|Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Press Conference on 11 April 2006|
On the afternoon of April 11, 2006, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.
Liu: Good afternoon, everyone. First of all, I have an announcement to make:
At the invitation of President Bush of the United States of America, King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, King Mohammed VI of the Kingdom of Morocco, President Olusegun Okikiola Aremn Obasanjo of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Mwai Kibaki of the Republic of Kenya, President Hu Jintao will pay state visits to the above-mentioned five countries from April 18th to 29th.
In order to let you have a better understanding of President Hu Jintao's visit, we have invited Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to give you a briefing at the press hall at 10:00 AM this Friday (April 14th ).
Now I'm ready to answer your questions.
Q: Please tell us the specific date of President Hu Jintao's visit to the US and other countries. Which cities of the U.S. will he visit?
A: President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to the US from April 18th to 21st. During his visit to the US, he will make three stops. Seattle is the first stop. Washington will be the second. He will also visit Yale University. During his stay there, he will make an in-depth exchange of views with President Bush and other American leaders over China-US relations as well as other major international and regional issues of common interest. Meanwhile, he will widely contact American congressmen, relevant state and municipal officials, celebrities from industrial, business, academic and other fields as well as the American public. We hope the visit will help to enhance exchanges and mutual trust with the U.S., expand common understanding and cooperation and push forward constant development of China-US constructive and cooperative relations.
President Hu Jintao will visit Saudi Arabia from April 22nd to 24th, Morocco from 24th to 26th, Nigeria from 26th to 27th, and Kenya from 27th to 29th. With five countries in a single trip, President Hu has a very tight schedule. I'm convinced this visit will vigorously promote the development of friendly and cooperative relations between China and these five countries.
Q: What is the main goal of President Hu Jintao's visit to the U.S.? The US is recently putting more pressure on China on such issues as RMB exchange rate and intellectual property rights. What demand will China put forward to the U.S., especially on the Taiwan question?
A: Our goal for this visit is to enhance exchanges and mutual trust between the two sides, broaden bilateral cooperation and mutual trust and make joint efforts to promote constant development of China-US constructive and cooperative relations. Currently, China and the US have respective concerns over certain issues. This visit is a good opportunity for the two sides to narrow differences. Leaders of both countries will exchange views over a number of issues of common interest in a candid atmosphere of equality and mutual respect.
Q: Mr.Wu Dawei is in Tokyo to attend the NEACD Meeting, where he told the Chinese media that he expected the Six-Party Talks to achieve positive progress. What does his remarks mean?
A: First, I will have to clarify some inaccuracy in your question. Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei's visit to Japan is not to attend the NEACD meeting, but to take this opportunity to hold consultations over the progress of the Six-Party Talks and how to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula when all major participants of the Six-Party Talks are in Tokyo. It is a contact outside the Dialogue meeting. Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei held contacts and consultations with his counterparts or vice heads of all delegations during his stay in Tokyo. During their consultations, Vice Minister Wu Dawei stressed that, the settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is in the interests of a peaceful and stable Peninsula and all parties as well. The most pressing task is to focus on the resolution of the nuclear issue. All parties should take concrete measures to earnestly implement the consensus reached and commitment made at the fourth round of the Talks. We think these contacts and consultations are helpful and all parties have made some suggestions. We hope all parties can further enhance exchanges and narrow differences to promote an early resumption of the Talks.
Q: Last Saturday, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency arrived in China. He will sign a number of agreements with China. Please brief us on the details of the agreements and the implication for China. Yesterday, International Air Transport Association reached an agreement with China to open a new airline from China to Europe. It took six years to reach this agreement for only 30% of Chinese territorial air space is open to international air transport. Why does China open merely a very small part of its air space? Why does it take six years to reach such an agreement at last? Spokesperson of the Japanese embassy to China said on the TV that he worried about the rise of Chinese nationalism. What comment does China have? President Hu Jintao will visit Africa and the Middle East. Will energy be top on his agenda?
A: The first two questions are not in the charge of Foreign Ministry, please refer them to relevant authorities. But China is ready to strengthen mutually-beneficial cooperation with all countries over the world in the two fields.
As for your third question, I can't agree with the statement of the spokesperson of the Japanese embassy to China you mentioned. From the perspective of the Chinese Government, we oppose to narrow-minded sentiment of nationalism. Smearing China and distorting Chinese Government's attitude and position is detrimental to the proper solution to history issue between China and Japan and to the improvement and development of China-Japan relations. Japan should face up to the sticking point in China-Japan relations, take concrete measures and correctly handle history issue, so as to bring bilateral relations back on the track of healthy development.
As for your fourth question, energy cooperation is an important field for China to cooperate with relevant countries, but not the sole field. The solution to energy issue should not merely rely on massive import of crude oil from foreign countries, but on our own in the end. In fact, China's own production can meet over 90% of its energy demand. President Hu Jintao's visit will push forward cooperation with relevant countries in an all-round way, including both energy cooperation and exchanges in all other fields such as politics, economy, trade and liberal arts.
Q: It is reported that General Director of IAEA Baradi will visit Iran shortly. Do you have any comment?
A: China has noticed that General Director of IAEA Baradi will visit Iran and welcomes his positive role in properly resolving the Iran nuclear issue within the framework of IAEA. We hope his visit to Iran can be helpful for the diplomatic efforts of international community in seeking for solution through peaceful means. We would also like to see relevant parties conduct active coordination with his work.
Q: This week, US Assistant Secretary Shannon will visit China. Please tell us about the Chinese officials whom he will meet with and the topics on their agenda. Prodi has just won the Italian presidential election. What comment do you have on it?
