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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Press Conference on 14 April 2005

On the afternoon of April 14, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference.

Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen!

First of all, welcome the 20 members from the Macao government officials' seminar to audit today's press conference.

Now, I have two announcements to make:

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria Wolfgang Schuessel will pay an official visit to China from April 19 to 25.

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister of the French Republic Jean-Pierre Raffarin will pay an official visit to China from April 21 to 23.

At the press conference last Tuesday, a reporter asked about the visit of the Nepalese king to China. What I learned is that, at the invitation of the Secretariat of the Bo'ao Forum for Asia, King of Nepal Bhutan Gyanendra will attend the annual conference from April 23 to 26.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: What stance does the Chinese Government take towards the boycott of Japanese goods? Will the boycott of Japanese goods cause any trouble to the Chinese Government? Do you use Japanese products personally?

A: At the press conference last time, I have explicitly expressed our attitude towards the issue of boycotting Japanese goods. The economic and trade cooperation between China and Japan conforms to the interests of both sides. We hope the Japanese side to properly handle the issues bearing on the feelings of the Chinese people, including the history issue.

Q: China has made representations to Japan on the textbook issue and Japanese Prime Minister's visits to the shrine. What fruits have been achieved?

A: In the spirit of "taking history as a mirror and looking into the future", China attaches great importance to developing good neighborly friendship with Japan. It's not enough to only have China's sincerity and good wish. It demands the joint efforts of both sides. We hope the Japanese side to reflect, and do more things conducive to enhancing mutual understanding between the two peoples, rather than harm the feeling of the Chinese people, so as to win the trust of the people of its Asian neighbor countries including China and create conditions for the development and improvement of China-Japan relations.

Q: Yesterday, you made an announcement on the issue of the East China Sea, expressing the dissatisfaction with the Japanese Government, and said that it's a serious provocation made by Japan by granting its private enterprises the right to oil and gas test-drilling. However, China is exploring oil and gas in the East China Sea. What's your view on that? In that announcement, China alleged to reserve the right to make further reaction. What does that mean? What actions will China take?

A: China adheres to its position on the issue of oil and gas exploration in the East China Sea. China and Japan have disputes on the delimitation of the continental shelf of the East China Sea. The Chinese side has consistently stood for a solution through diplomatic negotiations. In defiance of China's legitimate proposition, the Japanese side attempts to impose its unilaterally claimed ''median line'' on China. The Chinese side has never accepted and will not accept it. Japan's action constitutes a severe provocation to the interests of China as well as the norms governing international relations. China has lodged a protest to the Japanese side, and reserves the right for further reaction.

Just now, a reporter asked about the meaning of the last sentence. What I want to say is that the result depends on the Japanese side and we strongly require the Japanese side to attach great importance to the grave concern of the Chinese side. I have to point out that China's oil and gas exploration in the East China Sea is carried out within China's undisputed offshore, which is an excise of sovereignty. As to the next step, we hope to solve the issue through negotiation. At the same time, we hope the Japanese side to positively respond to our proposition of "shelving disputes and seeking common development".

Q: Please confirm the news about the visit of Japanese Foreign Minister Machimura to China. Who will he meet with? What will be discussed?

A: Regarding the visit of Japanese Foreign Minister Machimura, China and Japan are still under negotiation. We will release the news when it's fixed.

Q: Since 1980s, how much loan has Japan offered to China? Can you compare Germany to Japan in terms of their different attitudes toward the WWII history? Will that affect China's attitudes toward these two countries on their bids for the permanent membership of the UN Security Council?

A: By the end of March 2005, the Japanese Government has promised to offer China a total loan of about 3,133.056 billion yen.

We hope Japan to honor its commitment to seriously reflect its aggression history. Regarding the UN reform, we have expressed our stance on many occasions. You must have taken note of the statement of Premier Wen. Only a country that respects history, takes responsibility for past history and wins the trust of the people in Asia and the world at large can take greater responsibility in the international community.

Q: Why doesn't China attend the G7 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors?

A: I have answered the similar questions last time. It's according to the agenda fixed by both sides that the Chinese finance minister and central bank governor attend relevant meetings of G7.

Q: Last night, China and Japan held an informal consultation on the director-general level. Could you brief us on the consultation?

