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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Press Conference on 23 June 2005

On the afternoon of June 23, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.

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

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of the Kingdom of Thailand will pay an official visit to China from June 30th to July 2nd.

Now I would like to take your questions.

Q: Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Binguo has gone to Japan. What will be the main topics during his visit?

A: Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Binguo left for Japan this morning with his delegation for the second round of China-Japan Strategic Dialogue with Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi.The two sides will make an in-depth exchange of views on China-Japan relations and issues of common interest. The dialogue has just started. I will offer you more information later on.

Q: There are reports saying that President Hu Jintao will visit North Korea in July. Can you confirm? The visiting Economic Minister of Guatemala said that China would set up a liaison office of commerce in Guatemala, can you confirm? What's the agenda of the Economic Minister of Guatemala in China? One last question, the US requires China to revalutate the exchange rate of RMB, otherwise it will impose punitive tariff on imported products from China. What's your comment on this?

A: As to your first question, I have not heard of anything like that. As to the visit of the Economic Minister of Guatemala to China, I made a brief introduction on the purpose of his visit and relevant information on Tuesday. China would like to improve and develop relations with Guatemala, including establishing diplomatic relations on the basis of UN Charter and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. As regard to the issue of the exchange rate of RMB, we have made clear our positions on different occasions. I have no more to say now.

Q: What fruits are China expecting of President Hu's visit to Russia, especially in the fields of security and economic cooperation? What else is on his agenda during his visit to Russia in addition to meeting the Russian president? How is the China-Russia cooperation on oil pipeline going along?

A: President Hu's visit to Russia Republic will be a highly important one in the history of China-Russia relations. The purpose of this visit is to make an in-depth exchange of views with Russian leader on how to deepen China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination. The topic of the visit will be extensive. China and Russia are two countries with important influence in the world and shoulder special responsibility in safeguarding world peace and promoting common development. The two sides will also exchange views on how to enhance coordination and cooperation in international affairs, promote multilateralism, deepen bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, investment, culture, science, and personnel exchanges. I will offer you more details of the visit later on.

The construction of oil pipelines is an important part of China-Russia energy cooperation. China and Russia have reached consensus on energy cooperation. For example, Russia will provide China with 10 million tons of crude oil this year, and 15 million tons next year. I believe China-Russia energy cooperation is beneficial to both sides and we hope that our energy cooperation will be further deepened.

Q: Will Premier Wen Jiabao attend the G8 Summit together with President Hu Jintao?

A: I have not heard that Premier Wen Jiabao would attend the dialogue between G8 and the five developing countries together with President Hu Jintao.

Q: On June 18th, the Sudanese Government realized reconciliation with the major opposition organization in North Sudan. What's your comment on this?

A: The reconciliation between Sudanese Government and the "National Democratic Alliance" is another important progress made by the Sudanese Government in achieving national reconciliation after the North and the South reconciled at the beginning of this year. This will be help stabilize the situation in Sudan. We welcome this new development. China will develop friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields with Sudan as before.

Q: What comment do you have on the death of Philippine Cardinal Bishop Sin? He took part in the 1986 democratic movement in Philippines. How do you view his political legacy? Are you concerned about the domestic stability of Philippines? Dai Bingguo is the first Chinese official that visits Japan after Vice Premier Wu's trip to Japan. How do you characterize the current China-Japan relations? Warming up or still in stalemate?

A: The first question is on a very specific event. I don't have much information on that. We hope the situation in Philippines can remain stable and the Philippine people live in peace and happiness.

China-Japan relations are now facing the most difficult stage since the normalization of the relations between the two countries. Under the current circumstances, we require the Japanese side to make concrete efforts to improve and develop China-Japan relations. That is to say, it has to take a correct and responsible attitude towards the history issue. Meanwhile, it should properly handle the Taiwan question, about which China is much concerned. Japan should honor its commitments on the Taiwan question by adhering to the one China policy, not supporting "Taiwan independence" and not having official exchanges with Taiwan in any form.

