Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on 13 June 2006
On the afternoon of June 13, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a press conference.
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Jiang Yu. As a new spokesperson, I hope we can establish congenial work relations in the future. I have no announcement to make. Now I'd like to take your questions.
Q: The Spanish national court accepted the lawsuit filed by "Tibet independence" and "Falungong" Cult organizations. What's your comment?
A: The libel by "Tibet independence" group and "Falungong" Cult is completely based on fabrication out of apparent political motives, aimed at smearing China's international image and sabotage China-Spain relations. According to international law and universally recognized basic norms governing international relations, the court of the country concerned has no right to accept and hear cases of this kind.
China and Spain have established an all-round strategic partnership, with rich fruits yielded on all fronts. We hope Spain can properly handle this matters so that our bilateral relations can keep its momentum of healthy development under our joint efforts.
Q: What message will President Hu convey to the Iranian President when they meet?
A: Iran is an SCO observer. According to the SCO documents and on the basis of consensus of member states, China invited the Iranian President to attend the summit. During the summit, President Hu will hold talks with leaders of member states and observers. Arrangements are yet to be finalized.
We think there is a new opportunity to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue peacefully through diplomatic negotiation. China appreciates the fact that Iran expressed its intention to earnestly consider the proposal, and hopes Iran will respond positively and create favorable condition for resuming the negotiation. Only when we resume dialogue can we resolve differences. China hopes all parties can keep patience, exercise restraint and do more to help resume negotiation.
Q: The human rights group Amnesty International issued a report early this week, saying that weapons exported by China to Myanmar, Sudan and Nepal fueled the local conflict. What's your comment? Does China track the exported weapon or not? How can you ensure the weapons being used properly?
A: The accusation of relevant group is groundless and does not comply with fact. China adopts prudent and responsible attitude towards military export and abides by three principles. The export should boost the legitimate self defense capability of the recipient countries, should not prejudice regional and international peace, security and stability, and should not interfere in the internal affairs of recipient countries.
China has normal cooperation with many countries on conventional military trade. The cooperation complies with China's military trade policy, regulations and international obligations.
I can offer some figures for your reference. China is the smallest weapon exporter among the major countries. According to the statistics of Stockholms International Peace Study Institution, from 2000 to 2004, the conventional weapon exported, the US valued $25.93 billion, whereas China's export $1.436 billion, only 1/20 of that of the US.
China controls all the export of conventional military items, including small arms, in line with Regulations on Control of Military Product Export, and exercise unified export of military items. In addition, China has established and end-user control system to prevent weapons from being transferred to hotspots or sensitive regions.
Q: What's China's position on the Western Sahara question?
A: China has a consistent position on the Western Sahara question. We maintain that the question should be properly resolved through dialogue and consultation on the basis on the UN resolutions. China hopes that the parties concerned will bear in mind the overall purpose of maintaining regional unity, stability and development and return to the track of friendly consultation. We support a solution acceptable to all parties.
Q: Last week, it was reported by the Xinhua News Agency that Vice Mayor of Beijing Liu Zhihua was removed from office due to corruption. Liu Zhihua was in charge of the construction projects of Beijing. Will his corruption case affect the preparation for Olympic Games?
A: The officials of Beijing Municipal Government and Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games have talked on this matter. The handling of the issue will not affect the Olympic Games at all.
Q: It is reported by the US and Japanese media that the DPRK might plan to conduct a missile test. What comment does China have? Yesterday, the US House of Representative passed a resolution, accusing China of suppressing religious freedom. What's China's comment?
A: On your first question, we have taken note of the report. Now, the Six-Party Talk encounters some difficulties. China hopes parties concerned will take a flexible and pragmatic attitude, make concerted efforts and do more to enhance trust, dissolve misgivings and promote the talks, so as to resume talks at an early date and make progress.
On your second question, the resolution passed by the US House of Representatives is a groundless attack and vile slander on China's human rights and religion. It violated the basic norms governing international relations and grossly interfered with China's internal affairs. China expresses its strong concern and firm opposition.
The Chinese Government protects Chinese citizens' freedom of religious belief in accordance with law, and Chinese citizens enjoy broad and full freedom of religious belief. The Chinese people are most qualified to speak on this matter. All religions in China follow the principle of "running religious affairs independently" and admit of no interference by foreign forces.
Since the start of reform and opening up, China has made remarkable achievements in social and economic development and our democracy and legal system have steadily forged ahead. Chinese people enjoy human rights and basic freedom according to law. This is a fact obvious to all.
We advise the US Congressmen to take care of the problems in the US and think more about how to redress the grave human rights violation in the US. They should stop interfering with China's internal affairs under the pretext of human rights and religion.
Q: Some US experts questioned the authority of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, because this organization, which proclaims itself as an anti-terrorist organization, granted observer status to Iran. What comment does China have? Will Iran become a full member of SCO?
A: The SCO Summit will be held in Shanghai. On the sideline of the summit, the heads of states will exchange views on the development of the SCO and the major international and regional issues of common interest. The summit will also make a thorough review of the success and experience in the development of SCO and work out the orientation and measures for its future development.
Iran is one of the four observer countries of SCO. According to the documents of SCO and through consensus of member states, China invited Iranian President Ahmadinejad to the summit. This is not the first time for Iran to attend the SCO meeting. Last year, Iran attended the Astana Summit and Moscow Prime Ministers' Meeting.
Q: The three EU countries, the US and Russia may have direct negotiation with Iran on the Iranian nuclear issue. Will China join in the negotiation?
A: China has always stood for peaceful solution of the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiation. We are supportive of the international non-proliferation regime and oppose proliferation of nuclear weapons. We do not wish to see new disturbance in the Middle East due to the Iranian nuclear issue. We have always called on the parties concerned to put forward a solution both feasible and acceptable to all, so as to promote the talks on the issue. China has all along stayed in close contact with the parties concerned on the issue. Recently, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao respectively made telephone conversations with US President Bush and German Federal Chancellor Merkel. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing made telephone conversations with Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki, EU High Representative of Common Foreign and Security Policy Solana and the Spanish Foreign Minister. In addition, he met with Iranian Vice Foreign Minister Araqchi, who came to China for consultation. China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting reconciliation through talks. We will work with other parties for the proper solution of the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiation.
Q: It is reported that Venezuelan President Chavez will visit China in September. Please brief on the date and purpose of his visit.
A: I am not aware of this matter. China maintains normal relations with Venezuela.
Q: In late June, the UN Human Rights Council will hold its first session in Geneva. Who will represent China at the meeting? What proposition will China forward? What does China expect from the first session?
A: The first session of the Human Rights Council will be held in Geneva on June 19th and 30th. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the meeting. Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will attend the high-level meeting and make a speech. Ambassador Sha Zukang, Representative of Chinese Permanent Mission to the UN Offices at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland, will head Chinese delegation at the meeting.
This session will focus on discussing the work methods and rules for the Council and the imminent international questions on human rights. We hope all interested parties will show their political willingness and take earnest actions to ensure that the Council will respect the historical, cultural and religious background of all countries and regions, push forward dialogues between different civilizations, cultures and religions and pay equal attention to economic, social and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights. It should handle human rights questions in a just, objective and non-selective manner, play a effective role in promoting and safeguarding human rights and avoid following the old path of the sessions of Commission on Human Rights, which was plagued with double standards and political confrontation.
The Chinese delegation will advance its view and proposition on the future work of the Council and participated in the deliberation on all questions with a positive and constructive attitude. We are willing to work with other parties to make this session a successful opening for the Council.
If there are no more questions, thank you for presence! See you.