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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Press Conference on 20 December 2005

On December 20, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang hosted the regular press conference.

Qin: Good afternoon everybody. First of all, let me welcome the Palestinian diplomats present here today, who are in China for a training course in the Foreign Affairs University. I hope you will feel the profound traditional friendship between the two peoples of China and Palestine. China resolutely supports the just course of the Palestinian people and stands ready to develop friendly relations and cooperation with Palestine. We are willing to work with the international community in pressing ahead with the Middle East Peace process. I wish you a pleasant stay and smooth study here.

Now I would like to make two announcements.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Foreign Minister Alikbek Jekshenkulov of Kyrghyz Republic will pay an official visit to China from December 20th to 24th.

The Chinese Government, the European Commission and the World Bank will jointly hold the International Pledging Conference on Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza in Beijing from January 17th to 18th , 2006. The conference aims at evaluating the capital and technical need of relevant countries and regions for bird flu prevention and control, mobilizing fund raising efforts of all parties, and establishing fund management and coordination mechanism. On behalf of the host of the meeting, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing has sent out invitations to relevant countries and international organizations.

The first day of the conference will be a meeting for senior officials, focusing on evaluating the situation of avian influenza, and discussing the capital and technical needs for avian flu prevention and control. The second day will be a ministerial meeting, where relevant countries and organizations will announce their donations. The meeting will issue the Beijing Declaration, demonstrating the political determination of all parties in combating the pandemic influenza, and propose on fund management and coordination mechanism. China is willing to take the opportunity of the conference to press ahead with the rest of the world in international cooperation on avian pandemic influenza.

With that, I am happy to take your questions.

Q: Mr. Li Deshui, Director General of the State Statistics Bureau said early today that China's latest GDP data rose by 16 percent over the previous, making China the 6th largest economy in the world. What impact will it have on China's foreign policy? China is taking the lead among the developing nations. With such a huge size of economy, is China still a developing country?

A: China remains to be a developing nation. Its GDP figure may seem big. But in per capita terms, it still ranks behind 100 in the world. It remains to be a central task for the Chinese people in the future to develop its economy and raise people's living standards. We need to focus on construction and development. China's foreign policy is to enable China to develop in a peaceful and sound international environment and good and friendly neighbourhood as well as contribute to the maintenance of world and regional peace and stability and common development.

Q: On the DPRK. UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on 16th, criticizing the DPRK of violating human rights in kidnapping foreign citizens. China voted against it. Why? The resolution was adopted. Will China respect the result? DPRK claims that the resolution is a result of the US antagonistic policy and has expressed resolute opposition. Does China support its position? It's also reported that China has proposed to hold an informal meeting of the heads of the six parties. Can you confirm?

A: China has always opposed to exerting pressure and staging political confrontation in the name of human rights. Therefore China voted against the draft resolution. With respect to the unsolved disputes between the DPRK and Japan, we hope they could be solved properly through dialogue.

With regard to your last question, there are some uncertainties for the Six-Party Talks at present. We hope that various parties can proceed from the interest of the Talks and find a proper solution at an early date. So far as I know, China has not proposed to hold an informal meeting for the heads of the delegations. But China remains committed to pressing ahead with the process of the Talks.

Q: The DPRK declared today its plan to build light water reactors. Does China believe it will further complicate the situation of Six-Party Talks? Is China pressuring the DPRK for the resumption of the Talks in next month?

A: A nuclear-free Korean Peninsula which enjoys lasting peace ad stability is the shared goal of relevant parties and serves their interest. In the Joint Statement issued at the fourth round of the Six-Party Talks and the Chairman's statement in the first phase of the fifth round, all the parties made their commitment. We hope that various parties can deliver their commitment in real earnest, enhance contact and communication, properly settle their interest and concerns and make further active endeavours to press ahead with the Talks.

Q: The Six-Party Talks are in a stalemate because of the US financial sanction against the DPRK. Does China intend to mediate between the two? If so, how?

A: We hope that various parties could proceed from the overall interest of the Six-Party Talks and properly handle relevant issues through full communication and consultation and press ahead with the Talks. As the host of the Talks, China is ready to maintain contact and coordination with the rest of others to keep the Talks on track.

Q: Please update us on the latest developments the pollution of Song Hua River and cooperation between China and Russia in pollution treatment and environment assessment.


A: I have some information with me here, which I got from relevant departments, the latest monitoring we have done on our side of Hei Longjiang River shows that the density of nitrobenzene is slowly rising at the Bacha section, 49 km from upper stream of Fu Yuan, with 0.0029mg and 0.0120mg of nitrobenzene detected respectively in per liter of the river at 4a.m. and 13p.m. on December 19th. At the Dong Gang section 152km from upper stream of Fu Yuan, 0.1249mg of nitrobenzene was detected in per liter of water at 1a.m. on December 19th. The density of nitrobenzene at Tong Jiang section of Song Hua River is continuously decreasing, with 0.0169mg and 0.0152mg detected respectively at 20 p.m. and 22 p.m. on December 19th. The last stretch of the pollutants has moved out of the section. Up to 2 a.m. this morning, neither nitrobenzene nor benzene had been detected at Fu Yuan section.


