Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on January 6, 2011
On the afternoon of January 6, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a regular press conference.
Q: It's reported that the DPRK issued a statement on Jan 5, expressing the hope to resume dialogue with the ROK unconditionally. Meanwhile, the ROK media says that the ROK Government plans to discuss conditions for resuming the Six-Party Talks with the DPRK through inter-Korean dialogues. How do you comment?
A: China always believes that dialogue and consultation is the only effective approach to solve the Peninsula-related issues. We support and welcome relevant parties having contact and dialogue and making active interactions to jointly steer the situation toward a desirable direction. China will continue to play a constructive role to this end.
The Six-Party Talks has been at a standstill for over two years. We hope relevant parties make joint efforts to resume the Six-Party Talks at an early date and materialize the September 19 Joint Statement in a comprehensive and balanced way through the Talks.
Q: It's reported that China is considering taking pre-emptive nuclear strikes, and may change its commitment of never being the first to use nuclear weapons under any circumstances. Please confirm and comment.
A: Since the very first day when China possessed nuclear weapons, the Chinese Government has made the solemn pledge not to be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time or under any circumstances. China has been living up to its promise. Relevant report is totally groundless and out of ulterior motives.
Q: It's reported that on January 4, a Zambian judge issued arrest warrants to two Chinese mine managers on a charge of attempted murder for firing gunshots at workers on strike last October. Two diplomats with the Chinese Embassy who bailed the managers are also wanted. Could you confirm and comment?
A: China has taken note of the report mentioned above. The Chinese Embassy in Zambia never bailed the individuals involved in the case, and the Zambian side never issued arrest warrants to Chinese diplomats. We express strong dissatisfaction over the relevant report which is complete fabrication. The Foreign Ministry of Zambia also made a statement yesterday which dismissed the report.
Q: Could you update us on President Hu Jintao's upcoming visit to the US?
A: Relevant information on President Hu Jintao's visit to the US will be released in due course.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi is on a visit to the US to make preparation for President Hu Jintao's visit.
In his meetings with President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi stressed that a sound China-US relationship is not only in the fundamental interest of the two countries and two peoples, but also conducive to peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia Pacific and the world at large. President Hu Jintao's state visit to the US at the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century is of great significance to China-US relations in the new era, providing major opportunities for further development of bilateral relations. The two sides are keeping close communication and cooperation to make full preparation for the visit and make it a complete success together.
Q: Which Chinese officials did US Special Representative for DPRK Policy Bosworth meet with? What did they talk about?
A: Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun and Special Representative of the Chinese Government on the Korean Peninsular Affairs had meetings and talks with US Special Representative for DPRK Policy Bosworth respectively today. The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on the situation on the Peninsula and the Six-Party Talks, agreeing to be committed to peace and stability on the Peninsula and the Six-Party Talks.
Q: We saw pictures and reports on the Internet about the J-20 fighter jet. Is it true that China is developing a new generation of fighter jets?
A: You'll have to go to the military for details on that. I'd like to stress that China, following the path of peaceful development and pursuing a national defense policy which is defensive in nature, poses no threat to any other country. China will always be a major force to safeguard peace in the region and the world.
Q: The Japanese Foreign Ministry announced that the first Japan-China Counter-terrorism Consultation will be held in Beijing today. Could you shed more light on that? Separately, Japanese media says that Japan plans to seek a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council. What is China's position?
A: On January 6, Director General Luo Zhaohui of the Department of External Security Affairs, Foreign Ministry held the first China-Japan Counter-terrorism Consultation together with Japanese Ambassador in charge of International Counter-terrorism Cooperation Takaaki Kojima. The two sides exchanged views on international and regional counter-terrorism situation, their respective anti-terrorism policies and measures as well as issues of common interest.
On your second question, China has taken note of relevant report and set store by other countries' wish to make greater contribution to safeguarding international peace and security.
