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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Press Conference on 29 March 2005

On the afternoon of March 29, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.

Liu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

In this early morning, a powerful 8.7 magnitude earthquake struck under the west sea off Indonesia's Sumatra Island, causing a heavy loss of life and property. We offer our deep sympathy and condolence to Indonesia for its suffering from another devastating natural disaster. President Hu Jintao has sent a condolence telegraph to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing also offered condolence to his counterpart Noer Hasan by telegraph. The Chinese Government and the Red Cross are considering emergent aid to the earthquake-stricken area in Indonesia.

There is another announcement for you:

At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Alvaro Uribe Vélez of the Republic of Colombia will pay a state visit to China from April 6th to 9th.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: The French President Jacques Chirac remarked on the lifting of arms embargo against China during his visit to Japan. Does China believe there is much possibility to lift the embargo in the first half of this year? It's reported that the Chinese citizens in Kyrgyzstan suffered losses. Will China take measures to help maintain the stability in Kyrgyzstan within the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organization? Jiang Bingkun will head a delegation to visit China. Please confirm. What issues will he discuss with the Chinese side?

A: We appreciated that such EU members as France reiterated on many occasions their position on supporting the removal of arms embargo. We hope the EU to proceed from the general interests of Sino-EU relations and lift the arms embargo as early as possible, which confirms to the common interests of both sides.

We have been following closely the development of situation in Kyrgyzstan. Just now you mentioned that Chinese citizens suffered losses and some were even wounded, so I'd like to give you a rather detailed account. According to our knowledge, the riots in Kyrgyzstan caused over 10 Chinese citizens wounded and a property loss of more than $700. Most were just lightly wounded. The three seriously wounded have been hospitalized without critical danger of life. The Chinese Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan have got to hospital in person to visit the injured, convey the care and solicitudes of the Chinese Government, and urge the Kyrgyzstan side to spare no efforts for the treatment.

The Chinese Government is much concerned about and pays close attention to the personal security and property safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in Kyrgyzstan. To date, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Embassy in Kyrgyzstan have launched the emergency response system and taken the following measures:

First, the Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan has opened an emergency telephone and published the telephone number at the website of Chinese Foreign Ministry. At the same time, the Chinese Foreign Ministry published a statement twice at its website to warn Chinese citizens who go to Kyrgyzstan of the security situation there and advise them to postpone their journey to Kyrgyzstan unless there is a special need. It also reminded the Chinese citizens already in Kyrgyzstan to improve security measures, strengthen self-protection and contact the Chinese Embassy in Kyrgyzstan in time when facing difficulties.

Second, staying in contact with the Foreign Ministry and other Ministries of Kyrgyzstan, the Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan demands the Kyrgyzstan side to take effective measures to protect the personal security and property safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in Kyrgyzstan.

Third, we are coordinating with relevant Chinese departments at home to formulate various precaution plans, so as to provide necessary assistance for our agencies and citizens according to the needs of situation development.

To date, the civil flights between China and Kyrgyzstan remain open. The Chinese citizens in Kyrgyzstan have no difficulty coming back home for the time being.

As to whether China will take measures to help Kyrgyzstan through Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing discussed the situation in Kyrgyzstan with the Russian Foreign Minister and Foreign Ministers of the other three SCO countries through telephone. All sides expressed the concern over the situation in Kyrgyzstan, hoping to restore stability and order as early as possible. All sides believed that the establishment and development of SCO conform to the interest of this region and its member countries and hoped the SCO to continue to carry out effective cooperation.

It's inappropriate for me to answer your third question. In addition, I remember that I have reminded another reporter when answering his question and now I also want to remind you that Mr. Jiang Bingkun is in China now, in China's Taiwan province, therefore you should say he will go to China's mainland.

Q: In order to restore the stability in Kyrgyzstan, will China take any concrete measures, such as sending representatives to Kyrgyzstan, or take joint actions with other SCO countries?

A: According to my knowledge, relevant parties have had some contacts with the Kyrgyzstan side. We are willing to contact with relevant departments of Kyrgyzstan at appropriate time through our embassy there.

