|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Press Conference on 15 September 2005|
On the afternoon of September 15, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang presided over a regular press conference.
Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! Let me begin with an announcement:
At the invitation of the Foreign Ministry of China, Princess Anne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will pay a visit to China from September 20 to 24.
Now the floor is open.
Q: It is said that the DPRK asked for a new light water nuclear reactor under the framework of the Six-Party Talks. But this demand immediately drew strong opposition from Japan and the US. What's China's position on this regard? How to deal with relevant issues in the future?
A: The overall goal of the Six-Party Talks is to peacefully resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue, so as to safeguard its peace and stability. During the process, all parties will bring forward their respective considerations and concerns. We hope all sides to demonstrate full flexibility and take a pragmatic attitude, discuss the relevant issues in the spirit of mutual respect and equal consultation, so as to find a solution that takes account of the interests and concerns of all parties. China will continue its unremitting efforts for this end.
Q: The two heads of state of China and the US just met with each other. Please brief on the achievement of the meeting and offer your comment. In the aftermath of the "9.11" incident, the heads of state of China and the US often held meetings on the topic of anti-terrorism. Some call that period "honeymoon" between the two states. But now the argument of "China threat" recently emerged in the US. The US Congress also showed its alert to China. Compared with the year of 2001, do you think the China-US relations have undergone substantial changes? If so, what's the reason for it?
A: President Hu Jintao met with President Bush in New York the day before yesterday. The press has given reports on the details. We think highly of the meeting between the heads of state of China and the US, and consider it a very important meeting, which will generate positive impact on the healthy and steady development of the China-US relations in the future. During the meeting, the two leaders agreed that the China-US relations are very important, and that the two sides should strengthen exchanges and cooperation and increase mutual trust since China and the US share broad common interests. Meanwhile, the frictions and problems between the two countries should be handled in accordance with the principle of equal consultation. During the meeting, President Hu Jintao particularly stressed on the sensitiveness and importance of the Taiwan question in the China-US relations, and expressed appreciation for President Bush and the US Government's reiteration on many occasions of adherence to the One-China policy and the Three China-US Joint Communiqués, and opposition to Taiwan Independence. He also expressed the hope that the US could understand and support China's active efforts for the improvement of cross-strait relations and safeguarding the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait, adhere to the opposition to Taiwan Independence, stop selling advanced weapons to Taiwan, so as to ensure the healthy and stable development of the China-US relations. President Bush reiterated that the US will remain unchanged in its commitment to the One-China policy will remain unchanged. Besides, the two heads of state held in-depth discussions on other international issues including the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, preventing bird flu, nontraditional security issues, and agreed on closer exchanges and cooperation in these fields.
I don't think it is proper to describe the China-US relations as in or out of honeymoon. We believe that though the world situation has undergone changes, the common interests between China and the US is broadening instead of diminishing. Both China and the US are dedicating themselves to building the constructive cooperative relations. China and the US share common interests in broad fields. Therefore, strengthening cooperation conforms to our respective fundamental interests, and is conducive to safeguarding world and regional peace and stability, as well as to promoting common development of human beings.
China is a responsible country which takes the road of peaceful development. We will never pose any threat to any country or any people. Instead, we will strive for the peace and stability of the world so as to promote the development of ourselves, and vice versa. China will never seek hegemony, or threaten any other country. China will continue its efforts to develop the constructive and cooperative relations with the US, increase exchanges and enhance mutual trust and cooperation.
Q: What's China's position on the DPRK's new suggestion of light water reactor? Will it be included in the new draft of common document China is about to hand out to other delegations?
A: This issue requires all six parties to find a proper solution through discussions. The draft of the document is formed by China after summarizing the concerns and suggestions of all parties as the basis of the following discussions. Any questions, propositions or suggestions related to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula should be discussed by all parties.
Q: What is the best way in China's view to meet the DPRK's energy demand? Does China believe the suggestion brought forward by the ROK to resolve DPRK's energy demand is enough? What's China's position on this issue?
A: Our position is, first, the reasonable concerns and interests of any party should be earnestly considered; second, any propositions or suggestions that are conducive to realizing a nuclear-weapon-free Korean Peninsula and afeguarding its peace and stability are worthy of earnest consideration.
Follow-up: Does it mean China disagrees with the head of the US delegation Hill's view, and thinks that this issue should be discussed in this round of Six-Party Talks?
A: My answer is the same, the reasonable concerns and suggestions of any party could be discussed at the Six-Party Talks. As to what will result from the discussions, or whether the result could be accepted by all parties, it still needs consideration of all parties according to the principle of mutual accommodation and equal consultation.
Q: The US and the DPRK seem to once more have plunged into the state of impasse. What suggestions will China make? Does China believe the talks should continue?
A: We should have taken note that from the resumption of the Six-Party Talks, all parties have held frequent discussions and consultations on practical issues. Through the discussions and consultations, we can accumulate consensus and deepen understanding. This in itself is a meaningful process. China's work is to play its role to strengthen consultation and coordination with all parties and push forward this process. Since the resumption of the Talks, China has also held bilateral and multilateral consultations with other delegations to get to know their positions and views. We should not only see the difficulties and complexities of this issue, but also maintain patience, demonstrate a pragmatic and flexible attitude, and actively look for a solution.