China attaches great importance to the possible impact of the pollution of Song Hua River on Russia's Far East. Chinese leaders made important instructions on various occasions. When meeting with Russian leaders, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao reaffirmed that China will address the matter in a highly responsible attitude and strengthen cooperation with Russia to jointly eliminate the impact of the disaster. China has conducted a series of cooperation with Russia, including updating Russia of real-time water detection everyday. Experts of two sides have conducted joint water detection. China has twice provided assistance to Russia twice, including 6 water monitoring machine and 150 tons of activated carbon as the first batch and two sets of chromatographic equipment and 1000 tons of activated carbon as the second batch on December 16th 


China and Russia are friendly neighbors enjoying a strategic partnership. We will fully cooperate with Russia in the sprit of strategic cooperation, and make joint efforts to minimize the impact of the pollution on Russia's Far East.  


Q: Please tell us the situation of 145 Chinese citizens arrested in Manila of the Philippines. The second question, Italy has announced that all imported shoes from China have to get quarantine clearance from December 16th, for these shoes are said to contain toxic chemicals. Will China make representations to Italy over this issue?


A: On December 16th, the Department of Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry and China's Embassy in the Philippines made urgent representation to the Philippines over the issue of 145 Chinese citizens detained there. According to information I have with me, of 145 detained Chinese citizens, 144 have been released after paying off bail, the rest has asked to be repatriated and is going through relevant procedures.


Here I would like to remind my fellow citizens to enhance their legal awareness, obeying local laws and regulations.


As for your second question, all China's exported commodities should match exporting standards and are strict export supervision. The incident you mentioned still needs further investigation of the two sides to settle the issue properly.


Q: Please brief us on the detailed agenda of Kyrgyz Foreign Minister's visit to China.


A: China and Kyrgyzstan are friendly neighbors. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the good-neighborly and cooperative relations between the two countries are developing smoothly. The two sides have completely resolved the border issue left over by the history and signed a bilateral treaty of good-neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation and a ten-year cooperation programme. Our cooperation in politics, economy, civilization and other fields are constantly expanding. During his stay in China, Foreign Minister Jekshenkulov will meet with Chairman Jia Qinglin of the CPPCC and senior officials of the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Commerce, International Department of Central Committee of CPC, Ministry of Railway and so on. The two sides will exchange views over bilateral cooperation in political, economic, trade and other fields as well as regional and international issues of common interest, including stronger cooperation within the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Besides Beijing, Jekshenkulov will visit Shen Zhen. We are convinced that Foreign Minister Jekshenkulov's upcoming visit will further consolidate and strengthen China-Kyrgyz good-neighbourly relations of friendship and cooperation and promote bilateral cooperation in all fields.

Q: What impact will the cultural exchanges including film cooperation between China and Japan have on the bilateral ties?

A: Cultural exchanges are import part of China-Japan relations. We always endorse more exchanges between the two peoples including in cultural fields, which will benefit mutual understanding and friendship between the two. China stands ready to work with Japan to enhance bilateral exchanges and cooperation so as to improve and further develop the relationship.

Q: President Bush made a speech on the Iraqi War on 18th, ruling out the possibility of an early withdrawal of the US military force from Iraq. How do you comment on his address? In China's view, when should the US  pull out its troops? President Bush says that so long as the US is still under terrorist threat he will continue to authorize the intelligence department to tap people's phones without seeking judicial approval. How do you comment?

A: China endorses a proper settlement of the Iraqi question in light of relevant UN Security Council's resolutions. We hope that the domestic situation there can be stabilized so that Iraqi people can manage their own affairs and live in peace and tranquility at an early date.

With respect to your second question, China's position on anti-terrorism is quite clear. We opposes to terrorism of whatever form. In the mean time, double standards are not acceptable, anti-terrorism endeavours should benefit peace and security and promote social and civil progress and prosperity. UN Charter and fundamental norms of international law must be honoured. Terrorism should not be linked to any special religion or ethnic groups. We need to eradicate the symptoms and the root causes of terrorism.

Q: Hong Kong Declaration was adopted on the just concluded Ministerial Meeting of WTO. Do you have any comment? Demonstration of the ROK peasants in Hong Kong turned violent in the end. How do you react?

A: Mr. Bo Xilai, Minister of Commerce made quite authoritative remarks after the meeting ends. I have nothing new to add here.

For your second question, we believe that the Hong Kong SAR Government is fully capable of handling the issue.

If there are no further questions, thank you for your presence. Bye!

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