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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Press Conference on 15 March 2005

On the afternoon of March 15, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.

Liu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to begin with 2 announcements.

At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Josephe KABILA will pay a working visit to China from March 20 to 23.

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Premier Pak Bong Ju of the DPRK will pay an official good-will visit to China from March 22 to 27.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: After the approval of the anti-secession law, the US indicated that the law would be unhelpful to the cross-Straits relations. What's China's comment? In addition at the press conference yesterday, Premier Wen Jiabao called on all countries to understand and support the Anti-secession Law. What measures will China adopt in order to win the support and understanding of the international community?

A: Premier Wen Jiabao has elaborated on the relevant content and principles of the Anti-secession Law at the press conference yesterday. I'd like to reiterate that it's a law to promote the peaceful reunification of China. The law helps oppose and contain 'Taiwan independence' and maintain the peace, stability and prosperity across the Taiwan Straits and in the Asian-Pacific Region. It's also conducive to the stable development of Sino-US relations. Whoever goes through the original text of the law will fully understand the principle, goal and the core content of this law. I believe that this law will win the understanding and support of countries and people who adhere to the 'one China' policy and Chinese reunification.

Q: Yesterday, Dalai Lama received the interview of South China Morning Post and answered the questions on China-Tibetan relations. What's China's comment?

A: Tibet is an inalienable part of China's territory. That's a historical fact and the common consensus of the international community as well.

We have taken note of the relevant remarks of Dalai. The Central Government's policy towards Dalai is consistent and explicit. If Dalai sincerely hopes to improve the relations with the Central Government, he should face up to the reality in a comprehensive and objective way, truly give up his proposition of 'Tibet independence', and stop all actions of secession. He should also publicly declare that Tibet is an inalienable part of China, and admit that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China and the Government of the People's Republic of China is only legal government that represents China.

The Central Government will listen to what he says and more importantly observe what he does.

Q: The Pakistan Government has always been supporting the 'one China' policy. Yesterday, the Pakistani side indicated that it welcomed the approval of China's Anti-secession Law. What's China's comment on Pakistan's position?

A: We appreciate Pakistan's position to support the 'one China' policy and China's reunification.

Q: Just now, you said the Anti-secession Law will win the support of the world. However, the EU and the US both showed their concern over the passage of the law. Is that because they misunderstood the law?

A: They didn't understand the positive meaning of the anti-secession law. Therefore, we reiterate on many occasions that it's a law to promote the peaceful reunification of China, and the law helps oppose and contain 'Taiwan independence' and maintain the peace, stability and prosperity across the Taiwan Straits and in the Asian-Pacific Region. It's also conducive to the stable development of Sino-EU and Sino-US relations. If they had noticed that, they would not have different understanding of the law.

Follow-up: Do you think they have interfered in China's domestic affairs? They shouldn't do that?

A: It's natural for the international community to concern about the situation across the Taiwan Straits, since it bears on the peace and stability in the Asian-Pacific region. We understand that. But it doesn't change the fact that the Taiwan question is China's domestic affairs in nature.

Q: It's reported that China, Vietnam and the Philippines signed the Tripartite Agreement for a Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking in the Agreement Area in the South China Sea this Monday. What's China's comment?

A: Last September, a Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking accord was signed between China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) and the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC). And the Vietnamese side indicated the willingness to join in. Through rounds of consultation, the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking in the Agreement Area in the South China Sea was signed in Manila on March 14 among CNOOC, PNOC and the Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation.

The joint marine seismic undertaking by the oil companies of China, Vietnam and the Philippines in the agreement area is an important measure of implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. It will make historic contribution to the peace, stability and development in the South China Sea. China has been actively discussing with relevant ASEAN countries on ways to conduct pragmatic cooperation in the South China Sea in a spirit of 'shelving differences and engaging in common development' in recent years, and devoted to making the South China Sea a sea of friendship and cooperation linking China and ASEAN.

Q: What's the purpose of the visit to China by DPRK Premier Pak Bong Ju? Will he discuss the issue of the Six-Party Talks with China?

A: Now, the friendly cooperative relation between China and DPRK maintains a good momentum. The two countries keep high-level exchanges. There are also active exchange and cooperation on various fields. Last year, the Sino-DPRK bilateral trade volume amounted to approximately $1.4 billion, an increase of 35.4%. DPRK Premier Pak Bong Ju's visit to China is another important effort to push forward the Sino-DPRK relations. During his visit, he will meet with the Chinese leaders and exchange views with them on bilateral relations and issues of common interest.

The nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula attracts great concern, and demands the discussion between China and the DPRK. I think this issue will be touched upon in their talks.

Q: Just now, you said that it's because of the incomplete understanding of the anti-secession law that the US and other countries are against the approval of the Anti-secession Law. Will China convey this message during Dr. Rice's visit next week?

A: We hope the US can treat the Chinese anti-secession law in a correct way. During the US Secretary of State Rice's visit to China, she will meet with the Chinese leaders and exchange views with Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing on a number of questions. A great many issues are possibly mentioned.

