|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Press Conference on 26 April 2005|
On the afternoon of April 26, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang presided over a regular press conference.
Qin:Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
First of all, I would like to welcome the presence of 10 social workers from Hong Kong and Macau who are with us today at the press conference.
Now the floor is open.
Q: US Assistant Secretary of State Hill arrived in China today. Who will he meet with? Will the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula be discussed? The second question, could you brief us on the meeting between Deputy Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and the US Coalition of Service Industry?
A: US Assistant Secretary of State Hill has arrived in China today. China welcomes his visit and is willing to exchange opinions with him on China-US relations, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and other international and regional issues of common concern. Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo will have a courtesy meeting with him and Deputy Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Wu Dawei will meet with him respectively. We regard it beneficial for the two countries to strengthen communication under the current situation. Mr. Hill will leave for Japan tomorrow to continue his visit.
As for your second question, I can check it for you.
Q: Could you brief us on the meeting between President Hu Jintao and Kim Yong Nam in Indonesia last weekend? What topics did they touch upon? Did they discuss about the US warning of a possible nuclear test by the DPRK?
A: I haven't heard that President Hu Jintao met with Mr. Kim Yong Nam during the Asia-Africa Summit.
We hope all parties concerned could do more that is beneficial for an early resumption of the Six-Party talks and for the maintenance of peace and stability of the Peninsula.
Q: President Hu Jintao's visit to Indonesia was concluded yesterday. Could you brief us on the relevant information of the visit and agreements signed by China and Indonesia? Second question, financial ministers of the ASEAN countries meet today in Vietnam, discussing about establishing a free trade area with China. What can China benefit from the setting up of such a free trade area?
A: After his attendance of the Asia-Africa Summit and the Golden Jubilee Commemoration of the Bandung Conference, President Hu Jintao paid a state visit to Indonesia from April 25 to 26.
In their talks, President Hu Jintao and his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and regional and international affairs of common concern, and signed Joint Declaration between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Indonesia on Strategic Partnership, marking the establishment of a strategic partnership between China and Indonesia. President Hu put forth seven proposals on developing the strategic partnership, including more exchange of high-level visits, improving cooperation in trade and economy, security, disaster prevention and reduction and other areas, encouraging personnel exchanges, promoting China-ASEAN relations and the cooperation in East Asia, and strengthening cooperation among developing nations. This proves that the strategic partnership between China and Indonesia have bilateral, regional and international significance.
President Susilo spoke highly of this visit by President Hu in a period when bilateral ties are undergoing smooth development, and gave positive response to President Hu's suggestions. He believed that with a solid foundation in bilateral ties, Indonesia and China will enjoy wider scope in their friendly cooperation because of the establishment of the strategic partnership between the two countries. He reiterated Indonesia's firm support for the one-China policy and the reunification of China, for which we'd like to express our appreciation. The two Heads of States also attended the signing ceremony of several agreements of cooperation. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the fruits of the visit.
We believe that through the visit, the leaders of the two countries have arrived at consensus in further developing a strategic partnership, which foresees strengthened friendship and cooperation between China and Indonesia in various fields.
As for your second question, I am not in command of relevant information yet. However, we hold positive attitudes toward the establishment of a free trade area between China and ASEAN. Trade and economic cooperation is an important part of China-ASEAN relations. At present, ASEAN is the No.4 trading partner of China. The trade volume last year reached 105.8 billion US dollars. We are looking forward to positive results of the negotiations between China and ASEAN on free trade area.
Q: It is reported that the Chinese side is discussing with the DPRK side about the program of President Hu Jintao's visit to Pyongyang. What is the latest development?
A: I have no information in this regard.
Q: Chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Lien Chan is paying a visit to the mainland. What does that mean to China's diplomacy? Now some European countries are asking for restrictions on China's textile export as soon as possible. What is the comment of the Chinese side?
A: Your first question is about cross-straits relations which you had better refer to the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.
