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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on 25 April 2006

On April 25, 2006, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference.

Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen!

On April 24, President Hu Jintao, who is paying a state visit to Morocco, sent a consolatory telegraph on the series terrorist explosions in Dahab on Egyptian Sinai Peninsula to Egyptian President Mubarak. He expressed condolences on the deaths and solicitude for the injured and the families of the victims.

Hu Jintao said that the Chinese Government is firmly opposed to terrorism in all manifestation and strongly condemns the terrorist explosion. China is ready to step up its cooperation with the international community, with Egypt included, to further combat terrorism and maintain world peace and stability.

Now, I'm ready to answer your question.

Q: The Nepalese King has announced the reinstatement of the Parliament. The Seven Party Alliance considered it a positive step. What's China's comment on that?

A: We welcome the positive efforts by the Nepalese King to realize political reconciliation and restore social stability. China and Nepal are friendly neighbors. The Chinese Government has always respected the choice made by the Nepalese King, its political parties and its people on their political structure and road for development. We would like to see the peace, harmony, stability and development of Nepal. The Chinese Government will continue to make efforts to develop the good-neighborly relations and friendly cooperation between China and Nepal.

Q: The Iranian president said on Monday that Iran might refuse to stop nuclear activities in line with the Security Council's demand and withdraw from the NPT. What's your comment?

A: China has a clear position on the Iranian nuclear issue. We maintain that the Iranian nuclear issue should be properly resolved through negotiation and peaceful means. We believe there is still room to resolve the issue through negotiation. We call on the parties concerned to show flexibility and seek a proper solution of this issue through dialogue and consultation at an early date. For the current stage, the international community should not abandon the effort of peaceful negotiation. Any move should help attain this goal.

Q: It is reported by Xinhua News Agency that the UN commissioner on Latin America is visiting China. Please brief on his visit? Which leaders will he meet with? It is also reported that China has supported the withdrawal of Chadian opposition force from the united government over the past weeks. What's your comment?

A: Regarding your first question, I don't have any information on the visit of the official in your question. I'm willing to try to get something on that. But I want to emphasize that both China and Latin American countries are developing countries. We share broad common interest in maintaining world peace and stability and promoting common development. It serves the interest of both China and Latin American countries to develop the friendly relation and cooperation between the two sides. This will also benefit the peace and prosperity of the region and the world at large. We are also ready to further strengthen our cooperation with Latin American countries.

Regarding your second question, I have not yet read the report. But I can tell you that such a report is extremely irresponsible. Not to interfere with the internal affairs of other countries is one of the most important yardsticks that China observes in international relations and state-to-state relations. We hope that the parties concerned in Chad can realize the peace and stability of the country through dialogue.

Q: Yesterday, Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a notice, requesting Chinese citizens to leave Nepal as soon as possible. Is this notice still in effect? Is there any new development since the Nepalese king issued a statement last night?

A: Considering the current situation in Nepal, the Chinese Government and leaders attach great importance to the safety of Chinese citizens in Nepal. They instructed Chinese Foreign Ministry to do its utmost to preserve the safety of Chinese citizens in Nepal. On April 23, Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning, suggesting that Chinese tourists should leave Nepal as soon as possible. Should any emergency arise, they should contact Chinese diplomatic mission in Nepal. Meanwhile, they also proposed citizens within Chinese territory to defer their travel to Nepal if not particularly necessary. Chinese Embassy in Nepal has made an emergency-response plan. We hope that the situation in Nepal will return to stable as soon as possible. And the Chinese Government will spare no effort to ensure the personal and property safety of Chinese citizens and corporations.

Q: Can you offer some details on the SCO defense ministers' meeting to be held in Beijing this week?

A: The SCO defense ministers' meeting will be held in Beijing on 26th of this month, and the defense ministers of the SCO member states will head delegations to the meeting. Mr. Cao Gangchuan, Vice Chairman of Chinese Central Military Commission, State Councilor and Defense Minister, will chair the meeting as the host. During the meeting, the defense ministers will exchange views on the regional security, the strike against the terrorist, extremist and separatist forces and other issues of common interest. This is what I know so far. If you wish to learn more, please refer your question to the competent authority.

Q: Japan and the ROK reached a compromise recently on the solution of the survey in the waters around Tok-do. The ROK agreed to drop its plan to propose new names for some places on the seabed approximate to the Tok-do at an international conference. Japan agrees to shelf its survey plan. China and Japan has similar disputes. What's China's comment on the compromise between Japan and the ROK?

A: I have answered this question at last press conference. As a neighbor of the ROK and Japan, we hope they can properly solve their problem through dialogue and consultation.

Q: In the incident on the Solomon Islands, the newly-founded Division of Consular Protection in the Department of Consular Affairs in Foreign Ministry joined the work of protecting overseas Chinese. What are the main functions of the Division of Consular Protection? In such countries as the Solomon Islands that have no diplomatic relations with China, how do they carry out their mission?

