|Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Press Conference on 10 May 2005|
On the afternoon of May 10, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.
Liu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Hope you enjoyed the May 1 vacation. I'd like to begin with two announcements.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President of the Republic of Iceland Olafur Ragnar Grimsson will pay a state visit to China from May 16th to 22nd.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas will pay a state visit to China from May 17th to 19th.
Now, the floor is open.
Q: The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has announced to hold ceremonies to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the victory of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. Will China invite Japan to participate in the activities? When will these activities begin? In China's opinion, what's the ending date of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression? Which state leaders will be invited by China to attend the activities? Will Putin or Bush be invited, like the ceremony in Moscow? What about the Kuomintang leaders?
A: The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has issued the notice on the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of China's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. The arrangements of the activities are under study by the departments concerned, and, once worked out, will be released promptly.
The day when Japan formally declared surrender should mark the victory of China's War against Japan's Aggression -- August 15, 1945.
Q: Some Canadian parliamentary members put in a bill on Taiwan affairs. What's the position of the Chinese side?
A: A handful of members of the Canadian Parliament put forward the so-called Act on Taiwan affairs, drumming for "two Chinas", "one China, one Taiwan". It has grossly interfered in China's internal affairs, and severely violated the One China Policy, to which the Canadian Government has long been committed. We are firmly opposed to such an act.
Q: When met with Korean President Roh Moo-hyun on May 8th, President Hu Jintao said some new situation has emerged on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, which is noticeable. What is the new situation? Does it refer to DPRK's preparation for the nuclear test?
A: There have been a lot of news reports on the recent new situation on the Korean Peninsula. In this regard, I don't know better than you do. I have to point out that however the situation develops, China's view is that all parties should take measures beneficial to relaxing the situation of the Peninsula and to the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks, instead of undermining the progress of the Talks or the relaxation of the Peninsula's situation. We hope the parties, especially the principal parties, to show flexibility, sincerity and pragmatism so as to resume the Six-Party Talks. As the host and mediator of the Six-Party Talks, China will continue its efforts.
Q: The US side indicated that it may engage in direct dialogue with the DPRK within the framework of the Six-Party Talks. Does China agree to this proposal? Is China worried about losing its role of mediator because of the dialogue? Will it lead to the end of the Six-Party Talks?
A: The Chinese side supports all proposals and concrete measures or steps that help realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and relax its situation. We are pleased to see all forms of direct contact between the DPRK and the US. However, it rests with the DPRK and the US side that under what circumstance they could make contacts and open direct dialogues. Communication either within or out of the framework of the Six-Party Talks between the two principal parties of the nuclear issue, the DPRK and the US, will be helpful to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.
Q: US President Bush called Kim Jong Il a tyrant. What's China's comment? Reports said the US asked China to cut its food and oil supply to the DPRK, but China refused. Please confirm.
A: As for your first question, we have taken note of relevant reports. All parties concerned should use words and take measures that are helpful to promoting mutual trust and resuming the Six-Party Talks.
As for your second question, China and the DPRK maintain normal bilateral relations. On the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula, we stand for resolving questions and concerns of the relevant parties through equal dialogue and consultation rather than through pressure or sanction, which would not be effective.
Q: China will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the victory of the War against Japanese Aggression. The Japanese Government criticized some activities and content of China's patriotic education. How will the commemoration affect the China-Japan relations?
A: The 60th anniversary of the victory of the War against Japanese Aggression is a very important day worth the commemoration not only by the Chinese people, but also by the people of Asia and the world. The Japanese people should also commemorate this important day because the victory of the War ended not only the calamities of the Chinese people, but also those of the Japanese people in that war. Therefore, it is a day worth the commemoration of the people of the two countries. The purpose of the commemoration is to help people clearly see the history, and fulfill "taking the history as a mirror and facing toward future". This kind of commemoration will benefit China-Japan relations instead of the opposite. It will help the people of the two countries to better understand the history, and cherish the hard-earned friendship and the friendly cooperation between China and Japan. We hope to take this opportunity to push forward China-Japan relations. It is unreasonable for some people to criticize such commemoration since the War against Japanese Aggression is an important part of World War against Fascism. Even from the perspective of the world, the commemoration of the War against Japanese Aggression is of historical significance.
Q: It is reported today by British press that China and Pakistan have decided to jointly produce 400 JF-17 aircrafts. Can you confirm this?
A: As far as I know, China and Pakistan have maintained normal military exchange and cooperation. As to your specific question, I do not have specifics at hand.
Q: During this ASEM Foreign Ministers Meeting, the EU spokesperson said that it is difficult to lift the arms embargo on China unless China improves its human rights conditions. Recently there are reports saying that the Chinese Government may be willing to take new measures to improve the human rights conditions. What concrete measures does China have in this regard?
A: We have all along been firmly opposed to linking the lift of EU's arms embargo to China with the so-called human rights issue. On the one hand, we call for an early lifting of the EU's arms embargo to China, so as to benefit the development of the China-EU relations. On the other hand, China's human rights cause has made remarkable achievements in recent years. Meanwhile, on continuing improving the human rights conditions, we have yet to make solid efforts so as to let Chinese people enjoy continuously improved human rights. This is also an important cause we are dedicated to. However, this issue is completely impertinent to lifting the arms embargo to China. It is totally unreasonable and illogical to link the lifting of the arms embargo with the human rights issue.