A: As for your first question, at the invitation of Director-General Zeng Gang of the Department of the Latin American Affairs of Chinese Foreign Ministry, US Assistant Secretary Shannon will visit China from 12th to 15th. During his visit, he will meet with Vice Minister Yang Jiechi and hold the first round of consultations with his counterpart Director-General Zeng Gang on Latin American affairs. The two sides will exchange views and opinions over their relations with Latin American countries, policies towards Latin America, the situation in the region as well as China-US cooperation in Latin America. It is a part of the China-US strategic dialogues launched last year and will be helpful to enhance understanding and trust between the two sides.
As for the Italian presidential election, we have noticed that development. The Chinese side respects the choice of the Italian people. We hope China-Italy friendly relations and cooperation can continue to develop after the formation of the new Italian government.
Q: Will human rights be a topic during President Hu's visit? What agreements will be signed on the energy cooperation since you said it would be included on the agenda of his visit to countries like Saudi Arabia?
A: On your first question, China has always stood for dialogue among nations on the basis of equality, mutual respect and interaction. The purpose is to promote the development of international human rights cause. There is no exception between China and America. Both sides have conducted many rounds of human rights consultation, which helped to promote understanding, enhance mutual trust and narrow differences.
I am not aware whether there will be energy cooperation agreements between China and Saudi Arabia. I will keep you informed promptly.
Q: Is President Hu going to deliver any speech in the Yale University or any other places? What message will be conveyed to President Bush concerning the Taiwan question during his visit? What requirements will be advanced?
A: On your first question, there will be 3 formal speeches during the visits to the five countries. The first will be at the Yale University. President Hu will expound on China's stances on China-U.S. relations. He will also deliver very important speeches in Saudi Arabia and Nigeria on China's stances on our relations with the two countries, Arab countries and Africa.
The Taiwan question has always been an important and sensitive issue in China-U.S. relations. I believe that the two leaders will exchange views on this issue, so as to make joint efforts to safeguard peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
Q: Vietnam is developing a closer relationship with the U.S. Is China concerned about that?
A: We welcome the improvement of U.S.-Vietnam relationship, which is in the interest of regional peace and stability.
Q: Will China-Japan relations be discussed during the China- U.S. summit meeting?
A: Relations between each two of China, the U.S. and Japan are all important bilateral relations in the world. The two leaders will exchange views on the international and regional issues of common interest. As to whether they will discuss China-Japan relations, I can't give you a precise answer now.
Q: The key issue for resuming the Six-Party Talks is American sanction on the DPRK. The Macau Special Administrative Region conducted investigation on the issue concerned. Will you brief on the development of the situation?
A: China holds a staunch position on money laundering. We oppose all financial crimes such as money laundering, and stand for investigation in accordance with law. As to Macau's investigation, I am not aware of the development. We do not hope to see the financial issue obstructing the resumption of the Six-Party Talks, and expect the disagreement to be resolved. In that way, we can focus our attention on the solution to the nuclear issue, so that the process can be promoted and the Korean-peninsular nuclear issue can be resolved within the framework of the Six-Party Talks.
Q: President Bush said that he will discuss trade and RMB exchange rate issues with President Hu. Will China take this opportunity to state China's stance on that?
A: There are some differences over commerce and trade between China and the U.S. During the visit, the leaders will definitely exchange views on major issues on the economic and trade relations. After the meeting, I will offer you more information. All in all, this visit aims to promote cooperation and trust, and push forward the development of China-U.S. relations. This is in the fundamental interest of our two peoples.
Q: State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan said that China hopes that the U.S. can convey a clear message to Taiwan that they should not head for Taiwan independence de jure. Will President Hu convey the same message during his visit?
A: If your memory serves you well, the U.S. has reiterated on many occasions their stance on the Taiwan question. That is to pursue the one China principle enshrined in the three Joint Communiques on China-U.S. relations, and oppose Taiwan independence. We set high store by these important stances of the U.S., and hope that the U.S. can honor its commitment and make joint efforts to safeguard peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
Q: A non-governmental organization named "Live Aide" blamed China for the Sudan war. What's your comment?
A: It is groundless. China attaches great importance to the situation of Sudan and has made great efforts to bring about peace, stability and the reconciliation between various parties in Sudan. We hope that the various sides can honor their agreement. In the meantime, the African Union should play a more important role in realizing peace and stability in Sudan.
Q: Chinese media reported that Vice Premier Wu Yi signed many contracts during her visit to the U.S. and China will purchase many American products. Please confirm.
A: Concerning Vice Premier Wu's visit, the Chinese delegation has briefed the press on many occasions. Chinese media have made detailed coverage. I will not talk more on that now. During her visit, besides attending the 17 th JCCT meeting, Vice Premier Wu also made extensive exchanges and consultation with American corporations along with Chinese entrepreneurs in the delegation and signed a number of significant commercial contracts. We think that equality and mutual benefit can help the healthy and sound development of cooperation between China and the U.S. in the economic and trade field, which is in the interest of both sides.
Q: Besides a series of contracts signed during Vice Premier Wu's visit, what else will be signed during President Hu's visit? How do you define a successful visit?
A: I am not aware of whether other agreements will be signed in the trade and economic field during the forthcoming President's Hu's visit.
On your second question, China aims to strengthen communication and mutual trust, and build on consensus. During the visit, both sides will exchange views on a wide range of issues in an in-depth manner. China-U.S. relations are among the most important relations in the world. President Hu's state visit has also aroused extensive international attention. We hope that we can make joint efforts with the U.S. to expand common interest and cooperation as well as strengthen the cooperation on international affairs to maintain world peace and promote common development.
If there are no other questions, thank you for attendance. See you.