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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Press Conference on 22 September 2005
2005-09-23

On the afternoon of September 22, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference.

Qin: Good afternoon, everyone! I have no announcement to make today. Now I am ready to take up your questions.

Q: Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday that a consultation between China and Japan over the East China Sea issue will be held next week. Please confirm that. Will the consultation be held in Beijing or Tokyo? It is reported by the Xinhua News Agency that Indonesian navy shelled a Chinese fishing vessel, killing one crew member and injuring two others. The Chinese Embassy in Indonesia has lodged a protest with the Indonesian side. Please brief us on the incident. In addition, the Chosun Ilbo of the ROK reported that Christopher Hill, Head of the US delegation to the Six-Party Talks, would visit the DPRK by November to discuss the light water reactor issue. What comment does the Chinese side have?

A: The specific questions about the consultation between China and Japan over the East China Sea issue, such as the date and venue, are still up to consultation between the two sides.

As for your second question, on September 19, the Indonesian navy chased and fired at the Chinese fishing vessel "Fuyuanyu 132" in the Indonesian waters (8'57''S, 137'17''E), killing one crew member and wounding two others. Ten crew members including the wounded are still detained by the Indonesian navy.

Immediately after the incident occurred, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chinese Embassy in Indonesia lodged solemn representations to the Indonesian side and expressed shock and strong dissatisfaction at Indonesian navy's inhumane way of law enforcement. China demanded that the Indonesian side should find out the truth as quickly as possible and keep China informed. Meanwhile, the Indonesian side should take every necessary measure to aid and treat those wounded and guarantee the safety of other crew members. China is closely following the development of the incident and will make further representations to the Indonesian side.

The Chinese side believes that, as China and Indonesia are friendly countries, the two sides should deal with problems in fishing cooperation with a sober and restrained attitude rather than resorting to the use of force at will. China hopes the Indonesian government could take effective measures to discipline its navy and relevant units, avoid arbitrary use of force in the course of law enforcement and guarantee that no more incidents of this kind will occur in the future.

As for US Assistant Secretary Christopher Hill's visit to the DPRK, I have no relevant information. The parties concerned would maintain contact and consultation before the next round of Six-Party Talks takes place.

Q: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick spoke about China's political system yesterday. Do you think such speech interferes with the internal affairs of China or is a helpful suggestion in speeding up China's reforms? In addition, China yesterday warned the US and the EU against their pressure on the Iranian side to solve its nuclear issue. If the UN Security Council is to vote on a resolution aimed at a sanction on Iran, would the Chinese side veto it?

A: We have taken note of relevant reports. China have made worldwide recognized achievements over the past 27 years since the beginning of its reform and opening up. China has sustained rapid and stable economic development and improved its people's living standard year on year. China's human rights, legal development and other undertakings have made steady progress. China is committed to the road of peaceful development and has always been an adamant force in safeguarding world peace, stability and prosperity.

Both China and the US are countries with important influence. Currently, the Sino-US relations are developing soundly in general and the two countries maintain effective cooperation in such important fields as economy, trade, anti-terrorism and the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. Not long ago, the heads of both countries held a successful meeting in New York and reached important consensus. We would work together with the US side to earnestly materialize the outcome of the meeting, enhance our exchange and mutual trust, expand our consensus and cooperation, and push forward the constructive and cooperative relations between China and the US across the board in the 21st century in a full scale.

As for your second question, the Chinese side thinks that the current top priority of the issue is the resumption of negotiation between Iran and the EU, so as to close their differences through negotiation and eventually find a solution acceptable to all sides. Under present circumstance, the parties concerned should cherish a far vision, maintain restraint and appropriately solve the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic means under the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). That would benefit regional peace and stability, help maintain the international non-proliferation regime and serve the fundamental interests of parties concerned. We believe there is still room for the Iranian nuclear issue to be solved through dialogues within the IAEA framework and hope that parties concerned would size up the situation carefully and show flexibility. The Chinese side is willing to make joint efforts with the international community and play a constructive role for an early solution of the Iranian nuclear issue.

Q: It is reported by Japanese media that a flare was seen at the Chinese gas field "Tianwaitian" which is located in the East China Sea. Has the gas field begun production? Yesterday, the Japanese Embassy in China lodged a protest with the Chinese side. What's your comment?

A: China has expressed its position on the question on many occasions. I would like to reiterate that China explores gas field in the waters near its coast that is not disputed by Japan. We are ready to continue our dialogue with the Japanese side for the proper solution of the issue, so as to maintain the stability of the East China Sea. Our position has not changed.

Q: The China-Indian talks on the border issue will be held next week. Who will be representing China at the talks? What does China hope to achieve? Secondly, what was the Chinese fishing boat doing at Indonesian waters?

A: The sixth meeting between the Chinese and Indian special representatives on border issue will be held in Beijing from September 26th to 27th. The special representatives will discuss the framework for resolving the border issue by starting from the political perspective of the overall bilateral relations in line with the Political Guiding Principles for Solving the Border Issue between China and India. We believe the two sides will be able to find a solution which is fair and reasonable and acceptable to both sides through equal consultation and mutual understanding and accommodation in the spirit of the political guiding principles. The Chinese special representative will be Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Binguo, and his Indian counterpart will be Mr. Narayanan.

As to your second question, now that it is a fishing boat, what it was doing was self-evident.

Q: The Japanese side said it will try to protect its right to explore gas and oil resources of the East China Sea. What's the comment on the Chinese side? Will the Chinese Foreign Ministry remind Chinese fishing boats to carry their licenses in the waters of the countries concerned?

A: There are disputes between China and Japan on the issue of East China Sea. We hope to resolve the issue in a proper way through dialogue and consultation. And we do not wish to see the situation complicated by the unilateral move of the Japanese side.

Q: The spacecraft Shenzhou VI is scheduled to launch in October. Will foreign diplomats in China be able to see its launch?

A: I don't know the arrangements on the launch of the Shenzhou VI spacecraft. I can check it for you later.

Q: During his transit stop in Miami of the US, Chen Shui-bian said he was willing to shake hands with the mainland leaders for reconciliation and to conduct rational dialogue without preconditions, such as on time or place. What's your comment?

A: You are raising a question regarding the cross-strait relations. Please refer to China's relevant department.

Q: There are disputes among some countries over the sovereignty of Nansha Islands. What's the position of the Chinese Government on the issue and the development of energy resources in the South China Sea?

A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and its adjacent waters. China always holds that the disputes should be settled peacefully through consultations in accordance with the universally recognized international law and the contemporary law of the sea, including the fundamental principles and legal regimes set forth in the UNCLOS. Pending the settlement of the disputes, we proposed setting aside dispute and pursuing joint development.

Currently, the situation of the South China Sea is stable. Not long ago, China, Vietnam and the Philippines signed the cooperative agreement for joint marine seismic undertaking in the area. Now the cooperation is undergoing. We hope the countries concerned to abide by the relevant code of conduct. China will also continue to maintain communication and consultation with the countries concerned, jointly push forward the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and conduct cooperation in the area, so as to safeguard the peace and stability in the South China Sea.

China pursues the policy of friendship and good-neighborliness. We hope to maintain friendly relations and cooperation with the neighboring countries. Regarding the disputes over border or territorial waters among nations, the Chinese Government always stands for peaceful settlement through negotiation and dialogue. In practice, we have also adhered to the principle. We will continue to stick to it by properly resolving the issue by way of setting aside dispute and pursuing joint development in the spirit of mutual respect and friendly consultation.

If there are no more questions, the press conference is over. Thank you!

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