Q: Will china adopt any concrete action to help Kyrgyzstan to resume its stability? Such as sending representative to Kyrgyzstan or taking action together with other countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

A: All parties concerned have had contacts with Kyrgyzstan, China has the embassy in Kyrgyzstan, and we are willing to meet the Kyrgyzstan side at an appropriate time.

Q: After the earthquake in Indonesia, what is the current situation of Chinese citizens and oversea Chinese in Indonesia? Has anyone asked for help from the Chinese Government? My second question is what China's comment on the report delivered by the United States State Department on human rights and democracy, which criticizes Hong Kong's democratic course?

A: According to the information that our embassy in Indonesia got from relevant Indonesian departments, we have not heard that Chinese citizens, including citizens of Honking and Macao Special Administrative Regions and Taiwan province, died or are injured during the earthquake presently. We will continue to pay attention to the development of the situation of this disaster, and have a close contact with the Indonesia. If we get the news that some Chinese citizens are killed or injured, we will extend your assistance in time.

We have noticed the report, what the United States calls a report on human rights. Hong Kong's democracy has made great achievements and will continue to develop. Hong Kong's affairs are China's internal affairs, and we firmly oppose the irresponsible remarks of any other country on Hong Kong's affairs.

Q: Some reports say that thousands of Chinese 'netizens' have signed on line to oppose Japan's bid for the permanent membership of UN Security Council. What is the comment of the Chinese Government? What impact will this action have on China-Japan relations?

A: we have taken a note of netizens' online signing against Japan's bid for the permanent membership of UN Security Council. It shows again that Japan should take a responsible attitude toward history, so as to win the trust from the people of China and other countries in Asia. With regards to the reform of the UN Security Council, we have reiterated our position for many times that all members of the Security Council should reach broad consensus through democratic consultations and find a formula on the basis of well-concerted consensus.

Q: Some reports say that some Chinese companies suffer a great loss during the turmoil in Kyrgyzstan. Will China demand the compensation from the Kyrgyzstan side?

A: The Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan is closely following the development of the local situation. We hope the Kyrgyzstan Government to assist the Chinese citizens and companies suffering loss in properly handling the aftermaths through appropriate channels and in accordance with the realities there when the situation in Kyrgyzstan becomes stable.

Q: It's reported that President Hu Jintao will visit DPRK in May. Could you confirm it?

A: China and DPRK have the tradition of high-level exchange visits. I have no further information to provide right now.

Q: Japanese Defense Agency reported that the increase of China's military expense will pose a threat to the regional security situation. At the same time, Japan's stance toward the lift of EU's Arms Embargo against China is also mentioned. What's China's comment on that? The bird flu burst out in DPRK. Does China believe that DPRK could keep it under control? Is China worried about the virus will spread into China? The Chinese Communist Party sent a delegation to DPRK. What will be the topics? Will Hu Jintao's visit to DPRK or the Six-Party Talks be talked about? It's reported Bush will visit China in November. Could you confirm it?

A: We feel surprised as well as dissatisfied to hear Japanese Defense Agency's report concerning the increase of China's military expense. China has a clear history that it has never invaded any country, and China keeps to be a peaceful force now. On the issue of military expense, I can provide you with some figures. Japan's military expense is 4903 billion YEN in 2004, which is about 41.5 billion US dollars; while China's military expense is 25.6 billion US dollars. Under the condition of much less popularity and territory, Japan keeps a military expense which is 1.62 times of China's. We hope Japan could adopt an objective attitude on this issue. It's totally unreasonable to link China's military expanse with the lift of EU's Arms Embargo against China. China's require for EU to lift its Arms Embargo against China is to require EU to remove its political discrimination against China, which is none of Japan's business, and will not harm Japan's benefits.

The bird flu burst out in DPRK recently. It's said hundreds of thousands of chicken have died. From the beginning of March, China's Ministry of Agriculture has adopted emergency measures, ordering the three provinces in the Northeast of China to adopt effective measures to prevent the spreading of the bird flu into China. Up to now, no bird flu case is found in China. China's Ministry of Agriculture has sent a working group to the three provinces in Northeast of China on March 27, to supervise their prevention work of the bird flu.

