Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on December 1, 2009
On December 1, 2009, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have no announcements to make. Now the floor is open.
Q: This morning, President Hu Jintao met with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and President of the European Commission Barroso who came for the China-EU Summit. Can you brief us on the meeting? Was the issue of RMB exchange rate brought up in the discussion? About the just concluded China-EU Summit, it's reported by foreign media that the two sides still have differences on a series of key issues such as RMB exchange rate and climate change and that the meeting did not make significant breakthrough. What's your comment?
A: This morning, President Hu Jintao met with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and President of the European Commission Barroso. During the meeting, President Hu gave positive comments on China-EU relations and the 12th China-EU Summit, stating that the Chinese Government always gives priority to its relations with the EU in its diplomacy and is ready to work with the EU side to lift China-EU relations to a higher level. President Hu also made several proposals on advancing China-EU relations. The EU side expressed its full agreement with President Hu's assessment of China-EU relations and his important views on how to further develop the relations. The EU side was happy with the positive results of the 12th China-EU Summit.
As far as I know, the RMB exchange rate issue was not a major issue during today's talks. The issue was touched upon in both Premier Wen Jiabao's meetings with the EU leaders and with leaders of the "Troika". Premier Wen has made clear and detailed explanation on China's position on the RMB exchange rate.
China-EU relations are comprehensive strategic partnership, the progress of which can not be measured by whether there are breakthroughs on the issues of RMB exchange rate and climate change. In fact, during the meeting, Chinese and EU leaders had in-depth exchange of views and reached broad consensus on climate change, RMB exchange rate, joint efforts against the international financial crisis, promoting all-round recovery of the world economy and sustainable development. Such consensus has been reflected in the published joint statement.
On climate change, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" and the mandate of the Bali Roadmap. The EU side welcomed and commended China for the recently released action goal of emission reduction.
Both sides expressed their opposition to trade protectionism.
What I want to stress is that China is the largest developing country and the EU is the largest group of developed countries. In this context of major transformation and adjustments of the world economy and profound and complex changes in the international landscape, it is in the fundamental interest of both sides and conducive to world peace, stability and development that China and the EU work together against global problems and challenges. Through the China-EU Summit, the two sides reached important consensus on a series of major issues, which will benefit the further coordination and cooperation between them. So I believe that it's not accurate to say that the meeting has not made important progress.
Q: China voted for the recent IAEA resolution on the Iranian nuclear issue. But Iran said that it will not renounce its right to peaceful use of nuclear energy. What's China's comment on the latest developments of the Iranian nuclear issue?
A: On November 27, the IAEA adopted the resolution on the Iranian nuclear issue which China voted for.
China's position on the Iranian nuclear issue has been consistent. We support the international non-proliferation regime and maintain that the issue should be solved through dialogue and negotiation and peace and stability of the Middle East should be taken into consideration. We believe that the IAEA adopted relevant resolution to push for the early resumption of dialogue and negotiation. Under the current circumstances, all parties should step up diplomatic efforts for a comprehensive, long-term and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.
Q: Yesterday, the Foreign Ministry expressed its concern over the developments in Honduras when answering our questions over the phone. Can you comment on the presidential election of the country? Do you recognize the election results?
A: We have noted relevant report. At present, China has no diplomatic relations with Honduras. But we also follow closely the domestic situation there and hope that the country can restore stability at an early date, which is in the interest of the Honduran people and conducive to peace and stability of Central America and Latin America. China's principle has been consistent and unequivocal in developing its relations with other countries. We develop our relations and cooperation with other countries based on the one China principle.
Q: Last week, Canada decided to impose anti-dumping duties on Chinese steel imports. Can you comment? What's China's expectation of Prime Minister Harper's visit to China?
A: On the issue of Canada imposing anti-dumping duties on Chinese steel imports, please refer to competent Chinese authorities.
