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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Press Conference on 31March 2005


Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Press Conference on 31 March 2005

On the afternoon of March 31, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.

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

Q:During his meeting with Mr.Cao Gangchuan, did the ROK Defense Minister send any message to the DPRK for its return to the Six-Party Talks? Yesterday, the Chinese side announced deploying peace-keeping forces to Sudan, including engineering, medical and transport teams , and etc. How many troops will the Chinese side deploy? Besides, what will the political officials do there?

A: During ROK Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung's visit to China, Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan talked with him. Cao Gangchuan said that China-ROK military relations have witnessed a sound development in recent years, hoping the two sides can maintain such all-round friendly exchanges and cooperation. He reiterated China's consistent position on the DPRK issue and expressed the willingness to enhance coordination and cooperation with relevant parties and jointly safeguard the regional peace and stability. Yoon Kwang-ung stated that ROK and China share common interests in safeguarding regional peace, stability and prosperity, hoping the two countries and their armies can further deepen their cooperation and exchanges. This is a helpful visit, an important exchange between China and ROK as well as their armies. Such exchanges are beneficial to the process of the Six-Party Talks.

As to the scale of China's peace-keeping troops, I have to consult relevant departments for information. According to structure of Chinese army, the political chief is a regular position in the Chinese army, it's normal for such officials in the peace-keeping army.

Q: On January 6th this year, when attending the special ASEAN Summit meeting on the aftermath issues of earthquake and tsunami Premier Wen Jiabao said that China will help Indonesia establish a pre-warning network for earthquake and tsunami. How about the progress of this project?

A: Recently, a strong earthquake took place in Indonesia again, which makes us recall the tsunami catastrophe that happened in the Indian Ocean at the end of last year. After that catastrophe, Premier Wen Jiabao attended the special ASEAN Summit. During the meeting, Premier Wen told the Indonesian side that China was ready to offer assistance in setting up the pre-warning network for earthquake and tsunami.

To implement Premier Wen's instructions to help Indonesia establish surveillance and pre-warning network for earthquake and tsunami, China Seismological Bureau dispatched working groups to visit Indonesia Meteorological and Geophysics Administration and Indonesia Academy of Science, conduct consultations with them over cooperation on the establishment of the seismological network, the cooperative agreements and the working plan. They signed a cooperative agreement on cooperation in building a seismological network.

According to the agreement, the cooperative projects include 10 wide-band digital seismological stations(two of them are super wide-band seismological stations), two stand-by stations, 10 digital seismographs and one data-processing center. The value of these projects amounts to 27 million RMB. The seismological data all get real-time transmission through satellites. The Chinese side takes charge of staff training and 3?year guarantee period for the equipments. The two sides will hold regular coordinative meetings over the projects and relevant coordination.

Q: Some critics accuse China of supporting Sudan, who violates the UN regulations on arms embargo. Why does China still dispatch peace-keeping troops like other countries to Sudan?

A:China's peace-keeping troops go to not only Sudan, but also some other places in the world, including Haiti, Congo and so on. Our aim is to help relevant countries and regions restore normal order and achieve peace and stability in these countries. The Chinese engineering, medical, transport teams and other officials to Sudan this time aimed to assist Sudan in realizing peace and stability, and restore a normal local order. China's good relations and normal cooperation with Sudan doesn't contradict with China's peace-keeping actions in Sudan.

Q: Yesterday the US Government trade report claimed that sharpening China-US trade frictions may become the major problem standing in the way of China-US relations. What comment do you have? How to solve this problem? The Luxemburg officials said that it is difficult to lift EU arms embargo against China before the end of June, do you agree with such statement? The Indian Foreign Secretary is visiting China to discuss the China-India border issue. Can you brief on his discussion with the Chinese side?

A: We have noticed the US report. The China-US trade enjoys a smooth overall development, which has brought about tangible benefits to the two countries and their peoples. In handling bilateral trade frictions, we have always maintained that five principles should be observed: first, being mutually-beneficial and win-win. Proceeding from overall situation, we should give consideration to both our own interests and the interests of the other side. Secondly, giving priority to development. Dissolving disputes by widening economic and trade cooperation. Thirdly, giving full play to the role of bilateral economic and trade coordinative mechanism. Timely communications and consultations can prevent conflicts from escalating. Fourthly, equal consultations and seeking major common grounds while shelving minor differences. Fifthly, avoiding politicizing the economic and trade issues.

