On the afternoon of the July 7, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.
Liu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! I would like to begin with one announcement:
At the invitation of the Governments of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Tajikistan, Vice Premier of the State Council Wu Yi will pay an official visit to the four countries from July 13th to 22nd. During her visit to Kazakhstan, Vice Premier Wu Yi will preside over the second meeting of China- Kazakhstan Cooperation Committee jointly with Vice Premier of Kazakhstan Akhmetjan Esimov.
Now I'm ready to take up your questions.
Q: The declaration adopted at the SCO summit in Astana mentioned a deadline for the anti-terrorist coalition troops to withdraw from bases in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. Has SCO discussed with relevant parties about the deadline? At the SCO summit, President Hu talked about more preferential terms for 900 million US dollars of buyer export credit which China promised to offer at the Tashkent summit. Can you provide more details? The SCO statement focuses on the anti-terrorism, on which the US is also keen. Does SCO have any plans to cooperate with the US in this respect? Will US State Secretary Rice talked about the issue during her upcoming visit to China?
A: After the "September 11" incident, the SCO countries actively cooperated with the international anti-terrorist coalition and provided the relevant parties of the coalition with ground facilities and transportation channels. As now the situation in Afghanistan has come to stability and the massive anti-terrorist operations in Afghanistan have been completed, these countries think a deadline should be set for the use of above-mentioned infrastructure and for the foreign military presence in their territory. The Chinese side understands their consideration and this point has been written into the Joint Declaration of Heads of SCO Member Countries. As for specific arrangements, we believe the relevant countries will contact the international anti-terrorist coalition.
Regarding your second question, President Hu Jintao explicitly proposed some priorities for the SCO at its summit. One is to concretely promote an early practical outcome of the SCO economic cooperation. He called on all parties to strengthen coordination, increase input and implement the outlines of multi-lateral economic and trade cooperation with clear steps and focus. All parties should also materialize the relevant plans, establish a banking union, actively explore a cooperative pattern that supplements multi-bilateral channels with bilateral ones and combines the efforts of governments and enterprises, so as to establish links and cooperation between the SCO and international financial institutions and create favorable conditions for more in-depth economic cooperation. President Hu stated that China attaches great importance to honor its commitment at Tashkent summit to offer 900 million US dollars of preferential buyer export credit and decided to offer more preferential treatments concerning credit interest rate, term and guarantee terms, so as to ensure an early application of the loans to the cooperative projects of various parties' interest and tangible benefit thereof for the member countries. As for specific arrangements, the relevant Chinese departments will hold consultations with other member countries.
Regarding anti-terrorist cooperation between the SCO and US, combating anti-terrorism is a common task facing the international community, which requires worldwide concerted actions and stronger cooperation. SCO is an open organization and share a common aim in combating terrorism with many countries and organizations. We are convinced that the SCO is also willing to strengthen anti-terrorist cooperation with all countries in the world including the US, so as to eliminate this "cancer" of society. I'm still not quite clear whether Doctor Rice will talk about cooperation between SCO and US during her upcoming visit to China. I believe the two sides will hold an in-depth exchange of views on China-US relations, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and other regional and international issues of common interest. The Chinese leaders will meet with her and Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will hold a talk with her.
Q: On July 5th, the Sudanese Government and anti-government armed forces in Darfur signed a "declaration of political principles" in Abuja. What comment do you have?
A: It is a positive progress in the peace talks between the Sudanese Government and the anti-government armed forces in Darfur and will help stabilize the situation in the Darfur region. The Chinese side welcomes this development. China has always maintained that political talk is an effective way to solve the Darfur issue. We hope that under the guidance of the African Union, all parties concerned can continue their efforts to seek a proper and early solution to the Darfur issue.
Q: Regarding the WTO informal economic ministers' meeting next week, what goals does China expect to achieve at the meeting? Will the consultations of China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade(JCCT) touch upon the quota to Chinese textiles? What is China going to seek from US? What is China going to offer? African poverty will be discussed at the G8 summit. What proposals will President Hu Jintao put forward at the summit?