A: The third meeting for director generals of China, Japan and ROK was convened in Beijing from April 13 to 14. Director-General of the Asian Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Cui Tiankai, Director-General of the Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau of the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Park Joon-woo, and Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of Japanese Foreign Ministry Kenichiro attended the meeting.

The meeting reviewed the follow-up actions after the meeting of the leaders of the 3 countries last year, discussed the new plans to promote the cooperation among the 3 countries and made preparations for the Tripartite Committee meeting to be held in Kyoto in this early May.

The talks between the Chinese and Japanese director generals are either going on or just ended. I haven't read any detailed news yet. Therefore I have no information to offer.

Q: It is said that President Hu Jintao will meet Prime Minister Junichi Koizumi on the sideline of the upcoming Asia-African Summit. Will this work on the improvement of the Sino-Japanese relations?

A: Many leaders of Asian and African countries will attend the ceremonial activities of the Bundung Conference and the Asia-African Summit. Relative arrangement has yet to be discussed.

Q: It is reported that President Hu Jintao has postponed his visit to North Korea. What is the reason? Is it because that North Korea has failed to tell the specific time that it would come back to the six-party talks? Second question. Representatives of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council met in Beijing on last Monday or Tuesday. Can you brief us on that?

A: There is a tradition between China and North Korea that leaders of both countries exchange their visits to the other country frequently. We will announce it in due time when we have relative information.

On April 12, Director Generals of International Organizations of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council met in Beijing for consultations. They made an extensive and in-depth exchange of views on a broad range of issues, including the UN reform, high-level events in this September and the hotspot issues discussed at the Security Council.

As for the issue of the U. N. reform, China underlines its support for the reform of the Security Council aimed to strengthen its capability of maintaining world peace and security, enhance its effectiveness and safeguard its authority. We support the expansion of the Security Council, and advocates that the priority of such expansion should be given to increasing the representation of the developing countries in the council. The reform of the Security Council is an important issue. There should be democratic consultation and broad consensus among the member states on the reform plan. China is not in favor of setting an artificial time limit for the Council reform and still less of imposing a vote.

On the same day, Mr. Lu Guozeng, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, met with all the five Director Generals of International Organizations.

Q: What's China's position on Germany's bid for a permanent seat of the U. N. Security Council?

A: Germany is an important member of the European Union. It adheres to peaceful development and plays a positive role in international affairs which has been recognized by the international community. China supports a greater role for Germany in the United Nations and other multi-lateral organizations, and is willing to maintain contact and consultation with the German side on the issue of U. N reform.

Q:The Nigerian president is paying a visit to China today. Please brief on the development of China-Nigeria relations and China-Africa relations.

A: The Chinese Government is devoted to consolidating and developing the traditional friendship between the people of China and Africa, and respects the road of development chosen by the African people. We continue to share mutual support with Africa in regional and international affairs, in an effort to jointly defend the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries. We seek common development with Africa on the basis of respect, equality and mutual benefit. These are the policies and propositions that the Chinese Government pursues on developing relations with African countries. Over the past years, China-Africa relations have made remarkable progress with close exchange of high-level visits and steadily growing of trade and economic cooperation in a great scope. Now the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation has been established and has held a couple of meetings, which have helped enhance our mutual understanding and mutually-beneficial cooperation, and brought about positive fruits. China will unswervingly promote friendly and cooperative relations with African countries on the basis of the Five Principles of peaceful Co-existence.

At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, Olusegun Obasanjo, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, will start his state visit to China today. President Obasanjo visits China also in the capacity of Chairman of the African Union. During his visit, the leaders of the two countries will exchange views on bilateral relations, China-Africa cooperation and other international and regional issues of common interest. The two sides will sign some agreements on trade and economic cooperation. Besides Beijing, he will visit Yichang, Hubei province and Shanghai. We hope that China-Nigeria friendly relations and cooperation will be further promoted through his visit. We wish President Obasanjo a successful visit and a pleasant journey in China.

Since the visit has just begun, we will brief on relevant details in time.

Q: What is China's attitude towards Brazil's efforts to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council?

A: Just now, I reiterated China's position on the reform of the UN Security Council. The reform of the UN Security Council should give priority to increasing the representation of the developing countries. The enlargement of the UN Security Council is of great significance and needs the full consultation of the UN members and the international community, so as to reach broad consensus.

If there is no more question, let us call it a day. Thank you.

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