|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on April 10, 2008|
On April 10, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Olympic torch relay, the Six-Party Talks, Australian Prime Minister's visit to China, the Dalai issue and etc.
Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Firstly, I have two announcements to make.
At the invitation of Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will pay a visit to Japan from April 17 to 20. The two sides will exchange views on President Hu Jintao's visit to Japan, China-Japan relations and issues of common interest.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama of the Kingdom of Thailand will pay an official visit to China from April 14 to 15.
Now the floor is open.
Q: British Prime Minister Brown clarified that he will attend the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games instead of the opening ceremony. But the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday that he will attend the opening ceremony. Why? Does China want Brown to be present at the opening ceremony?
A: The British Embassy in China has clarified on Prime Minister Brown's attendance to the closing ceremony. Britain is the host of the next Olympics. As I understand, Prime Minister Brown will attend the closing ceremony.
On foreign leaders' attendance to the opening ceremony, the IOC and BOCOG extend invitations to the Olympic Committees of relevant countries or regions and then the latter can invite their Royal members, heads of state or government, or Sports Ministers. The BOCOG will provide corresponding service in line with the regulations of IOC.
Media should be responsible for the information they release.
Q: Now Dalai is in Japan for a stopover on his way to the US, do you have any comments? On Wednesday, President Bush urged the Chinese Government to begin dialogue with Dalai. Do you have any response?
A: The international community begins to have increasingly clearer knowledge about the Dalai Lama. He is a political exile bent on splitting the motherland and sabotaging national unity under the robe of religion. We hope China's friends do not support the Dalai Clique's activities to undermine China's interests. We hope relevant personnel do not connive with or support the anti-China separatist and destructive forces particularly under the current circumstances.
The Central Government has reiterated the position on the contact with Dalai. We stay in contact with Dalai with the maximum sincerity and patience. The door to dialogue with Dalai was open in the past and remains to be so at present. But the recent acts of the Dalai Clique undermined the basis for the contact. We urge him to take concrete actions and truly give up the splittist proposition, put an end to the separatist activities and violent crimes, and stop disrupting the Beijing Olympics, so as to create necessary conditions for the contact and talks.
Q: IOC President Rogge called on China to respect its "moral engagement" to improve human rights at the press conference this afternoon. Would you like to response to that? When meeting with the Japanese media, Dalai said the violent crimes should be investigated, but the non-violent demonstration should not stop. Do you have any comment?
A: The IOC officials have reiterated their support to the Beijing Olympics and the principles and spirits of the Olympic Charter, making it clear that the political factors irrelevant to the Olympics should not be dragged into the Games. We hope the IOC officials could get rid of the disturbance and stick to the principles of the UN Charter.
On Dalai, what really matters is his act rather than his words. His recent words and deeds have fully exposed his lies of "peace" and "non-violence". We have heard too much, and it's the time for him to take actions.
Q: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said in his speech in the Peking University yesterday that there are significant human rights problems in Tibet. Do you have any response?
A: The Chinese Government is committed to the protection and promotion of human rights of Chinese people of all ethnic groups. Thanks to the preferential policies by the Central Government, Tibet has enjoyed rapid economic and social development. The culture is well protected there, and Tibetan people's freedom of religious belief is also fully safeguarded by law. The human rights conditions in Tibet are now in the best period of its history. This is recognized by all the people with an objective and fair perspective.
The Chinese Government has reiterated on its position on the series of incidents recently. The Dalai question is not an issue concerning human rights or religion, but a struggle of separation versus anti-separation, violence versus anti-violence. It is a major principled issue bearing on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We hope the international community can respect and understand the solemn position of the Chinese Government and people. I would like to stress that Tibet affairs are China's internal affairs, and any foreign government or organization has no right to interfere with. This is our solid principled position.
Q: French President Sarkozy said on Tuesday that if the Chinese Government refuses to have dialogue with Dalai, he will boycott the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. Could you please respond to that? Do you believe that the Olympics will be of less value if foreign leaders don't attend the Olympic Games?
A: Beijing Olympics is the sports event for people all over the world as well as an important platform for people of different countries to enhance friendship, exchanges and cooperation. The Chinese Government and people sincerely welcome all the people who love peace and the Olympics to attend the Beijing Olympic Games.