Q: Has China decided to accept Iran's invitation to visit its nuclear facilities? Second, could you specify the international and regional issues on which China and the US have had sound communication and cooperation?
A: On your first question, I don't have anything more to add other than the information I already shared with you at the last press conference.
On your second question, China and the US have maintained sound coordination and cooperation in a broad range of areas over the past years. Against the background of the international financial crisis, China and the US strengthened coordination on macro-economic policies in their joint efforts to cope with the crisis and managed to bring the world economy out of depression. On Korean-Peninsula-related issues, China and the US have maintained general stability on the Peninsula through effective cooperation. The two countries have also had good communication and coordination on climate change, exerting joint efforts to address this major challenge for human kind.
As two countries of major influence in the world, China and the US share broad common interests as well as major responsibilities. We are ready to work with the US side to further push forward the positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relations.
Q: Vice Premier Hui Liangyu today starts his trip to five African countries including Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. What kind of cooperation deals is China going to sign with these countries? The White House Press Secretary said that the US side would bring up the RMB exchange rate issue during President Hu Jintao's visit. How do you comment?
A: Vice Premier Hui Liangyu will be visiting the five African countries from January 6 to 19. As for the cooperation deals to be signed, information will be released in due course.
On your second question, China-US economic and trade relations are essentially mutually beneficial. China maintains that frictions and disputes in the bilateral economic and trade cooperation should be dealt with through consultation on an equal footing so as to safeguard sound and stable development of the relations. The trade imbalance between the two sides is mainly because of the international industrial division of labor against the background of globalization and partly because of the US export restrictions over high-tech products. China has no intention to pursue trade surplus against the US and will continue to take active measures to expand import from the US to strive for a balanced development of trade.
China will continue to steadily advance the reform of the RMB exchange rate regime under the principle of independent decision-making, controllability and gradual progress, establish a managed floating exchange rate regime based on market demand and supply, and stabilize the RMB exchange rate basically around an adaptive and equilibrium level. Facts have proved that the RMB exchange rate is not the main cause for trade imbalance between China and the US.
Q: If the Southern Sudan Referendum divides Sudan into two countries, will it affect China's investment in Sudan and bilateral economic cooperation and trade?
A: China's friendly relations of cooperation with Sudan in various fields have developed in a healthy and stable manner over the years, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples. China values its relations with Sudan and is ready to work with the Sudanese side to promote in-depth development of bilateral friendly relations of cooperation.
China staunchly supports Sudan's North-South peace process, and encourages the two sides to concretely implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement by properly addressing relevant differences through dialogue and consultation. China stands for respecting Sudan's sovereignty and the true will and choice of the Sudanese people, and hopes the Southern Referendum be held in a free, just, transparent and peaceful environment and its result fully respected. The result of the Referendum should maintain Sudan's overall peace and stability, whatever way it points. China is ready to continue to work with the international community and play a positive and constructive role for Sudan's peace, stability and development.
Q: India and other four countries which start their tenure as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council as of this month call for acceleration of the Security Council reform. What is China's position on this?
A: China supports reasonable and necessary reform of the Security Council. We uphold giving priority to increasing the representativeness of developing countries in the Security Council so that small and medium-sized countries have more opportunities to take part in the decision-making and play a bigger role in the Council. We hope the parties be committed to democratic and patient consultations, seek for a package of consensus on various issues relating to the Security Council reform and make the negotiations a process of bridging differences, promoting unity and realizing win-win outcomes. We will continue to take part in the inter-governmental negotiations on the Security Council reform with a responsible attitude.
Q: US Secretary of Defence Gates is coming to China this month. What is your expectation on the visit?
A: At the invitation of State Councilor and Minister of National Defence Liang Guanglie, US Secretary of Defence Gates will visit China from January 9 to 12. Competent authorities have already released information on the visit.
China values military-to-military relations with the US and hopes the visit be conducive to enhancing mutual understanding and trust between the two militaries, improving military cooperation levels and promoting the healthy and stable development of military-to-military ties.