Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on June 17, 2008
On the afternoon of June 17, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on Vice President Xi Jinping's visit to the DPRK, the consultation between China and Japan on the East China Sea, China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue and etc.
Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to start with two announcements.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Karolos Papoulias of the Hellenic Republic of Greece will pay a state visit to China from June 23 to 27.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Tazhin of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will pay an official visit to Kazakhstan from June 24 to 25.
Now the floor is open.
Q: The 5th ASEM Inter-Parliamentary Partnership Meeting will be held in Beijing in days to come. What's your comment on this?
A: The National People's Congress is the organizer of ASEM Inter-Parliamentary Partnership Meeting. The 5th ASEM Inter-Parliamentary Partnership Meeting will be held in Beijing on June 18 and last for 3 days. The meeting is aiming to strengthen cooperation and promote joint development between Asia and Europe. The Declaration of the 5th ASEM Inter-Parliamentary Partnership Meeting will be adopted during the meeting and it will be presented to the 7th ASEM Summit this October in Beijing.
The ASEM, with 45 members, is an important channel of dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe whose population and trade volume take nearly 60% of the world total. It plays an important role in maintaining peace and stability of the world.
ASEM has made positive progress in the fields of political dialogue, economic cooperation, and social and cultural exchanges since its establishment. The preparation work for the 7th ASEM Summit which will be held in Beijing this October has been started. We hope the ASEM can promote the cooperation between Asia and Europe, enhance the coordination and cooperation in international affairs, accelerate the bilateral dialogue process in culture, and jointly promote the sustainable development, so as to further consolidate the Asia-Europe partnership, achieve mutual benefit and win-win progress. The two sides should make concrete efforts to promote peace, stability and development of the region and world at large.
Q: China and Japan have achieved important progress on the East China Sea issue recently, but Japan and Taiwan now have frictions on the Diaoyu Island. Did China and Japan talk about the disputes on sovereignty in their consultation over the East China Sea issue? How do you comment on the disputes on the Diaoyu Island between Japan and Taiwan?
A: The Chinese Government expresses grave concern over a Japanese vessel colliding with a fishing boat from Taiwan around the Diaoyu Islands which led to the sinking of the latter. We have already stated our principled position on this incident. I'd like to stress that the Diaoyu Island and its adjacent islands have been China's territory since ancient time, and China has indisputable sovereignty over it. We urge the Japanese Government to stop the illegitimate activities in the sea waters around the Diaoyu Island so as to prevent similar incident from happening again.
China and Japan will make public announcement in due course after reaching agreements on the East China Sea issue. I want to stress that the two countries will properly deal with relevant issues in accordance with the important consensus of the leaders of the two countries on making the East China Sea a sea of peace, cooperation and friendship. Relevant results will be mutually-beneficial and win-win in nature. I'd like to reiterate that China's consistent position and policy on the relevant issues concerning the East China Sea remain unchanged.
Q: Athletics Australia has said that Australian athletes will not attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games because of concerns that air pollution in Beijing might harm the athletes. What's your response to that? Do you think the Athletics Australia has overreacted?
A: The Olympic Games is a great sports event for all people around the world. Athletes from all countries are fervently looking forward to the Games. They are welcome to participate in the Olympics and show their sports skills. We wish they would achieve good scores in Beijing.
You mentioned that some people had some worries. But I think those worries are unfounded. The Chinese Government will firmly keep its commitment on the Games made to the international community, spare no efforts to overcome the difficulties caused by the Sichuan strong earthquake, and make good preparations for the Beijing Olympic Games to make it a success.
As for your question on environmental protection, the Chinese Government has made great efforts and taken a lot of measures in this regard. I would like to give you a brief introduction. The Beijing Municipal Government is actively putting into practice the idea of "Green Olympics" and improving the ecological environment management. It has carried out over 200 measures in 13 stages, with substantial progress achieved. We attach great importance to the environment protection during the Olympic Games and will continue to carry out effective measures to strengthen the environmental protection work in Beijing and its neighboring provinces. During the Olympics, China will also tighten pollution control by introducing some temporary measures to reduce emission. We believe that during the Olympics, indicators of major air pollutants will meet the national standard or the World Health Organization air quality guidelines. We are confident that there will be a clean and beautiful environment for the Olympics in Beijing.
