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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Press Conference on 1 March 2005

On the afternoon of March 1, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.

Liu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Now the floor is open.

Q: What's China's comment on the collective resignation of the Lebanese Government? What new proposals will China put forward at the London Meeting on Supporting the Palestinian Authority?

A: China concerns about the latest development of the situation in Lebanon. We hope to see a stable political situation in Lebanon.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo has left Beijing for the London Meeting on Supporting the Palestinian Authority. The Chinese side hopes this meeting would be conducive to an early establishment of a Palestinian state, to the realization of peaceful coexistence through political negotiation. Together with the international community, the Chinese side will, as always, make unremitting efforts for the complete and fair solution of the Middle East issue.

We have reiterated our position on the Middle East issue on many occasions. When visiting the Middle East last year, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan elaborated on China's propositions on the Middle East issue. First, Palestine and Israel should build mutual trust and resume the process of peace talks. Second, the 'road map' plan should be restarted to build an independent Palestinian state. Third, all sides should actively strive for the comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East. Forth, the international community should strengthen the efforts to promote peace in the Middle East. This London Meeting highlights the stronger efforts of the international community to promote peace. China will play a constructive role at the meeting.

Q: It's reported that the forthcoming NPC will pass a resolution increasing China's military expenditure by 12%. Please confirm that. What's the main subject of this NPC?

A: The NPC this year is yet to be held. According to my knowledge, the spokesman for this NPC will hold a press conference at the Great Hall of the People at 11 o'clock a.m. on March 4. You can ask questions about its relevant agenda, subject and arrangements and so on.

Q: It's reported that when meeting with Minister Wang Jiarui, Chairman Kim Jong Il said the DPRK had nuclear weapons. What's your comment?

A: We have already given a full coverage to the Minister Wang Jiarui's meeting with Kim Jong Il and other DPRK leaders. Chairman Kim Jong Il explicitly told Minister Wang Jiarui that, first, the DPRK stick to a nuclear-free Peninsula and the peaceful solution of relevant issues through dialogue; second, the DPRK never opposes the Six-Party Talks, let alone withdraw from it; third, the DPRK is willing to return to the Six-Party Talks at any time, if the conditions are right for the fourth round of talks through the concerted efforts of all parties in future. He hopes relevant parties to show sincerity.

At present when the Six-Party Talks encountered difficulties, we cannot forget the substantial achievements and consensus reached through the three-party talks and the former 3 rounds of talks in Beijing. All parties believe that the Korean Peninsula should be denuclearized and the nuclear issue should be solved through peace talks, diplomatic channels and negotiations. All parties agree that the Six-Party Talks be gradually advanced in unanimous steps and by means of word for word and action for action. All parties believe that the Six-Party Talks should continue. At present, he Six-Party Talks encountered some difficulties due to a lot of factors. I think it's the common aspiration of all parties and international community to continue the Six-Party Talks, which requires all parties to show real sincerity and flexibility.

Q: The US State Department lately released 2004 Human Rights Country Reports, in which the China's human rights situation was criticized. What's China's comment?

A: The US released a lot of such reports. Facts have proven that the US action neither helps to improve the Sino-US relations nor for China and the US to strengthen dialogue, enhance understanding and narrow differences on human rights. We are strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to the US reasonless criticism against China by releasing the Human Rights Report again despite China's continuous great progress in improving its human rights.

After adopting the policy of reform and opening up, China have made important progress in fields of national politics and economy, democratic and legal system and improvement of people's living standard and so on. The protection of human rights is added to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China. Since then, the fundamental human rights of Chinese people can be protected through legal means. At the same time, we never stop our efforts to protect and improve the Chinese people's human rights in the political, economic, social and cultural fields for the purpose of building a harmonious and unified society.

Here, I advise the US open their eyes to these basic facts and stop taking advantage of human rights to interfere in China's internal affairs. I urge the US to pay more attention to its own human rights violations at home, and to its actions of infringing on other countries'  human rights internationally. China and the US have different views on human rights. Both sides should conduct dialogues on the basis of equality and mutual respect in order to narrow differences. That's the best way to narrow the differences and solve the disputes.

Q: How does China think about the US human rights? Will China release a white paper on US human rights this year?

A: Just now, I have elaborated on our position on the US 2004 Human Rights Country Reports. I have nothing to add.

Q: It's reported that Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei will visit the ROK on March 2. Could you brief on his agenda and the latest news about the Six-Party Talks? It's also reported that the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party will work out a draft amendment to the constitution in March for the first time, and will draft a new Constitution by the end of November. What's China's view on this issue?

