Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on April 17, 2008
On the afternoon of April 17, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Olympic torch relay, the statement of apology by CNN, the contact between the Central Government and Dalai and etc.
Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Firstly, I have an announcement to make.
At the invitation of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun will attend the 3rd Expanded Ministerial Conference of the Neighboring Countries of Iraq in Kuwait, on April 22.
Now the floor is open.
Q: It is reported that the DPRK leader Kim Jong Il will visit China next week, please confirm. When will President Hu Jintao visit Japan?
A: The Communist Party of China and the Workers' Party of Korea have the tradition of high level exchanges of visits and I believe that good tradition will be continued. As to the specific visit you mentioned, I don't have information on that now.
China and Japan are having close consultation on the arrangement for President Hu's visit to Japan, we will release related information in due course.
Q: The torch will arrive in Jakarta next week, do you have any comment on that?
A: The route of the Olympic torch relay has an emphasis on Asian countries. We hope the people of Asia can share the glory and joy brought by the Olympic Games. We believe the torch relay in Indonesia will be brilliant and successful.
Q: The torch relay in Pakistan was a great success. President Musharraf and Prime Minister Gillani were both present at the ceremony. This is a reflection of the deep-rooted traditional friendship between China and Pakistan. Do you have any comment?
A: Just as you mentioned, we have seen the successful and smooth torch relay in Islamabad on TV. President Musharraf and Prime Minister Gillani both attended the ceremony, which was grand, glorious and in good order. People have seen the colorful culture of Pakistan, the hospitality of the Pakistani people and their passion for the Olympic Games. The successful torch relay has shown the all-whether friendship between China and Pakistan.
Q: Dalai Lama said on Press Conference in Seattle last Sunday that his representatives were having contacts with the Central Government, could you comment on the nature of such a contact? Can we expect resumption of regular communication between the Central Government and Dalai in the foreseeable future?
A: As we reiterated on many occasions, the Central Government has exerted great sincerity and patience with regard to its dialogue with Dalai. However, the Dalai side failed to respond to our position in a positive and comprehensive manner. The door for dialogue is open, but Dalai is the one to make the difference by exerting sincerity for dialogue, particularly in his concrete actions. As we said on many times, we are ready to continue contacts with Dalai, provided that he gives up separatist activities against the motherland, disruptive activities against the Beijing Olympic Games and incitement of violent activities.
Q: There have been a lot of heated debates concerning the Tibetan issue and the Olympic torch relay. Many countries may not be well informed about the situation in China, what is China's plan to improve this situation?
A: Actually, the torch relay has passed by a lot of cities in the world, and tens of thousands of local people received the torch relay with great enthusiasm, which shows their aspiration and support for the Olympic Games. Maybe some media failed their audience in covering the story in this regard.
As for some disruptive activities due to lack of knowledge or understanding of China's policies, we are ready to strengthen communication, but only on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment. If some people attempt to express their own political views by taking advantage of the torch relay, then they are looking for the wrong place, because the Olympic flame belongs to world-wide people who would never allow the torch relay to be used for some people's personal political ambitions. As for the disruptive activities by those Tibetan separatists, I believe, by doing so, they are exposing themselves their outrageousness, destructiveness and hypocrisy of claiming "peace" and "non-violence".
Q: China has recently tightened up its visa rules, foreigners can no longer get visas in Hong Kong, and business people can no longer get multiple-entry visas. Can you explain that? The European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong is now concerned about potential negative impact on business, what is your response?
A: People all over the world are welcome to visit and travel in China. The visas are approved and issued according to Chinese laws and the practice of previous Olympics. As you know, China's visa system is more convenient compared with some other countries. I don't think foreigner's normal activities including attending the Beijing Olympics will be affected.
Q:I have two questions. First, the Olympic torch will soon arrive in India. As the Indian government will provide heavy security, the Indian people would not even have the chance to see the torch relay. Are you disappointed with that? Second, the torch relay was confronted with protests in democratic countries, while not as many difficulty in non-democratic countries. What can we learn from that?
A: First of all, I could not agree with you. It is not an issue of democracy versus non-democracy, instead, it is about a country's legal system. What we have seen is not normal protests, but violent attack against the Olympic holy fire which belongs to the people across the world. That is a violation of law which draws universal condemnation of people upholding justice. What they have undermined is the interest of the people around the world.
As to the torch relay in New Delhi, the Indian people are looking forward to that. They also hope to take this opportunity to present to the world the ancient civilization and modern achievements of India. We believe that the Indian government will surely take positive and effective measures to ensure a smooth and safe relay there tonight.
