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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao 's Press Conference on 14 June 2005

On the afternoon of June 14, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.

Liu: Good Afternoon! Let me begin with three announcements:

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister of Republic of Korea Lee Hae-chan will pay an official visit to China from June 21 to 23.

At the invitation of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Farouq Al-Qasrawi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine Nasser Al-Kidwa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel Silvan Shalom, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic Farouq Al-Shara and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of the Republic of Lebanon Mahmoud Hammoud, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will pay an official visit to the five countries from June 17 to 26.

Today (June 14), the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the US Embassy in China reached an understanding by way of exchange of notes on issuing multiple entry visas valid for 12 months to each other's nationals for study. Beginning on June 20, 2005, the Chinese nationals eligible to receive US visas for academic study (F), for vocational study and nonacademic study(M), or as exchange visitors(J), can be issued the multiple entry visas valid for 12 months. US students eligible to receive Chinese students visas for study (X) can likewise be issued mutiple entry visas valid for 12 months. Each side may limit the validity of individual visas in these categories on a case-by-case basis according to its laws. This understanding will effectively promote the cooperation on education and personal exchanges between China and the US.

Now I'm ready to take up your questions.

Q: When interviewed in Sweden, Dalai Lama said that the dialogues on the Tibet question between China and his representatives are proceeding well. What's China's comment? Where were the dialogues held and who attended? Dalai said he hopes to come back to China in his lifetime. If the dialogue yields good results, can he return to China?

A: Regarding Dalai's visit to Sweden, we have expressed our concerns over it to the Swedish side. We hold that Dalai is not an ordinary religious figure but a political exile who has long been engaged in activities aimed at splitting China and undermining national solidarity in the name of religion. We have all along been opposed to Dalai's political activities of this kind in any country and in any name. China urges the relevant country to adhere to the one-China policy, honor its commitment to oppose to "Tibet independence" and properly handle the issue, so as not to affect the bilateral relations.

As to your specific questions, we have reiterated for many times that the Central Government has opened the door for the talks with Dalai. However, we have a principle that Dalai must truly give up his proposition of "Tibet independence", publicly declare that Tibet is an inalienable part of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, as well as stop all splittist activities. With this prerequisite, the Central Government may contact Dalai and talk with him on the question of his future. The attitude of the Chinese Central Government on this issue has been very clear.

Q: Yesterday, EU decided not to lift the arms embargo on China. What's your comment? Will China lodge a protest?

A: As to the EU's lifting of arms embargo on China, EU has made its political commitments. It is also clear about China's position on this issue. The Chinese side's requirement on the lifting of arms embargo aims to remove EU's political discrimination against China and the political obstacle standing in the way of the normal development of China-EU relations, rather than to import weapons from EU. China and EU are strategic cooperative partners. We hope to develop the relations with EU on the basis of equality and mutual respect. Therefore, we once again urge EU to truly carry out its political commitments and lift the arms embargo on China as soon as possible.

Q: Some legislator from Taiwan, who went to the Yasukuni Shrine asking for the return of the memorial tablets of the Taiwanese aborigines, were stopped by the Japanese side. What's your comment?

A: We have taken note of the report, and believe that the wishes are fair and reasonable. They should be respected. We hope the Japanese side to properly handle this issue left by history.

Q: Please brief more on ROK Prime Minister's visit to China.

A: Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan will pay an official visit to China from June 21 to 23. This is his first visit to China since he entered his post as Prime Minister in June 2004. During the visit, he will hold talks with Premier Wen Jiabao. The two sides will exchange views over bilateral relations and important international and regional issues of common interest. Other state leaders including President Hu Jintao and Chairman of NPC Standing Committee Wu Bangguo will also meet with him. He will visit no places other than Beijing.