Q: You just said China does not support to pressure or sanction on the DPRK. Does this rule out the possibility of forcing the DPRK to put off its nuclear plan through cutting the oil supply?
A: China and the DPRK have maintained normal bilateral relations and normal trade exchanges. The normal trade should not be linked to other issues such as the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. We are opposed to resolving the issue by the way of pressure or sanction.
Q: When visiting Egypt on Friday, Russian President Putin declared his support for Egypt to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council. China and Egypt have maintained strategic relations. What's China's position on this issue?
A: As to the reform of the UN Security Council, we have reiterated our position for many times. Any plan of the reform of the UN Security Council should be conducive to a better role of the Security Council in safeguarding world peace and security, to maintaining its authority, and to greater say of the developing countries and medium and small countries. Currently the reform plan is under heat discussion among all parties concerned, causing wide differences. Under such circumstances, we should not force through any plan or to a vote since it will not help the UN Security Council to play its role. The broadest consensus needs to be reached through democratic consultations among the UN members.
Q: Just now you mentioned the Chinese Government is taking measures to relax the situation of Korean Peninsula, which implies tension on the Korean Peninsula to a certain extent. Can you elaborate on what tension it is? What next steps will China take if the DPRK conducted nuclear test and refused to return to the Six-Party Talks?
A: Recently some new developments appeared on the Korean Peninsula. Many of them are rather worrying. Under such circumstances, all parties should even give priority to the general interests of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, put the goal of realizing a nuclear-free Peninsula on the first place, take a flexible and pragmatic attitude and display sincerity to promote an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.
As for what specific steps China will take next, at the previous stage, the Chinese side has done a lot for the early resumption of Six-Party Talks. We dispatched senior officials to exchange views with relevant parties of the Talks and actively promote the process. But to our regret, we still have no exact information on when the Six-Party Talks can be resumed. The Chinese side will continue to conduct a careful research on relevant problems and positions of all parties so as to identify the next diplomatic actions to be taken for advancing the process of the Six-Party Talks. It is far from enough to only rely on China's efforts to solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and promote the process of the Six-Party Talks. We hope all other parties, especially the main parties involved can display their sincerity and contribute their efforts to realizing a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and relaxing the tension on the Peninsula.
Q: It is reported that the DPRK is likely to conduct the nuclear test. Has China communicated with the DPRK and expressed its concern over it? Yesterday, an American scholar told me that a Chinese expert claimed that the development of nuclear weapons is essentially a matter of sovereign state. The DPRK is exercising its sovereignty to develop nuclear weapons. Does the Chinese Government agree with this statement?
A: The goal of maintaining a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula is an important consensus reached by all parties of the Six-Party Talks. The Chinese side opposes any action incompatible with this goal. Under current circumstances, an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks, a peaceful solution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue, the realization of a nuclear-free Peninsula, and maintenance of regional peace and stability conform to the interests of all parties and are also their common responsibility. We hope relevant parties can do more things conducive to realizing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Regarding your second question, I don't know the specific statement you mentioned, so it's difficult for me to remark on it. In view of the overall trend of world development, the goal of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula conforms to this trend. The appearance of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula doesn't serve the interests of the region and any country in the world. We hope relevant parties can devote themselves in real earnest to realizing the goal of denuclearization of Korean Peninsula.
Q: Recently some reports said the Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi may pay homage to the Yasukuni Shrine in personal capacity. What's your comment? Second question, can you brief us on the detailed agenda of Abbas's stay in China?
A: On the issue of Japanese leader's homage to Yasukuni Shrine, we have elaborated on China's position here for a dozen even dozens of times. We hope the Japanese side can truly honor their commitment with actions to remorse on the history issue rather than do anything that hurts the feeling of the Chinese people.
As for your second question, the major purpose of President Abbas's visit to China is to brief China on the latest development of the Middle East and to discuss how to enhance China-Palestine relations. During his visit, President Abbas will hold talks with President Hu Jintao and meet with Premier Wen Jiabao. The two sides will exchange views over international and regional issues of common interest and sign economic and trade cooperation agreements. As far as I know, President Abbas will only visit Beijing.
Q: Does China believe that the DPRK is possibly planning a nuclear test? The second question is whether the Chinese side has contacted the DPRK side over the issue?
A: Your first question is very difficult for me to answer. I have seen relevant reports, but I don't get confirmation from relevant sides, nor do I have any evidence. This should also answer your second question.
Q: Regarding the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, you just mentioned that China will see the development of the situation to determine its next step. Then does the next step include the possibility of referring the issue to the UN Security Council?
A: I have noticed that relevant parties put forward the proposal of referring the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula to the discussion of the UN Security Council. In our view, the best method to solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula now is still through the Six-Party Talks. All parties of the Talks, including the DPRK and the US, maintain that the Six-Party Talks should be continued. Under such circumstances, we shouldn't lose heart, nor should we feel disappointed with the development of the issue. Instead, we should spare no efforts to move ahead the process of the Six-Party Talks.
If there are no other questions, the press conference is over. Thank you!