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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Press Conference on 21 June 2005

On the afternoon of June 21, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.

Liu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! First of all, I have four announcements to make:

At the invitation of President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of the Russian Federation, President Nursultan Nazarbayev of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the G8 presidency holder, President Hu Jintao will, from June 30th to July 7th, pay state visits to Russia and Kazakhstan and attend the Summit Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to be held in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan and the G8 Summit Outreach Session to be held in the U. K..

Ms. Wuyunqimuge, Special Envoy of President Hu Jintao and Vice Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, will attend the Inauguration Ceremony of President Nambariin Enkhbayar of Mongolia from June 23rd to 25th upon invitation .

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek of the Czech Republic will pay a working visit to China from June 26th to 28th.

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase of the Republic of the Fiji Islands will pay a working visit to China from June 25th to 30th.

Now I'm ready to take up your questions.

Q: Today, the Speaker of the Taiwanese Legislative Yuan Wang Jinping and the "Defense Minister" went to the waters adjacent to the Diaoyu Islands over which China and Japan have disputes. Does China support their move?

A: The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese fishermen, with those in the Taiwan region included. China and Japan have already signed fishery agreements, in which they have also made appropriate arrangements in the waters in question. Both sides should act in line with the agreement. We express our strong dissatisfaction at the move by the Japanese side to forcibly expel the fishermen of China's Taiwan when they were operating normally in the waters adjacent to the Diaoyu Islands----territorial waters of China. We demand that the Japanese side pay high attention to the concern of the Chinese side and handle relevant issue prudently and appropriately.

Q: In the talks between the leaders of Japan and South Korea in Seoul yesterday, the two sides failed to reach an agreement on the issue of history. Do you have any comment? The South Korean side proposed that Japan should build a new memorial to replace the Yasukuni Shrine and the Japanese side agreed to consider that proposal. Do you have any comment on such a way to resolve the issue of the Yusukuni Shrine?

A: We have taken note of the report on the summit meeting between leaders of ROK and Japan. On the issue of history, the Japanese side should adopt a correct attitude; otherwise it would be difficult for Japan to gain the understanding and trust from the countries victimized by its aggression wars.

As to your second question, China's stance on the issue of history and Japanese leaders' visit to the Yasukuni Shrine has been clear. We are against Japanese leaders' visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, which holds the memorial tablets of Class A war criminals. We hope the Japanese side to honor its commitment to remorse on history with concrete steps, rather than do anything that would hurt the feelings of the people of Asian countries, including the Chinese people.

Q: Some of the Taiwanese fishermen hung the Red Five-Starred Flag on their ships to avoid being expelled by Japanese warships. Do you have comment on that? Would the mainland intervene should Taiwan and Japan collide because of fishing issue?

A: Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets have been Chinese territory since ancient times. China has indisputable sovereignty over those islands. The waters adjacent to the Diaoyu Islands have been a traditional fishery for Chinese fishermen. China attaches importance to the protection of the rights and interests of Chinese fishermen to operate normally in these waters and their rights and interests should not be violated. As to the recent situation, we demand that the Japanese side attach great importance to the concern of the Chinese side and handle relevant issue prudently and appropriately.

Q: Could you give us some detailed information on President Hu Jintao's visit to Russia?

A: At the invitation of President Vladimir Putin, President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to the Russian Federation from June 30th. During his visit, he will meet with President Putin and other leaders from Russian Government and Parliament. This visit is aimed at promoting mutual political trust, deepening cooperation in all fields, enhancing coordination and cooperation on major international and regional issues and pushing China-Russia Strategic Partnership of Coordination to a new height. The two sides would issue a political document on the fruits of the summit meeting and sign a number of bilateral cooperation documents. I would keep you updated with further information during the visit.

Q: It is reported that Chinese farmers are using antibiotics to fight bird flu. The international community and media are very concerned about that. Do you have any comment?

A: As is learned from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Chinese Government has never permitted using the human-oriented antivirus medicine to prevent bird flu and other virus-caused diseases of animals. We will, in line with a responsible attitude to the health of human beings, investigate into the medicine use in violation of rules and seriously deal with and punish it. As to the specific information, please refer your question to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Q: Yesterday, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing met with Israeli Prime Minister Sharon. Before that, US Secretary of State Rice warned Israel to prudently handle arms sales to China during her visit. What's the comment of the Chinese side? China National Offshore Oil Corp. will acquire the Unocal Corp. based in US California. Some US Congressman wrote to President Bush demanding an investigation into it. What's your comment?

A: China attaches importance to the mutually-beneficial cooperative relations with Israel, which, we believe, conforms to the interests of the two peoples and is conducive to regional peace and stability. The two sides should adhere to the principle of independence and get over external interferences in developing bilateral relations. The development of China-Israel cooperation on an equal and mutually-beneficial basis does not harm the interests of any third party. The concern of the relevant side is unnecessary.

Your second question is quite specific. This is a move of a company. Please refer to the relevant company. We take a positive attitude toward the normal economic and trade cooperation between China and the US. We also hope that China-US economic and trade relations could develop in a smooth and healthy way.

Q: A couple of days later, it will be over one year since the end of the last round of the Six-Party Talks. Is China still optimistic about bringing all parties back to the table? Besides, has China cancelled the plan of President Hu Jintao to visit the DPRK?