A The Chinese Government attaches importance to the protection of the legitimate right and interest of Chinese citizens and corporations, including compatriots from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Recently, the Foreign Ministry set up a Division of Consular Protection within the Department of Consular Affairs. We can tell by its name that the mandate of the division is to strengthen the protection for overseas Chinese. Not long ago, the riot in Solomon Islands affected the Chinese in the country. Chinese leaders set high store by the safety of the local Chinese and instructed the Foreign Ministry to do its utmost to assist the Chinese citizens in Solomon in tiding over the hardship, so as to ensure their life and property safety. In line with the instruction of Chinese leaders, Chinese Foreign Ministry jumpstarted the emergency response mechanism. It's fair to say form the very beginning, the relevant departments of Chinese Foreign Ministry, in particular the Department of Consular Affairs, including the Division of Consular Protection, are closely following the development of the situation. They have stayed in prompt and close contact with Chinese embassies in Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand, coordinated with other governmental organs in China and provided necessary assistance and protection to all local Chinese, including Chinese compatriots from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. We have also urged through certain channels the authority of Solomon Islands to take measures immediately to guarantee the safety of Chinese citizens and made urgent request to some countries and organizations to provide necessary assistance to Chinese citizens. In the early morning today, a chartered plane with 310 Chinese in Solomon on board arrived in Guangzhou safely, which marks an achievement for the stage in China's protection work for the Chinese affected by the riot in Solomon. In the days to come, the Chinese Government, including Foreign Ministry, will continue to closely follow the development of the situation in Solomon and try every possible means to provide necessary assistance to the Chinese there, so as to ensure their safety.

Q: The Shanghai World Expo in 2010 held a press conference recently and announced in a handout that the organizer will send invitations to the countries in the world through Chinese delegation to the UN, including the countries that have no diplomatic relations with China. Have you sent the invitations? Is this part of the diplomatic offensive of the mainland?

A: The Shanghai World Expo in 2010 will be a pageant event aimed to promote the exchange and cooperation of the countries in the world and jointly boost the common development. As the host, China will honor its commitment as well as its obligation. It will invite other countries and the relevant international organizations to attend the event. We will spare no effort to ensure the success of the Expo. There are still some countries that have no diplomatic relations with China. We think this is abnormal. We attach importance to developing relations with these countries on the basis of the five principles of peaceful coexistence, so as to normalize our relations with these countries as soon as possible. This will definitely help boost the development of mutually beneficial cooperation between China and them in various fields and serve the common interest of both sides. We will extend invitations to other countries at an appropriate time.

Q: It is reported last week that some world-renowned brands sued China's Silk Road Market of failing to combat pirated products in line with regulations. How does the Chinese Government prepare to ensure that the products of these companies won't be pirated?

A: You must have noted the ruling of Chinese court on the case. It shows the resolve and sincerity of the Chinese Government and the relevant departments to combat pirated products and uphold the intellectual property rights. We have done so in the past and will continue to protect the legitimate right and interest of foreign companies in China, including their right of trademark and intellectual property.

Q: President Hu and President Bush talked about the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and Iranian nuclear issue, what kind of views did they exchange? Is there any progress?

A: During the meeting of President Hu and President Bush, both sides exchanged ideas on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and Iranian nuclear issue and elaborated on the relevant positions respectively. On the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, the two leaders agreed to continue to promote the peaceful solution of the issue and the realization of the denuclearization of the Peninsula. On the Iranian nuclear issue, President Hu reiterated that China's maintenance for the proper solution of the issue through negotiations and diplomatic means. Both sides agreed to maintain further communication and consultation on the two issues.

Q: Iran said that if the UN makes sanctions against it they will suspend its cooperation with IAEA. You said you hope that all parties can take actions helpful for the peaceful solution of the issue. Do you think the remarks of Iran are conducive to the peaceful solution of the issue? During the meeting of the two presidents, on the Taiwan question, what specific demand did China make to the US, are you satisfied with the response of President Bush?

A:We hope all parties concerned can exercise restraint and show flexibility to continue to create favorable conditions for the proper solution of the issue through negotiations and dialogue.

During President Hu's visit to the US, he had an indepth exchange of ideas with President Bush on the Taiwan question. President Hu elaborated the views on the current situation across the Taiwan Straits and China's principled position on the Taiwan question. He appreciated the reiteration of the "One-China" policy by President Bush and US government on the Taiwan question, the abiding by of the three China-US Joint Communiqués and opposition of Taiwan Independence. He pointed out that China and US have common strategic interests on opposing and curbing Taiwan Independence and maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits. President Bush expressed his understanding of China's concern on the Taiwan question and stressed that the position of the US government on the Taiwan question has not changed. The US sticks to the "One-China" policy and does not hope to see the unilateral change of the status quo across the Taiwan question by the Taiwan authorities which will have impact on China-US relations. We believe that to further clarify our principled position on the Taiwan question by both sides will be conducive to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and promotion of stability, development and prosperity of the Asian-Pacific region.

If there are no more questions, thank you for your attendance. Good-Bye!

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