Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on October 16, 2008
On October 16, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on Pakistani President Zardari's visit to China, the Six-Party Talks and etc.
Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have several announcements to make.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, Slovenian President Danilo Turk will pay a state visit to China from October 24 to 28. During his visit, President Turk will also attend the ASEM 7 meeting in Beijing.
At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Ministers of a series of countries will pay official visits to China. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will be in China from October 20 to 25; Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen from October 20 to 25; Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk from October 21 to 25; Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong from October 22 to 27; German Chancellor Angela Merkel from October 23 to 25; Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende from October 23 to 29. The above-mentioned leaders will also attend the ASEM 7 meeting in Beijing.
Now I'm ready to take your questions.
Q: Yesterday Pakistani President Zardari and Chinese President Hu Jintao held talks, and signed a series of deals, but not many details were released. Could you tell us what these deals are about? Particularly, what economic assistance did China agree to provide Pakistan? And what's there in the deal on satellite?
A: After holding talks yesterday, President Zardari and President Hu Jintao signed a series of deals in relevant areas. I believe you have all witnessed the signing ceremony. The deals cover a wide range of fields, including economy, technology, trade, mining industry, agriculture, environmental protection, telecommunications satellite, broadcasting, film, television and ect.
Follow up: What about financial assistance?
A: As an all-weather friend of Pakistan, China understands that Pakistan is facing with temporary financial and economic difficulties. We will continue to support and help Pakistan within our capability. Financial institutions of the two countries will stay in contact in this regard.
Q: Cambodia and Thailand are now at odds with each other. Has either one of them turned to China for help? What is your view about the two countries' boundary dispute?
A: We express concern over the conflict along the border between Thailand and Cambodia. We hope the two countries could exercise restraint, and properly settle their disputes through dialogue.
Q: I took your advice on Tuesday and check the date on my watch. This morning, my watch tells me it's already October 16. That means the relevant regulation administering foreign journalists in China during the Beijing Olympics is due to expire tomorrow. The Foreign Ministry has promised to release relevant information in time, but could you tell me now, what will happen after October 17? Will China go back to the old regulation that took effect last January?
A: I notice that you have a watch on your wrist. I also understand your pressing interest. Here, I repeat, the Chinese Government will continue to adopt the open-up policy. We will, as always, welcome foreign journalists to China, and facilitate your work and stay in China. Relevant arrangement will be released shortly.
Q: How will China handle the garden bean issue in Japan?
A: The Chinese Government takes product quality and food safety very seriously. We are highly concerned about the issue. Firstly, we'd like to express sincere solicitude to the Japanese consumer who doesn't feel well after having the food. We hope she can recover at an early date.
Upon learning about the incident, we immediately contacted the Japanese Embassy in China. State General Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine of China immediately sent staff to Yantai, Shandong Province to investigate the enterprise. As far as I know, local authorities there have also set up a task force leading group. Investigation is under way now.
Preliminary investigation shows that the factory has kept complete production record. No hidden problems have been found in terms of quality or safety, nor anything wrong with its operation. No remnant of panaplate or acephatemet had been found from the batch of products in the test prior to export. AQSIQ examined the sample of the same batch and type of food yesterday. Still, no remnant of pesticide was found. We have informed Japan of this result. Upon Japan's request, we have also helped to arrange a trip today for the Japanese officials from the Japanese Embassy to Yantai, Shandong Province to find out more information.
According to information provided by relevant Japanese authorities, panaplate has only been found in one bag of the food the consumer bought. No remnant of pesticide has been found in the rest of the products of the same batch. We have taken note that the Japanese authorities, police and media share the view that contamination is unlikely to happen during production. This probably is not a food safety issue. It is more likely that the toxic matter is put into the product on purpose. We also take note that the Japanese police have put the case on file for investigation.
China is ready to maintain close communication and cooperation with Japan in order to find out the truth at an early date. That's all that I can share with you so far. We will keep you updated if there is any progress. If you want to learn more about the latest development and relevant technical details, I suggest you refer your questions to China's quality inspection authorities.
Q: Today, the KRW has depreciated by 8.5%. Japan has stated that it will not help to support Won. Will China help the ROK? If China is willing to help, what will China do?
A: We also follow closely the impact of the current international financial crisis upon various countries including Asian countries. Since the crisis broke out, China has been sending out messages for stability and cooperation. We stand ready to work with other countries, including those in this region to overcome the current difficulties and deal with this financial crisis.
Q: Will China take concrete measures?
A: Sorry, I am not with the financial authorities. They are in a better position to answer your question.
Q: Is the next round of the Six-Party Talks under preparation? When will it be held? Does China hope it held before or after the ASEM Summit?
A: It's the consensus of the six parties to hold the heads' meeting of the Six-Party Talks at an early date convenient to all parties. China is communicating and coordinating with the other five parties about this. We will keep you updated as soon as we have the information.
Q: DPRK newspaper asserted that the DPRK might cut off its relations with South Korea if the latter continues to adopt the hostile policy. Will it affect the Six-Party Talks?
A: China is always committed to the lasting peace, security and stability of the Korean Peninsula. We expect and support the two parties to achieve reconciliation and cooperation through talks so as to improve their relations, which is also beneficial for promoting the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. It's not easy for the Six-Party Talks to make the current remarkable achievements. There are opportunities for parties concerned to take further steps with the Talks. We hope to see parties deliver their commitment, try to meet each other halfway and make concerted efforts to press ahead with the Talks.
Q: I've got a question about the financial crisis. The EU suggests having a G-8 plus China and India summit meeting to handle the current financial crisis. Will China participate?
A: We have taken note of those initiatives from various countries and international organizations in response to the current global financial crisis. Having a global leadership meeting is also one of them. This reflects the aspiration of countries to strengthen cooperation and to jointly deal with the crisis. China suggests fostering confidence, strengthening international cooperation in times of crisis and taking joint actions. Adopting such a responsible attitude, China is communicating and negotiating with all parties.
As for the specific meeting you just mentioned, China has not received any specific request yet.
If there are no further questions, thanks you. See you next time.