Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on April 14, 2009
On the afternoon of April 14, 2009, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions over the DPRK's response to the Security Council presidential statement, the situation in Thailand, China-Peru FTA negotiations and etc.
Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have an announcement to start with.
At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council, Prime Minister Sali Berisha of the Republicof Albania and Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen of the Republicof Finland will pay official visits to China from April 17 to 21 and April 19 to 22 respectively.
Now, I'd like to take your questions.
Q: The DPRK announced today that it would withdraw from the Six-Party Talks. How do you respond to that? Do you have any further explanation of the presidential statement of the Security Council on the DPRK's launch?
A: On this question, we hope relevant parties bear in mind the overall interest, exert calmness and restraint so as to jointly safeguard the Six-Party Talks.
After the Security Council released the presidential statement, Mr. Zhang Yesui, China's Ambassador to the UN has made remarks to the press. In answering questions from the press, we also made China's position clear this morning.
Q: The ROK Finance Ministry issued a report, claiming that China's rise as an international economic power will impair the economic interests of the ROK. Do you have any comment?
A: China and the ROK are friendly neighbors with mutually-beneficial cooperation. China seeks to develop pragmatic cooperation with the ROK in various areas on the basis of equality and mutual benefit with a view to achieving shared development. In face of the grim financial crisis, we stand ready to join hands with neighboring countries to tide over the difficulties. We are willing to, together with the ROK, convert challenges into opportunities and deepen cooperation in combating the crisis so as to intensify our pragmatic cooperation in various fields. China's development will only bring further opportunities for cooperation to other countries rather than pose threats or challenges.
Q: The presidential statement of the Security Council said that the Council agrees to adjust the measures imposed by Resolution 1718. What kind of adjustment will China believe to be proportionate?
A: The presidential statement of the Security Council is an agreement accommodating views of parties through rounds of consultations, in which China adopted a responsible and constructive approach. We disagree with a Security Council resolution on the launch, let alone fresh sanctions against the DPRK. Under the current circumstances, we hope all parties proceed from the overall and long-term interests and make concerted efforts to safeguard peace and stability of the Korean Peninsulaand the region as well as to consistently promote the denuclearization process on the Peninsula.
As for the specific question you put forward, I believe relevant committee will handle that properly.
Q: In its statement, the DPRK said the Six-Party Talks is useless, how do you respond to that? Second question, Pakistani President Zardari signed an agreement to legalize the power of Taliban in the Swat Valley, while the latter is in close connection with ETM, East Turkistan Movement. Do you have any comment?
A: Over the past years, the Six-Party Talks has played a positive role in promoting the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, providing a platform for relevant countries to exchange views and build mutual trust where they can discuss the establishment of a peace and security mechanism in Northeast Asia. The achievements are made through joint efforts of all parties. We hope parties concerned keep calm and show restraint to safeguard the Talks.
On your second question, as a friendly neighbor to Pakistan, China always supports the positive efforts of the Pakistani Government to safeguard national stability and development and provides support and assistance to Pakistan within its capacity. We welcome the international community's support to Pakistan in achieving stability and development in various forms as well as enhanced international cooperation in counter-terrorism.
Q: I have two questions. First, how do you comment on the current situation in Thailand? Will you issue any alert to the overseas Chinese there and Chinese tourists visiting Thailand? Second, it is learned that the US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistanwill visit China shortly. Please confirm.
A: As a friendly neighbor, China follows closely the developments in Thailand. We sincerely hope to see national stability, social harmony and sustained economic development of Thailand. As to the travel alert, please follow the column of consular service on our official website.
On your second question, the US special envoy Holbrook to Afghanistan and Pakistanwill visit China from April 15 to 16. The detailed arrangements are under discussion between China and the US.
Q: How does China comment on the DPRK's announcement that it would restart its nuclear facilities aside from withdrawing from the Six-Party Talks?
A: Having noted the statement issued by the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we hope that all parties concerned focus on overall and long-term interests, exert calmness and restraint, which is in the common interest of all countries in the region as well as the international community. The presidential statement of the Security Council supports the Six-Party Talks and calls for an early resumption of the Talks with a view to achieving the denuclearization of the Peninsula in a peaceful manner and to maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula and in the region.