Facing the difficulties in China-Japan relations, China maintains its attitude of actively promoting our relations. Shortly ago, President Hu Jintao put forward a five-point proposition when meeting with Prime Minister Koizumi in Jakarta. First, strictly observe the three political documents, namely, the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between China and Japan and China-Japan Joint Declaration, and take down-to-earth efforts to develop China-Japan friendly and cooperative relations facing the 21st century. This is the overall direction of the development of China-Japan relations. Second, genuinely adhere to the principle of "taking history as a mirror and looking into the future." Japan should view and treat history correctly and should not further hurt the feeling of the people in China and other Asian countries concerned. Third, correctly handle the Taiwan question. Fourth, properly deal with other differences between us through dialogue and equal consultation, so as to avoid new disturbance or shock on the overall interest of China-Japan friendship. Fifth, further strengthen our exchanges and cooperation in a wide range of fields and people-to-people friendly exchanges, so as to increase mutual understanding, expand common interests and ensure the healthy and stable development of China-Japan relations.

Deputy Minister Dai's visit to Japan is another important effort by the Chinese side to improve and develop China-Japan relations. He will have an in-depth exchange of views with the Japanese side on bilateral relations. We hope the dialogue will have positive outcome and our consensus will be expanded.

Q: Today, CNOOC announced that it would bid for the acquisition of Unocal. US congressmen required the Bush administration to investigate the matter. A former congressman said the US congress will definitely suffocate the bidding. What's your comment?

A: As I have said on Tuesday, this is an economic activity of a company. We hope that the trade and economic exchanges between China and the US can move ahead in a healthy way, free from political interference. I don't know why some people voiced objection. But I do hope the trade and economic cooperation between China and the US, including cooperation on particular projects, can go along smoothly.

Q: A question on President Hu's visit to Kazakhstan, what does China regard as the key topics of the SCO Summit Meeting? India, Iran and Pakistan will attend the meeting as observers. Will this change the purposes of the organization? Does China hope the SCO to be expanded? Turmoil successively broke out in Central Asian countries, such as Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. What's China's comment? Will the turmoil affect the SCO framework? Kyrgyzstan has agreed that SCO members, including China, can station troops in that country. How will China react?

A: When attending the SCO Summit Meeting in Astana, President Hu Jintao will make an extensive and in-depth exchange of views with heads of other countries on how to deepen SCO's cooperation in combating the terrorist, separatist and extremist forces, maintain regional security and promote more in-depth trade and economic cooperation among member states. The issues of security and trade and economic cooperation are two important parts of promoting SCO's steady development. The topics of the meeting will be decided through consultation among SCO member states.

On the participation of the three observer countries in the summit meeting, the SCO has approved of the three countries' participation in the organization as observers. We welcome their participation. The SCO is an open organization, and those countries' observer status will be helpful to the SCO's mutually beneficial cooperation with them. The enlargement of the SCO requires consultation among its member states.

We are concerned about the unstable situation of the Central Asian countries. And we are glad to see that the situation of these countries is improving. We hope those countries can maintain stable situation, which will benefit the security of this region and serves the interests of the people in this region. We have also noticed that all the SCO activities are going along normally. China will work with other member states to unswervingly promote SCO's cooperation in security, trade, economy and other fields.

My colleague Kong Quan has answered your last question here, and I have nothing to add.

Q: Can you give more details on ROK Prime Minister's meeting with Chinese officials. Did the two sides touch upon the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and the resumption of the Six-Party Talks? Did China contact the DPRK on the resumption of the Six-Party Talks?

A: During the official visit to China by Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan, the two sides made an in-depth exchange of views on China-ROK relations and on how to enhance our cooperation on all fronts. We have made a thorough briefing to the press on yesterday's visit. Maybe you are closely interested in the meeting between State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan this morning. During the meeting, State Councilor Tang said that China attached great importance to China-ROK relations and was willing to work with the ROK side to steadily push forward the continuous and healthy development of the comprehensive cooperative partnership between the two countries. On the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, Tang said that China persisted in peacefully resolving the nuclear issue on the Peninsula through dialogue, and appreciated the unremitting efforts made by the ROK. China supports the steady improvement of relations between the South and North on the Peninsula. Meanwhile, he emphasized that China was willing to work with other parties to make the best of the situation and guide the Six-Party Talks towards early resumption and positive progress. Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan spoke highly of China's important and positive role in promoting the process of the Six-Party Talks. He said that the ROK would continue to work with other parties to reopen the Six-Party Talks at an early date. Now, there emerged some positive signs that will help resume the Talks. China hopes that all parties concerned will seize the opportunity and show greater flexibility and sincerity, so as to seek the early resumption of the Talks.

Q: Does China appreciate the DPRK's role in the Six-Party Talks? You always say "taking history as a mirror." Does it only apply to China-Japan relations or also apply to other countries?

