|Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao 's Press Conference on 9 June 2005|
On the afternoon of June 9, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.
Liu: Good afternoon, everyone! Let me begin with an announcement.
At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Jamaican Prime Minister Percival J. Patterson will pay an official visit to China from June 19 to 24, 2005.
Now please raise your questions.
Q: When receiving an interview, DPRK Representative to the Six-Party Talks Kim Gye Gwan said that the DPRK owns nuclear weapons and is capable of making more. Can you confirm? What's your comment?
A: The Chinese Government's position on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is clear and firm. We have always stood for the denuclearization of the Peninsula and hope the parties concerned make constructive efforts to this end.
Q: China's permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Wang Guangya said that it was possible that the Six-Party Talks would resume this month. Is this his personal view or the official view of the Chinese government?
A: It is the common aspiration of the relevant parties and the international community that the Six-Party Talks can resume as soon as possible. Recently, the DPRK and the US contacted twice in New York and the DPRK also expressed the willingness to return to the Six-Party Talks, which we are glad to see. We hope that all parties concerned will continue to make constructive efforts to promote the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.
Q: China has always emphasized that it supports the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula ever since the beginning of the Six-Party Talks. Now the DPRK once again announced that it would manufacture nuclear weapons. Does this action of the DPRK embarrass China, a big country that is the most friendly to the DPRK?
A: Three rounds of Six-Party Talks were held since 2003. On the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula, our position has been very clear from the very beginning. That is we stand for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The final aim of the Six-Party Talks is also to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and each party of the Six-Party Talks stands for the goal, too. We hope the Six-Party Talks can be resumed as soon as possible. The parties concerned can raise their concerns, considerations and questions within the framework of the Talks and then gradually reach consensus and eventually find a solution through consultations. Therefore, we hope that all relevant parties will make efforts to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Q: When the DPRK declared on Feb. 10th that it had the ability of making nuclear weapons, China expressed that it would investigate the issue. Has the investigation concluded by now? Can China confirm that the DPRK has possessed nuclear weapons? If the Six-Party Talks cannot proceed successfully, what's the worst scenario the Chinese side is preparing for?
A: The Chinese side does not know the situation on the DPRK's development of nuclear weapons. What we want to reiterate is that China holds a firm position on seeking a nuclear-free peninsula. We are working with all relevant parties together toward this goal.
As to your second question, from the very beginning of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, we have been aware that it takes a long-term and difficult process to resolve the issue, during which setbacks of different sorts will possibly emerge. The relevant parties have all reiterated they will make joint efforts for the goal of a nuclear-free peninsula. Therefore, I believe that as long as all parties show sincerity, goodwill and a pragmatic and constructive attitude, the process of the Six-Party Talks to resolve the nuclear issue will move ahead gradually.
Q: Will EU Trade Commissioner Manderson start his visit to China from tomorrow?
A: China and EU have a lot of exchanges on the China-EU trade relations. Please raise your question to Mr. Chong Quan, my colleague in the Ministry of Commerce.
Q: EU warned that if there do exist the facts of unfair trade, it will not hesitate to impose import duties on Chinese footwear. How will this move impact on China-EU relations?
A: Regarding China-EU relations, especially the economic and trade ties, I think you must know that EU has been the largest trade partner of China since last year and the bilateral trade volume has increased to a great extent. Against such a general backdrop, it is normal that some trade frictions emerged between China and EU. To resolve these problems needs the cooperative attitude from both sides and the effective consultations on an equal basis. We do not support resorting to sanctions or setting restrictions at will. China's Ministry of Commerce will hold consultations with its EU counterpart on the relevant issues. We hope the issues could be resolved by the two sides on the basis of continuous understanding and equality through consultations.
Q: Regarding the UN reform, what's China's position on the latest draft resolution of the Group of Four?
A: Currently, all parties are still widely divided on the scheme and idea of the Security Council reform. Under such circumstances, we hold that all members should continue to conduct democratic consultations and seek a solution which takes account of the interests of all sides and draws broad consensus, so as to safeguard the solidarity of the member countries and the long-term interests of the UN, rather than patching up the divergent plan.