Regarding the EU consideration to impose restrictions against China's textile export, we have made our attitude clear on different occasions. The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce commented on this only yesterday. You may resort to the Ministry of Commerce for further illustration.
Q: Yesterday morning there occurred a major train derailment accident in Hyogo Prefecture in Japan. Chinese Ambassador Mr. Wang Yi has already sent a message of condolence to Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura. What is your comment on that? Not long ago, the leaders of China and Japan held talks in Indonesia and both sides agreed to promote the improvement of China-Japan relations. Japanese Prime Minster Junichiro Koizumi made a speech at the Asia-Africa Summit expressing reflection and apology on the history of the war of aggression. What is your comment on that?
A: Yesterday, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wang Yi sent a message and letter of condolence to Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura respectively, conveying condolence to the victims in the accident and sincere sympathy to the injured on behalf of the Chinese Government.
The meeting between the Chinese and Japanese leaders in Jakarta is held when China-Japan relations are faced with difficulties and it is of great significance. China and Japan both attach great importance to that and it also drew extensive attention from the international community. The leaders of both countries confirmed the importance of the development of China-Japan friendly relations and stressed that both sides should proceed from the overall interest of China-Japan friendship as well as peace and development in Asia and properly handle some major issues, especially the history issue and Taiwan question, so as to jointly promote the sound development of China-Japan friendly relations. President Hu Jintao put forward a five-point proposal for the promotion of healthy and stable China-Japan relations which won the positive response from Prime Minister Koizumi. We hope both sides can take this meeting as an opportunity and take earnest measures to dissolve differences and overcome difficulties so as to achieve a healthy and stable development of China-Japan relations.
As for your third question, we hope the Japanese side can translate their commitment on the history question into earnest action.
Q: President Hu Jintao met with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in Jakarta on the sidelines of the Asia-Africa Summit. Would you please brief us on that?
A: While attending the Asia-Africa Summit, President Hu Jintao met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. The two sides exchanged views on China-Pakistan relations, trade and economic cooperation, the situation in South Asia and other international and regional issues of common concern. China and Pakistan are developing countries and neighbors enjoying traditional friendship. The meeting between leaders of the two countries is of great significance in furthering China-Pakistan strategic partnership as well as the solidarity and cooperation among Asian countries.
Q: Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will attend the Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Japan. During the meeting, will he meet with Japanese officials and hold talks on China-Japan relations?
A: Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, as invited, will attend the 7th Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers' Meeting from May 6 to 7 in Kyoto, Japan, the 3rd meeting of the Tripartite Commission of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, as well as the ASEAN and China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (10+3) Foreign Ministers' Meeting held there. As to whether Foreign Minister Li will meet with relevant Japanese officials, I have not got any concrete information yet.
Q: The Japanese Government expects Premier Wen Jiabao to visit Japan and attend the Aichi World Expo. What comment does China have?
A: China attaches great importance to high-level exchanges and contacts between the two countries. The two sides should make joint efforts to create appropriate atmosphere and conditions for that.
Q: Recently, President Hu Jintao held talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Jakarta. What comment does China have on that?
A: On April 23, President Hu Jintao held talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Jakarta. The two leaders expressed their satisfaction about the development of China-India relations, and spoke highly of Premier Wen Jiabao's recent visit to India. Both sides showed their willingness to make joint efforts and proceed from the fundamental interests of the two peoples in constantly pushing forward the good-neighborly friendship. President Hu said that India was an important neighbor of China, and the two countries should be good neighbors, good friends as well as good partners. The two countries should grasp the present propitious opportunity to promote the friendly exchange and cooperation in various fields. Prime Minister Singh fully agreed to President Hu's remarks on bilateral relations and indicated that the Indian Government attached great importance to India-China relations and was willing to take the opportunity brought about by the establishment of the strategic partnership for peace and prosperity, so as to implement the consensus and push forward an all-around development of bilateral relations. This meeting, yet another important one between the leaders of China and India following Premier Wen's visit to India, is of great and positive importance to further promote the bilateral relations between China and India.
Thank you for your attendance.