On the afternoon of February 28th, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.
Liu: Good afternoon, everybody. I would like to start with your questions right away.
Q: The US Government Spokesperson responded on 27th to Chen Shuibian's announcement that the "National Unification Council" (NUC) would cease to function and the "Guidelines for National Unification" would cease to apply. Do you have any comment?
A: On February 27th, Chen Shuibian forced the "National Unification Council" to cease to function and the "Guidelines for National Unification" cease to apply. His provocative actions are an attempt to challenge peace across the Strait, create tensions to cross-strait relations and accelerate "Taiwan Independence de jure". Chen Shuibian's perverse actions have been strongly condemned by Chinese compatriots across the strait and the international community. Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council issued a statement, noting the solemn position of the Chinese Government.
We have taken note that the US Government Spokesperson reiterated that the US would stick to the One China Policy and does not support Taiwan independence. In the meantime, we urge the US to fully realize the gravity and danger of the splitting activities of Chen Shuibian and strictly abide by its commitment to China on the Taiwan issue. The US should take concrete actions to oppose his splitting activities, refrain from sending any wrong signals to the separatists and make concerted efforts with China to maintain a sound China-US relationship as well as peace and stability across the strait.
Q: The US State Department Spokesperson said yesterday that Chen Shuibian ordered the NUC to cease to function instead of abolishing the council. How do you comment?
A: The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council has already issued a solemn statement, noting that although Chen dared not to use the premeditated word "abolish" and replaced it with "cease", he was merely playing tricks on words so as to fool the public in Taiwan and the international press. It should be fairly clear to the international community.
Q: According to the "Anti-secession Law" adopted last year, if Taiwan takes actions that may lead to independence, the Central Government is entitled to use force. Chen Shuibian's action yesterday falls into the category. Will China resort to force accordingly?
A: Your question is beyond the scope of foreign affairs. Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council has expounded on China's position. I suggest you reading carefully their statement.
Q: US Deputy Spokesperson Ereli told the press yesterday that Chen Shuibian was not trying to change the status quo, instead, what he did was to freeze the NUC. How do you react to it? Do you believe that Washington is sending wrong signals to Chen?
A: We urge the US to be well aware of the gravity and dander of the splitting activities of Chen Shuibian, strictly honour its commitment to China, take concrete actions to oppose those splitting activities, refrain to send any wrong signals to the splittist forces of Taiwan and join our efforts to maintain a sound China-US relationship and a peaceful and stable strait.
Q: Did China have any direct contact with the US State Department and the White House on Chen's move? If any, what message has been conveyed?
A: I have no information on that to brief you. We maintain contact with the US on the Taiwan issue. I believe that the international community knows well and attaches importance to China's solemn statement on Chen's move. I would like to stress that 167 countries around the world recognize that there is but one China in the world with Taiwan being an inalienable part ? a fact that I would like to draw you attention to.
Q: It is reported that Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei visited the DPRK earlier this month and met with his counterpart Kim Gye Gwan. Please confirm. Secondly, is there any new progress of the resumption of the Six-Party Talks? Thirdly, ROK negotiator Song Min-soon said that the Six-Party Talks might be resumed in the first half of April. Does China have any plan of the kind?
A: Our Ministry maintains close contact and communication with the rest of other parties including the DPRK on the early resumption of the Talks. Intensive work is proceeding in an orderly fashion. I can not predict that the Talks will be resumed in early April. There lacks sufficient mutual confidence between the US and the DPRK for consensus on the resumption. We hope that the two countries can properly resolve relevant problems and exercise flexibility so as to create conditions for the early resumption of the talks.
Q: US President Bush will visit India and Pakistan. Do you have any comment?
A: We welcome the US developing normal and friendly relations with India and Pakistan. We also hope that their relations will benefit peace, stability and development of Asia.
Q: How do you assess the current relations between India and Pakistan? What role will Bush's visit play when India and Pakistan are trying to improve their relations?
A: Both India and Pakistan are our important and friendly neighbours. The Chinese Government attaches importance to the development of relations with the two countries. In recent years, our traditional friendship with the two has been constantly developing. We are satisfied with our relations to both countries. In the meantime, we have also taken note that there have been constant improvement and progress of India-Pakistan relationship. Although there are still issues to be resolved between the two, we hope the momentum of improvement of bilateral ties can be maintained so that they can make progress in addressing their disputes. We welcome the US and others playing an active role in improving the development of the India-Pakistan relationship.
Q: Last week you announced that Vice Foreign Minister Lu Guo Zeng would visit Iran. Is he back? How was the visit?
A: Vice Foreign Minister Lu is yet to be back. He will also visit several other countries. He paid a working visit to Iran between 24th and 26th. During his stay there, he met with the Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Secretary Larijari of the Supreme National Security Council. He also had political consultation with Vice Foreign Minster Safari on exchanges between the two ministries.
Both sides assess positively the development of bilateral ties in the past 35 years, expressing the willingness to strengthen political, economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation.
Iran's nuclear issue is a major topic in their discussions. Views have been exchanged in an in-depth and frank manner. Vice Foreign Minister Lu expounded on China's position, hoping that Iran and other parties can take active actions, exert necessary flexibility and create conditions and atmosphere for a proper solution through diplomatic negotiations. Iran expressed its willingness to cooperate with the IAEA and seek for a solution within its framework.
Q: Did Vice Foreign Minister Lu Guozeng put forth any specific suggestions relating to the Iranian nuclear issue to improve its current security situation during his visit? Will China take part in the joint uranium enrichment programme proposed by Russia? How does China access the current situation in Iran when the White House and IAEA hold that the situation of Iran is deteriorating?
A: The meeting between Vice Foreign Minster Lu Guozeng had in-depth and frank talks with Iran. He expounded on China's relevant position on the nuclear issue. The purpose of our endeavor is to resolve the Iran nuclear issue peacefully under the framework of IAEA through negotiation. The talks were conducive to the proper resolution of the question.
On your second question, we endorse the negotiation between Russia and Iran, which we hope can yield fruit at the earliest date. China holds that it is helpful for the proper resolution of the issue.
Concerning Iran's domestic situation, I am not in a position to comment on domestic issues of other countries. It is our hope that Iran continues to enjoy stability and development.
Q: What is China's comment on the new draft resolution of UN Human Rights Council?
A: China appreciates the important endeavor of the Chairman of United Nations General Assembly in drafting the new resolution. We will continue to adopt a constructive manner to participate in the next round of negotiation. We hope that relevant parties can achieve consensus on the draft resolution at the earliest possible date and come up with a human rights council which will promote cooperation and dialogue in real earnest.
Q: Russian President Vladimir Putin is going to visit China and Chinese President Hu Jintao is going to visit the United States this year. Could you brief us on that?
A: President Hu's visit to the United States and President Putin's visit to China are both events of great significance for China's diplomacy this year. China, the U.S. and Russia are preparing actively for the visits. We attach great importance to the visits, hoping that both visits can achieve success so that our relations with both countries can develop in a healthy and stable manner. If there is any specific information, including the date and relevant arrangement, I will update you in a timely manner.
If there is no other question, thank you for your presence.