A: Both events in your first questions are sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. I know some information, but not as comprehensively as they do. We hope substantial fruits can be yielded at the WTO informal meeting of economic ministers in Dalian. China, as the hosting country, will also make its own efforts. I advise you to refer to the Ministry of Commerce for the specific information about the meeting.
Regarding the JCCT meeting, its date, agenda and other specific arrangements are still under consultation and to be determined by the two sides. I advise you to refer your specific question to the Ministry of Commerce.
Regarding the poverty relief and debt reduction to be discussed at the "8+5 Dialogue ", we think poverty is a grave issue which now plagues society and a major development issue facing the international community. In terms of poverty relief and debt reduction and exemption for developing and especially poor countries, developed countries have unshirkable obligations. We hope developed countries can take concrete measures to help under-developed countries out of the plight as soon as possible. China is also a developing country with formidable tasks for development, but we offer assistance to some poor countries including African countries within our capacity and write off the due debts of some African countries. China will still to make concrete efforts in this respect.
Q: During her last visit to China, US Secretary of State Rice said that the DPRK was a sovereign country. Does China expect her to show such flexibility during her upcoming visit? Today, a joint maritime rescue maneuver will be held in Shanghai. It is the first time that Japan comes to China for a maneuver. What's China's comment?
A: It is up to the US side as to what policy to take or to announce. But for the sake of maintaining the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and moving the Peninsula towards the goal of denuclearization, we hope that all parties will release more good will and positive signs, so as to create a favorable condition for the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.
Today, China Maritime Search and Rescue Center of the Ministry of Communications held the 2005 East China Sea Joint Search and Rescue Maneuver near the Yangshan Port of Shanghai. The maneuver is a regular one, with its scale larger than the past years.
China has a close professional association and cooperation with the maritime search and rescue centers of the relevant countries. In order to exchange experiences and enhance mutual understanding, we invited the maritime institutions of Japan and the ROK to dispatch vessels and other countries to observe the maneuver. It is aimed to enable us to better understand and learn from each other and to promote China's cooperation with these countries in the field.
Q: Several months ago, Xinhua News Agency reported that China would hold a series of memorial activities to mark the Second World War. Can you brief us on the current status of these activities? What other activities will be held? What impact have the activities had on the Chinese people?
A: In order to mark the 60th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-fascism War and China's Resistance War against Japanese Aggression, the relevant departments of China planned and organized a series of memorial activities. Some of the journalists present might have attended the memorial activity for the July 7 Incident at the Marco Polo Bridge today. They will successively brief you on the arrangements. I don't have the entire arrangements. But we will continue to contact those departments, so as to keep you updated with the arrangements and facilitate your interview. As far as I know, the memorial activities will last to September 3, with several different stages.
Q: Can you offer the figure of the debts of African countries that China has forgiven over the past five to ten years? If you don't have such figures, where should I resort?
A: I have a figure here and would like to share with you, which though may not give a full account for you. At the first Ministerial Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in October 2000, China announced to forgive the due debts of some heavily indebted poor countries in Africa. We fulfilled our commitment within less than two years by forgiving 10.5 billion-yuan debt of 31 African countries. China hopes that its debt-forgiving measures can help accelerate the pace of the international community on reducing or writing off African debts. We noticed that the recent G-8 Financial Ministers' Meeting has made a decision to reduce or write off the debts of the heavily indebted countries, including African countries. We welcome this development and expect the decision of the G-8 to be implemented soon.
Q: You mentioned the Marco Polo Bridge Incident when answering a question just now. Today marks the 68th anniversary of the tragic incident. Instead of recalling the past hardship of China-Japan relations, can you tell us what are the positive aspects in the current political relations between your two countries?