Q: My question is regarding foreign journalists visiting Tibetan areas. I know China is a country ruled by law, and the current regulations seem to say that the Tibetan areas in Sichuan, Qinghai and Gangsu are open to foreign travelers. Last week I was stopped in Sichuan Province going to Tibetan area, like many of my reporter colleagues before me. Can I get a clarification on what the actual regulations are? Is the central government aware that local authorities are not allowing foreign journalists to travel in these regions?
A: To put it concisely, first, the open policy of Tibet and other Tibetan areas remains unchanged. Second, there have always been foreign journalists visiting Tibetan areas. Third, if foreign journalists wish to report in Tibet, they can apply to local authorities of foreign affairs in accordance with regulations. Fourth, our International Press Centre is actively coordinating with competent local authorities to organize a reporting trip for foreign media to Tibet. We will keep you updated on the arrangements.
Q: Yesterday China published its first National Human Rights Action Plan. Many countries may say this is a big step for China, such as the US, which was critical of China's human rights record in a 2008 report. China also has issued an annual human rights report on the US. Can you comment on if China has seen any improvements in human rights in the US, or if you can comment on the US current state?
A: China never makes any irresponsible remarks about the internal affairs of other countries. The human rights report on the US issued by competent authorities of China is to remind the US of its own serious human rights problems. We always stand for jointly promoting the world's human rights cause through dialogue and on the basis of equality and mutual respect. As you mentioned, the National Human Rights Action Plan of China issued by the Information Office of the State Council is China's first national plan on human rights, which explicitly outlines goals and measures of the Chinese Government in promoting and safeguarding human rights in the next two years. We hope relevant countries can view China's remarkable progress in the area of human rights correctly and stop interfering in China's internal affairs under the pretext of human rights issues.
Q: Can China be absolutely certain that no Chinese companies are conducting business with the DPRK in a way that would violate the Security Council Resolution 1718? And how would the Chinese Government punish such companies if such business was being conducted?
A: This is a serious issue. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has been responsible in implementing the Security Council Resolutions, including Resolution 1718.
Q: It's reported that China recently has blocked the approval of India's loan application to the Asian Development Bank because part of the loan will go to the controversial region of "Arunachal Pradesh". Is that true?
A: China always supports the Asian Development Bank to play an active role in helping countries' development. China has been providing financial support to the Bank and has taken part in some cooperation projects. We will continue to do so. As for your specific question, I'd like to stress that China would like to solve the pending boundary issue with India by seeking for a fair and reasonable solution acceptable to both sides through equal and friendly dialogue and consultation.
Q: China and Peru are expected to sign a free trade agreement in Beijing shortly. Please confirm.
A: The Ministry of Commerce is the competent authority for China-Peru FTA negotiations, but I can share with you the following. In November 2008, President Hu Jintao and President Garcia jointly announced the conclusion of China-Peru FTA negotiations. At present, the two countries are going through their respective domestic legal procedures in the hope of an early signature and implementation. The agreement covers broad areas at a high level of openness. This is China's first package free trade agreement with a Latin American country. The successful conclusion of the negotiations will greatly help the two countries to address the international financial crisis and maintain stable economic development.
Q: If the DPRK quits the Six-Party Talks, will you have maybe Five-Party Talks? Does that make any sense?
A: I will have to repeat China's position which I have just stated. We hope relevant parties could proceed from the overall and long-term interests, exert calmness and restraint so as to safeguard the Six-Party Talks. This is in the common interest of countries in the region and the international community. We hope to realize the goal of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and consultation.
Q: Also on the DPRK. Does the Chinese Government have any plan to send representatives to visit the DPRK in order to press ahead with the Six-Party Talks?
A: I haven't got any information on this so far.
Q: It is reported that Li Jinhua, vice-chairman of the CPPCC, is now visiting the DPRK and he met with Kim Wan Su, director of the secretariat of the Central Committee of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland(CCDFRF) of the DPRK yesterday. Will the delegation meet with other DPRK leaders?
A: I am not aware of the detailed schedule of the CPPCC delegation's visit to the DPRK. As a friendly neighbor, we will continue to develop our friendship and cooperation with the DPRK.
Q: What role does China play in the international cooperation in fighting against Somali piracy?
A: We actively support and participate in the international actions in combating Somali pirates and safeguarding the security of the shipping lane off Somalia. We have dispatched convoy vessels which have played an active role in this regard. We will strengthen cooperation with the international community in combating piracy according to relevant Security Council decisions and international laws.
If there are no more questions, thanks for your attendance. See you!