meet each other half way so as to make more progress in shelving differences and seeking common development.

Q: Today, the Information Office of the State Council issued the U.S. 2007 Human Rights Record. What is the purpose? The Human Rights Record issued by the U.S. the day before yesterday removed China from the worst record list. Do you have any response? Besides, you said the experts from the Chinese Public Security Ministry are leaving for Japan for consultation. Can you share with us more information about it?

A: On the first question, we firmly oppose the so-called human rights record issued by the U.S. every year. The U.S. makes irresponsible remarks on human rights of other countries while seals its lips on its own grave abuse of human rights. "He is not fit to command others that cannot command himself." So we make up the missed lesson for him. The Information Office of the State Council issued the report so that people can see the grave abuse of human rights in the U.S. and ask whether the U.S. is entitled to pointing fingers at other countries.

It is understandable to countries disagree on human rights. We believe dialogue and exchanges shall be conducted based on equality and mutual respect so as to enhance mutual understanding and narrow differences. We firmly oppose exerting pressure on other countries and interfering with other nations' internal affairs under the pretext of human rights and applying double standards.

On the Second question, upon arrival in Japan, the Chinese experts are ready to exchange views with their Japanese colleagues on any question in the investigation process. We view this as a very good opportunity to enhance the police cooperation in investigation so that we can find out the truth and make reasonable explanation to the people of the two countries.

Q: Japanese media say President Hu Jintao may visit Japan on May 8. Can you confirm? Some Tibetans made demonstrations in India and launched the campaign to return Tibet. Has China made representation with India?

A: The diplomatic authorities of China and Japan are making active discussion on President Hu's visit to Japan. We will keep you updated once the date is fixed.

On the second question, I have answered it at Tuesday's press conference. We are firmly opposed to the activities by Dalai Group to split China and undermine ethnic unity. We express our firm opposition and strong condemnation to that. Tibet has been an inalienable part of China since ancient times. There is not a single country in the world recognizing Tibet as a so-call independent nation. This is universally recognized by the international community including India. The Indian Government has made a commitment not to allow Dalai Clique to engage in the splittist activities on its territory. As for the returning to Tibet campaign by the so-called Tibetans in exile, we are resolutely against their separate activities.

Follow-up: Are you satisfied with India's handling of the issue?

A: We hope India proceed from the overall interest of China-India relations and honor its commitment.

Q: Please brief us on ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan's visit to China. Whom will he meet with besides Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi?

A: Right after President Lee Myung-bak took office, Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan is to pay a very important visit to China, which fully shows that both sides attach great importance to the development of China-ROK relations. It is a visit of significance. Besides Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's talks with him, Chinese leaders will also meet with Foreign Minister Yu.

Q: As for the plane incident of China Southern Airline,it is reported that a 19-year-old Muslim woman tried to blow up the plane. Please confirm.

A: This incident is still under investigation. I have no further information to share with you.

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

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