Q: We heard that officials of the Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned the chief of the CNN's Beijing bureau yesterday. Why is China dissatisfied with the CNN's statement on Cafferty's remarks? Now, there seems to be a growing campaign by the Chinese Government and public to criticize western media. What is the message that you want to send to not only media working in China, but to tens of thousands of journalists coming to cover the Olympics?
A: Director-General Liu Jianchao of the Information Department of the Foreign Ministry made a second solemn representation to the CNN yesterday. The CNN statement released on the 15th failed to make a sincere apology for the vicious remarks of Cafferty against Chinese people, instead, it turned its attack on the Chinese government and attempted to cause a rift between the Chinese Government and its people. This is completely unacceptable. The remarks of Cafferty are not only an insult to the Chinese people, but also a challenge to the human conscience and principle.
The Chinese people brook no indignity or insult. We, once again, request that the CNN take this issue seriously, take back the vicious remarks immediately and make a sincere apology to the Chinese people.
On your second question, we welcome foreign media to cover the Olympics in Beijing, and we will facilitate your work by following usual Olympic practice and honoring our commitment in bidding for the Olympics. Meanwhile, we hope that journalists will uphold the principle of objectiveness, fairness and balance during their reporting activities so as to demonstrate their due professional ethics.
Q: On the dialogue with Dalai. The Chinese Government repeatedly said that the door for dialogue is open, but are there any concrete steps to initiate the dialogue?
A: I have responded to this question for many times. The Dalai Clique has premeditated a series of incidents involving beating, smashing up properties, looting and arson in Lhasa and other Tibetan-inhabited areas. The Tibetan independent forces have attacked the Chinese overseas diplomatic missions in many cities of the world, and sabotaged the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay by violent means. The violence has produced malicious influence, and undermined the basis of contact and dialogue. Resumption of the dialogue is only possible when the Dalai side abandons all the violent criminal acts, all the sabotage against the Beijing Olympic Games and all separatist acts against the motherland.
Q: Will China permit foreign journalists to enter Tibet to cover the torch relay at the Jolmo Lungma Mountain?
A: It is the commitment of Beijing in its biding for the 2008 Olympic Games that the Olympic Flame will reach the Mount Jolmo Lungma. It's a symbol that the Beijing Olympic Games will bring the Olympic spirit to a new height. It's a full demonstration of the spirit and ideal of the Olympic Games, and also an important reflection of Green Olympics, High-tech Olympics and People's Olympics.
On the coverage of the media both at home and abroad, we learned from competent authorities that the arrangement will be carried out by means of fixed invitation. Since the Rights Holding Broadcasters have the priorities, the overseas media to be invited are mainly the Rights Holding Broadcast companies. The BOCOG has set up an official-signal-producing team to be in charge of producing TV & audio signals, pictures as well as transmitting signals. The official signals will be offered to all the media free of charge.
I fully understand your wish to cover the torch relay at Mount Jolmo Lungma. If you have further questions, please refer to the BOCOG.
Q: When will the next round of the Six-Party Talks be held?
A: The Six-Party Talks has gained new momentum recently, which shows once again the political will of all parties concerned to overcome difficulties and head forward. We welcome this. China will table a proposal for the next round of meeting in accordance with the consultation progress.
Q:It's reported that China has proposed to send seven escorts to accompany the torch relay in Nagano. But Japan insists on being wholly in charge of the security issue. How do you comment on that?
A: On the issue of torch escorts, we have repeated in the previous press conferences that it is a usual practice of the Olympic Games and has been approved by the IOC.
These torch escorts are volunteers who protect the Olympic flame which belong to world people with their own bodies when facing the violence, disturbance and sabotage of the "Tibet Independence" activists. Their spirits should be praised and understood while those saboteurs should be condemned by all the people. We hope relevant countries can have a clear understanding of the escorts' responsibilities, follow the usual practice of the games and provide active coordination and assistance for the torch relay.
Q: The European Union Chamber of Commerce today voiced their concern about the boycott of goods between China and EU. How do you comment on that?
A: Please refer to competent authorities for specific questions concerning the trade between China and the EU. But I would like to stress that to maintain the healthy and stable development of China-EU relations is in the common interest of the two sides and their peoples. We always handle the China-EU relations from a strategic and long-term perspective and hope the EU side can meet us half way and actively contribute to the long-term, healthy and stable development of the bilateral relations.
Thank you for your attendance, see you next time!