Q: At yesterday's press conference, Premier Wen Jiabao indicated that conditions should be created to promote the high-level exchanges between China and Japan. What kind of condition is necessary for the realization of high-level exchange between the countries? How long it will take to create such a condition? Yesterday Premier Wen also indicated that the authorities of foreign affairs of the two countries should make joint strategic research so as to promote the friendship between the two countries. What strategic research has been conducted between the two authorities of foreign affairs? And what strategic research will be conducted in future?

A: Premier Wen proposed to actively create conditions to promote the high-level exchanges between China and Japan. As to the time needed, it's not completely up to the Chinese side. We take a positive attitude toward the high-level exchanges between China and Japan. At the same time, we think it requires an appropriate atmosphere and condition. Especially on the history problem, Japan should adopt a correct attitude.

The strategic research on promoting the friendship between the two countries is a positive suggestion proposed by Premier Wen. If the Japanese side agrees, Japan and China will make consultations on that.

Q: Whom of Chinese leaders will the US State Secretary Rice meet in her visit to China? Besides the Anti-secession Law, what other issues will they discuss? In addition, it is reported that thousands of elephants are being killed every year in Sudan to meet the demands of illegal ivory transactions, while China is the biggest importer of ivory. What comment do you have on this? Can you tell us the measures the Chinese Government has taken to prevent such incidents?

A: The visit of State Secretary Rice is yet to begin. Regarding the news on meetings and talks, we will brief you when she comes.

As for your second question, I think the relevant reports are far from the truth. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the protection of endangered species and joined the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)in 1981. In accordance with the agreement reached at the Conference of Parties to the Convention, China banned ivory trade as early as in 1990s. As a party to the Convention, China has earnestly fulfilled the obligation enshrined in CITES and harshly prohibited ivory trade. The efforts taken by the Chinese Government have been generally acknowledged by the international community.

Q: Will the Anti-secession Law affect the EU's decision to lift its arms embargo against China? This Thursday China's Foreign Minister will go to Belgium to meet the EU leaders, will they focus on this issue? Yesterday the South Morning Daily said Dalai Lama wants to come back to China and rather publicly recognizes that Tibet belongs to China's territory. What kind of recognition does China need Dalai to make to permit him to return to China?

A: We have repeatedly stated our position on EU's removal of its arms embargo against China. During Foreign Minister Li's visit to the EU headquarters, I believe the two sides will touch upon this issu.

As for your second question, we have expounds on our position for many times. We urge Dalai Lama to face the reality in a comprehensive and objective view, genuinely abjure the proposition of 'Tibet Independence' , stop all activities splitting our motherland, publicly recognize that Tibet is an inalienable part of China and so is Taiwan, the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing whole China. For Dalai, we have to not only listen to his words, but also observe his actions.

Q: The Chinese Premier Wen has particularly suggested a strategic research on China-Japan relations, who will make this research? Can you introduce the suggestion in detail? Has the Chinese side received the response from the Japanese side?

A: China's Foreign Ministry will actively promote the follow-up of relevant suggestion and conduct consultations with the Japanese side. We have got a preliminary response from the Japanese side, who said they attach great importance to the principles and suggestions proposed by Premier Wen on China-Japan relations. The two sides will begin consultations and strategic research on some issues. The consultations cover a wide range of fields, for the interests of the two countries are both bilateral and multi-lateral.

Q: The Indian Government invited the Pakistani Prime Minister to watch a cricket match, what comment does the Chinese side have on this? It is heard that China's Foreign Minister will visit Nepal. Can you provide further information?

A: We are glad to see any action and proposition conducive to further improve India-Pakistan relations. I believe Indian's invitation for Musharraf to watch the match is a good-will action, which surely still needs the two sides to determine. We hope India-Pakistan relations can continue to be improved.

As for whether Minister Li will visit Nepal, I can help you check the news.

Q: Indonesia and Malaysia are having a dispute over two small islands on the Sulawesi Sea, which is much similar to the disputes over Diaoyu Islands between China and Japan. As a friendly neighbor of Indonesia and Malaysia, what suggestions will China have to Indonesian Government on this issue? Recently hatred emotions are heightened between the Indonesian and Malaysian peoples, which are similar to emotions between peoples of China and Japan. Can China propose some suggestions to the Indonesian Government by taking China's own example of persuading the Chinese people to ease their hatred towards Japan?

A: China has always stood for peaceful solution of international disputes through dialogue and equal consultations. Indonesia and Malaysia are both China's friendly neighbors. China sincerely hopes the two sides can give a priority to the general picture of their bilateral relations, proceed from the regional peace and stability of Southeast Asia and properly handle the existing problems. We believe, as long as the parties involved can sit down for discussion with an equal stance of mutual understanding, any problem can be properly addressed.

Q: Can you introduce the visit of DPRK's Premier Pak Bong Ju to China? Will this visit greatly help resumption of the Six-Party Talks?

A: Premier Pak Bong Ju's visit to China is a major event in China-DPRK relations and a very important visit, which will cover many issues, that of both bilateral relations and mutual interests. We will introduce relevant information in due time when the visit begins.

Q: Will Premier Pak Bong Ju visit other places besides Beijing this time?

A: Can I check it for you after the press conference? I haven't got his detailed agenda right now.

If there are no questions, the press conference is over. Thank you!

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