At the invitation of the international department of Korean Worker's Party, the Communist party's friendship delegation, with Deputy Secretary Ma Wen of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC as head of the delegation, will leave Beijing for DPRK on March 29. Vice secretary of Tianjin Municipal Committee Xing Yuanmin will accompany the delegation. This visit is arranged by the communicating plan of China and DPRK's Communist Party. The topics mainly involve the communicating and cooperation between the two parties.

Both China and the US attach great importance to the high-level exchange visits. Both sides hope the momentum of high-level exchange visits could be carried on.

Q: African Union's stance toward the UN reform is fixed in the special meeting of its Executive Council recently. What's China's comment on that?

A: China supports UN to strengthen its effect and authority through necessary and reasonable reform. The reform should be democratic, and should open to the opinions of all parties and take all parties' concern into consideration. Therefore, the stance of African Union should be seriously considered.

There will be no world peace and development without Africa's stability and prosperity. The UN reform and the summit meeting which will be held in September should give its first attention to the problems of poverty, diseases, and short of capital faced by the vast number of developing countries, especially African countries.

Africa is the continent which has the largest number of developing countries. China supports African countries to play a bigger role in UN's councils including the Security Council.

Q: China's Communist Party sent a delegation to DPRK. Will the Six-Party Talks be talked about during this visit? Could you confirm Bush's visit to China in this November? Has China invited him to visit China this year? What's China's response to the situation that Kurmanbek Bakiyev was elected new leader of Kyrgyzstan? Will China keep a good cooperation in the fields of anti-terrorism and anti-secession with Kyrgyzstan under the leadership of the new government?

A: As for if the Six-Party Talks will be talked about during Secretary Ma Wen's visit to DPRK, the relevant authorities will brief you after the visit.

China and the US attach importance to the high-level exchange visits. China welcomes President Bush to visit China at his convenience. As to the specific agenda, we will brief you in time.

As to the issue of the situation in Kyrgyzstan, the most urgent thing for Kyrgyzstan to do is to calm down the situation as soon as possible, and get the normal order recovered. We hope the good neighbor relationship between China and Kyrgyzstan will keep developing healthily and smoothly and undisturbed. At the same time, on the issue of fighting against 'the three forces', countries in that region share the common concerns and interests. We hope the anti-terrorism cooperation could carry on smoothly and effectively.

Q: Did Chinese Embassy in Kyrgyzstan have any contact with the new government? Second question, have China rendered any assistance to DPRK in response to the avian flue there? Third question, who is leading CPC delegation to visit DPRK?

A: We are committed to the long-term development of relations with Kyrgyzstan and we are ready to have contacts with the Kyrgyz side at appropriate time to increase mutual understanding. As for the second question, we have yet to receive any DPRK request for assistance. And the Chinese delegation will be headed by Ma Wen, Deputy Secretaries of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC. They have left Beijing today.

Q: It is reported that some Chinese citizens were injured during the recent political turbulence in Kyrgyzstan. I am wondering whether the attack is specifically targeted at Chinese citizen.

A: According to my knowledge, they were attacked when their restaurants or stores were robbed. At present, there is no evidence to show those attacks are directed against Chinese citizens.

Q: Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) cancelled their press conference, so I would like to ask you for some information concerning the visit of the vice-chairman of the Nationalist Party. Whom they will meet in Beijing? Will the visit be conducive to the development of cross-Straits relations?

A: As the spokesperson of Foreign Ministry, I don't have to answer this question. But according to my information, arrangement for interviews has been made. You could ask TAO for further information.

Q: China has worried about the situation in Kyrgyzstan. Will the instability there inflame the separatist activities in Xinjiang? Will China take any preventive measure?

A: We are of the view that joint combating Three Forces serves the common interests and addresses the concerns in Central Asia. We hope and believe that relevant countries will continue cooperation in fighting against Three Forces.

Q: The Stability across the Taiwan Straits bears on the interests of many countries. Will Jiang Bingkun's visit to the mainland have any impact on cross-Strait relations? What kind of signal will this visit give to Chinese neighbors and the US?

