Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu's Regular Press Conference on May 14, 2009
The following is the transcript of Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu's regular press conference on the afternoon of May 14, 2009.
Ma Zhaoxu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Today we have at the press conference a group of civil servants from Hong Kong SAR who are attending a workshop in Tsinghua University. Welcome to them! I have no announcements to make. The floor is open for questions.
Q: There have been two confirmed imported cases of influenza A H1N1 on the mainland recently. Hong Kong has asked the US Department of Health and Human Services to improve quarantine measures at points of exit to reduce imported cases elsewhere. Has the Foreign Ministry made any requests in this regard to the US through diplomatic channels? If not, do you have any plans to do so?
A: The Chinese Government has taken timely and effective flu prevention and control measures. Competent departments have also timely released updates on flu-related information. The relevant countries are well aware. We hope to work together to contain the spread of the disease as soon as possible through international cooperation, and will continue to strengthen cooperation in this regard.
Q: Recently Australia announced in its White Paper that it will enhance its weapon system, including submarines, and claimed that the most important trend in defence is the rise of China. And according to reports, the Australian Government has informed the Chinese Government in advance that the above measures do not target China or any other country. Do you think the story holds water?
A: I answered this question at several previous press conferences. China adheres to the road of peaceful development, adopts a defence policy that is defensive in nature, and does not pose a threat to any country. China is a staunch force for peace and stability in Asia-Pacific and the whole world. The fact is witnessed by all and known by all countries in the world.
Q: Yesterday a US official was accused of conspiring to give defence secrets to an agent for the Chinese Government. Do you have any comment on this news?
A: It is not the first time that we have heard about such allegations. The accusation that China is engaged in spying activities in the US is sheer fabrication with an ulterior motive. We urge the US side to discard its cold-war mentality, stop groundless accusations against China and contribute more to improving mutual trust between the two countries and friendship between the peoples.
Q: What has China arranged for Brazilian President Lula’s visit on Monday? Whom will he meet with? Are there any deals to be signed?
A: At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Lula will pay a state visit to China. President Lula's visit coincides with the 35th anniversary of China-Brazil ties. China attaches great importance to this visit, which is also his second state visit to China since he took office. During the visit, President Hu Jintao will host a welcoming ceremony and chair the talks. They will have an extensive and in-depth exchange of views on deepening bilateral strategic partnership, expanding pragmatic cooperation in various fields as well as regional and international issues of common interest. During the visit, agreements of cooperation will be signed. I'm convinced that President Lula's visit will further enhance the already existing sound cooperation between the two countries so as to boost our strategic partnership. I wish his visit a complete success.
Follow-up: Could you tell us what kind of agreements will be signed?
A: The two countries are making intensive preparation for this visit. As for what agreements will be signed, you will soon find out.
Q: Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani called for urgent aid from the international community to help settle 500,000 displaced civilians in North West Frontier Province caused by anti-terrorism actions. How do you comment?
A: We have noted the situation. As a neighbor of Pakistan enjoying long-standing friendship, China follows closely its situation. As a token of friendship of the Chinese Government and its people, China has decided to offer Pakistan one million dollars as urgent humanitarian assistance to help the Pakistani Government settle its displaced civilians.
Q: Yesterday some US lawmakers made strong remarks on China’s exchange rate policy. They believed the US should take actions against China now. How do you comment?
A: On China’s exchange rate policy, I would like to point out that the Chinese Government has never engaged in so-called manipulation of currency exchange rate to obtain international trade benefits. Groundless accusations on China’s exchange rate will only encourage US trade protectionism, which would be of no help in solving the problems.
Q: Which department of the Chinese Government will host US Treasury Secretary Geithner in China? What’s the main purpose of his visit?
A: We welcome Secretary Geithner to China. As I’ve learned, competent Chinese authorities are consulting with the US side on the arrangements. I hope you pay attention to relevant information to be released in due course.
Q: A film by Chinese director Lou Ye will be shown at Cannes Film Festival today, but the film was not authorized by relevant departments in China. How do you comment?
A: I am not aware of the specifics of the film and suggest you refer to competent authorities for details.
Q: Does the Foreign Ministry consider the US and Canada inadequate in their control of influenza A H1N1 at its ports? Is it irresponsible to continue exporting cases?
A: I am not aware of any basis for the “irresponsible” action you mentioned. According to my understanding, China keeps close contact with other countries including the US over epidemic control.
Q: The DPRK announced that it would put the two US journalists on trial on June 4. How do you comment?
A: Since this is your third question, I would like to give you a short answer: I have noted the report.
If there are no more questions, we shall conclude. Thank you.