|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Press Conference on 21 April 2005|
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Press Conference on 21 April 2005
On the afternoon of April 21, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang presided over a regular press conference.
Qin: Good afternoon! Now, the floor is open.
Q: The Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the CPC has started a series of lectures on Sino-Japanese relations in many places in China since the day before yesterday. What is the purpose of this move? Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura indicated that top leaders of the two countries will meet in Jakarta. What is your comment on that?
A: Such activities are carried out for our people to have a comprehensive understanding of the international situation and China-Japan relations. Friendly coexistence and win-win cooperation between China and Japan are the only correct choice that serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples. We hope the Japanese side will take sincere and concrete actions to jointly improve and develop Sino-Japanese ties.
As for whether the Chinese and Japanese leaders will meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Africa Summit, this is still under consultation by the two sides. We will release relevant information at due time.
Q: It is reported that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has suspended operations at its nuclear reactor in Yongbyon, in a possible prelude to reprocessing fuel rods into weapons material. Is that true? Does the Chinese side have relevant information? Have the two sides already had contacts about that? What is China's position on this move of the DPRK?
A: We have taken note of relevant report, but we are not in command of concrete information. We hope to see active joint efforts of parties concerned for an early resumption of the Six-Party talks.
Q: French Prime Minister Raffarin started his visit to China today. Which Chinese leaders will he meet with in the next days? How were their talks about the European Union's lifting of arms embargo on China?
A: French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin is paying an official visit to China. This morning, Premier Wen held talks with Prime Minister Raffarin. The two sides exchanged views on furthering China-France and China-EU ties and other international issues of common interest. During their talks, the two sides spoke highly of the development of China-France relations in recent years. The Chinese side expressed that the two countries will continue to keep their current momentum in high-level visits, act in close coordination and cooperation in the United Nations and other international organizations, vigorously expand trade and economic ties, strengthen cooperation in such fields as energy, transport, aviation, agriculture and environmental protection, and establish and improve various kinds of cooperation mechanisms between the two governments. Both sides agreed to explore new channels and means of exchanges and cooperation in the area of culture. Premier Wen also proposed to steadily promote cooperation between the two countries in judicial area based on mutual respect.
After the talks, the two prime ministers attended a signing ceremony of 20 agreements on cooperation between China and France in the fields of agriculture, aviation and energy.
On the EU's arms embargo on China, the Chinese side reiterated its position, indicating that the embargo has become an obstacle to the development of China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership, and that an early lifting of the embargo will be conducive to further development of China-EU relations. Prime Minister Raffarin also reaffirmed France's support for lifting the arms embargo against China.
To my knowledge, besides Beijing, Prime Minister Raffarin will visit Shanghai and Shenyang.
Q:It is reported that at the invitation of the leader of DPRK Kim Jong Il,President Hu Jintao will visit DPRK within the year. Some reports say that he may pay a visit in early May. Can you confirm that?
A: There is a tradition of regular exchanges of visits between the leaders of China and DPRK. I can not confirm any recent visit to the DPRK by President Hu. If I have news in this regard, I will offer you at proper time.
Q: You expressed the hope to resume the six-party talks at an early date. I would like to know what efforts China has made for the next round of the six-party talks. It will have been one year to this June from the last round talks. Shall we consider that the six-party talks is in a deadlock.
A: The Chinese side has all along proceeded from the maintenance of peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and the region and is of the view that the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue shall be resolved peacefully through dialogue so as to realize the de-nuclearization of the Peninsula. At the same time, the rational security concerns of the DPRK side shall be resolved. The six-party talks is a practical and effective way to solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. Recently the Chinese side has been making efforts for the promotion of the six-party process. Since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of DPRK issued a statement on February 10th, the Chinese side has been making unremitting efforts in this regard. Wang Jiarui, Head of the International Department of CPC,paid a visit to DPRK and conveyed the verbal message from President Hu Jintao to the DPRK leaders. The leaders of the DPRK side stressed that the position of the DPRK side on the peaceful settlement of the issue through dialogue had not changed. Not long ago, when the US Secretary of State Rice and the DPRK Premier Pak Bong Ju visited China, we made our position clear once again. We separately worked on DPRK and US in order to encourage DPRK to earnestly consider coming back to the six-party talks and US to create favorable atmosphere for the resumption of the six-party talks. Not long ago, the First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kong Sok Chu of DPRK visited China and the Chinese side held indepth and long-time talks with him on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is a complex one. We shall seek a program acceptable to all parties through negotiations and other choices are not conducive to the early resolution of the issue or to the peace and stability of the region. We will continue the active mediation to promote the early resumption of the six-party talks. We hope the relevant parties, the main parties concerned in particular,to show flexibility and sincerity in a bid to make positive efforts for the early resumption of the six-party talks.
Q: The US is of the view that the DPRK nuclear issue shall be submitted to the UN Security Council and then imposes sanctions against DPRK. What is comment of the Chinese side?
A: We believe that the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue shall be resolved peacefully through dialogue and negotiation and the top priority is that all the parties should make efforts for the resumption of the six-party talks. The Chinese side is making efforts in this regard and we hope relevant parties especially the main parties concerned show flexibility, sincerity and patience on this issue to make common and positive efforts for the early resumption of the talks. The Chinese side is making efforts in this regard and we hope relevant parties, especially the main parties concerned show flexibility, sincerity and patience on this issue to make common and positive efforts for the resumption of the talks.
Q: Some reports say that President Hu Jintao will possibly meet Koizumi on the Asia-Africa Summit Meeting and the ceremony of the 60th Anniversary of the Victory of the World War of Anti-Fascism in Moscow May. Do you think it is much possible?
A: This year marks the 60th Anniversary of the World Anti-fascism War, and celebrations, bearing great significance to the peace and stability in the region and world as a whole, will be held in Russia and countries all over the world. China will take an active part in the celebrations. Arrangement are under discussion, and no specifics are available now.
Follow-up: Is it possible that President Hu Jintao will have a face to face meeting with Koizumi during the Asia-Africa Summit Meeting?
A: I answered the question just now, but I would like to reiterate that the two countries are still discussing on this issue. If we have further information, we will announce promptly.
Q: You just mentioned the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the victory over fascism. In August, will China and Japan also celebrate the victory of the war against Japanese aggression?
A: I have no information about that.
Q: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke highly of Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India at the parliament yesterday. Have you read Prime Minister Singh's statement? What comment do you have on that?
A: Premier Wen's visit is very successful. The two sides established China-India strategic partnership, and set up an important guiding principle for the future development of the bilateral relations. Guided by this principle, the two sides made in-depth and useful consultations on dialogues, exchanges and cooperation in such fields as politics, economics, science and technology, trade, culture, border issue etc, and achieved fruitful results. As for the details of the visit, the media has made a lot of coverage. I have also briefed you on that.
Both China and India are important countries in Asia, as well as two biggest developing countries in the world. The total population of these two countries accounts for 1/3 of the world's total. The friendly cooperation between China and India makes an important contribution to the peace and stability in the region and the world at large, as well as the common development of the mankind.
If there are no more questions, thank you.