Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on February 19, 2008
On the afternoon of February 19, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference and answered questions on Kosovo's declaration of independence, Gambari's visit to China, Myanmar, Darfur, the Six-Party Talks and etc.
Liu Jianchao: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to begin with two announcements:
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, David Miliband, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, will pay an official visit to China from February 24 to 29.
At the invitation of Malloch Brown, British Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Foreign Ministry of Sudan, Ambassador Liu Guijin, Special Representative of the Chinese Government on the Darfur Issue will pay visits to Britain and Sudan from February 21 to 23 and February 24 to 27 respectively.
Now the floor is open.
Q: At present, more and more countries have recognized Kosovo's independence, including the US and major EU countries. What's China's long-term plan about Kosovo? Will China recognize Kosovo eventually? Will China continue to contribute to the UN mission in Kosovo?
A: I've expounded on China's position on the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo. China expresses grave concern over that.
The resolution of the Kosovo issue bares on peace and stability of the Balkan region, the fundamental norms governing international relations as well as the authority and role of the UN Security Council. China always believes that a plan acceptable to both Serbia and Kosovo through negotiations is the best way to resolve this issue.
The unilateral move taken by Kosovo will lead to a series of consequences. China is deeply worried about its severe and negative impact on peace and stability of the Balkan region and the goal of establishing a multi-ethnic society in Kosovo.
China calls upon Serbia and Kosovo to continue negotiations for a proper resolution within the framework of the international law and work together to safeguard peace and stability of the Balkan region. The international community should create favorable conditions for that.
As to your second question, the international presence in Kosovo since 1999 including its components and missions has all been authorized and approved by the UN Security Council. This practice shall be followed unless the Security Council decides otherwise. Resolution 1224 still remains as the political and legal basis for the resolution of the status of Kosovo. Prior to a new Security Council resolution, any effort and move shall be in line with Resolution 1224. China will continue to play a positive role for the resolution of this issue.
Q: Does China oppose Kosovo's independence?
A: I've just briefed you on China's position on Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence. I have nothing more to add.
Q: US Assistant Secretary of State Hill and DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan are in Beijing now. Does China have any plan to have talks with them? Is Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei in town? If not, where is he?
A: As to your first question, China has made contact with Mr. Hill, US Assistant Secretary of State and head of the US delegation to the Six-Party Talks. Assistant Foreign Ministers He Yafei and Liu Jieyi held talks with him respectively and exchanged views with him on China-US relations, the DPRK nuclear issue and other international and regional issues of common interest.
Up to now, I have no information about China's contact with the DPRK. As to your second question, Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei is accompanying State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan's visit to Britain. They will visit Japan and ROK subsequently.
Q: What's China's position on the US plan to destroy a failed satellite due to fall on earth?
A: I made China's position clear a few days ago. The Chinese Government is highly concerned over the developments and has requested the US to fulfill its international obligations in earnest and ensure that the security of outer space and relevant countries will not be undermined. Relevant Chinese authorities are closely following the situation and studying corresponding precautions.
Q: The Special Advisor Gambari to the UN Secretary-General on Myanmar is visiting China. Which Chinese officials did he meet with today? What did they discuss?
A: Mr. Gambari is in Beijing for a visit. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with him.
During the meeting, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Myanmar is a friendly neighbor to China. China supports Myanmar government's efforts to promote domestic political process, safeguard national stability and improve people's livelihood. We hope that Myanmar achieve democracy and development at an early date, which is in the interest of Myanmar people and should be the direction for international efforts. While providing constructive assistance to Myanmar, the international community should remain objective, equitable and balanced, keep patience and confidence and do more things to promote relevant parties' trust-enhancing dialogue. China supports the UN Secretary General and Mr. Gambari's mediation efforts.
Mr. Gambari valued China's important role in the proper resolution of Myanmar issue and appreciated China's support to the mediation efforts of Secretary General. He expressed his will to make further contribution to the proper resolution of the issue.
During his meeting with Mr. Gambari, Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China closely follows the situation in Myanmar and hopes Myanmar maintain stability and development and achieve democracy and harmony. At present, the situation in Myanmar is developing towards a positive direction. The Myanmar government is determined to speed up the implementation of the Seven Point Roadmap and has fixed a timetable accordingly, which should be affirmed and welcomed. The Myanmar issue, involving so many factors, should eventually be properly resolved by the Myanmar government and its people through dialogue. The international community could provide constructive assistance whereas pressure and sanctions won't help. China supports UN Secretary General and Mr. Gambari's mediation.
Mr. Gambari briefed China on his recent visit to relevant countries and his plan for work in next phase. He said that the mediation would be a process and he will continue his positive efforts with full respect for the sovereignty of Myanmar.
Q: The US and DPRK representatives met in Beijing today, and Rice will visit Asia next week. Do you think it is the critical moment now for the Six-Party Talks to walk out of recent stalemate? Does China hope to see US and DPRK further enhance their mutual trust?
