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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan's Press Conference on 18 January 2005



On the afternoon of January 18, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan presided over a regular press conference.


Kong: Good afternoon, everyone! First I will make an announcement:


At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Mauritian Prime Minister Paul Raymond Berenger will pay an official visit to China from January 23th to 29th, 2005.


Now I'm ready to take up your questions.


Q: This year marks the 55th anniversary for the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Vietnam. Please comment on China-Vietnam relations.


A: You have chosen a day of great memorial significance to raise this question. Exactly on the same day 55 years ago, China and Vietnam established diplomatic relations. Over the past 55 years, our bilateral relations registered substantial progress. Especially in recent years, under the guidelines featured by "long-term stability, future orientation, good-neighborly friendship and all-round cooperation" proposed by the leaders of both countries, our bilateral relations have witnessed a sound overall development. Leaders of both countries have maintained close exchanges. The two sides have further deepened mutual trust and understanding. Remarkable results have been achieved in mutually-beneficial cooperation of all fields. Historical leftovers such as border and territorial problems have been gradually solved.


Stronger China-Vietnam friendly and cooperative relations serve the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, which is beneficial to cooperation and development of this region. China attaches great importance to developing good-neighborly friendship with Vietnam and is ready to join hands with Vietnam to enhance mutual trust and deepen our cooperation, so as to constantly push the China-Vietnam relations to a higher level.


Q: It is reported that the Taiwan authorities will dispatch a so-called "special envoy delegation" headed by Mr. Lee Yuan Tsech to attend American President Bush's second-term inauguration. What comment do you have on this ?


A:  We pay much attention to relevant reports and have expressed concern to the US side over them. The US side has clearly said that they have not invited nor do they recognize the so-called "special envoy delegation" from the Taiwan authorities.


I'd like to use this opportunity to tell you Chinese Ambassador to the US Yang Jiechi will attend President Bush's inauguration at invitation on behalf of the Chinese Government.


Q: Japan's Defense Agency has formulated a military defense guideline in which Diaoyu Island was included. What comment do you have on this?


A: I have seen relevant reports and pay great attention to relevant situations. We have repeatedly reiterated that Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are China's own territory since the ancient times. The Chinese side always holds that China and Japan should solve relevant disputes through negotiations and consultations rather than take any unilateral actions.


Q: It is reported by an American newspaper at noon that the US Government has imposed sanctions on eight Chinese companies, charging them of selling items related to weapons of mass destruction to Iran. What's the comment of the Chinese side?


A: First I need to check the relevant report.


As far as I know, there was a similar incident not long ago. I'm not sure if you are referring to the same incident. At that time we stated our position, the main point of which was that the Chinese Government firmly opposes to any form of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. During recent years, we have established a number of laws and regulations regarding nuclear, biological and chemical weapons as well as their delivery vehicles. Meanwhile, the laws and regulations are strictly enforced in practice, and violations of such laws and regulations are seriously punished. We have also informed the US side of our position. The Chinese Government means what it says. We will strictly implement whatever laws that are enacted. The US side arbitrarily imposes sanctions on Chinese companies by citing its domestic laws without authentic evidence. This is what we cannot accept and oppose to.


Q: The US congressman Weldon has visited the DPRK and said that the fourth round of the Six-Party Talks will be held in February. What's the comment of the Chinese side?


A: Last week several correspondents asked about the visit of Weldon in China. At that time his visit had not finished yet. But now I can brief you on it. Weldon came to China at the invitation of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs. During his visit, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Cheng Siwei and other officials in charge on the Chinese side met with him. The two sides mainly exchanged views on three topics. One was the overall relations between China and the US. The second was about the exchange and cooperation between the legislative bodies of the two sides. The third was about the issues of common interest, mainly the nuclear issue on Korean Peninsula. Concerning the nuclear issue on Korean Peninsula, the DPRK side and Weldon as well as those on the US side who have visited the DPRK lately all informed China of the relevant situation. We think that such visits are conducive to increasing understanding of each other's positions, and have created a relatively good atmosphere for the  early opening of the next round of the Six-Party Talks. We certainly welcome this. For the next step, we hold that all parties, the DPRK and the US in particular, should maintain all forms of engagement, exchange and communication, further display their sincerity and flexibility, so as to make constructive joint efforts for the early opening of the next round of the Six-Party Talks. The Chinese side will undoubtedly, as always, exert its own efforts in this regard.


Thank you!

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