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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Press Conference on 3 March 2005

On the afternoon of March 3, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.

Liu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

At the Press conference this Tuesday, a reporter from the Al-Jazeera television asked if China was considering changing the Special Envoy to the Middle East. Now, I inform you that at present, China doesn't have any plan to change the Special Envoy to the Middle East. Ambassador Wang Shijie is a senior expert on Middle East issue. Since his appointment as special envoy, he has won recognition and praise from all sides for his outstanding work.

Now, I'd like to take up your questions.

Q: A US consultation institution predicts that China's economy will go through turbulence in 2015. According to the WTO regulations, China will open its banking industry by the end of 2006. What's your comment on the prediction? China Daily announced the result of a public-opinion poll yesterday. Most Chinese believe the US is containing China. Can it represent the position of the Chinese Government? At what levels has China discussed with the US on the anti-secession law?

A: I am not a fortune-teller. And I am wondering how the institution mentioned by you came to such a conclusion. I want to tell you that, according to China's three-step strategy, China will strive to reach the medium level of the developed countries in the middle of this century. We are now focusing on construction and development to ensure the healthy, stable, sustainable and harmonious development of our national economy. I firmly believe that our goal will be achieved.

I took note of relevant reports about the result of the public survey on Sino-US relations. I observe that most Chinese citizens attach great importance to the Sino-US relations. I remember that the survey revealed approximately 70% Chinese thought the Sino-US relations maintained the momentum of development and improvement. Certainly, there are some believe that the US is containing China.

As the Foreign Ministry Spokesman, I want to reiterate that China and the US share a lot of common interests in both bilateral fields and international affairs. Both China and the US should attach importance to and expand the common interests, and handle the differences with a cautious, calm and objective attitude. As to the Tai Wan question, the US should pay special importance, and should continue to act in strict accordance with the three Sino-US communiqués and properly deal with it.

As to your question about discussions between China and the US on the anti-secession law, I want to tell you the Tai Wan question is of great importance to China and US. Both sides stay in contacts at various levels. And the contacts are carried out at effective levels, which is conducive to enhancing mutual understanding on the anti-secession law.

Q: It's reported that the Japanese Government is going to end its loan to China. What's your comment?

A: The Japanese loan to China is the monetary cooperation based on mutual benefits in the special political and historical background. We think both sides should properly handle it with a responsible attitude to the bilateral relations and ensure a good ending to the Japanese loan to China. China and Japan has recently started negotiation on this issue.

Q: Chen Shuibian commented that the stipulation of the anti-secession law overcastted the cross-Straits relations. What's your comment?

A: China has reiterated on many occasions that it serves the common interests of the Chinese people and the international community to maintain the peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and in the Asian-Pacific Region. The Chinese NPC launched the legislative procedure for anti-secession law for the purpose of containing 'Taiwan independence' as well as maintaining the peace, stability and prosperity across the Taiwan Straits and in the Asian-Pacific Region. The Chinese Government firmly adhere to the principle of  'one County, two systems', and is resolved to realize the peaceful reunification of our motherland with the greatest sincerity and efforts. At the same time, we will not tolerate 'Taiwan independence', or tolerate any force to separate Taiwan from China at any excuse and by any means. We are willing to make unremitting efforts, together with the international community, to safeguard the stability in Taiwan and the Asian-Pacific region.

Q: China released a report on the US situation, which mentioned the US prisoner abuses, political rights, freedom and rights of women and children. I think China is different from the rest of the world in terms of the definition of human rights. China's definition focus on the rights to material needs, such as food and shelters. My question is which definition is the standard for the US human rights reports. China's or the international community's?

A: I think your understanding of China's position and view on human rights is incomplete and partial. China not only emphasizes the Chinese citizen's economic, cultural and social rights but also their political and civil rights. China accepts the universal principle of human rights. China has acceded to 21 international human rights covenants. Every country has its own features and priorities in human rights development. China has achieved great progress in guarantee people's rights in political, economic, social and cultural fields. At the same time, we don't think China has done perfectly in human rights. There are some problems. For example, the imbalanced development between South China and East China, the gap between the rich and the poor, some illegal behavior in the process of administration and law enforcement. Nevertheless, the Chinese Government and people have been fully aware of these problems, and are trying to solve all these problems. It takes some time to solve these problems. On the issue of human rights, countries all around the world should conduct dialogues based on equality and mutual respect, and calmly listen to other's opinions. The dialogue should be carried out in a nonantagonistic atmosphere so as to narrow differences.

At the press conference this Tuesday, I have commented on the Human Rights Country Reports. The US action doesn't help to improve the Sino-US relations, or narrow the differences between China and the US on human rights. We are firmly opposed to the US reports and we can accept it by no means. At the same time, we also hope the US could pay more attention to its own problems on human rights. In its Human Rights Record of the United States in 2004, the Information Office of the State Council pointed out some problems existing in the US human rights situation. Don't you think those problems deserve the self-examination of US?