I didn't hear the remarks of the French leader you mentioned. To hold a successful Olympics is in the common interests of all countries including France. I believe the position of France to support a successful Olympics in Beijing will remain unchanged.
Q: Are you concerned that the torch relay may be disrupted in India next week? Have you discussed security measures with the Indian side? Are you satisfied with the work of the Indian Government so far?
A: The torch relay will be held in New Delhi, and this is the shared pride of the Asian people, including people of India. The Indian side has expressed to us their warm aspiration towards the torch relay in India. We will join hands with India to ensure the smooth relay there, and make sure the world will be able to see Indian people's enthusiasm for the Olympics.
Q: This year marks the 5th anniversary of the Iraq War, which has caused several millions of casualties, and a large number of displaced refuges. Do you have any response? You just said the Olympics is an event of peace, but President Bush is the one who started the Iraq War. Don't you think it contradicts the peaceful purpose of the Olympics?
A: We always hold that the Iraq issue should be properly resolved in accordance with the UN resolutions. We hope the situation in Iraq could be stabilized as early as possible and the Iraqi people can govern their country and enjoy a stable and happy life at an early date.
The Chinese Government and People are fully capable to bring the world a splendid, characteristic, and high-level Olympics. We welcome all the people loving the Olympics to attend the Beijing Olympic Games. The procedures of inviting the guests follow the rules of the IOC.
Q: On the afternoon of April 9, the U.S. local time, the Beijing Olympic Torch completed its journey in San Francisco. Could you please comment on that?
A: During the relay of the Olympic Torch in San Francisco, we have seen many moving scenes of the patriotic overseas Chinese and many citizens of San Francisco warmly receiving the Olympic Torch. This fully reflected the sincere aspiration of the people all around the world to support and embrace the Olympic Games. The Olympic Torch will continue its journey despite of winds and storms, and disseminate the Olympic spirit and the notion of peace, friendship and progress to the world. This cannot be blocked by any force.
Q: Some monks in Gansu protested yesterday in front of the foreign journalists, saying that they hope Dalai return to Tibet and asking for human rights. Does China realize their discontent with the religious policy of the Central Government?
A: A handful of monks chanted slogans in front of foreign journalists yesterday. Isn't it a proof of their freedom of speech? I don't know what kind of freedom and rights they want? They have the rights of subsistence, development and the freedom of religious belief. All these rights are respected by the Central Government and protected by law. If they want the rights to break the law unbridlly and engage in separatist activities, I believe they will never get it. They only represent a very small group of people. The monastery the journalists visited yesterday houses over 1000 monks.
Q: Pakistani President Musharraf will start his visit to China today. Whom will he meet with? What will be discussed?
A: Pakistani President Musharraf will pay a state visit to China from April 10 to 15 and attend the annual conference of Boao Forum for Asia. During the visit, President Hu will talk with him, Chairman Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao and CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin will meet with him respectively. The two countries will sign relevant agreements.
China-Pakistan good neighborly and friendly Partnership has been developing over the past five decades. The relations are featured with the all-weather friendship and all-dimensional cooperation. We hope President Musharraf's visit to China can further promote the strategic partnership of cooperation between our two countries.
Q: The US and DPRK met in Singapore the day before yesterday, and made major progress on declaration, which was welcomed by the DPRK yesterday evening. But the US hasn't confirmed that yet. What's China's stance? When will the Six-Party Talks be resumed?
A: Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei met with heads of delegations and relevant personnel yesterday. Both the US and DPRK informed China of the meeting. The US and DPRK have reached consensus on the relevant issues of declaration. Relevant parties agree that the result is positive and helps to promote the process of the Six-Party Talks. China welcomes the patient dialogue between US and DPRK to address the relevant concern.
China believes that the conditions of the resumption of the Six-Party Talks are getting ripe. Relevant parties hold positive attitudes towards this. We are ready to continue our close contact and coordination with relevant parties, and work together to promote the Six-Party Talks and implement the goals set in the joint statement.
Q: The Chinese torch escorts disturbed the work of the local police during the torch relay in London and Pairs. China has reiterated for many times that countries' sovereignty should be respected. How do your comment on the deeds of the torch escorts? How should they perform their duty in the rest of the torch relay? Should they be advised on how to respect the police of sovereign states?