Q: President Hu Jintao and President Bush talked about China's peaceful development when they met yesterday. The US is still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Do you think the message China wants to convey to the US by offering aids has been correctly understood by the US?
A: I have just reiterated China's policy of peaceful development. We contribute to safeguarding world peace and stability and promote common human development by means of our own development. Now long ago, the southern region of the US was stricken by hurricane Katrina. Chinese Government and people showed deep sympathy over this and promptly expressed our sincere condolences to the US Government and people and offered aid within our capacity. The aid has now been delivered to the US. I believe you have also noted that the US side has expressed its appreciation to China on different occasions. President Bush expressed appreciation again when he met with President Hu Jintao the day before yesterday. We hope that China's aidss will help the people in the disaster-stricken areas overcome difficulty and rebuild their homesteads at an early date.
Q: I have a question. The President of Pakistan delivered a speech on UN reform at UN general assembly yesterday, saying that he opposed to increase the representation of Elite Countries or countries of big influence and proposed to increase the representation of developing countries and care for their interests. He also appealed to the UN for higher efficiency on issues such as counter-terrorism. What's your comment on this?
A: From the speech of President Musharaff, we can see that China and Pakistan have the same or similar views and proposals on maintaining the authority of UN Security Council, safeguarding world peace and stability, promoting common development and strengthening UN ability in meeting world challenges including terrorism. President Hu Jintao also delivered an important speech on UN reform at the High Level Plenary of the United Nations General Assembly. We are willing to strengthen cooperation on this issue with the international community including Pakistan.
Q: As for the Six-Party Talks, do you have the agenda for the next few days? Will the Chinese delegation conduct bilateral talks or reach some consensus with other parties? As for the issue of light water reactors, you said it required consultations of all parties. Does that indicate the Chinese side still hasn't any position on the issue right now, but has to determine it after consultations with all other parties?
A: As for the date and agenda of Six-Party Talks, I think all parties should seize the time, seek the opportunity and make full use of every day and every moment to conduct close consultations, making joint efforts to seek the channel to realize a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. On the issue of light water reactors, the Chinese side maintains that we should find a proper solution that accommodates interests and concerns of all parties.
Q: You just mentioned that President Hu Jintao stated China would keep to the path of peaceful development at the UN Summit. He also said that China would provide $10 billion loan to developing countries. Does this mean China hopes to develop better relations with all countries around the world?The G-8 will have a meeting at the end of this month. I've heard that President Hu was invited to this meeting. Will President Hu attend it?
A: At the United Nations Summit, President Hu Jintao put forward some proposals to implement the Millennium Development Goals. One of the proposals is that in the next three years China will provide $10 billions in confessional loans and preferential export buyer's credit to developing countries to improve their infrastructure and promote cooperation between enterprises on both sides. As for the concrete plans and the way to implement it, we need to discuss with relevant countries. These proposals prove that China pays attention to the development of the world. China, as a developing country, is not rich. However, we are willing to make our efforts to promote the human being's common development, help other developing countries eliminate poverty and realize economic development. To strengthen development and cooperation, narrow gaps between rich and poor and realize the Millennium Development Goals are the urgent tasks faced by the international community. We hope the international community will make joint efforts. The Chinese side will strengthen cooperation with other countries in this region.
As for your second question, I haven't heard about it.
Q: It's reported President Hu Jintao invited President Bush to visit China during his meeting with President Bush in New York and the date for Bush's visit is probable in November. Can you confirm it?
A: To exchange visits between Presidents of China and the US is the consensus reached by both sides. Since the US suffered from the hurricane, President Hu postponed his state visit to the US. At the meeting of the two presidents, Bush expressed that he hoped President Hu would visit the US at a time convenient to both sides and that he was looking forward to visiting China after the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.
Q: About the six-party talks. Will this round of the six-party talks exceed Sep.18? The spokesman of Chinese delegation Liu Jianchao said this decided whether we could celebrate the Mid-Autumn day at home. I remember Vice Premier Wu Yi will visit Southeast Asia after Sep.19, and vice foreign minister Wu Dawei will accompany her. If he is not here, will the six-party talks continue? What's your idea?
A: So far I can't confirm vice foreign minister Wu Dawei's agenda. He is busy with the six-party talks now. Whether the talks can conclude by the date you mentioned depends on the results of the consultations and is decided by the consensus of the six parties.
Q: Recently, President of Pakistan confirmed that Pakistani nuclear scientists provided nuclear technologies to North Korea. What's your comment? Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing signed the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism in New York yesterday. Can you give more details?
A: I don't know what President Musharraf has said.
China's position on anti-terrorism and nonproliferation is clear and persistent. China firmly opposes proliferation of nuclear weapons and shoulders and strictly fulfills international obligations of nonproliferation. China dosen't help any country to develop nuclear weapons. China's signing relevant international convention shows China's decision on nonproliferation and anti-terrorism and China's willingness to strengthen cooperation with the international community in this region.
Q: I want to make sure. Did you just say President Bush will visit China after the APEC? Is there a specific date?
A: President Bush said he would visit China after the APEC.
Follow-up: When will the APEC start?
A: You can inquire the ROK, which is the host nation.
If there are no more questions, I want to say some blessing words. As China's traditional festival Mid-Autumn Day is approaching, I hope you enjoy more moon-cakes. Wish you a happy Mid-Autumn Day, and a happy family!
Thank you for attending today's press conference!