Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on 23 May 2006
On the afternoon of May 23, 2006, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.
Liu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! I would like to begin with an announcement:
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will visit China from May 30th to June 6th.
Now, I'm ready to take up questions.
Q: First of all, please brief us on the visit of DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun. Second, did German Federal Chancellor Merkel touch upon human rights, the removal of EU arms embargo, RMB exchange rate and intellectual property rights protection during her visit to China? How did China respond? What are the similarity and difference in the positions of Germany and the US on human rights?
A: Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun will visit China from May 30 to June 6. During his visit, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will hold talks with him and exchange views with him on bilateral relations and regional and international issues of common interest. Chinese leaders will meet with him. In addition to Beijing, he will visit Guangzhou.
During Chancellor Merkel's Visit to China, the two sides exchanged views on a number of issues of common interest, including bilateral relations and international issues. This visit gave a strong impetus to the development of friend relations and cooperation between China and Germany in all fields.
Human rights is an important field in China-Germany cooperation. China is willing to further strengthen dialogue on human rights on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
The two sides also exchanged views on the development of China-EU relations. China hopes that Germany will help China-EU relations to take new stride during its EU rotating chairmanship in the first half of next year. We also hope it will play a positive role in solving China's concern. Chancellor Merkel said that Germany would work together with China to steadily move ahead China-Germany partnership of global responsibility.
The two sides made an in-depth discussion on the trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. Chinese leaders put forward proposals in this field. The two countries share a common aspiration that the existent trade and economic exchange of mutual benefit should be further expanded and deepened.
Regarding the intellectual property right protection, both of the two sides touched upon this issue in their talks. Yesterday, when meeting the press, Chinese premier and German chancellor answer a question in this regard. Premier Wen clearly stated China's position.
On the question of the positions of the US and Germany on human rights, China attaches importance to having dialogue with other countries on the basis of equality and mutual respect, whether it's the US, EU or Germany. We hope such dialogue will help the two sides increase mutual understanding on human rights, narrow differences and jointly promote the cause of human rights.
Q: What progress has been made between the Chinese and Canadian governments on repatriating Lai Changxing, the prime culprit in the Yuanhua smuggling case? Did the Ministry of Public Security or other department send people to make preparation in Canada?
A: Lai Changxing is the prime suspect in the Xiamen smuggling case, a most serious case. When the case was disclosed, he fled to Canada and attempted to apply for refugee status in Canada, so as to get away with the legal punishment in China. The Chinese government holds a firm position on the repatriation of Lai Changxing. We require Canada to repatriate him as soon as possible, leaving him to a just trial. This position remains unchanged.
I don't have further information to share with you.
Q: Please brief us on the visit of Malaysian trade minister to China this week. Will Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers meet today or tomorrow in Qatar?
A: It should be Chinese Ministry of Commerce that invited the Malaysian trade minister to visit China. Please refer to the Ministry of Commerce for details of arrangement.
Through consultation between China and Japan, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and Foreign Minister Taro Aso will hold a meeting in Qatar on the sideline of the ACD meeting.
Q: Please tell us the time of the meeting before Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers.
A: According to the result of bilateral consultation, the meeting should take place today. I have to confirm with the delegation of Foreign Minister Li on the exact time. During the meeting, Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers will make an in-depth exchange of views on China-Japan relations. China has always set high store by China-Japan relations and made unremitting efforts for the improvement and development of bilateral relations. Japan is very clear about China's effort. We hope that Japan will move in the same direction with China and hope this meeting will help improve and develop China-Japan relations.
Q: What will China express on the Yasukuni Shrine issue at the foreign ministers' meeting? In addition, please brief on the arrangement of US Assistant Secretary of State Hill's visit to China.
A: Japanese leader's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine is the sticking point of China-Japan relations. This issue will be brought up in the foreign ministers' meeting. As to how the meeting will go along and what result will be there, I will brief you after the foreign ministers' meeting.
Assistant Secretary Hill will visit Beijing tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei will discuss with him on the questions related to the Six-Party Talks. Now, the Six-Party Talks encounters difficulties, which call for flexible and practical attitude and political wisdom of the parties concerned, so as to remove the obstacles in the way of resuming the Six-Party Talks and promote the early resumption and positive progress of the talks. Vice Minister Wu and Assistant Secretary Hill will make a comprehensive and in-depth exchange on this issue.