We think that the move by a few countries of forcing an immature plan has made the reform of the UN deviated from the right track and seriously affected the development of the whole reform as well as the preparation of the summit in September. China, like many other countries, is worried about it, and is firmly opposed to the move of forcing the plan by these countries.
Q: With regard to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, how will the US deployment of stealth fighters impact on the peace talks? Second, if you do not believe the DPRK has nuclear weapons, what's its motivation to hold back the fact?
A: As to your first question, under the current situation, especially when the DPRK and the US side have made helpful contacts, the relevant parties should do more to help the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.
Regarding your second question, we are not clear about the DPRK's plan to develop nuclear weapons or its details. The Chinese side will continue its efforts to push for the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks and make progress on the way towards a nuclear-free peninsula.
Q: China expressed its wish to increase the representation of developing countries in the UN Security Council. Then will China support India and Brazil to acquire the permanent member seats? Can you brief on China's position on these countries' bids to become permanent members one by one? China is opposed to dividing the world into democratic and non-democratic countries in its UN reform position paper. What's the reason of the opposition?
A: As to your first question, currently UN members are holding consultations on relevant plans. Different countries have put forward different plans, such as the one by the Group of Four, the one by the Like-Minded Countries, and some ideas raised by other countries. The reform of the UN bears on the interests and concerns of all parties, as well as the direction of the Security Council's development in the future. The UN member countries are still quite divided upon this important issue, far from reaching a consensus on the relevant plan. It is not the time to make a stance on the relevant countries' bids for permanent members yet. The Chinese side believes that the reform of the UN Security Council should be aimed at enhancing the UN's capability to address the threat and challenges facing the international community, and be conducive to strengthening the authority of the UN Security Council and the solidarity of the member states, especially to increasing the representation of developing countries in the UN Security Council.
As to your second question, I hope you read the position paper we issued. Some people suggest dividing the world into democratic and non-democratic countries. The division itself is erroneous and non-democratic. On the issue of democracy, different countries have different explanations and views because of their different domestic situations, backgrounds of history, stages of economic development as well as different cultures and values. Democracy also has different forms. Meanwhile, different countries also share some common views on the issue of democracy, so they should draw forth helpful elements from one another and benefit from the homogeneities. However, every country should keep a form of democracy that complies with its national realities, conforms to the interests and will of its people, and be is conducive to its development. Only by this way can we make our world colorful and diversified and realize democratic international relations.
Q: The DPRK side indicated that it will continue to produce nuclear weapons. Will China pressure on it?
A: The international community as well as relevant sides of the Six-Party Talks are clear about China' stance on the nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. We have made a number of contacts and consultations with the DPRK on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. The DPRK side is also clear bout China's position.
Q: Will the Chinese Government send officials to the DPRK to consult on the resumption of the Six-Party Talks?
A: China and the DPRK have maintained contacts and consultations over the extensive issues in their bilateral relations as well as the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. Such consultations are sometimes held in Pyongyang, and sometimes in Beijing. Sometimes we also send officials for communication and consultation. There are a lot of effective channels. Currently I don't have information on China's recent plan to send officials to the DPRK again.
Q: There were reports recently that several former Japanese Prime Ministers urged Junichiro Koizumi not to visit the Yasukuni Shrine again when they met with him. What's Chinese position on this?
A: I am sure you were not present at the Press Conference on Tuesday when one of your colleagues raised the same question. Japanese people have different views on the issue of history. The views and positions of some Japanese people of vision which are conducive to the improvement and development of Sino-Japan relations are worth of the consideration of Japanese leaders and Government.
Q: Recently there are more than 200,000 people that became homeless in Zimbabwe because the Government demolished shacks and slums. What's China's comment on this? What is China's position if some other countries want to obtain the observer status of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)? Will China consider the United States' application favorably, if it applies for observer status of SCO?
A: We hope that Zimbabwean Government and people can properly solve their domestic difficulties and problems. We hope the situation in Zimbabwe will remain stable and people's life will be improved.
As to the second question, we welcome Pakistan, Iran and India to become observers of SCO. We think this will be helpful to promoting the mutually beneficial cooperation between SCO and the three countries. You asked an assumptive question that whether some other country will become observer of SCO. Up to now I have not heard any US application for observer status of SCO.
If there is no more question, the conference is over. Thank you.