Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's regular Press Conference on June 27, 2006
On the afternoon of June 27th, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular Press Conference.
Jiang: Good afternoon, I have no announcement to make today. Let me start with your questions right away.
Q: A Vatican delegation is reportedly in town for a visit. Can you brief us on that?
A: I haven't any news like that. The Chinese Government has always been sincere for the improvement of relations with the Vatican. We stand ready to hold constructive dialogue with it on the basis of the two fundamental principles.
Q: Chinese Middle East Special Envoy Sun Bigan is in the Middle East for a visit. Whom will he be meeting with? What will be discussed?
A: Special Envoy Sun will be visiting Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Palestine from June 25th to July 2nd. He will exchange views with relevant parties on the current Middle East situation. On 26th, he met with the Egyptian Foreign Minister, National Security Adviser for the President, and the Arab League's Deputy Secretary General in charge of political affairs.
He noted that China has followed closely the developments of situation in the Middle East, holding that the conflict between Palestine and Israel should be addressed through dialogue and political negotiations on the basis of relevant UN resolutions and the "land for peace" principle. China stands ready to work with Egypt, the Arab League and the rest of the international community to press ahead with the peace process.
Q: Some people argue that the prospect of China's investment in Africa is not so promising. How do you envision your trade and commerce with Africa?
A: China's trade and commerce with Africa has always followed the principle of equality, mutual benefit and joint development. We have been working on three fields: first, expand our African commodities import and take vigorous efforts to facilitate Africa's promotion efforts. Second, closely combine economic assistance with technological support and enhance Africa's self-development capability. Third, help train talents and management personnel for Africa. The economic cooperation between China and Africa has played an active role in promoting social and economic development of Africa.
Q: Ban Ki-Moon, South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade met with Foreign Minster Li Zhaoxing. Did they discuss the missile test of North Korea?
A: Minister Ban Ki-Moon was invited by Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing here for a two days' working visit. This morning, Foreign Minister Li held talks with him, exchanging views with him on bilateral ties, international and regional issues of common interest. Talking about the situation in the Korean Peninsula, both agreed that under the current circumstances, relevant parties should stick to dialogue and a peaceful solution, avoid aggravation of confrontation and tension, and work to resume the Six-Party Talks at an early date so as to safeguard peace and stability in the Peninsula and the region.
This afternoon, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan will also be meeting with him.
Q: An aiding church fund based in Vatican accused China of claiming to respect law and protect religious freedom but continuing to arrest underground followers and restrict religious freedom. Do you have any comment?
A: The allegation is not worthy of any comment. The Chinese Government lawfully protects citizens' freedom of religious belief. Various religions in China adopt a principle of self-reliance and independence in running churches. No foreign forces will be allowed to interfere with China's domestic religious affairs.
Q: Russian hostages in Iraq were killed. Do you have any comment?
A: China condemns the act of abducting and killing of Russian diplomats. We hope that the safety and security of diplomats in Iraq can be ensured.
Q: Canadian Prime Minister apologized to Chinese immigrants for head tax. Do you have any comment?
A: We have taken note of the reports. We welcome all the efforts that will benefit the long-term survival and development of overseas Chinese as well as their harmonious coexistence with people there and their integration into the mainstream of the society.
Q: ARF meeting will be held in July. Who will be attending the meeting on China's behalf? Is there any plan for Foreign Minister Li to meet with his Japanese counterpart? Can you brief us on the border talks between China and India?
A: The 13th ARF Foreign Ministers' Meeting will be held in Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia on July 28th. China will send a delegation to attend the meeting. We will keep you updated in due course.
China is looking forward to exchanging views with participants on international and regional security situation as well as future development of ARF. We will work with all parties to ensure the success of the meeting.
It is of significance for Foreign Ministers of both China and Japan to maintain contact in due course and exchange visits. Both should endeavour to create favorable atmosphere. At present, I do not have any specific information.
Special representatives of border issues of China and India is now having their 8th meeting in Beijing. Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo, special representative for China is heading a delegation to attend the meeting. The two special representatives will continue to explore a framework for the settlement of border issues in light of the agreement on political guiding principles signed between the two countries. The discussions are still underway.
Q: The US Commerce Department said that it will tighten the control of hi-tech products export to China. Do you have any reactions?
A: Economic cooperation and trade is an important pillar for China-US relations. Mutual benefit and win-win cooperation remain to be the main stream of the economic relations between China and the US. In the process of rapid development of economic interactions between the two countries, problems will prop up occasionally. We should properly settle them through negotiation and dialogue. We hope that the US should take concrete measures to lift the restrictions on its export of hi-tech products to China so as to better address the imbalanced trade between the two countries.
Q: Can you brief us on Australian Prime Minister's visit to China? Did he sign any agreement with China?
A: Australian Prime Minister Howard will be in Shenzhen tomorrow morning to take part in the ceremony of the operation of the first phase of the Guandong LNG project. He will hold talks with Premier Wen afterwards. For tomorrow afternoon, he will attend a symposium on China-Australia free trade area. The LNG project is the first pilot project China imported from abroad, which has now completed. The natural gas resources used for the first phase project come from Australia. The project is an outcome of joint efforts by the two countries, enriching the energy cooperation between us. Its production will benefit the development of China's natural gas industries and the use of clean energy.
China and Australia enjoy sound relations. During Premier Wen's visit to Australia this April, consensus was reached on developing mutually beneficial and win-win relations and comprehensive cooperation for the 21st century. The two economies are highly complementary. Trade volume of last year hit 27.3 billion dollars, an increase of 33% over the same period of previous year. The cooperation in culture, education, tourism, consular affairs, justice and other fields are ever closer. China attaches importance to relations with Australia, regarding the latter as a good partner and friend for cooperation. China stands ready to work with Australia to enhance dialogue and cooperation so as to further our comprehensive relationship.
Q: Israel is planning to take military operations against Palestine. What is China's position?
A: China supports the Middle East peace process and the roadmap. The Middle East question should be solved through political negotiation on the basis of relevant UN resolutions and the "land for peace" principle. We hope that both Palestine and Israel can proceed from the fundamental interest of both peoples, maintain restraint and adopt a more active attitude to enhance mutual trust, resume talks and address the issue through political consultations.
Q: What will Special Envoy Sun do during his visit to contribute to the relaxation of the situation in the Middle East?
A: The international community is highly concerned over the tensions between Israel and Palestine, urging relevant parties to take concrete measures to ease tension and settle their disputes through diplomacy and negotiation. The Chinese Government follows the developments there, maintaining contact and coordination with Arab states and relevant parties. We have participated in our own way and played a constructive role.
Q: You talked about economic cooperation with Africa earlier. Is China planning to give non-African countries any preferential treatment?
A: China is a developing country. It is a foundation for China's foreign policy to enhance and develop consolidation and cooperation with other developing nations. Last year, President Hu Jintao put forth five proposals supporting developing countries on the summit meeting marking the 60th anniversary of the UN. China has always provided assistance to other developing countries within its capacity.
If there are no further questions, thank you for your presence. See you next time.