Q: During the visit of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, did the two sides talk about China-Japan relations? What position did China express? If Minister Li meet with Foreign Minister Aso, what topics will he bring up? What will come to the first on his agenda? Is DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun's visit to Guangzhou aimed to learn the experience of China's economic reform and development of economic special zone?
A: During Secretary-General Annan's visit to China, Chinese leader exchanged views with him on the relations between China and the UN, the situation in Northeast Asia, China-Japan relations and other issues. Chinese leader also expressed to Secretary-General Annan China's position on improving and developing China-Japan relations and crux of the issue. Secretary-General Annan got a clear picture of China's position on these issues. He hoped that China, Japan and the ROK, the three important East Asian countries, would improve their relations at an early date.
On the arrangement of the meeting between Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers in Doha. In fact, over the past two weeks, China and Japan have stayed in consultation on this issue, and the agenda of the meeting is still under discussion. We believe the two sides will arrange the meeting according to the consensus reached thereupon.
The itinerary of Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun's visit was fixed through bilateral consultation. The DPRK leader has made many visits to China, and been to quite some cities other than Beijing. This helped the two sides enhance their mutual understanding and exchange experiences on national development.
Q: Deputy US Trade Representative said yesterday the US would reduce some restrictions on the export of some high-tech products to China. Meanwhile, the US would strengthen control on the export of some other products. What's your comment on this?
A: Regarding China-US bilateral trade including high-tech products, the two sides should implement policy and measures acceptable and remunerative to both sides. Otherwise it does no good to either China or the US and it goes against the all-round and healthy development of China-US commercial and trade relations. China-US relations on high-tech trade play an important role in the bilateral trade. Further promotion of the cooperation in the field of bilateral high-tech and strategic trade is in line with the overall situation of China-US constructive and cooperative relations, in favor of China-US common interest and is what China and US relevant industries expect and welcome. In recent years, Ministries of Commerce of the two countries have made positive progress in promoting bilateral high-tech cooperation. We hope that China and the US continue to maintain this positive momentum and promote mutual trust. At the meantime, we hope the US will, on the basis of bilateral cooperation and China-US overall situation, abandons cold war mentality and lifts up the restrictions on high-tech exports to China so as to open a new phase of bilateral cooperation on high-tech and strategic trade for the interest of relevant industries and people of our two countries.
Q: Israeli media reported that Israeli Government summoned Chinese Ambassador to Israel and expressed disappointment over China's invitation to Palestinian Foreign Minister to attend a meeting in China. Please confirm. What's your reaction to this?
A: The second ministerial meeting of China-Arab Cooperation Forum will be held from May 31st to June 1st in Beijing. According to the rules and practices of the Forum, China sent invitations to all member countries of the Forum including Palestine. Palestine made its own decision on the candidate for the meeting. China respects the decision of Palestine. On the other hand, China attaches importance to the relations with Israel. It is normal that China and Israel have different views on some issues. China hopes that China-Israel bilateral relations will not be affected for this.
Q: Is the agreement of China-Germany maglev project signed before or during Premier Merkel's visit to China? What's your comment on the independence referendum in Montenegro?
A: Regarding your first question, I have not heard of any news about China and Germany signing a specific agreement. As to China-Germany maglev cooperation, China is conducting a positive attitude. China and Germany have good cooperation in the field of maglev and the demonstration segment of maglev in Shanghai has proved to be a success. China will continue to have cooperation with Germany in the field of maglev.
As to your second question, we noted the initial result of the independence referendum in Serbia and Montenegro. China respects the choice of people of Montenegro and the final result of the referendum. We believe Montenegro and Serbia will handle their relations properly through friendly consultation.
Q: It is reported that some EU official alleged China was involved in the feedstock for Iran's uranium enrichment. Please confirm.
A: China has always been opposed to proliferation of nuclear weapons and support the international effort on nuclear non-proliferation. China does not export the sensitive equipment and technology related to uranium enrichment and reprocessing. Since China's accession to the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1992, we have always strictly honored our international obligation and commitment. Some countries had cooperation with Iran on peaceful use of nuclear energy. China also had cooperation in the past with Iran in this regard, and we have informed the IAEA of the cooperation between China and Iran long ago. All the cooperation concerned conformed to the provisions of the NPT and received IAEA safeguards. China cannot accept the accusations on this question by some media in other countries.
Q: Will China and Germany sign the agreement on the maglev during Merkel's visit to China?
A: I have not heard of such information.
If there are no more questions waiting for me, thank you for presence. See you.