Q: I have two questions. First, Vice President Xi Jinping is visiting the DPRK. When will he meet the DPRK top leader Kim Jong Il? Will they discuss the DPRK's nuclear declaration? My second question is about the ongoing fourth meeting of the China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) held in the US. In light of the declining trade deficit on the US side, is it fair to keep calling for the revaluation of the RMB?
A: Member of the Standing Committee of Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPC and Vice President Xi Jinping will pay a goodwill official visit to the DPRK from today to June 19. My colleague Qin Gang who is with the delegation will update the media on the visit activities. China and the DPRK enjoy traditional friendship. Both countries are committed to consolidating and developing the relations, for it is in the fundamental interests of both countries and people. We believe that Vice President Xi Jinping's visit to the DPRK will further deepen the traditional friendship between the two countries, promote cooperation of mutual benefit in all fields and keep moving forward the China-DPRK good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation.
The 4th meeting of the China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue starts today in the US. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will co-chair the meeting as the Special Representatives of Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President George W. Bush respectively. Several Ministers from the two countries will attend the meeting. The meeting will discuss six topics focusing on issues concerning the comprehensive, strategic and long-term development of Sino-US economic relations. They will sign a 10-year cooperation framework document on energy and environmental issues during the meeting. China will work with the United States to promote the meeting to achieve substantial results, so as to push forward bilateral economic relations and trade and the constructive relationship of cooperation between the two countries.
On the RMB exchange rate issue, we have reiterated on many occasions that China will continue to steadily promote the reform of the RMB exchange rate mechanism. The RMB exchange rate is not the reason for the trade deficit of hundreds of billions of dollars each year on the US side nor is it the magic remedy to resolve the problems. The economic cooperation and trade between China and the US is mutually beneficial and win-win in nature. Last year, the bilateral trade volume was more than 300 billion US dollars. China has become the third biggest export market to the US. The trade figures of this year shows that the increase margin of the US export to China is more than 20%, while during the same period, the increase pace of the China's export to the US is less than 10%. China has been the fastest growing export market of the US for consecutive years.
Recently, the Ministry of Commerce and other related departments have organized a Chinese delegation of companies to the US for the promotion of trade and investment cooperation. The group is having a series of promotion activities on trade and investment in ten-odd cities of more than ten US states.
For many years, China has done a lot of effective work in promoting the development of China-US economic relations and trade. We believe these activities will enhance the mutual understanding, deepen cooperation, and expand cooperation fields between the two governments, intermediary organizations and enterprises so as to promote the consistent development of bilateral economic relations and trade.
On the trade deficit, we hope the US can take some effective measures, for example, to relax export restriction to China and reduce trade and investment barrier. We attaches importance to the reasonable concerns of the US and have taken a series of effective measures in this regard. We are ready to join hands with the US to promote the mutually-beneficial and win-win economic relations and trade so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples.
Q: You just said that China's position on the delimitation of the East China Sea remains unchanged. Does that mean Japan accept China's position? A Japanese Self-defense Force naval ship will visit China this month. Can you tell us the specific date and relevant arrangement?
A: I have said that China's consistent proposition and position on the relevant issues concerning the East China Sea remain unchanged. The Chunxiao oil and gas field is completely within China's sovereign rights and it has nothing to do with the joint development. On the delimitation of the East China Sea, China's position on not recognizing the median line remains unchanged. China and Japan will make a public announcement in due course soon after the relevant agreement on the East China Sea is reached.
On your second question, the Ministry of Defense is in charge of this visit. In keeping with the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, a naval ship of the Japanese Self-Defense Force will visit China later this month. It is a return visit of the Chinese naval missile destroyer Shenzhen to Japan last year. We hope the visit to China by the Japanese naval ship this time will promote the exchanges and cooperation between the defense departments of the two countries and enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.
Q: Will the foreign journalists be allowed to cover the Olympic torch relay in Tibet?
A: On the Olympic torch relay within China, you may refer to the competent authorities for detailed information.
If there are no other questions, thank you and bye-bye!