A: It's in line with the relevant IOC requirement and the Olympic routine to arrange the torch escorts. They are students from police colleges selected by the BOCOG as volunteers. Their responsibility set by the BOCOG is to safeguard the purity and dignity of the Olympic Holy Fire and to prevent the Olympic torch from being undermined and flame free from being tarnished. But they are not law-enforcement personnel.
During the torch relay, we've seen some trouble-making organizations and forces attempting to make use of the Olympic Torch relay to do something devastating to China, which is doomed to failure. The face and nature of the Tibetan separatists bent on violent activities to split and undermine China have been fully exposed. In the conference of the 205-member Association of International Olympic Committees in Beijing yesterday, representatives unanimously voiced their support to the Beijing Olympic Games. I believe that this is the main stream of the Olympic Games.
Q: The US Congress has adopted a resolution yesterday, urging China to talk with Dalai and open Tibet to foreign journalists and international investigators. How do you comment on that?
A:As for your first question, we will make a comprehensive and formal response later. I'd like to stress that the determination of the Chinese people to safeguard national sovereignty, territorial integrity and social stability is resolute, and not a single force can stop the Chinese people from making progress. Unreasonable pressure will only make the Chinese people more united and march forward with further development.
As for the situation in Tibet, you all know that you only need to go through certain formalities in the past if you want to go there. What leads to the recent changes? There are special measures under the special circumstances, which we don't want to see either. We hope the situation will return to normal as soon as possible, and foreign journalists could fully understand these measures. Recently we have helped arranging trips to Tibet for foreign reporters and diplomats to address the demands for more information of Tibet.
Someone talking about the so-called independent international investigation, and I'd like to ask them, how do governments deal with the violent riots in many US and European cities. And how do other countries react to that? You could see clearly the facts, but why is China treated differently? If investigation is needed, I think what should be investigated is exactly the attack against many Chinese overseas diplomatic missions. Who are those behind the attacks? Who are those rioters? And what's their purpose? I think we are closer to the truth if we address these questions first.
Q: I read an article on Internet that the Tibetan Youth Congress is a terrorist organization advocating violence. Do you have any further information about this organization? Do you have any comment on their deeds?
A: What the organization said and did have been fully exposed in front of the people of the world and they will make a fair judgment.
Q: As for the torch escorts, the Australian Government said it is up to the local police to protect the torch, and refused to allow the escorts to protect the torch. How do you comment on that?
A: As for the Olympic torch relay, you may refer to the spokesperson of the Torch Relay Center for the specifics. China and Australia have close cooperation on the torch relay in Australia. We hope and believe that the Australian police could provide sufficient and effective protection. The Olympic Holy Fire belongs to people not only in China but also the whole world.
Q: You just mentioned that the freedom of religious belief is protected by law in Tibet, but the Tibetans are not allowed to keep the portrait of Dalai. Is this to protect the freedom of religious belief?
A: I'm not aware of the specifics you mentioned. I have said that the question between the Chinese Government and Dalai is not an issue of ethnicity or religion, but a major political issue of separation versus anti-separation concerning China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. I'd like to make it clear that the freedom of religious belief for people of various ethnic groups in Tibet is fully respected and guaranteed.
Q: As for the E 3 plus 3 Political Directors' Meeting on the Iranian Nuclear Issue in Shanghai, is it the first time that China holds such a meeting? Can we cover this meeting?
A: It is the first time for China to host the meeting. If you have any interest in covering this meeting, we'll take it into consideration.
Q: The Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Tibet will be open to foreigners during the May Day holiday, but now it seems that you are not certain about that. Please confirm.
A: I haven't seen any formal announcement of the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region. If you have any question in this regard, please refer it to the local government.
I have explained more than once that there are currently special arrangements under the special circumstances. We hope that the social order could be restored at an early date.
Q: Are the foreign journalists free to go to Gansu, Sichuan and Qinghai at present? Is there any restriction?
A: As far as I know, there are areas under restriction. The current measures are taken as a result of the violence involving beating, smashing, looting and arson. The local governments are entitled to take special measures under special circumstance according to the situation there.
As for the regions you mentioned, such as Sichuan and Gansu, you may ask the local governments. Given the size of Gansu and Sichuan, many regions there are not affected by these incidents of violence.
If there are no other questions, thank you and bye-bye!