A: Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei will visit the ROK on March 2 to exchange views with the ROK on the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. China and the ROK have carried out a number of consultations and communications, which are conducive to the solution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsular. For example, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing talked with ROK Minister for Foreign affairs and Trade Ban Ki-Moon through telephone yesterday afternoon. The two sides exchanged some information, and both showed their willingness to enhance coordination and cooperation, and make joint efforts to promote the Six-Party Talks. As to your second question, as Japan's neighbor country, we hope Japan will learn from the history, face the concern of relevant Asian countries, prudently conduct in the military and security fields, and continue to follow the path of peaceful development. That is in the interests of Japan and conducive to the regional peace and development.

Q: Did Kim Jong Il tell China the DPRK had nuclear program during Wang Jiarui's visit? Does China believe the DPRK has enriched uranium as the U.S. imagined?

A: We have given comparatively detailed coverage on Wang Jiarui's visit to the DPRK, and I have no more information to provide. As to your second question, the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsular, including all specific problems, should be clarified and solved through Six-Party Talks. The ultimate goal of the Six-Party Talks is to realize a nuclear-free peninsular, thus realize the long standing peace and stability on the Korean peninsular. The issue you have mentioned should be resolved within the framework of the Six-Party Talks. Therefore, China will go on to strive for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

Q: Today ROK President Roh Moo-hyun made a speech on some historical problems, at a commemoration of Independence Movement. He pointed out that Japan should find out the historical truth, and offer their sincere apology. If there are facts demanding compensation, Japan should compensate for that, thus realizing the reconciliation of the two nations. As the biggest victim of Japan's invasion, what's China's comment on that speech?

A: I haven't read the original text of the speech. From the information you provided, China basically agree with ROK's view on the invasion launched by the Japanese imperialism. Both China and ROK are victims of the war, and both think Japan should learn from history, and adopt a proper attitude on historical issues. The improvement and development of Japan-China, Japan-ROK relations are conducive to the regional peace and stability. As to the issue of compensation, we have explained our stance many times. During the Second World War, the Japanese militarism committed serious crimes to Asian people, including Chinese people. They devastated the Asian people's physical and psychological health, causing inestimable damage to their lives and possessions. China's stance on the issue of compensation is clear. Japan should properly handle the problems left by history.

Q: It's reported that vice chairman of the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) Jiang Bingkun will pay an official visit to Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum and Yuhua Tai in Nanjing, and the 72 Martyrs Mausoleum at Huanghuagang in Guangzhou. Lian Zhan and Song Chuyu may also visit the mainland. Could you confirm this?

A: Maybe you didn't attend many Foreign Ministry's regular press conference. You should put forward your question to the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

Q: The US State Department criticized in its report on human rights that the election of the Hong Kong Legislative Council was out of order last year, and the Standing Committee of NPC ruled out Hong Kong's demand to carry out general election in 2007 and 2008. What's your comment?

A: I have taken note of relevant news. I want to indicate that the Hong Kong affair belongs to China's domestic affairs. It's inappropriate for the US to make irresponsible remarks on Hong Kong affairs, which belongs to China's domestic affairs. We are opposed to that. The Chinese Government has been strictly abide by the Basic Law, and firmly stick to the policy of 'one country, two systems', 'Hong Kong people administrating Hong Kong' and a high degree of autonomy.

Q: Does China plan to send officials to the US to promote the resumption of the Six-Party Talks? Who will, on behalf of China, attend the commemoration celebrating the 60th anniversary of the victory of anti- fascist war to be held in Moscow this May? Will China plan to set a date to celebrate the victory of WWII?

A: As to your first question, China and the US have made frequent consultations on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. I didn't know who would be sent to the US for consultations. I can check it for you.

As to who will attend the commemoration celebrating the 60th anniversary of the victory of anti- fascist war to be held in Moscow, China is still negotiating with relevant sides through diplomatic channels. A number of events will be held in China to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the victory of anti- fascist war. I will brief on you at the proper time.

Q: It's reported that China was to appoint a new Special Envoy to the Middle East. Please confirm that. Who will be the new special envoy? It's out of China own decision or the requisition of other countries?

A: I didn't hear about the news of changing the special envoy. I can check it out for you. I think Ambassador Wang Shijie, as China's Special Envoy to the Middle East, has done hard and outstanding work.

If no more questions are to be raised, let's call it a day.

Thank you!

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