We have always developed our economic relations and trade with other countries based on the principle of equality and mutual benefit. The same holds true for our business ties with Canada. China has become an important trading partner of Canada. Last year, the two-way trade registered US$34.5 billion, more than a hundred times than the US$150 million at the time our diplomatic relations were established. Such achievements have not come easily and they are not only in the common interest of both sides, but have also brought tangible benefits to Canada. We hope the two sides can address the economic problems and trade frictions through friendly consultations, instead of resorting to trade protectionist measures such as tariff barriers at will. Such restrictive measures are neither good for the growth of bilateral economic relations nor in the interest of Canada. At this crucial stage of international effort against the financial crisis, China believes that all countries should take firm and concrete measures to oppose and boycott trade protectionism, rather than paying lip service.
You mentioned Prime Minister Harper's visit to China, China attaches great importance to his visit and believes that leaders of the two countries will have in-depth exchange of views on further developing China-Canada relations including strengthening economic cooperation. We hope this visit will attain positive outcome.
Q: I have two questions. First, how does the Foreign Ministry comment on Canadian Prime Minister's visit to China? What agenda items will there be? Second, it's reported that Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan was inaugurated today. Can you comment?
A: The Chinese Government values its friendly and cooperative relations with Canada. In recent years, China-Canada relations have shown good momentum of improvement and development. During Prime Minster Harper's visit to China, leaders of the two countries will have extensive and in-depth exchange of views on China-Canada relations and international and regional issues of common interest. The leaders might touch upon any issues of mutual interest or items that will help promote mutual understanding and cooperation. We hope and believe that with the joint efforts of the two sides, this visit will yield positive results and move China-Canada relations forward.
On your second question, the Chinese Government's position has been consistent and unequivocal on foreign countries developing relations with Taiwan. We do not object non-governmental economic and cultural exchanges between Taiwan and countries having diplomatic relations with China, but we firmly oppose any activities aimed at conducting official contact with Taiwan. We hope relevant countries will honor the one China principle and handle relevant issues properly.
Q: Xinhua News Agency reports that the DPRK started using a new version of currency yesterday, turning the original 100 won into 1 won. How does China react to this news? Will it affect trade between China and the DPRK?
A: What currency the DPRK uses is its internal affair and I am not in a position to comment.
As for bilateral trade, the two countries are friendly neighbors. We will continue to maintain and develop economic ties with the DPRK based on equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.
Q: Does China believe that fresh UN Security Council sanctions could play a role in promoting the settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue? Second, over the weekend, representatives of several developing countries met in Beijing to discuss their position ahead of the Copenhagen Conference. Can you give us more details? What points did they agree on?
A: On the Iranian nuclear issue, we believe that under the current circumstances, all parties should step up diplomatic efforts for an early and comprehensive implementation of the consensus reached at the Geneva Meeting to keep the momentum of dialogue and negotiation and seek a comprehensive, long-term and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue. Sanctions are not the purpose. We should adhere to dialogue and negotiation for a proper settlement.
On your second question, China, India, Brazil, South Africa and other developing countries all attach great importance to climate change because they are victims of it. Climate change is caused by the massive emission of western developed countries during industrialization. At present, 80% of the accumulated greenhouse gas emissions have been produced by developed countries. Therefore, China and other developing countries share the same interest, concerns, appeals and positions on climate change. We all believe that we should be committed to the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" and the mandate of the Bali Roadmap. The international community should join hands to address the climate change issue. The Key is commitment to the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities". Developed countries should honor their promises by taking concrete measures to work out and realize mid-term emission reduction target on the one hand and providing financial, technological and capacity-building support to developing countries to help them counter climate change on the other hand. With the above support from developed countries, developing countries may take actions to adapt to and mitigate climate change in light of their national conditions and within the framework of sustainable development. The international community should voice its firm and unswerving support to the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities".
This is an important consensus reached at the latest meeting of some developing countries, which is also a reflection of the concerns and propositions of the developing countries as a whole on climate change. This deserves serious consideration of the developed nations and the whole international community so that we could work together for positive results out of the forthcoming Copenhagen Conference.
