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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Press Conference on 29 September 2005

On the afternoon of September 29, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference.

Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! Thank you for your presence at the press conference today in spite of the autumn rain.

African diplomats who are attending in advanced studies in the Peking University also join us as audience, I express warm welcome to you. I hope you enjoy a pleasant life and study tour in China and that you would bring Chinese people's friendship to the African people with you when you return, and make positive contribution to promote the Sino-African friendship.

I would begin with an announcement. At the invitation of the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Wu Yi will pay an official and good-will visit to the DPRK from October 8th to 11th as head of delegation of the Chinese Government.

Now I would take up your questions.

Q: Why were the ROK, Japan and Mongolia not invited to China's "North Sword 2005" military exercise?

A: I have told you in last press conference that I was not an expert in this field. I suggest you to refer your question to the Ministry of Defense of China.

Q: On 27th this month, the UN Human Rights Commission released a report on the DPRK human rights situation, in which it strongly criticized DPRK's attitude on the human rights issue and elaborated its reasons for such criticism. What comment does the Chinese side have on that? Second question. The DPRK, quoting its "food adequacy", applied to the UN to stop humanitarian assistance by the year end, What stance does the Chinese side have on that? Do you think that the DPRK's food issue has indeed been improved? A third question. Will Vice Premier Wu Yi touch upon the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula when she visits the DPRK?

A: You mentioned the so-call human rights issue of the DPRK. China pursues a policy of non-interference on the internal affairs of other countries. As the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, I am not in a position to make any comment. The Chinese side has always maintained that differences in human rights between countries should be resolved in light of the spirit of equality and mutual respect.

As to the food assistance to the DPRK, we hope that DPRK side and relevant international organizations could solve the issue through consultation.

During Vice Premier Wu Yi's visit to the DPRK, China and the DPRK will exchange views on the bilateral relations and issues of common interest. The nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is a question of common interest for China and the DPRK. I believe that you are quite clear about China's position on the issue. We hope that the parties concerned will make joint effort to earnestly implement the joint statement of the fourth round of the Six-Party Talks and move forward the process of the Talks.

Q: How long would Vice Premier Wu Yi's visit to the DPRK last? What are the main points on her schedule? Who would she meet with? What specific questions would be discussed?

A: Her visiting time is between October 8th to 11th.

During her visit, Vice Premier Wu Yi will meet with major leaders of the DPRK, attend the completion ceremony of the Dae An Friendship Glass Factory and other activities arranged by the DPRK side. As this visit takes place around the 60th anniversary of the Korean Worker's Party, Vice Premier Wu Yi will also attend some celebrating events at their invitation. As for the specific arrangements, they are still under discussion.

Q: Japan proposed several days ago that the UN apportion of membership dues of China and Russia's membership dues should be increased. What comment does the Chinese side have on that?

A: The UN membership dues are determined by consultation by members according to the principle of paying capacity while taking into the full account of other relating factors. Every country should pay their full amount of dues unconditionally and in time. This is a basic obligation that should be fulfilled by members according to the UN Charter. China will, as it always has, fulfill such obligation seriously.

Q: What's the main purpose of Vice Premier Wu Yi's visit to DPRK? Was it planned long ago? Is it aimed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Worker's Party of Korea or to discuss the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula? Second question, when precisely will President Bush visit China in November? When will the Shenzhou ? be launched?

A: I have answered your first question when taking the questions of other journalists. What I want to add is that I hope her visit will further promote the friendly relations and cooperation between China and the DPRK.

Shortly ago, heads of China and the US held a meeting in New York. President Bush said he would visit China in November after attending APEC meeting in ROK. The arrangements, including time, are still under discussion.

I can't tell you the exact date of the launch of Shenzhou ?, since I'm not the authority on this question.

Q: It is reported that Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi indicated that he would pay homage to the Yasukuni Shrine at the end of this year, and that China's opposition to his paying homage was out of political motive, that is, it was reluctant to see greater political influence of Japan. What comment does China have?

A: The people of Asian countries oppose the visit by Japanese leader to Yasukuni Shrine, because it worships class A war criminals. The hands of those criminals are tainted with the blood of the people in the countries that suffered untold scourges of the aggression war waged by Japanese militarists. It is obvious to see what the visit to Yasukuni Shrine by Japanese Prime Minister means to the people in victimized countries.

Q: Today, Tokyo High Court ruled that Koizumi visited the Yasukuni Shrine in his personal capacity instead of in the capacity of prime minister. How do you see this ruling? Is there a distinction to China between the visit in the capacity of prime minister and that in personal capacity?

A: Do you believe such logic? China has a clear and consistent attitude on the issue of Yasukuni Shrine. We are firmly opposed to Japanese leader paying homage to the Yasukuni Shrine. The Yasukuni Shrine issue is the major sticking point in the current difficulties facing China-Japan relations. How to treat the history question correctly is the important foundation of China-Japan relations. On the question of history, including the question of Yasukuni Shrine, the wrong remarks and practice have not only violated the commitment repeatedly made by Japanese Government and leaders to remorse and apology, but also contravened the political foundation of China-Japan relations and hurt the feeling of Asian people, including Chinese people. We hope that the Japanese leader will bear in mind the overall interest of China-Japan relations and honor their commitment to remorse and apology with practice, so as to win the trust of Asian people and the international community.