Q: The Foreign Ministry of DPRK delivered a memorandum yesterday, requiring the U.S. to apologize for their remarks of 'outpost of tyranny', and take that back. What's China's comment on this issue?

A: It's in the interests of all parties  to persist in the realization of a nuclear-free Peninsular and the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. There are still comparatively remarkable differences among the concerning parties right now. We hope all parties could attach more importance to the maintenance of peace and stability in the Korean peninsular and the Northeast Asia, show more flexibility and release more goodwill so as to create conditions conducive to the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. China keeps on communicating with the concerning parties, urging them to make active efforts for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks. China will continue to promote the Six-Party Talks.

Q: When will the next round of China-U.S. Dialogue on Human Rights be held? I've read the Human Rights Record of the United States published by China. Could you give us some examples of the U.S. violation of human rights? In the Report published by the U.S., there are many specific examples about where it thinks China should improve its human rights. Could you explain where specifically does China think the U.S. should improve its human rights?

A: As to when will China and the U.S. start a new round of Dialogue on Human Rights, I think what's critical now is to create good atmosphere and conditions for the resumption of the Dialogue on Human Rights. As to your second question, I've seen the abstract of 'the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2004' published by the Information Office of the State Council. There are many examples about the human rights problems in the U.S., and I'm not going to list them here. You could download the examples from the web and read carefully.

Q: China has published a report about the U.S. human rights condition. A basic principle of China's foreign policy is not to interfere in other country's internal affairs. Does the publication of this report violate this principal, though it's retaliation to the human rights report published by the U.S.?

A: We think the issue of human rights is one country's internal affairs in essence. This stance hasn't changed. But we are not against holding dialogues on concerned issues with relevant countries in the field of human rights, on the basis of equality and mutual respect, so as to narrow the diversifications. That is conducive to improving and developing the human right conditions in concerning countries. The publication of the Human Rights Record of the United States by the Information Office of the State Council is to remind the U.S. that there are also many problems in its own country. The best way to solve those problems as well as to improve and develop the human right conditions in every country is to hold dialogues on the basis of mutual respect and in a peaceful and equal atmosphere.

Q: It's been a month since DPRK claimed it had nuclear weapons. Mr. Kong Quan told me China was investigating this issue when asked if China believed DPRK had nuclear weapons. Has China finished the  investigation? Could you tell if DPRK has nuclear weapons or not on earth? The second question is since you've mentioned that the U.S. should create conditions for the China-U.S. human rights dialogue, what specific things should the U.S. do to resume the human rights dialogue?

A: I cannot tell you exactly yes or no, but I can tell you the ultimate goal of the Six-Party Talks is to realize a nuclear-free peninsula. As to your second question, the way conducive to resume the China-U.S. dialogue on human rights is to establish mutual trust and adopt an equal and mutual respective attitude. On the contrary, the U.S. State Department's human rights report cannot help to resume the dialogue on human rights, but only to poison the atmosphere.

Q: Among the items in the Human Rights Record of the United States published by the Information Office of the State Council, which does China recognize as the most important? What's China's purpose to publish such a report?

A: Chinese Government attaches great importance to all the problems concerning with human rights. China is striving to improve our people's rights in the political, economic, social and cultural fields. At the same time, we are strengthening the democratic and legal system. Chinese Government and people know what we should do. As to the second question, China expected a dialogue on the basis of equality and mutual respect, rather than confrontation. We must point out that there are also various problems concerning human rights in the U.S.

Q: Could you comment on the swirling rumor that Hong Kong Special Administrative Region governor Dong Jianhua is going to resign?

A: It's not my responsibility to answer this question. Please consult the concerning departments.

Q: Premier Wen Jiabao is going to visit India and some other South Asian countries. Could you give us some information about his visit?

A: Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to South Asia is under active preparation through diplomatic channels. I'll tell you in time when the relevant information is confirmed.

If there are no other questions, I would like to introduce some information about Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei's visit to the Republic of Korea.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei is on his visit to the Republic of Korea at present. He has met Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea Ban Ki-moon and Chairman of the Standing Committee of ROK National Security Council Chung Dong Young. And he held talks with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the ROK Lee Tae-sik and the head of ROK delegation to the Six-Party Talks and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the ROK Song Min-soon. The two sides both thought that it was extremely important to restart the next round of Six-Party Talks. And all six parties should make careful negotiations on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and security concerns and so on. The bilateral talks within the framework of the Six-Party Talks are important and helpful, and should go on. Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei also exchanged views with Christopher Hill, the new head of U.S. delegation to the Six-Party Talks. The two sides believed that the Six-Party Talks was the effective way to realize a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, and hoped to restart the talks as soon as possible. Hill indicated that the United States was not hostile toward the DPRK and was willing to talk with the DPRK within the framework of the Six-Party Talks, and discuss any issue in details which DPRK concerns about.

The press conference is over. Thank you for your coming!

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