|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on March 11, 2010|
On the afternoon of March 11, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! I have three announcements to make.
First, at the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of the People's Republic of Bangladesh will pay an official visit to China from March 17 to 21.
Second, at the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan of ASEAN will pay an official visit to China from March 16 to 22.
Third, at the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Minister Yu Myung-hwan for Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea will visit China from March 17 to 19.
Now the floor is open.
Q: I have two questions. I want to know the latest development of talks between China and Google, though I know the Foreign Ministry is not in charge of the matter. Second, have you talked with any foreign government on the overseas separatist activities by the Tibet-independence forces? Is there any progress on the talks? Is there any foreign government willing to take actions to crack down upon these forces?
A: On the first question, there is unimpeded communication between the competent authorities of China and international internet operators. I want to reiterate that China administers the internet according to law, which is also an international practice. When doing business in China, foreign internet service providers should abide by Chinese laws.
On the second question, around March 10 this year, Tibet-Independence forces tried to break into some Chinese overseas diplomatic missions, which once again testifies and exposes their nature of separatism and the violence tendency. One of the basic norms governing international relations is mutual respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Not a single country in the world recognizes the so-called "Tibetan Government in Exile" and nor Tibet as independent. Many countries have explicitly expressed their opposition to the anti-China separatist and political activities by the Tibet-Independence separatist forces on their territory. We express our appreciation to that. According to the international law, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the residing country has the obligation to ensure the foreign diplomatic personnel and properties not to be infringed upon. This is a norm governing international relations and generally recognized by the international community.
Q: Who will meet with British Foreign Secretary Miliband next week? What will be the major topics under discussion? The UK protested the execution of a British citizen Akmal Shaikh last December. How do you comment on the current China-UK relations?
A: I briefed you on Foreign Secretary Miliband's visit to China at the last press conference. During his stay here, Chinese leaders will meet with him and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will have talks with him. The two sides will exchange views on China-UK relations and the current major international and regional issues of mutual interest. I am convinced that the visit will further enhance our mutual understanding and political mutual trust, promote our cooperation in various fields, and enhance our communication and coordination on major international issues so as to push forward the development of China-UK relations.
For a period of time, due to reasons known to all, China-UK relations have suffered from some setbacks, like the Akmal Shaikh case. China has made clear its position on the issue on many occasions. China attaches importance to its relationship with the UK. China and the UK are both permanent members of the UN Security Council and share broad common interests and important responsibilities in the maintenance of world peace, the promotion of common development and other major issues. We enjoy broad basis for cooperation and prospect for future development of bilateral ties. We hope the bilateral relations will move forward based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. We are ready to join hands with the UK to realize the goals.
Q: I have several questions. First, yesterday Dalai Lama delivered a speech in Dharmsala in which he condemned the policy of the Chinese Government on Tibetan Buddhism and expressed his support to the so-called East Turkistan forces. How do you comment on his speech? Second, the Indonesian Government announced that Premier Wen Jiabao will visit Indonesia in the third week of April. What is the purpose of his visit?
A: Yesterday Dalai made a so-called statement, which is nothing new. In recent years, he has been repeating such rhetoric every year, in which he distorts the true situation in Tibet, willfully attacks and smears the Central Government's policy in Tibet and trumpets his separatist proposition of Independence and Semi-Independence of Tibet. What Dalai should do now is to face up to the reality, have a serious review of his erroneous position and activities and give up his separatist proposition so as to create conditions for contact and negotiations with the Central Government. As for his support to the so-called East Turkistan forces in his statement, doesn't it exactly expose and prove his nature of splitting China and undermining national unity?
Second question, China is currently in close consultation with relevant countries on Premier Wen Jiabao's visit. As for the purpose of the visit, Indonesia and other countries in the region are all neighbors of China. China advocates living together in harmony and having more state-to-state and people-to-people exchanges and mutual visits. Based on the spirit of good-neighborliness and friendship, China is ready to maintain close contact all levels in various fields. Promote cooperation and step up mutual understanding and friendship with neighboring countries. As for the visit you mentioned, we will keep you updated.
Q: Please brief us on the purpose and the specific itinerary of the ROK Foreign Minister's visit to China. What does China expect of this visit and the Six-Party Talks?
A: The current China-ROK relations are in good shape as evidenced by frequent high-level exchange of visits, close economic cooperation and trade, dynamic people-to-people and cultural exchanges and close consultation and coordination on major international and regional issues. We are happy with the sound momentum of bilateral relations and ready to work with the ROK side to press forward China-ROK relations, which is in the fundamental interests of both peoples and conducive to regional peace, stability and development.
Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan's visit to China is a good opportunity for our two countries to enhance consultation and cooperation and step up coordination on major issues. The two sides will have in-depth exchange of views on bilateral, international and regional issues of mutual interest. We believe the two sides will talk about issues related to the Six-Party Talks. China and the ROK share similar aspirations on the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. We are ready to work with the ROK side to push for the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks, especially in light of the good opportunities at present stage.
Q: Last Tuesday my colleague asked you why the Chinese Government did not allow an Australian writer to go to Shanghai for the International Literature Festival. Can you answer that question now? Second, if he was rejected because he's HIV positive, will China change relevant laws in the future to allow people living with HIV/AIDS in?
A: I am contacting competent authorities on the specific question you asked. There are clear laws and regulations in China on the entry of people with infectious diseases including people living with HIV/AIDS and they are all open to the public. Competent authorities of China have been handling the entry applications of foreigners according to these regulations and we hope the Australian side and the writer himself can understand. As for how the laws will evolve in future, the Foreign Ministry is not in charge of such affairs, but I will forward your hope and concerns to competent authorities. I want to stress that in China, people living with HIV/AIDS are equally respected and their legitimate rights and interests are protected. On World AIDS Day every year, Chinese leaders and people of all walks of life demonstrate their love and concern for people living with HIV/AIDS and call on the whole society to love and care for them.