Regarding the protection of intellectual property rights mentioned in the report, the Chinese Government has always paid attention to and done a lot in protection of intellectual property rights. Over the past year, China handled and concluded over 9000 cases of intellectual property rights violation. Recently, China's Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate promulgated the judicial interpretation of criminal offence violating the intellectual property rights, which tightened the measurement of criminal offence violating intellectual property rights. China will continue to take harsh measures to combat the actions of violation.

During his visit to China, the Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran was met with respectively by the Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Vice Foreign Minister and special representative Dai Bingguo for the China-India border issue on March 31th. The two sides exchanged views over all-round development of China-Indian friendly and cooperative relations in a friendly atmosphere, discussed how to use the opportunity of the 55th anniversary for the establishment of bilateral relationship to promote our bilateral relations and continue negotiation on the border issue. The two sides also exchanged views on Premier Wen's upcoming visit to India, hoping this visit can provide a new opportunity for developing China-India long-term constructive and cooperative partnership. The Indian side expressed warm welcome to Premier Wen's visit to India.

During his meeting with the Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, the State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan spoke highly of the work of China-India border working group, and said he believed the two sides can proceed from the overall interests, adhere to equal consultations, mutual understanding and accommodation and certainly find a fair and reasonable solution to the border issue which can be accepted by both sides.

Q: A few days ago, the US Seventh Fleet --"USS Blue Ridge" visited Zhanjiang, was it a very important visit? The American Pentagon always pays high attention to China's military modernization and is worried it might pose threat the American's influence in west pacific region. What comment do you have?

A: The visit of American fleet to Zhanjian port is a normal exchange between the Chinese and American militaries. The US pentagon is still skeptical about China's military modernization. I think such worry is unnecessary. China adheres to peaceful development and poses no threat to any country including the US. We hope the two sides can constantly enhance mutual trust through exchanges between the two countries and their militaries.

Q: Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing started his visit to Nepal and Pakistan today. Please brief on his agenda. Who will he meet with? What position does China have on the sanction against Sudan?

A: Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing has left Beijing this afternoon and started his visit to the three South Asian countries. During his visit, he will have a deep exchange of views on bilateral relations with the state leaders and officials in charge of foreign affairs of Nepal, Maldives and Afghanistan. As to the content of their meetings, we will give you detailed introductions during his visit.

The solution to the Darfur issue requires the joint efforts of the Sudanese Government and the international community. In principle, we don't agree on blind use of pressure or sanction, which is not helpful to the solution of the issue, or to maintaining the momentum of peace process in Sudan. We hope that relevant parties can start from the general interests of the peace and stability in Sudan, the African union and the peace troops can play a greater role, so as to realize the early restoration of peace and order in Sudan.

Q: According to some reports of Chinese media, in Changchun, Shengyang and other places in Northeast China, such Japanese goods as Asahi beer were boycotted. This afternoon, the Asahi Beer Company issued a statement to deny the reports on history textbooks. What's your comment?

A: The trade and economic cooperation between China and Japan has been developing rapidly over the past decades, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples. We don't want to see the politicization of the trade and economic issue between the two countries. Therefore, we hope all circles in Japan can take a responsible attitude towards history.

Q: Recently, there are many frictions between Japan and China on history problem. In such a context, the Japanese table tennis player Ai Fukuhara will join China's Liaoning table tennis team and take part in the professional league of China. She is the first Japanese player to join in the Chinese Super League. Ai Fukuhara is very popular in Japan. Will her joining the Chinese team influence the current Sino-Japanese relations?

A: The famous Japanese table tennis player Ai Fukuhara is not only very popular in Japan, but also has a great many fans in China. We welcome her joining Chinese Liaoning Club. We hope Miss Fukuhara can achieve good scores in Chinese Super League and have a pleasant stay in China. At the same time, we also hope such athletic and cultural exchanges can deepen the understanding and friendship between our two peoples, and play a role in pushing forward the Sino-Japanese relations.

