Liu: Good afternoon, everyone. I shall begin with an announcement.
At the invitation of the Chinese Government, Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan will pay an official visit to China from May 19 to 23. This is the seventh visit to China by Secretary-General Annan since he took office. President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan will meet with him and exchange views with him on international and regional issues of common interest and the cooperation between China and the United Nations.
With that, I am happy to take your questions.
Q: The US Treasury's just released report did not designate China as a "currency manipulator". Do you have any comment? President Hu Jintao discussed the issue of exchange rate with President Bush during his visit to the US. What will be China's next move?
A: I have also taken note of the report. China has always adopted a highly responsible attitude in defining a foreign exchange regime suitable for national conditions of China in light of our economic and social development reality as well as social and financial stability of the world. China has taken important step in forex reform. We will continue to unswervingly press ahead with the financial restructuring so as to improve the RMB exchange rate mechanism, raise its resilience, enhance financial institutions' self-pricing and risk-management ability and maintain a relatively stable, rational and balanced RMB exchange rate.
Q: China has been elected as a member of the UN Human Rights Council. How many votes has China got?
A: I already made remarks on China's election as a member of the first UN Human Rights Council. As I understand, all 191 UN members have cast their vote through secret ballot. China got 146 votes.
China's election will vigorously reinforce the development of the human rights cause. It is also beneficial for China to make active contribution to the development of the Council.
Q: Libya allowed Taiwan leaders to stop over there not long ago and discussed with Taiwan on setting up a "representative office" in Libya. Do you have any comment?
A: Regardless of China's persuasion and strong opposition, Libya insisted on allowing Chen Shuibian to stop over in Libya and discussed with him on setting up "representative offices" in Libya. It is a serious violation of Libya's long-term commitment to the One China Policy, having negative impact on bilateral relations. We express our strong dissatisfaction and have made solemn representation with Libya. We request Libya to live up to its commitment, immediately cease official exchanges, in whatever form, with Taiwan so as to protect the overall interest of bilateral relations between Libya and China.
Q: Dalai visited Argentina, Peru and is now in Colombia. Do you have any comment?
A: Dalai is not purely a religious figure. He is a political exile engaging in activities splitting the motherland. The Dalai clique has never abandoned its position for "Tibet Independence". The Chinese Government has a resolute and clear-cut position on this issue. We oppose his splitting activities around the world under the pretext of religion. We hope that relevant countries stay alert on his activities and attempts.
Q: US Deputy State Secretary Zoellick said that China did not do enough to urge the DPRK to come back to the Six-Party Talks. How do you react to it? China said that the conditions for Foreign Ministers of China, Japan and ROK to meet need to be right. Can you be more specific on what will be the right conditions?
A: Both China and the US agree to solve the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue through dialogue under the framework of the Six-Party Talks so as to ensure a nuclear weapon-free Peninsula that enjoys peace and stability. At the current stage, there is a large gap between the US and the DPRK on the financial issues. Their continuous confrontation obstructed the process of the Talks. China has been working for an early resumption of the Talks. We hope to see all parties concerned, especially major parties involved to adopt a flexible and pragmatic approach so as to remove the obstacles.
Q: Zoellick said that China is worried that more pressure on the DPRK may cause more refuges to flood into China? Is China concerned about it? He also said that the Iran nuclear issue has become the most important issue between the US and China. Does China share his view? How will China solve the issue?
A: I have taken note of the remarks by US officials.
On the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, our attitude is resolute, our efforts are firm. Thanks to the concerted contribution of various parties, we have attained certain significant achievements. China will continue to work to resume the Talks. We hope to see a prosperous and stable DPRK that enjoys economic and social progress.
On your second question, consultations are still going on among relevant parties on the Iran nuclear issue. There have been close contact and discussion between China and the US as well. China endorses reinforcement and enhancement of the current international nuclear non-proliferation regime, hoping that various parities can press ahead with diplomatic endeavour to solve the Iran nuclear issue through dialogue. It is imperative to exercise restraint and patience to activate a new round of diplomacy.
Q: The Japanese Government is promoting the exchange cause between Japan and China in the 21st century. This year 1000 Chinese students will be invited to visit Japan to have exchanges with their Japanese counterparts. 200 of them will be arriving in Japan nest Tuesday. Do you have any comment?
A: We appreciate the efforts of Japan in promoting the exchanges and friendship between the two peoples, young peoples in particular. The Chinese Government has all along devoted to strengthening friendship and exchanges between the two peoples, making significant endeavours. I still recall that when I was in college, I was one of those receiving 3000 Japanese young students invited by the Chinese Government. These are meaningful activities that should continue to proceed. We stand ready to enhance cooperation with Japan to promote exchanges and friendship between the two peoples.
Q: During the US Admiral Fallon's visit to China yesterday, both China and the US agreed to strengthen military cooperation. Does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs support it? Secondly, the US Deputy State Secretary Zoellick said in a hearing at the Congress that the US does not support "Taiwan independence". But if Taiwan declares "independence", the US military will surely be involved. How do you react to that?
A: China-U.S. military relation is part and parcel of our bilateral relations. We support the constant improvement and development of bilateral military relations, as well as the enhancement of mutual understanding and confidence. We hope that our two militaries can further understanding and build up confidence through friendly communication. During Mr. Fallon's visit, Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan had in-depth discussions with him. He will visit Xi'an, Hangzhou and Shenyang.
On your second question, we have taken note of Mr. Zoellick's remarks concerning Taiwan. The U.S. is clear about that position, which is consistent and clear. We hope that the U.S. can translate its commitment to the one-China principle into real action, strictly abide by the three Sino-U.S. Joint Communiqués and oppose the "Taiwan Independence". In particular, the U.S. should cease its sales of advanced weapons to Taiwan and its military contact with the latter, so as to safeguard peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the overall interest of Sino-U.S. relations.
Q: Zoellick said yesterday that if the U.S. can persuade Russia to exert sanction on Iran, then China will agree. Please brief us on China's position. Is it the same with Russia?
A: China's position on Iran nuclear issue is clear-cut. China firmly stands for international non-proliferation regime, and is committed to a peaceful and stable Middle East. It is in the interest of various sides to solve the problem peacefully through diplomacy. The Iran nuclear issue is now at critical juncture. We hope that various sides continue to exert restraint and sincerity and press ahead with a new round of diplomatic efforts, so as to solve the problem peacefully.
Q: Please brief us on the agenda and main purpose of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's visit. Will China-Japan relations and Korean nuclear issue be discussed? How is this visit special compared to his previous trips? Is the visit at the invitation of the Chinese Government or at the request of Secretary-General Annan himself?
A: As UN Secretary-General, Mr. Annan shoulders great responsibilities. China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and plays an important role in international affairs. China maintains close contact with Secretary-General Annan, which is of great significance for strengthening the role of the UN, safeguarding world peace, promoting common development and enhancing cooperation between China and the UN. Secretary-General Annan has made six visits to China. This schedule has been adjusted several times because of his personal arrangements. Both sides have the aspiration of exchanging views on a series of important international issues. I believe that the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue that you just mentioned will come up. We welcome his visit to China and look forward to positive results out of it.
If there are no other questions, thank you for your presence. Bye!