Q: Despite tremendous efforts made by all parties concerned to get the Middle East peace process back on track, the Israeli Government announced yesterday the decision to build new Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem, which has invited world-wide criticism, including that of US Vice President Biden. How does China comment on it? Second, what's China's comment on the just concluded Iraqi presidential election? Last question is about the Iranian nuclear issue. Israel said all options are on the table, the military ones included. How do you comment?
A: China strongly opposes the Israeli Government's approval of new Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and at the west bank of the Jordan River. At the present critical point of indirect negotiations between Palestine and Israel, such a move would only damage the foundation of talks and undermine international mediation efforts. We urge the Israeli side to immediately halt the building of Jewish settlements and make concrete efforts for the resumption of peace talks.
The Iraqi presidential election was held last weekend and ballot counting is still underway. We will follow closely the election results. However the results are, we hope to see a peaceful and stable Iraq on the way to development whose independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity respected and where people live happily.
Q: Does the Chinese Government think Dalai's recent conduct and remarks in India well adversely affect China-India relations? Does China think the Indian Government has done enough to crack down on the separatist activities of the Tibet-Independence forces in India?
A: China and India are both advocators of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, one of which is mutual respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity. We hope China and India develop good-neighborly, friendly and cooperative relations based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. The Indian Government has reaffirmed on many occasions its recognition of Tibet as an inalienable part of the Chinese territory and that it does not allow Tibetans to engage in anti-China political activities in India. We appreciate India's position.
Q: Could you brief us on the itinerary and purpose of ASEAN Secretary -General Surin's visit to China?
A: At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Secretary-General Surin will visit China from March 16 to 22. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will have talks with him and they will exchange views on China ASEAN relations, practical cooperation in various fields and international and regional issues of mutual interest. Apart from that, Secretary General Surin will also visit Hubei and Jiangsu Provinces. China hopes that the visit enhances cooperation between China and the ASEAN Secretariat and China-ASEAN strategic partnership.
To step up good-neighborly and friendly cooperation with ASEAN is an integral part of China's neighborhood policy. Over the nearly past twenty years of China-ASEAN dialogue mechanism, a mature and complete system has taken shape, yielding abundant fruits of friendly exchanges and practical cooperation in different fields. I want to especially point out that on January 1 this year, China-ASEAN Free Trade Area was officially launched. With 1.9 billion population, a GDP of US$6 trillion and trade volume of US$4.5 trillion, this FTA ranks the largest among developing countries and in terms of population. Since being launched, the FTA has been in smooth operation. In January this year, trade between the two sides reached US$21.48 billion with 80% growth year-on-year, among which China's export to ASEAN increased by 52.8% and ASEAN to China 117.3%. Facts have shown that the establishment China-ASEAN FTA is in the fundamental interest of both sides. China will further enhance its exchanges and cooperation in various fields with ASEAN based on the principle of mutual benefit and common development.
Q: You just mentioned that China appreciates the Indian Government's efforts. Then does China think the US Government has done enough to curb the behavior of Rebiya Kadeer?
A: No matter it is Dalai or Xinjiang-Independence forces, they are exiles engaged in activities aimed at separating China and sabotaging China's national unity. We urge all other countries not to connive, shelter or provide any form of support to them with a view to respecting China's core interests and major concerns. Only on such a basis can our bilateral relations move forward steadily and smoothly.
Q: Yesterday the Myanmese Government said that Aung San Su Kyi could not take part in future elections according to the election law. How does China comment?
A: The issue you mentioned is in essence part of Myanmar's internal affairs and should be properly handled and resolved by the Myanmese Government and people. We wish to see a stable and growing Myanmar.
Q: A follow-up question. Will Premier Wen Jiabao visit Indonesia next month? Will he visit other countries, such as Myanmar and East Timor? What's more, which Chinese official will China send to attend the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in April?
A: I have no definite answers to your two questions at this stage. We will release information in due course.
Q: China recently wrote to the UN, confirming that it can be listed in the chapeau of the Copenhagen Accord in support of the document. However, there are comments that China intends to distance itself from full support for the accord. How do you comment?
A: China attaches great importance to the Copenhagen Conference and has made utmost efforts for a fruitful conference. Premier Wen Jiabao attended the conference in person and had close communication with all parties, making great contribution to a positive result out of the conference, especially the conclusion of the Copenhagen Accord. China's position of full support for the Copenhagen Accord has been unequivocal and consistent.
When replying to Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon respectively dated January 29, Premier Wen Jiabao explicitly expressed China's support for the Copenhagen Accord. Prime Minister Rasmussen responded with high appreciation of China's position.
China wrote to the UNFCCC Secretariat twice dated January 28 and March 9 to submit its goal of voluntary mitigation of greenhouse gas emission and confirm the inclusion of China in the chapeau of the Copenhagen Accord respectively.
These acts demonstrate that China fully and explicitly supports the Copenhagen Accord. The allegations that China is intentionally distancing itself from or avoiding the accord are groundless.
We have noted the different wordings of countries in expressing their support for the Copenhagen Accord. Some countries including China use the word "support" while some other countries use "associate with" or "stand by". It is inappropriate to interpret different wordings as different positions.
Regarding this issue, I believe, there should be no misunderstanding in either China's actions or words. China supports the Copenhagen Accord. We make utmost efforts to tackle climate change and take an active part in related international cooperation. Our resolve, will and action in this regard are firm and clear.
If there are no more questions, thanks for coming. See you!