Q: It's reported that a Luxemburg official stated the EU might not lift the arms embargo against China by the end of this June. You once said that this year marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and EU and the EU should make a decision on the embargo so as to create a good atmosphere. What's your comment?

A: We have taken note of relevant report and the remarks of the Luxemburg official. We have clarified the issue with the Luxemburg side. The report may be incorrect, China's position on the lifting of the arms embargo never changes. We hope the EU can make the correct decision on an earlier date to remove the embargo against China and clear the way for the all-round development of Sino-EU relations.

Q: I'd like to ask a question about the territorial dispute between China and Japan. Several days ago, a Japanese research group landed on the Okinotori Island to carry out research. What's China's position? What comment do you have on the action of the Japanese research group?

A: The dispute on Okinotori Reef between China and Japan is on its exclusive economic zone instead of the reef itself. According to Article 121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, reef doesn't meet the condition to possess exclusive economic zone. There are mainly two statements relevant to the issue. First, an island is a naturally formed area of land, surrounded by water, which is above water at high tide. Second, Rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf. These two items are the original content of the Convention and constitute a complete concept. The Japanese side has a different understanding of the nature and area of the sea claimed by Okinotori reef. we believe the issue should be properly handled through friendly negotiation.

Q: The US top negotiator of the Six-Party Talks Hill said in Seoul that the US appreciated China's work on the Six-Party Talks. What has China done to urge the DPRK to return to the Six-Party Talks as early as possible? Can you brief on the recent efforts of the Chinese side on promoting the Six-Party Talks?

A: Recently, China had a number of consultations on the Six-Party Talks with relevant countries. Those consultations can help all parties to further elaborate on their positions and enhance mutual understanding. At present, China and relevant parties are summarizing the recent consultations and studying what action to take as the next step. As to your question on what measures have China taken to encourage the DPRK to return to the table of the Six-Party Talks, I think the resumption of the Six-Party Talks doesn't completely depend on China's efforts, but more importantly on the efforts of the major parties concerned. Therefore, instead of simply asking China to make efforts on this issue, all parties should make joint efforts to realize a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, especially the major parties concerned should be flexible, pragmatic and sincere so as to resume the Six-Party Talks as early as possible. China will continue to make its efforts on this issue.

Q: After the US released its report on the global trade barrier, will China consider intensifying the efforts to combat piracy? What comment does China have on the election in Zimbabwe? The Japanese side said it would explore the oil and gas in East China Sea if China didn't stop its exploration in the East China Sea. What's China's comment?

A: As to the protection of intellectual property rights, the Chinese Government stands firm on this issue. The protection of intellectual property rights conforms to the interests of other countries and China's interests as well. China will step up its efforts to protect intellectual property rights.

As to the general election in Zimbabwe, China's constant position is non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. China will respect the choice of Zimbabwe people.

As to your third question, China and Japan have not delimited the East Sea yet, because the two sides have some disputes on their positions on delimitation. We have always proposed to seek solution through dialogue and negotiation. We are deeply concerned about the remarks of the Japanese side about exploration in the disputed area of the East Sea and demand the Japanese side to calmly deal with relevant issues. We propose to solve the issue according to the principle of "shelving disputes and seeking common development", which is the correct choice of addressing the issue of East Sea.

Q: From the perspective of the Foreign Ministry, what benefits could be brought about by Kuomintang's vice chairman's visit to the mainland.

A: I understand your concern over this issue very much. But as the spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, it's not proper for me to answer this question, and I expect your understanding. As far as I know, Mr. Jiang Bingkun's visit to the mainland is relatively open to the press. Some journalists sitting here and some other foreign journalists in Beijing will have the chance to cover. For further information, please refer to

Q: You said you don't want the China-Japan economic and trade problems politicized, which I totally agree with you. The chairman of board of directors of Asahi Beer has the right to express his own opinion. However, his remarks resulted in the rejection of Asahi Beer in China. I think this means the economic and trade problems are politicized. What's your opinion on that?