A: It seems to me you are trying to push me to answer this question. I am sorry that I am not in the position to answer it.

Q: Have China sent more troops to the border with Kyrgyzstan. It is reported that Japanese Foreign Minister will visit China in April. Could you confirm the report and give us the exact time of the visit? The US State Department issued the 3rd annual report on human rights, which, in addition to the situation in Hong Kong, also mentioned the overall human rights situation in China and indicated that it will press China on this issue. Is human rights issue still the major obstacle in the China-US relations?

A: I haven't heard about the military deployment you mentioned. As far as I know, the border between China and Kyrgyzstan is open.

As for the second question, the two sides are having consultations on the visit by Japanese Foreign Minister.

We have made our positions clear on many occasions. The so-called human rights reports issued by the US Department has nothing novel but makes irresponsible accusations against the Chinese Government and smears the human rights situation in China, to which we firmly oppose. Following the principle of putting people first, the Chinese Government governs for the people and has done tremendous work to protect human rights, expand democracy and strengthen legal system. The remarkable achievement of the Chinese Government and people in developing human rights is for everyone to see and I believe the US State Department should be clear about this fact. The US should stop interfering into the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of human rights but pay more attention to the human rights in its own country and change its malpractice of taking a confrontational approach against other countries on the issue of human rights.

Q: Is the border between China and Kyrgyzstan still open? Please brief on the visit of the US Seventh Fleet flagship Blue Ridge to Zhanjiang. The Chinese side always says that Japan should take a responsible attitude toward history. What's the specific meaning of a responsible attitude? Does China also take a responsible attitude toward history?

A: As to your first question, the border between China and Kyrgyzstan is still open.

As to your second question, the US Seventh Fleet flagship Blue Ridge is paying a visit to China's Zhanjiang port. That is the arrangement of exchanges between the armies of the two countries. Please consult the Ministry of National Defense.

As for the historical issue you mentioned, we have repeatedly demand the Japanese side to take a responsible attitude. It is known to all that Japan invaded China in 1930s-1940s and Chinese people fought against the aggressor for 8 years, which was an important part of global war against Fascism. The war waged by Japan against China and other countries in Asia caused huge disasters for Chinese People and other peoples in Asia. Despite that, there are always some people in Japan who cannot adopt a correct and responsible attitude towards the historical issue or even refused to acknowledge the past. That's definitely not responsible attitude which I mentioned. The Chinese side, on the contrary, takes a responsible attitude towards history and makes decisions on the merits of historical facts.

Q: In 1995, then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama apologized to the Chinese and other peoples in Asia and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's position remains unchanged. Why is China unable to understand the attitude of Japan?

A: We of course knew the remarks made by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in 1995 and we are appreciative of that. However, on historical issues, we not only pay attention to whatJapan says, but more importantly, what Japan does. The homage paid to Yasukuni Shrine and textbook issues violate the statement made by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. Therefore, the key is that Japan has to take correct actions to win the trust of Chinese and other peoples in Asia.

Q: It is reported that both China and Japan are preparing for the summit in Indonesia this April. Could you confirm that?

A: I just noted relevant reports.

Q: How many Chinese people were killed in the war waged by Japan during 1931-1945?

A: In that invasion made by Japanese militarists, 35 million Chinese people were wounded and killed.

Q: How long will the CPC delegation stay in DPRK? What people will the delegation meet? China frequently engaged DPRK diplomatically in the past two months. Does Chinese Foreign Ministry believe conditions are more mature to reopen the 6-way talks?

A: I don't have the schedule of the delegation since it was sent from the central committee of CPC. I believe as the visit goes on, relevant information will be released.

For the second question, China has conducted a number of consultations with parties concerned on the restart of 6-nation talks, which is conducive to increasing mutual understanding on the issue. However, given the present situation, the disputes between the US and DPRK has not been reduced and obstacles sill exist. Under this circumstance, we hope relevant parties could proceed from the overall interests of the situation, show sincerity and work together to restart the process by taking a practical, flexible and responsible attitude. Chine will continue to make efforts to this end.

If there are no more questions, let's call it a day. Thank you all.

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