Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on September 18, 2008
On September 18, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on the second "Summer Davos", China's visa policy after the Beijing Olympics, UN Observer Mission in Georgia and etc.
Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have an announcement to make.
The Second Annual Meeting of the New Champions, known as "Summer Davos", hosted by the World Economic Forum will be held in Binhai New District, Tianjin from September 27 to 28. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council will attend the opening ceremony and deliver special remarks.
Now the floor is open for your questions.
Q: Our Foreign Ministry in Singapore has received a notice about how China will reinstate the visa waiver for Singapore passport holders for a period of 15 days or less? I'd like to ask whether all the visa restrictions imposed during the Olympics have been lifted and China's visa policy has come back to pre-Olympic period?
A: As you just said, as of the zero hours of September 19, China will resume the visa waiver for Singapore passport holders who travel to China for business, sightseeing, visit or transit for 15 days or less. China's visa policy will continue to serve national interest and facilitate China-foreign exchanges in the wake of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We will continue to pursue opening-up policy and proactively facilitate the beneficial and orderly exchanges between Chinese and foreigners. For specific requirements for visa application, please refer to visa-issuing authorities where you apply.
Q: Yesterday the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the UN is going to extend the mandate of UN Observer Mission in Georgia and change its overall objectives in light of the new developments of the situation. What is the Chinese position on that?
A: The UN Observer Mission in Georgia has played an important role in maintaining peace and stability in Abkhazia. China supports its extension there.
Q: According to report, the corn shortage in the DPRK has encouraged grain smuggling from China. How big is the smuggling problem along the China-DPRK border? What is Chinese Government doing to stop the illegal trade? Is there any update on the request from the UN World Food Program for food export licenses to send food aid to the DPRK? Has China decided to grant the licenses for 50,000 tons of grain?
A: I'm not aware of the problem you mentioned. Neither did I hear of it. We are firmly against and will strike any illegal trade according to law.
China and the DPRK are friendly neighbors. In the past, we have offered aids, including food aid to the DPRK within our capacity, and we will continue to do so.
As everyone knows, China has suffered from severe natural disasters this year, and our food supply is also under pressure. In spite of this, we have made our best efforts to maintain our export to traditional export destinations and food-aid recipients. I would like to point out that food safety bears on the whole world. It is the common responsibility of the whole international community. We hope the international community can shoulder this responsibility together. China has fulfilled its international obligation with regard to food safety through cooperation with the World Food Program and developing countries in the field of agricultural technology and agricultural development experience within the framework of South-South Cooperation.
A: We don't have any information to share right now, but when we do, we will have you informed in time. As I reiterated on many occasions, we will continue to follow the opening-up policy, welcome foreign journalists to China and protect their legitimate rights and interests. Meanwhile, we hope they can abide by China's laws and regulations and cover China objectively and comprehensively.
Q: Venezuelan President Chavez is coming to China next week. Any military deals to be signed?
A: Venezuelan President Chavez will be in China from September 23 to 25. During the visit, he will talk with President Hu Jintao and meet with other Chinese leaders.
The China-Venezuela relations is a normal state-to-state relationship based upon equality, mutual benefit and joint development. We are ready to deepen our friendly cooperation of mutual benefit with all Latin-American countries including Venezuela on this basis. As for the military trade between the two countries, I don't have any information.
Q: Yesterday, the General Committee of the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly refused to place on its agenda the so-called proposal on "Taiwan's participation in UN activities" as brought up by a few countries like Nauru and Gambia. How would you comment on this? Also, could you brief us on the 12th special representatives' meeting on the China-India boundary issue?
A: On September 17, the General Committee of the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly refused to place on its agenda the Taiwan related proposal as brought up by a few countries like Nauru and Gambia. This once again reflects determination of the vast majority of the UN member states to adhere to the One China principle and safeguard the purpose and principles of the UN Charter. The issue of Taiwan compatriots' participation in international activities should be solved upon consultation between the Chinese people across the Strait. We are convinced that so long as the two sides across the Strait work together and create conditions in the spirit of "building up mutual trust, setting aside disputes, seeking for common ground while shelving differences in order to create win-win solution", we will be able to find proper settlement through consultation.
This afternoon, special representatives of China and India on boundary issue will hold their 12th meeting in Beijing to discuss the framework for solution. Vice President Xi Jinping will have a protocol meeting with Mr. Narayanan, the Indian special representative.
Q: My question is about Chinese labors forced to Japan during World WarⅡ. On the occasion of the 77th anniversary of September 18 incident, the fifth national sodality for Chinese forced labors is being held in Jinan, where some labors issued a statement, asserting their compensation claim from Japan by means beyond litigation. Could you comment on that?
A: Using forced labor is one of the serious crimes committed by Japanese militarists to the Chinese people during the aggression war. We always urge the Japanese Government to take it seriously and handle it properly. We hope the Japanese side will take seriously the Chinese forced labors' justified claims.
The Chinese Government and people always advocate developing friendship of generations with Japanese people on the basis of "taking history as a mirror to face the future". We hope the Japanese side will have a correct understanding and response to the history, and continue to follow the path of peaceful development.
If there are no more questions, I would like to brief you on the "Summer Davos" so as to facilitate your work.
The theme of this session of forum is "the Next Wave of Growth". Premier Wen Jiabao will attend and address the opening ceremony. So far, over 1000 representatives from more than 80 countries have got themselves registered, including business leaders, foreign political dignitaries, governmental officials, experts and senior media staff. Over 10 CEOs with World Top 500 and CEOs with nearly 200 global growth companies have confirmed their participation, and over 50 ministers, governors, mayors and parliamentarians will be present. This annual meeting will provide a good platform for business people from all over the world to strengthen communication and seek for joint development, and also create sound opportunities for Chinese companies to take a greater part in global economic cooperation. The Tianjin annual meeting indicates closer cooperation between China and World Economic Forum.
Lastly, there's a notice. To thank the international community for its support for the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics, the Foreign Ministry and BOCOG will hold a banquet at Diaoyutai, at 6:30 pm, September 19. Foreign diplomats, representatives of international organizations and their spouses are invited. Vice President Xi Jinping will attend and make address. Journalists in Beijing are welcome, please check IPC website for details.
Thank you, see you next time!