A: On the issue of the Six-Party Talks, it is beneficial for relevant parties to press ahead with the process and enhance their communication, consultation and understanding. Recently relevant countries are intensifying efforts on the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue and Six-Party Talks. We hope their efforts can generate further results.
Q: I have two questions. The first one is about the poisoned dumpling issue in Japan. You said in the previous press conference that you hope Chinese and Japanese experts can cooperate in the investigation. I heard consultation of experts from the two countries will be held in Japan later this month. Why Japan and China have different views on the causes of the incident? In your view, how the two countries should cooperate on the issue? Besides, the Deputy Commissioner General of the Japanese National Police Agency visits China today. Which officials of the Chinese public security authority will meet with him? The second question is, a major U.S. paper reports that a China-exported medicine is found to undermine people's health. Do you have specific information about it?
A: On the dumpling issue, I have already expounded on the joint efforts of China and Japan, as well as China's positive efforts in the investigation. I don't think your comment on the alleged different assessment between China and Japan is valid since neither side has drawn any conclusion of the issue. The investigation is still underway. Recently there has been some progress, but the two sides still have to continue their efforts and enhance cooperation to sort things out. China has suggested to Japan on the joint investigation, for example the quality supervision and public security authorities of the two sides setting up a joint task force.
The Chinese public security authority has smooth channels of communication with its Japanese counterpart. A Chinese police investigation team will leave for Japan shortly to exchange information and views on the issue. We hope Japan continues to cooperate with China in the investigation so as to find out the truth of the incident at an early date, which is beneficial for the two countries, Japanese consumers, Chinese enterprises and the normal development of economic relations between the two countries.
The upcoming visit by Takaharu Ando, Deputy Commissioner General of the Japanese National Police Agency, has been decided prior to the incident. During his visit, China and Japan will exchange views on bilateral police cooperation. You can consult the Ministry of Public Security for the specifics.
On the second question, the US has raised the issue to China, and we have made immediate investigation. You can refer your question to the relevant authorities.
Q: Regarding Kosovo, is China concerned that Taiwan may act faster than you to set up diplomatic ties with Kosovo?
A: China's position on the Kosovo issue is clear-cut. Taiwan is part of China and has neither the eligibility nor any right to discuss or give the so-called recognition to Kosovo. There is only one China in the world. The Government of PRC is the sole legitimate government representing the whole of China. Taiwan is an inseparable part of the Chinese territory. This is universally recognized by the international community. We resolutely oppose the attempt of anyone or any group to separate Taiwan from China by any means. Any attempt of this kind will get nowhere.
Q: Ambassador Liu Guijin will visit Sudan and Britain. What is the purpose of his visit? What message will be conveyed to the Sudanese government? Could you please share with us more information on Miliband's visit to China?
A: Since he was appointed as the special representative of the Chinese government on the Darfur issue, ambassador Liu has done a lot of important work to promote the solution of the Darfur issue and the mitigation of the tensed regional situation. He has been to Sudan three times and staged in communication and consultation with the Foreign Ministries of the countries having concerns over the Darfur issue, including the US and Britain. This visit is part of his continued efforts.
Recently, thanks to the concerted efforts of the international community including China, there has been positive progress out of the Darfur issue. Currently, the UN and the Sudanese government have reached general consensus on the Status of Forces Agreement. The deployment of the hybrid actions is phasing in. Parties concerned are intensifying their efforts to promote the political process in Darfur.
At present, we shall continue to give full play to the main channel role of the tripartite consultation mechanism of the UN, the AU and the Sudanese government. The relevant parties should exert patience and work to properly resolve the issue through dialogue and equal consultation, instead of applying unbridled pressure which may lead to further complication of the situations there. Currently, the political process in Darfur obviously legs behind the peacekeeping deployment. The international community should speed up political process and continue to work on the opposition parties reluctant to join the peace talks and encourage them to join the relevant political process and reach a comprehensive peace agreement with the Sudanese government. The international community should help Sudan improve the humanitarian and security situation in Darfur so as to realize peace, stability and development in the region at an early date.
During Ambassador Liu's stay in Britain, he will have in-depth exchange of views with the officials from FCO. Besides, he will have discussions with British scholars.
Follow-up: Does that mean China supports new peace talks between different factions in Darfur? How much influence does China have on the Sudanese government?
A: The international community share common responsibility in promoting dialogue, consultation, and reconciliation between relevant factions in Darfur and the Sudanese government. China is ready to join the international community to play its role. We also hope relevant countries, especially those having influence on relevant factions in the region, can also play their important role in this regard.
Q: Is China concerned that the US trying to destroy the failed satellite is actually to cover up its anti-satellite test?
A: I would like to reiterate that China is highly concerned over the developments and has requested the US to fulfill its international obligations in earnest and ensure that the security of outer space and relevant countries will not be undermined. Relevant Chinese authorities are closely following the situation and studying corresponding precautions. The international community has concerns over the announcement of the US. I believe the US should fulfill its relevant responsibilities in real earnest.
If there are no other questions, thank you!