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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on 30 March 2006

Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! Today, we're very happy to have with us diplomats from South Asia, who are here taking a training course of "Understanding modern China". A warm welcome to you. China and the South Asian countries are "good neighbors, friends and partners". We hope China and South Asia can deepen friendship and cooperation and stand ready to work with South Asian countries for peace and stability in the region. Please convey the message to your governments and your people. Finally, I wish you successful study and pleasant stay in China!

I'd like to begin with three announcements then.

At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President of the Republic of Yemen Ali Abudullah Saleh will pay a state visit to China from April 5 th to 10 th.

At the invitation of the Boao Asian Forum, Vice President Zeng Qinghong will attend the 2006 annual conference from April 21st to 23rd in Hainan Province and deliver a keynote speech. During the meeting, Vice President Zeng will meet with leaders and other representatives of relevant countries.

Vice Premier Wu Yi will head a delegation of the Chinese Government to the U.S. to co-chair with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and US Trade Representative Rob Portman the 17th session of the Sino-US Joint Committee on Commerce and Trade. Views will be changed on economic and trade issues of respective concern. During her stay there, Vice Premier Wu will pay visits to relevant states.

Now the floor is open.

Q: What is China's stance on the presidential statement of the UN Security Council on the Iranian nuclear issue? Does China support the statement of Russian Foreign Ministry opposing the use of force in solving the issue? What is China's view on Iran's proposal to set up a joint venture for uranium enrichment inside Iran? Will China participate in this program?

A: The UN Security Council passed a presidential statement on the Iranian nuclear issue on the March 29 th. This statement urges Iran to adopt the steps required by the IAEA, especially resume the suspension of all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. In the meantime, it emphasizes that the Security Council strongly supports IAEA's role in resolving the problem. China hopes the statement can help to strengthen the authority and role of the IAEA.

About the second question, under the current circumstances, there is still room for solving the problem through diplomatic negotiation. The international community shouldn't give up diplomatic endeavor. We wish to see that various parties exercise restraint and patience so as to create positive atmosphere for a diplomatic solution. We remain open to all suggestions and endeavors that will help to achieve the goal.

Q: President Hu Jintao will meet with the seven groups of Japan-China Friendship, including former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. What message will be conveyed to them during the meeting? What is the purpose of this invitation under current circumstances? Will this visit help to create proper atmosphere for Sino-Japanese summit?

A: The meeting is yet to be held. So I cannot tell you what message will be conveyed. Let's wait until the conclusion of the meeting.

Concerning your second question, China adopts a consistent position on the development of friendly exchanges and cooperation with Japan. President Hu and Premier Wen reiterated that exchanges and cooperation in extensive fields should be strengthened and the friendly communication between our two peoples should be intensified. This very visit of delegation headed by former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto upon China's invitation reflected China's positive attitude towards the development of Sino-Japanese exchanges and cooperation.

We have made our consistent position clear on how to improve and develop China-Japan relations. Japan is well aware of our position. Under the current circumstances, Japan should make positive endeavour to improve and develop our bilateral relations.

Q: Yesterday the US Under Treasury Secretary Adams said that China's RMB exchange rate reform is too slow, and China shall move faster towards a more flexible exchange rate regime. What is your comment?

A: China has in place a market-based, managed and floating exchange rate regime. Market decides how RMB floats. On this issue, we shall consider the situation of China's economic and social development and the impact of the changes of RMB exchange rate upon world and regional economy. Based on this consideration, We will choose a rational and proper exchange rate regime in line with China's national conditions .

Q: Italian Prime Minister recently made some remarks such as "China boiled babies to use them as fertilizer", what's your reaction towards that?

A:We express dissatisfaction with the groundless remarks. The words and actions of the Italian leader should be conducive to stability and development of China-Italy friendship.

Q:Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology recently said that the geography textbook in high school of Japan should specify that the Diaoyu Island belongs to Japan. What is your comment?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its adjacent islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times, on which China has indisputable legal evidences. We hope the Japanese side can take seriously the solemn position of China.

Q: The ambassadors of Japan, ROK and China will hold a meeting in Beijing, would you like to share with us some detailed information about the meeting?

A: I haven't heard about that. I will check it out for you.

If there are no more questions, thank you. Good-bye!

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