Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao's Press Conference on May 30, 2006
Liu: Good afternoon, everyone. I shall begin with three announcements.
At the invitation of Vice President Zeng Qinghong, Vice President Noli De Casto of the Republic of the Philippines will pay an official visit to China from June 4 to June 9.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Foreign Minister Nana Akufo-Addo of the Republic of Ghana will pay an official visit to China from June 5 to June 8.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Foreign Minister Morshed Khan of the Republic of Bangladesh will pay an official visit to China from June 5 to June 7.
With that, I would be happy to take your questions.
Q: Will China diplomatically recognize Monte Negro? The US and other countries say that people can decide whether they should go independent through independent and free referendum. Do you have any comment? Is Monte Negro's independence relevant to the Taiwan question?
A: With respect to the referendum in Monte Negro, we respect the choice of the people there and its final result. We are following closely the developments there.
What's going on there in Monte Negro and the Taiwan question are issues of totally different nature. There is but one China, with Taiwan being an inalienable part, which is the universal consensus of the international community.
Q: The Middle East Quartet has announced that "renouncement of violence, recognition of Israel and implementation of the agreements between Palestine and Israel" will be three prerequisite for contact with Hamas and assistance to Palestine. How does China assess these conditions? Besides, Palestine's Foreign Minister Zahar will be in China for the second Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum. Will China try to persuade Hamas to accept the three conditions?
A: Parties concerned of the Middle East Question should make efforts to solve disputes through political negotiation so as to achieve peaceful coexistence on the basis of relevant UN resolutions and the principle of "land for peace". The current situation in the Middle East is worrying. China does not favor political isolation and economic blockade. In the meantime, we urge Hamas to proceed from the fundamental interest of the Palestinian people, abandon violence, recognize Israel and accept the existing agreement reached between Palestine and Israel. We will take the opportunity of Foreign Minister Zahar's visit to explain our principled position.
Q: I would like to follow up Zahar's visit to China. Is he going to stay in China until June 4? Will he be able to meet with Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing?
A: Foreign Minister Zahar will be here for the second Ministerial Meeting of China-Arab Cooperation Forum. His schedule will be arranged in light of that of the whole session of the meeting. During his stay here, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will be meeting with him.
Q: Still concerning Zahar's visit, reports say that Israel made representations with China. Can you confirm? What did they say?
A: Israel expressed its concern to us over the matter. I expounded earlier our position on the Middle East Question and the composition of the Palestinian government. We believe that Hamas should proceed from the fundamental interest of the Palestinian people, abandon violence, recognize Israel and accept the existing agreement reached between Palestine and Israel. Israel is clear of our position. This position is helpful for the relaxation of the situation there as well as the improvement and development of relations between the two. I do not hope to see our relations with Israel affected because of our difference on this matter.
Q: Ecuador's Foreign Minster is going to visit China. Can you give us more details? A candidate for Nicaragua's President said that if he were elected, he would consider establishing diplomatic relations with China. Do you have any comment?
A: At the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Ecuador's Foreign Minister will pay an official visit to China. During his visit, Vice President Zeng Qinghong will be meeting with him. He will only visit Beijing this time. I will keep you updated once the visit starts.
For you second question, I would like to reiterate, we stand ready to normalize our relations with countries that do not have diplomatic relations with us on the basis of the One China principle, UN Charters and the Five Principles of Coexistence.
Q: About the Indian Defense Minister's visit here, can you tell us more about the agreement signed yesterday? Historically, China and India are not always friends. Why is it necessary now to sign the defense cooperation agreement?
A: Indian Defense Minister Mukherjee is here for a visit from May 28 to June 2. During his stay here, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, State Councilor and Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan met with him. Both sides positively evaluate the sound momentum of development of bilateral ties in recent years, stressing that military exchanges are important part of the overall bilateral relationship. The enhancement of military exchanges and mutual trust is of significance for the development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. The agreement you asked is an MOU on strengthening defence exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. You asked about the reason to sign the MOU and said that China and India are not always friends. What I would like to tell you is that China and India enjoy a more than 2000 years' history of exchanges and interactions. In most part of the history, the two countries are friendly to each other, making great contribution to human civilization. There was only a short period of time when bilateral relations were cold. Both countries have decided to be forward-looking and work together to develop the strategic partnership. The signing of the MOU is a natural outcome of the development of bilateral ties and military exchanges. We deem it as beneficial. In the mean time, I would like to assure you that China has signed similar MOU with many other countries, which is not targeted against any third party.
Q: What assistance has China provided to the Indonesian Government after the earthquake? There was chaos in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan yesterday. Do you have any comment? Have Chinese agencies and personnel been affected?
A: The Chinese Government took actions immediately right after the earthquake, providing $2 million cash as an emergency assistance and sending Chinese international rescue team there for help. Considering the actual needs of people in the affected area, the Chinese Government decides to provide 10 million RMB materials for emergency assistance to the Indonesian Government. We hope and believe that the Indonesian government and people can overcome the difficulties and rebuild their homeland.
Afghanistan is our close neighbour. We follow closely what's happening there, hoping the situation can calm down shortly and stability restored. Chinese Embassy in Afghanistan has launched emergency mechanism after the chaos. Our Ministry has made representation with relevant authorities, asking them to ensure the safety of our Embassy and fellow citizens there.
Q: The DPRK Foreign Minister Bak Nam-Sun arrived in Beijing today for a visit. What is the purpose of his visit? Is it relating to the resumption of the Six-Party Talks? Please brief us on his agenda here.