Follow-up: Is the visit a problem even in personal capacity?

A: On the issue of Yasukuni Shrine, our position of opposing the visit to the shrine by Japanese leader remains unchanged.

Q: What's the objective of China's foreign policy in its 11th Five-year Plan? What's the correlation between China's military relations with other countries and the overall foreign policy of China? Is the former a part of the latter? If so, is the decision on foreign military exchanges made by foreign affairs authority or military authority?

A: Your question is of strong academic nature. China is now formulating the economic and social development program during the 11th five year. China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace. We adhere to the road of peaceful development and the policy of "be amicable partner with neighbors". We will maintain world peace and development and promote common development through our own development, and meanwhile forge ahead with our own development by maintaining world peace and development and promoting common development. China will be an everlasting force that makes active contributions to the common development of mankind. This is the main theme of China's foreign policy. In addition, in the area of international security, China stands for and advocates the new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation. We hope that our diplomatic and military exchanges and cooperation will implement this concept and help jointly maintain peace and stability in the region as well as the world at large.

Q: Will Vice Premier Wu Yi discuss the issue of light water reactor with the DPRK side during her visit? The DPRK side has said explicitly that a light water reactor has to come before dismantling its nuclear facilities. China and Japan will hold a consultation on the East China Sea issue tomorrow in Tokyo. What progress will be made? Do you expect a breakthrough in the consultation?

A: On the light water reactor issue, the parties concerned have made commitment in the joint statement of the fourth round of the Six-Party Talks and set the overall objective of realizing a verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through peaceful means. Of course, different opinions, or even difficulties and problems, may crop up in the future. We hope that all parties concerned will continue to show flexibility and pragmatism in the spirit of mutual respect and equal consultation, gradually narrow differences through dialogue and consultation, and promote the solution of the relevant issues, so as to eventually resolve the nuclear issue on the Peninsula through peaceful means.

China and Japan will hold a consultation on the East China Sea tomorrow. China hopes to have dialogue with the Japanese side in line with the principle of equal consultation, so as to find a proper solution to the dispute between the two sides.

Q: What proposal will China put forward at the consultation on East China Sea? If Japan requires China to explain the exploration at the "Tianwaitian" oil and gas field, how will China respond? The second question, Who on the DPRK side will visit China as a reciprocal visit to Vice Premier Wu's visit? And when?

A: At the previous rounds of East China Sea consultation, China has clearly expressed its position to the Japanese side, and Japan is clear about it. On the "Tianwaitian" oil and gas issue, we have expressed position on many occasions. I would like to reiterate here that China explores oil and gas in the waters near Chinese coast, where we have no dispute with the Japanese side. We are willing to continue our dialogue with the Japanese side and properly resolve the question, so as to maintain the stability of the East China Sea.

China and the DPRK share friendly relations and the tradition of exchanging high-level visits.

Q:Will Vice Premier Wu convey a message to President Kim Jong-Il. for President Hu?

A: I don't know.

Q: Will Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, head of the Chinese delegation to the Six-Party Talks, be a member of Wu's delegation?

A: The specific plan for the visit is still being arranged. I would like to release some initial information. Officials from the State Council, Foreign Ministry, International Department of CPC Central Committee,Ministry of commerce and other relevant departments will accompany Vice Premier Wu.

Q: This spring, the North Korean Government invited President Hu to visit the DPRK. Is Wu's visit relevant to President Hu's upcoming visit?

A: Leaders of China and DPRK have traditional exchange visit. The tradition will be kept on.

Q: You just mentioned there are officials from Ministry of Commerce in Vice Premier Wu's delegation and Wu will attend a glass factory completion ceremony. What's the purpose of Wu's visit, for commerce and trade or diplomatic and political issues? Besides, will you please introduce the trade volume between China and DPRK?

A: About your first question, I remind you to pay attention to the wording when I released the announcement. I said vice premier Wu will "pay an official and good-will visit to the DPRK as head of delegation of the Chinese Government". I believe you can sense the meaning by this wording.

According to my knowledge, trade volume between China and DPRK reached $1.4 billions last year, $0.9 billion, from January to July this year. We can see the momentum of trade growth.

Q: Does China plan to support the economic development of DPRK with new measures of aid after the Six-Party Talks? Say, to offer more loans?

A: Considering the situation in DPRK, China has been offering aids to DPRK within its capacity. We will do the same in the future.

Q: Is there more information about setting up a reserve vessel squadron by Chinese Navy? Can you offer some details?

A: As I know, China has set up a reserve vessel squadron as you mentioned in East China Sea. The fleet is aimed to promote the capacities of Chinese Navy on emergency handling, urgent mobilization, speedy grouping, maritime support and malfunction-resolving, etc.

Q: How many ships are there in the squadron? What is the total investment?

A: I don't have further information.

Q: Was it set up recently? Is there similar squadron before this one?

A: It was set up recently. I don't have more on this.

If there are no more questions I have an announcement. The regular press conference of the Foreign Ministry will be suspended from October 1st to 7th for China' National Day vacation and will be resumed on Oct. 11th (Tuesday). During the recess, correspondents can raise their questions to the Spokesperson's Office by telephone as usual.

The press conference is over. May you have a nice holiday!

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