A: China has never given up the efforts and the hope to resume the Six-Party Talks despite of different kinds of difficulties. We are happy to see and welcome the relatively positive signals released recently. We hope all relevant parties to proceed from the general interest of realizing a nuclear-free peninsula and show more sincerity and flexibility, so as to push forward the peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue on the peninsula. China will continue its efforts for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. As to President Hu Jintao's visit to the DPRK, I don't have any information to share.

Q: Please brief on the agenda and purposes of the ROK Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan's visit to China.

A: ROK Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan arrived in Beijing today, and will hold talks with Premier Wen Jiabao at 5 this afternoon. The topics will be very extensive, and the bilateral relations will be discussed in the first place. China and ROK are close neighbors. There have been increasingly frequent exchanges and deepened political understandings as well as closer economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. The cooperation in other fields has also developed rapidly. Last year, the bilateral trade volume reached more than 90 billion US dollars, which is quite considerable. The exchanges in all fields including personnel exchanges have also been active, which exceeded 3.5 million visits last year. Therefore, it is obvious that the mutually-beneficial cooperation between China and ROK is with a large scale and a profound basis. Both the two sides are willing to continuously push forward the China-ROK Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership. During the visit, the leaders of the two countries will exchange views in an in-depth way on how to deepen the bilateral relations as well as the international and regional issues of common interest. I believe they will talk about the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and the Six-Party Talks. We expect the two sides to further strengthen coordination and cooperation for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks and the peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, and make joint efforts to achieve lasting peace and stability in this region.

Q: Recently we noticed the willingness from both the DPRK and the US to resume the Six-Party Talks in July. Has China been prepared for it? The second question, Guatemala's Minister of Economy began his visit to China Monday. Please confirm and brief on the purpose of his visit.

A: Regarding your first question, China has always been dedicating its efforts to the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks, and will continue to maintain consultation with all parties on this issue. As to the specifics, it needs to be set down through effective communications among all relevant sides.

As to your second question, I can confirm that Guatemalan Minister of Economy Cuevas arrived in Beijing on June 20. He will exchange views with the relevant departments of the Chinese side on further strengthening the bilateral economic and trade ties. The recent years have seen a rapid development of the two-way trade between China and Guatemala, the volume of which in 2004 reached 436 million US dollars, up 41.7 percent from the previous year. It indicates that the economies of China and Guatemala are highly complementary, and there is great potential for the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. I want to reiterate here that China is willing to establish normal state-to-state relations with Guatemala and other nations in Central America and the Caribbean region on the basis of the UN Charter and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. It would serve the long-term interests of both sides.

Q: The president of OIC (Organization of Islamic Conferences) which is composed of 57 Muslim countries said that a certain representation of Muslim countries should be considered in the enlargement of UN Security Council. What comment do you have?

A: Regarding the reform of UN and the Security Council, China always stresses that relevant reforms should follow one mains theme??the demand of development. We maintain that a priority should be given to increasing the representation of developing countries in the UN Security Council. Meanwhile, relevant reform plans of the UN Security Council should be conducive to safeguarding the authority of UN, to strengthening UN's due role in maintaining world peace and promoting common development, and even more to concretely keeping solidarity among the member states of UN. There are still wide differences on the reform of UN Security Council. We hope relevant parties can reach a consensus as broad as possible through wide democratic consultations.

Q: Recently, a draft drawn at the conclusion of EU summit meeting involved EU arms embargo against China and stronger security dialogues with Japan and the US. What comment do you have? Will President Hu Jintao meet with Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi on the sideline of G8 summit?

A: As for your first question, we regret that EU summit meeting didn't honor its commitment to lift its arms embargo against China. Meanwhile, we also noticed that the conclusive document of the presiding country reiterated that EU attached great importance to developing strategic partnership with China. We hope EU can proceed from the overall interest of China-EU relations and honor its commitment to lift its arms embargo against China as early as possible, so as to clear the obstacle in the way of development of China-EU relations.

As for your second question, I don't have relevant information at hands. The relevant arrangements for President Hu Jintao's attendance at the G8 summit Outreach Session.

Q: You said some positive signs recently appeared on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. What comment do you have on the meeting between DPRK's leader King Jong II and ROK Unification Minister Chung Dong-young? Will this meeting have positive impact on resumption of the Six-Party Talks?

A: We have also noticed that the meeting between DPRK's leader King Jong II and ROK president's envoy Chung Dong-young yields some fruits. The Chinese side supports the Northern and Southern sides on the Korean Peninsula to make active efforts for improving and developing their bilateral relations and safeguarding peace and stability on the Peninsula. We are pleased with the fruits achieved at the meeting.

China has all along adhered to working for the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and stood for realizing a nuclear-free peninsula through peaceful dialogues and will continue to make unremitting efforts to this end. We sincerely hope all parties to make joint efforts, seize the opportunity and show more flexibility, so as to promote the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks and advance the process of peaceful solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula with a constructive attitude.

Q: If Taiwanese fishermen ask the mainland for help under emergency, will mainland lend a hand?

A: The Central Government has always attached great importance to and actively protected the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese fishermen, including those from Chinnese Taiwan, to conduct normal operation in the Chinese waters.

If there are no other questions, let's call it a day! Thank you!

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