A: At the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Foreign Minister Bak Nam-sun visits China from today to June 6. During his stay here, we will exchange views with him on bilateral relations and regional issues of common interest. At 4 p.m. this afternoon, Premier Wen will be meeting with him and Foreign Minister Li will have talks with him afterwards. He will then go to Guangzhou and Shenzhen. State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan will also meet with him. The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is an important question both are concerned about. I believe that it will be discussed during the meetings.
Q: Who will attend the G8 Finance Ministers' Meeting at St.Petersburg on behalf of China ? Will China's Finance Minister and the President of People's Bank attend the meeting?
A: China has always been actively participating in relevant meetings and dialogues of G8 in recent years. As for whether Chinese finance minister will attend this meeting, please refer your question to the Ministry of Finance.
Q: Two questions on China's peace-keeping forces to Sudan. First, what is the significance of this action? What impact will sending peace-keeping forces abroad have on China's foreign policy? Now there are still some differences over dispatching peace-keeping forces to Sudan's Darfur. Will China make an active study on it?
A: To safeguard world peace, the Chinese Government has taken a positive attitude towards peace-keeping operations in recent years. We dispatched peace-keeping staff to East Timor, Haiti, Liberia and other countries. They have played an important role in local peace-keeping actions with outstanding performance. Our ministry arranged trips for foreign journalists to visit the training base for Chinese peace-keeping staff in the College of Military Police at Langfang of Hebei Province. 430 Chinese peace-keeping personnel have arrived in Sudan. They will perform their duties earnestly and responsibly.
As for Darfur, we hope the UN, African Union and relevant Sudan authorities can reach a consensus through consultations.
Q: The Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso today said that he hoped to meet his Chinese counterpart again on the sideline of ARF in Malaysia this July. How do you respond?
A: Foreign Ministers of China and Japan held a meeting in Doha just a few days ago. That meeting is helpful. As for whether there will be further meetings, it should be decided upon consultations through diplomatic channels. We have repeatedly elaborated our position on China-Japan relations. A proper solution to Japanese leaders' visits to the Yasukuni Shrine is part and parcel for China-Japan relations, bearing on the political foundation of bilateral relations. It is an issue that can't be bypassed for bilateral ties to be improved and developed. We hope bilateral exchanges can help solving major issues between China and Japan and create necessary conditions for improvement and development of bilateral ties.
Q: When will Palestinian Foreign Minister Zahar arrive in China? When will he meet with Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing?
A: As for relevant agenda for the second Ministers' Meeting of China-Arab Cooperation Forum, you have got a briefing from organizers of the meeting. You are welcome to cover the meeting. During the international event, bilateral meetings between delegates from all countries will be determined through diplomatic consultations. If there are such arrangements, you will be informed. The meeting begins tomorrow. I haven't got any further specifics at hands.
Q: You just called on Hamas to renounce violence and recognize Israel. Have you informed Palestine of this statement in advance? Will any of China's high-level leaders attend the G8 Summit in Russia?
A: Our attitude on the Middle East issue is clear. First, the issue should be resolved in accordance with UN resolutions. Secondly, the principle of "land for peace" should be followed. Thirdly, the two countries should resolve the issue through dialogue. We urge Hamas to renounce violence, recognize Israel and accept the agreements reached between Palestine and Israel. It is an important condition for the two sides to resume dialogues and in the fundamental interests of the Palestinian people. China's position is helpful for the progress of peace talks on the Middle East issue.
China attaches great importance to the exchanges with G8 on major international issues. We will positively consider attending the dialogue meeting between G8 and developing nations.
Q: Are there any Chinese citizens injured or killed during the Indonesian earthquake? Besides, what comment do you have on the turmoil in East Timor?
A: As for your first question, China's embassy and consulate in Indonesia are closely watching and following up the development of the situations. We haven't got any report on Chinese citizens' casualties in the earthquake.
As for your second questions, we feel concerned over the current situations in East Timor, hoping the East Timor Government and its people can make the situations calm down, which is crucial for their life and its own development. Due to the deterioration of situations in East Timor, we have sent two chartered flights to bring back 243 fellow Chinese there, those with Chinese agencies and 3 staff members from our embassy in East Timor. They arrived at Xiamen airport last night, safe and sound. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to overseas Chinese citizens' safety. Those who have just returned will get proper care.
Q: Will there be a meeting among foreign ministers of six countries this Thursday in Vienna on the Iranian nuclear issue?
A: There is such a meeting among foreign ministers of six countries. China's Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo will attend the meeting. We hope to see progress out of the meeting. I would like to reiterate here that, a peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations conforms to the interests of all sides and is also the common aspiration of international community. Under current situations, relevant sides should take a constructive attitude and create favorable conditions and atmosphere for resumption of negotiations. As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Iran has the right to peacefully use nuclear energy and should perform its duties and honor its commitments accordingly. It is imperative for Iran to fully cooperate with IAEA to restore international community's confidence on its nuclear program. China appreciates EU Three's important efforts for proposing the package plan. We hope the plan can promote the goal of non-proliferation and take into full consideration of Iran's need and concern for peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Q: It is reported that China and ROK have cancelled the plan to attend multi-national maritime military exercises. ROK doesn't want to irritate the DPRK. Why did China quit?
A: Our reason is that China's relevant ships have other duties. There are no other reasons.
If there are no other questions, thanks for your presence. Bye!