Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on September 2, 2008
On the afternoon of September 2, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on the resignation of Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, civilian nuclear cooperation between the US and India, the situation in Thailand and the missing Chinese employees of ZTE in Pakistan.
Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. To begin with, I have two announcements.
Firstly, at the invitation of the government of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski of the Republic of Macedonia, Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang will pay official visits to the above three countries from September 7 to 17, and attend the Third China-Europe Forum in Hamburg, Germany.
Secondly, at the invitation of the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee of the Republic of India, and Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will pay official visits to the above two countries from September 7 to 10.
Now the floor is open.
Q: Iranian Embassy announced that President Ahmadinejad will be in Beijing on Saturday to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games. Is he going to meet Chinese leaders and what will be discussed?
A: Up to now, leaders of several countries have confirmed that they will come to Beijing to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games. The preparation for their visits is well underway and we will release relevant information in due course.
Q: What's China's response to the resignation of Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda? What impact will that have on China-Japan relations? When PM Fukuda was in office, China and Japan signed many friendly agreements. Is China concerned that those agreements will not be fully implemented given the change of Japanese leadership? Second, could you give us more details on Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's visit to India and Sri Lanka? Yesterday, People's Daily released a commentary critical of the US-India nuclear deal, what's the position of the Chinese Government? Will China block the Nuclear Suppliers Group to approve such an agreement?
A: The resignation of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is an internal affair of Japan. In recent years, through the joint efforts of the two governments and people from various circles, China-Japan relations have witnessed sound momentum of development with continuously deepening strategic and mutually beneficial relations. We commend Prime Minister Fukuda for his great contribution to that. An enduring, sound and stable China-Japan relationship serves the fundamental interest of the two countries and peoples. We are willing to make joint efforts with Japan towards this end.
For your second question, this is the first visit of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to India and Sri Lanka since he took office. During his stay in India, he will have talks with Foreign Minister Mukherjee, meet with other Indian leaders and attend the opening ceremony of China's Consulate General in Calcutta. During his visit to Sri Lanka, he will meet with Foreign Minister Bogollagama and other Sri Lankan leaders.
Over the past years, China-India relations have maintained a sound momentum of comprehensive development. The two countries have established strategic partnership of cooperation and formulated the ten-pronged strategy to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Singh paid a successful visit to China and signed with China the "Shared Vision for the 21st Century", marking a stride forward for bilateral relations.
China and India are important neighbors to each other, and both are emerging developing states. Both believe that the two countries are mutually beneficial partners of cooperation rather than competitors. Peaceful coexistence, mutually beneficial cooperation and common development of China and India benefits the 2.4 billion people and serves the fundamental and long-term interest of both countries as well as peace and prosperity of the region and the world.
China and Sri Lanka enjoy traditional friendship. Positive progress has been seen in the bilateral relations between the two neighbors over the five decades of diplomatic ties with frequent exchanges of high-level visits and sound momentum of trade and economic cooperation in recent years. We are ready to work together with Sri Lanka to press ahead with our good-neighborly and friendly cooperation so as to further the comprehensive partnership of cooperation.
As to the US-India nuclear pact, I have not read the commentary of the Chinese media. The position of the Chinese Government is consistent and clear. NSG will soon have a meeting in Vienna to discuss this issue. China hopes to see the NSG find a proper and balanced resolution that can address nuclear non-proliferation concerns and countries' peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Q: The WFP requested China to approve export license for 5,000 tons of food assistance to the DPRK and Myanmar, but failed to get a response. The WFP said the DPRK is confronted with the gravest food crisis in years, why didn't China approve the license?
A: I don't have any specific information about this. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to food production and has made positive contribution to world food security. We earnestly implement our obligations in international food security and take an active part in international food and agricultural cooperation, contributing to the development of world food and agriculture. As to the specific question, I suggest you refer to competent authorities. China, having traditional friendship with the DPRK, always provides assistance to the DPRK within our capacity for its social and economic development.
Q: It is reported that two engineers of the ZTE were missing in Northwest Pakistan. How is their situation? Can you update us on the search and rescue work?
A: As to the two people from the ZTE missing in Pakistan, the Chinese Government takes it seriously. Relevant authorities are further checking the situation and have requested Pakistan to spare no efforts to search and rescue them and ensure their safety.
Q: Russia called upon other countries not to support Georgia and impose arms embargo on the latter. What's China's position? Will China play as an intermediary?
A: We hope relevant parties continue their efforts, ease the situation and properly resolve the issue through dialogue and consultation in a bid to achieve regional peace and stability.
Q:Two officials of the Bank of China were recently convicted of fraud in the US. Would China ask the US to repatriate them and promise not to execute them after repatriation? Secondly, some Israelies brought a lawsuit against the Bank of China for funding terrorism. Could you comment? Thirdly, are you concerned that the situation in Thailand could get worse?
A: Your first question relates to China-US cooperation on law enforcement, so please refer it to competent authorities.
As for your second question, to my understanding, the Bank of China, as a listed company, always operates strictly according to laws and regulations in China and countries hosting its overseas branches. It has also developed its procedures and internal control measues to guarantee law compliance. So far, it has not been investigated by Chinese or US anti-money-laundary authorities because of this case.
As for the situation in Thailand, as a friendly neighbor, China follows the situation in Thailand with interest, and sincerely hopes that the country will continue to maintain political stability.
Q: The US Government has submitted to the Nuclear Suppliers Group a document on its nuclear cooperation with India. Could you respond?
A: China has always taken an active part in relevant discussions within the Nuclear Suppliers Group. We believe that all countries, under the precondition of observing their international obligations of nuclear non-proliferation, have the right of making peaceful use of nuclear energy and conducting international cooperation in this regard. Meanwhile, relevant coopration should be conducive to maintaining the integrity and efficacy of the international non-proliferation regime.
Q: Many countries said that they would establish diplomatic ties with South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Will China follow them?
A: We have made our position clear that we hope all parties will continue to make efforts and properly solve the issue through dialogue and consultation.
Q: Next week marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Will China send officials to attend its celebrating activities?
A: September 9 marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the DPRK. China and the DPRK are friendly neighbors. Thanks to the joint efforts of the two countries, our traditional friendship has been increasingly consolidated and developed. We would like to work with the DPRK in the spirit of "facing the future while carrying on the good traditions and strengthening cooperation based on good neighborliness", so as to further promote our friendly relations of cooperation and make contributions to the regional peace and stablity.
As for the specific visiting arrangement, I don't have such information yet.
If there are no more questions, thank you for your attendance. See you!