A: Despite many difficulties in the current political relations between China and Japan, there is one thing for sure that China and Japan still attach importance to their relations and are making efforts to improve and develop their relations. The recent consultations between the two sides were exactly conducted for the purpose. Both China and Japan have important influence in the world and play major roles in the region. We have emphasized on many occasions that harmony benefit both of us and conflict harms both. We hope that China and Japan can properly handle the relevant issues, especially the history issue and the Taiwan question, on the basis of the principles in the three political documents between us, so as to return China-Japan relations back on the normal track and benefit the people of our two countries.
Q: It is reported that during Rice's visit to China, the DPRK will invite two US Congressmen to visit the country. Chinese media covered the news. Do you know anything about it? Can you confirm?
A: Just like you, I also learned the news from media coverage, and I don't know the whole story yet. I believe that stronger contact between the DPRK and the US will be conducive to a better understanding and stronger trust between the two sides. We hope that such contacts will continue.
Q: The China-Russia Joint Statement talked about the international order. I sense that China and Russia wish to promote multilateralism in the world, which implies that unilateralism exists in the world. Can you tell us whether the document between China and Russia is targeted at any unilateralist country?
A: As a matter of fact, you asked a self-evident question. Not only China and Russia, but also many other countries advocate multilateralism and a multi-polar world. We believe that the trend and process of multilateralism is an inevitable direction of the evolution of international order, and an important embodiment of more democratic international relations. Certainly, it will take a long and tortuous process.
Q: The last part of my question is that what fruits China has gained from the memorial activities started from this May and what effects it has on the Chinese Government, Chinese people, the Sino-Japanese relations and Sino-EU relations?
A: China's Resistance War against Japanese Aggression is a major part of the global anti-Fascism War. China was the main battlefield in Asia in this war. At the 60th anniversary of the victory of the War against Japanese Aggression, commemoration of the anti-Fascism war and the war against Japanese Aggression enable people all over the world to cherish the hard-earned peaceful environment and persist on the way of peaceful development. We hope the relevant countries and people, especially some people who have incorrect attitude or views on history, can have a correct and all-sides understanding on and take a responsible attitude towards history through review of history during these memorial activities at the 60th anniversary. It's very important to the peace and stability of relevant countries, Asia and the world at a large.
Q:Will you please to brief on the Sino-Nepalese diplomatic dialogue held in Beijing?
A: As far as I know, the vice foreign minister of Nepal recently visited China. He exchanged views with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei on bilateral relations and relevant regional and international issues. Both sides spoke highly of the positive progress in our cooperation in various fields since the establishment of diplomatic relations 50 years ago, and agreed to take further measures and made more efforts to further promote the development of bilateral relations. The two sides also planed to launch a number of activities to commemorate the 50th anniversaries of establishing diplomatic ties. They talked about the domestic situation of Nepal. The Nepalese side introduced the current situation in Nepal. In response, Vice Foreign Minister Wu said that China supported the Nepalese Government in its active efforts to keep internal stability and promote economic development of Nepal. China wished and believed that the Nepalese people could make more achievements in their course of building their country and keeping internal stability.
Last time, you mentioned Nepal hoped to become a transition point between China and India to facilitate trade between China, Nepal and India. Vice Foreign Minister Wu stated that the Chinese side took a positive attitude towards convenient and rational arrangements of transit trade between China, Nepal and other south Asian countries and was willing to have dialogues on this issue with the relevant countries.
Q: Except Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, who else will Rice meet with during her visit? What topics dose China wish to discuss with Rice?
A: About your first question, I don't know the specific issues the two sides will talk about during Doctor Rice's visit. However, I am sure they will talk about the Sino-US relations, evaluate its development this year, look into the future of bilateral relations and discuss some specific questions between the two countries. Moreover, I think the nuclear issue on Korean Peninsula will be an important issue during her visit. Of course, they will talk about some regional and international issues. I will offer you more details during or after the visit.
If there are no more questions, the conference is over. Thank you.