A: The DPRK has its own concerns on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and the Six-Party Talks. It hopes to resolve those concerns through the Six-Party Talks. We noticed that the DPRK released some positive signs on resuming the Talks, and in the same time, it made contacts of positive significance with the US in New York. We believe that there emerged some positive message and progress on the resumption of the Talks. China expects all parties concerned to seize the positive message, make proper use of the progress and proceed from the overall interest of realizing a nuclear-weapon-free Peninsula, so as to resume the Six-Party Talks aimed to resolve the nuclear issue on the Peninsula.

You have thrown out more than once the question of "taking history as a mirror". "Taking history as a mirror" is an important thought set out by ancient Chinese. In essence, it underscores learning and drawing lessons from history, so as to instruct and enlighten us in our future development. This thought is helpful at any time and in any context. Under the current circumstances, it is crucial for the development of China-Japan relations and for Japan to take a correct and responsible attitude on the history issue, so as to win the trust of the people in the victimized Asian countries, including China. We emphasize the principle of "taking history as a mirror and looking into the future", exactly because we want to recover and improve China-Japan relationship and ensure its healthy and smooth development. Now, this principle becomes all the more important to China-Japan relations and to the question of how Japan treats the history of aggression war.

Q:What's your expectation of the Sino-Japanese vice-ministerial strategic talks? The US Congress said the US would impose sanctional tariff if China refused to readjust the RMB exchange rate. What's your comment?


A: Strategic dialogue between foreign affairs authorities of the two countries is very important for the Sino-Japanese relations. At the end of last May, the two sides held the first round of strategic dialogue. Dialogue of its kind is conducive to increasing mutual understanding and consensus of the two sides, helps improve and develop the Sino-Japanese relations. We hope the dialogue would facilitate in-depth discussions on the problems existing in our relations and the way to develop the Sino-Japanese relations smoothly in the future. We expect positive results from the dialogue.

I suggest you refer your second question to the Commerce Ministry. We hope the economic and trade exchanges between China and the US would develop smoothly on the basis of equality and mutual benefits.


Q: Will Mongolia attend the SCO Summit Meeting as an observer? Is Japan the only nation that should "take history as a mirror"? Does China believe the UK and the US should do the same?


A: As for your first question, I don't know whether Mongolia will attend the Summit Meeting. You could ask the Mongolian side.

As for your second question, to take history as a mirror and look into the future is very important for the Sino-Japanese relations. The reason is that the Japanese side hasn't taken the responsible attitude to the history questions till now, which has undermined the basis of the Sino-Japanese relations and its development, hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and compromised the interests of the Japanese people as well. Therefore, to take history as a mirror and look into the future is especially important in dealing with the current relations between the two countries.


Q: What's your expectation of this G8 summit? Will China take part in G8 in the future?


A: One of the aims for President Hu Jintao to attend the dialogue between G8 and 5 developing countries is to promote the dialogue between developed and developing countries, strengthen communications on major international issues and the challenges faced by all human beings, enhance mutual understanding and push forward cooperation in various fields. It has great significance for increasing mutual understanding and promoting cooperation. President Hu will expound China's oppositions on the topics of the meeting and push forward cooperation initiatives during the dialogue.

The Chinese side attaches importance to the important influence and roles of G8 in international affairs. We'd like to strengthen contact and cooperation with it.


Q: Which issues on China will President Hu pick out to expound China's positions during the meeting between G8 and developing countries? Is RMB exchange rate one of the issues?


A: The main topics of the meeting are global economy and climatic change. In response to these topics, President Hu will state China's position on such issues as climatic change, international development cooperation, international trade and etc. Moreover, President Hu will incorporate China's concept of scientific development in his speech and  introduce China's policy and measures on the issues attracting outside interest, such as China's energy demands, the well-balanced development of economy and society and so on. Some initiatives will be advanced at that time. We will brief you during the meeting.


Q: After the election of Donald Tsang as chief executive of Hong Kong Special Administration Region, the US State Department said it wished to strengthen cooperation with HK and hoped that the general election can be eventually realized through the Basic Law. What's your comment?


A: The Chinese side welcomes the US side willness to develop cooperation with Hong Kong in varies fields. As for the development of political structure of Hong Kong, the Basic Law on Hong Kong has made explicit stipulation. Hong Kong affairs are the internal affairs of China, at which no courtry should point their fingers.


If there are no more questions, the conference is over. Thanks.

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