Currently China and the ROK have maintained a good momentum of development of their relations. There have been frequent high-level contacts, continuously deepened political mutual-understanding, as well as increasingly closer economic and trade cooperation. Last year, the bilateral trade volume exceeded 90 billion US dollars. The exchanges and cooperation in other fields have also been vigorous. The two countries exchanged over 3.5 million visits, and have tens of thousands of students studying and living in each other. We are happy to see that the development of China-ROK relations has brought tangible benefits to the people of the two countries. China attaches great importance to China-ROK relations, and is willing to work with the ROK side to continue the efforts for the unceasing development of the China-ROK comprehensive cooperative partnership, and safeguard the peace and stability of the region through close cooperation.

Q: Is it possible that the Six-Party Talks will resume soon? Is there a deadline? What kind of measures has China taken to encourage the DPRK to go back to the talks? President Bush mentioned the question of Taiwan when interviewed by Fox TV and said that in case China invades Taiwan, the US would have the obligation to protect Taiwan according to the Taiwan Relations Act. What's your comment?

A: As to the first question, no date has been set yet for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. I haven't heard of a deadline, either. But all the parties concerned are making efforts towards this end. As to what kind of contacts China has made with the ROK, there are many channels of contacts between us. The DPRK is very clear about China's principled position on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. Under the present situation, we hope that all parties concerned can show flexibility, sincerity and create a better atmosphere for the talks. As to the second question, on the question of Taiwan, the US Government, and President Bush himself, have promised to adhere to the one China Policy, abide by the three joint communiqués between China and the US and oppose to "Taiwan independence". We hope that the US side can honor its commitments with acts.

Q: Japanese Minister of Education, Science and Technology Nariaki Nakayama said on June 11th that there were no comfort women during the war time in Japan. It is wrong to write a nonexistent word into history textbooks. Today he argued that he didn't deny the history fact that indeed existed. He only wanted to say that the word of comfort women did not exist at that time. What's your comment?

A: I haven't seen yet his argument that you mentioned. But I can feel that what he essentially meant is still to deny the historical fact. The word "comfort women" was not created by Chinese people which can be seen from the morphological perspective. Whether this word existed or not, it is a historical fact-- forced conscription of "comfort women" is a severe crime committed by Japanese militarism during the Second World War. It is a historical fact known to all around the world and it hurts badly the feeling of the people of those victimized countries. We strongly condemn that the Japanese cabinet member in charge of education brazenly deny the hideous historical fact.

Q: Please brief us on the purpose and agenda of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing's upcoming visit to the Middle East?

A: Just now I made an announcement on Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing's upcoming visit. During his visit, he will exchange views on bilateral relations and important international and regional issues with the leaders of relevant countries and sign bilateral agreements on economic and technological cooperation and other cooperation projects. China keeps good relations and has achieved some new progress in all fields of cooperation with the five countries that he will visit. We hope that this visit will further promote the development of China's relations with the above five countries. As to the detailed information of the visit, I will brief you timely.

Q: The US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill is now visiting ROK. Is he coming to China?

A: I have not heard of anything about his visit to China. But we maintain close consultations with the US and ROK on the issue of the Six-Party Talks. The consultation are helpful and will be further carried on through different ways and channels.

Q: Will the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula be a major topic during ROK Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan's visit in China? Is China disappointed about the decision made by the meeting of EU foreign ministers on the issue of lifting arms embargo against China? What's your comment on the agreement between China and EU on textile trade dispute?

A: Both China and ROK are participants of the Six-Party Talks. China attaches great importance to ROK's important role in the Six-Party Talks and resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. China and ROK will make an in-depth exchange of views on the nuclear issue during Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan's visit. China has stated its position on EU's postponed lifting of arms embargo against China for many times. We hereon again urge EU to demonstrate political wisdom and courage and to make resolute decision to eliminate the political barrier in developing China-EU relations. The elimination of the political barrier is good to both China and EU. As to the textile trade issue, you all know that China and EU have reached an agreement. This proves once again if the two sides demonstrate sincerity, the textile issue which concerns both sides can be resolved through negotiation and consultation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. Such a way can also help to resolve other complicated issues.

If there is no more question, the conference is over. Thank you!

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