A: Actually this is our concern as well. Some abnormal phenomenon emerged in China-Japan relations, especially political relations. The sticking point over many China-Japan problems is Japan's improper attitude towards history. We hope Japan could treat and deal with the problem of history properly, thus enhancing the friendship of people in two countries, farther improving and developing the development of the relations of the two countries, and striking a concrete effort to promote the cooperation in every field including the field of economic and trade relations, in expectation for China-Japan relations could develop smoothly and healthily in an all-round way. We don't want to see the cooperation to be influenced by political problems, but the political and history problem couldn't be shied away from.

Q: Is it conducive to the regional stability since the KMT delegation of Guo Mindang visited the mainland? Has China closed the border between China and DPRK due to DPRK's bird flu? People's Daily published an editorial yesterday. Does China blame the US and Japan for the delay of the lifting of EU's Arms Embargo against China? China thinks the Arms Embargo is the relic of the Cold War. Did the US and EU sell arms to China before 1989?

A: The Cross-Straits relations are China's interior affairs. It's not proper for the Foreign Ministry's spokesman to answer this question.

As to your second question, the border between China and DPRK is open. The three provinces in northeast of China which are adjacent to DPRK have adopted necessary measures to prevent the virus from spreading into China, due to the bird flu situation in DPRK.

As to your third question, EU's Arms Embargo against China is indeed the relic of the Cold War. China and EU's relations have been improved through the efforts by both sides, and we are welcoming the significant moment of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and EU. Maintaining such an embargo is obviously not in accordance with the developing trend of China-EU relation and the international situation. We hope EU could show their courage and political wisdom, making the right decision as soon as possible, and lift the Arms Embargo.

Follow-up: Is it Chinese government's position to blame the US and Japan for EU's delaying decision to lift the Arms Embargo against China?

A: From the behavior of the US and Japan up to now, their attitude and role are negative. Their attitude is not conducive to the development of China-EU relations, and unreasonable as well. China's requirement for the EU to lift its Arms Embargo against China is not aimed at any third party, nor at the US or Japan. We are firmly opposed to the negative attitude of the US and Japan.

Q: A question about the gas field in the East China Sea. How will China responsed if Japan started to prospect oil and gas or drilling wells in the East Sea?

A: We require Japan not to take any action which will make this issue complicated.

Q: A question about the Asahi beer. When a journalist asked about if China opposed Japan's permanent membership at the UN Security Council, you said it's not an anti-Japan sentiment. How do you see the rejection of Asahi beer this time?

A: China and Japan have more than 2000 years' history of exchanges, during most of which people in the two countries got along quite well. It's the wish of both Chinese people and the Japanese people to see good relations between the two countries. I don't think there is any anti Japanese people sentiment in China. Chinese citizens' dissatisfaction with some attitudes of Japan is mainly because of Japan's improper attitude towards history, which means it doesn't treat the history correctly, objectively and responsibly. Some Chinese citizens expressed their dissatisfaction in many ways, which is not aimed at the Japanese people, but the wrong attitude of the Japanese Government.

Q: Will China adopt any measures to fight against piracy? You didn't make it very clear on this issue; could you add more to your answer?

A: It's not a matter of whether China will adopt measures to protect the intellectual property right. Instead, China has already adopted some important measures to protect the intellectual property right. Protecting the intellectual property right serves China's interest. On this issue, our stance is firm. I've give you some examples which I'm not sure if you are clear about. I can give you a brief again. In more than one year's time, we have dealt with and finished more than 9000 cases of violation of intellectual property right. China's Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate issued a judicial interpretation on the intellectual property right, which lowered down the threshold for the punishment of IPR violation, and adopted a stricter criminal penalty in this regard. We will continue to adopt effective measures to fight against piracy from now on.

Q: Yesterday the pharmaceutical company Pfizer sued China's Patent Re-examination Board (PRB) of the State Intellectual Property Office for wrongfully invalidating its China patent on Viagra at the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court. I know this issue should be commented by spokesman of other Ministries. But this could also affect the China-US relations. US officials said, they attached great importance to this case. Does China also think much of that case? Will this case get a fair result?

A: This case will be dealt with according to the law since it is on the track of proceding, which means it will be dealt with properly according to the Law on Protection of Intellectual Property Rights. The Chinese Government and the Foreign Ministry have no right to interfere in the process of suing and judging of the Court. But I believe there will be a fair result.

If there is no other question, let's call it a day. Thank you!

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