Q: Chinese citizen Feng Zhenghu has been stuck at Tokyo airport since Chinese authorities won't let him come back to China. Why is he being denied access to China? If he got back in, how would China deal with him?
A: China's competent authorities handle such cases in accordance with laws and regulations such as the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Control of the Exit and Entry of Citizens. If you want more specifics, I'll leave them to relevant authorities.
Q: According to Indian media, the construction of a road by India near China-India border had stopped due to objections from the Chinese army. Why does China oppose building that road?
A: China and India have disputes over the border issue. The two sides have agreed that pending a final resolution, we should make efforts to safeguard peace and tranquility along the border.
Q: It is reported that the DPRK will announce its return to the Six-Party Talks during U.S. Ambassador Bosworth's visit there. Has China got any information about that?
A: I could not verify this news, but I do hope it is true. Because it is China's unswerving goal to promote the Six-Party Talks, achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as well as safeguard peace and stability of the Peninsula.
Last October, during his visit to the DPRK, Premier Wen Jiabao had long and in-depth discussions with DPRK leaders, reaching important common ground over denuclearization of the Peninsula. The DPRK side stated it was not against the Talks, instead, it was willing to create conditions for the resumption of the Talks through bilateral and multilateral dialogues. We hope to see substantive results of the U.S.-DPRK dialogue. For us, such bilateral talks is part of the Six-Party Talks, a component of the framework of the Talks. Thus we hope such dialogues will help resume and push forward the Talks.
Q: An official from the Health Ministry said yesterday that China is considering lifting the ban on foreigners entering the country with HIV/AIDS. How do you comment?
A: This question bears on laws and health quarantine. The Law of the People's Republic of China on the Control of the Exit and Entry of Citizens and other regulations have explicit stipulations on HIV/AIDS carriers' entry into China. I suggest you refer to competent authorities for whether there will be any adjustment or revision to these laws and regulations.
Q: About the recent meeting held in Beijing on climate change among developing countries. I'd like to know leaders from what countries were present and who proposed this meeting. Was it an important meeting before the Copenhagen Conference? Do you think the significant consensus reached at the meeting, which sends a strong signal to developed countries, will help achieve success at the Copenhagen Conference?
A: As far as I know, senior officials in charge of climate change such as Indian Minister of State for Environment and Forests, South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Brazilian President's Special Advisor on International Affairs, Sudanese Ambassador to the United Nations and Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission attended the meeting. As I just mentioned, the concern and stand of developing countries on the issue of climate change should be paid full attention to by developed countries and the international community. Developing countries are willing to work with developed countries to push for a successful Copenhagen Conference. The key is to remain committed to the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol and the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities".
Q: Have Chinese leaders seen the draft by the Danish Government for the Copenhagen Conference? How do you comment on that? Does China have different opinions?
A: I haven't got any information on whether the Chinese Government has received the draft by Denmark on the framework document of the Copenhagen Conference. As I said just now, our fundamental position and basic stand is to adhere to the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" and the mandate of the Bali Roadmap. Any document or result should reflect the above principles, reflect and lock up the achieved consensus and progress of negotiation and provide guidance on jointly tackling climate change in the future. We hope that the result of the Copenhagen Conference is just, reasonable and attainable.
Q: A few follow-up questions on climate change. First, please give us more information on Premier Wen's attendance to the Copenhagen Conference. Second, does China still believe developed countries should curb emissions by 25%-40%?
A: On your first question, so far I haven't got the detailed schedule of Premier Wen's attendance of the Copenhagen Conference. We will release it in due course.
On your second question, we have emphasized many times and developing countries have also frequently called on developed countries to take the lead to cut emission by a large margin and carry out the binding target on mid-term emission reduction set in the Kyoto Protocol. As a group, developed countries should reduce their emission by at least 40% from 1990 levels by 2020.
If there are no more questions, thank you. See you!