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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan's Press Conference on 3 November 2005

On the afternoon of November 3, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan held a regular press conference.

Kong: Good afternoon, everyone. Before taking up your question, I would like to make two announcements.

At the invitation of the Tunisian Government and Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, the Standing Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council Huang Ju will attend the Tunis Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society. At the invitation of the Guinean Government, President Festus Mogae of Botswana and Prime Minister Jacques Sylla of Madagascar, he will also pay official visits to the three countries from November 14 to 24.

Through consultation with the parties concerned, the fifth round of Six-Party Talks is set to open on November 9 in Beijing.

I found some friends hurrying out to send report. Shall we wait for them for a couple of minutes?

Now the floor is open. I'm glad to take questions.

Q: What meetings have been arranged by the governments of China and the US during President Bush's visit to China this month? And what areas will be touched upon in the talks between President Bush and President Hu Jintao?

A: According to the agreement between China and the US, US President Bush will pay a visit to China on 19th to 21st, after attending the APEC meeting in Pusan, ROK. President Bush will hold talks with President Hu Jintao and meet with Premier Wen Jiabao. I can not offer more details on the topics of talks now. But during such important bilateral talks, the leaders of two countries usually make in-depth exchange of views on major international and regional issues of common interest.

Q: Word comes that China and the US have difference on the reception protocol of President Bush's visit. Can you tell us whether or not President Bush's visit is a state visit? It is also reported that China will lease Cam Ranh Bay from Vietnam. Is it true?

A: President Bush will pay a visit to China after the APEC meeting. China and the US do not have difference on the form of the visit, and your information is inaccurate. It is a very important visit and will be the fifth meeting this year between President Hu Jintao and President Bush. The leaders of the two countries will take this important opportunity to make an all-round and in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations. We believe that the heads of two nations will reach consensus in many aspects and make joint effort to steadily move forward China-US constructive and cooperative relations.

On the lease of Cam Ranh Bay as you talked about, I have not heard of such information. The authenticity of the report is questionable.

Q: Can Japan discuss the question of abducted Japanese in the Six-Party Talks? Are China and Japan discussing the East China Sea issue now? Will the foreign ministers of the two countries meet on the sideline of APEC?

A: The questions between Japan and the DPRK left by history should be resolved by the two sides through friendly consultation. I don't deem the Six-Party Talks the best venue to discuss the question. Japan and the DPRK will hold a bilateral meeting in Beijing today. We welcome this and expect the two sides to make an in-depth exchange of views through the meeting and find out a proper solution.

Q: Venezuelan President Chavez said that he might send some F-16 fighters to China if the US refused to help him repair the planes. Have China received such proposal? Are you interested in this?

A: Like your case, I also came across the report on media. But up to this stage, I cannot verify its accuracy and authenticity, and hence cannot make comment on this.

Q: Please brief on the details of the fifth round of Six-Party Talks, such as duration, topics, whether to issue common paper, etc.

A: On October 31(Monday), China, as the chair country, has put forward proposal to the other five parties, and they shortly made positive response to our proposal. Now it has been set that the fifth round of Talks will begin on 9th. As for duration, it depends on the actual development of this round. China takes an open attitude. Considering the upcoming APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Pusan, ROK, we propose to separate the talks into different phases. On this question, we are ready to heed the opinions of other parties. The joint statement of last round of talks has stated the goal of this round of talks. We hope that during this round of talks, all the parties can make in-depth discussions on the content of the joint statement issued at the fourth round of talks. China will work with other parties to push for positive progress at this round of talks.

Q: Will the 5th round of Six-Party Talks be held in Beijing? You mentioned that the talks would be split into two stages due to the APEC meeting. Do you mean that the talks will be suspended during the APEC meeting and resumed afterwards?

A: The 5th round of Six-Party Talks will be held in Beijing, also in Diao Yutai, specifically.

Considering the situation of last round of talks, we, as the chair country, think it a good idea to hold the talks in stages. The heads of the delegations to the Six-Party Talks will possibly attend some of the APEC meetings in Pusan as accompanying staff of their Head of State or leaders. Therefore it may be better to hold the Six-Party Talks in stages but it is not so appropriate to say that the Six-Party Talks will be interrupted by APEC. By the way, it is a proposal and we hope to listen to the views of the other five parties. Meanwhile, we will put forward our further proposals according to the progress of the talks.

Q: President Hu Jintao will pay his first visit to the ROK this month and hold talks with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun. What will be the main topics of their talks? What will be President Hu's detailed schedule?

A: President Hu Jintao will visit ROK from November 16th to 17th. This is the first visit of Chinese Head of State to the ROK in 10 years. During his visit, he will hold talks with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and have meetings with other South Korean leaders. He will also have extensive contacts with ROK people in all fields. The major topic of the talks between the Heads of State will be how to further develop bilateral relations, so as to comprehensively develop the friendly and mutually beneficial relations between us in a broader scope and at a deeper level.

The schedule of the visit is fairly tight and the main activities will be talks and meetings.

Q: The US and Japan are holding talks discussing the issue of deploying nuclear aircraft carrier in Japan. What's your comment on this?

A: We have noticed the report.

Q: Iranian President said that Israel should be "wiped out from map". What's your response to this remark? Iran increased its defiance to the suspicions of international community over its nuclear program. What's your response to this? Recently about 40 ambassadors were dismissed. Does that include Iranian Ambassador to China?

A: The UN Security Council held a meeting on this issue on October 28th. The President of the Security Council issued a statement on behalf of all the member states expressing the concern of the international community over the remark of the Iranian president. And that is also our point of view.

We have consistently proposed to solve the Iranian nuclear issue within the framework of the IAEA and have been supporting to properly solve the problem within the framework of the IAEA through dialogues and consultations between the Iranian Government and the three countries of the EU. In our opinion, the earlier the issue is solved, the better.

I don't know anything about your third question. I will check it for you.

Q: Just now you said that China would make efforts in bringing "positive" outcome to the new round of Six-Party Talks. What result will China consider to be "positive"?

A: It will be regarded as positive outcome if the relevant parties push forward the content of the joint statement of the previous round of Six-Party Talks and formulate further measures based on the consensus of "Commitment for Commitment, Action for Action" of the previous round of Six-Party Talks. Therefore, we hope the relevant parties will make joint efforts in a positive and constructive manner.

It there is no further question, thanks for attending the press conference.

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