Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on July 29,2008
On the afternoon of July 29, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Beijing Olympics, China-Russia energy cooperation, the investment of French companies in China and etc.
Liu Jianchao: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Now I'd like to take your questions.
Q: What's the impact of the bus bombings in Kunming on the Beijing Olympic security work? What is the significance of the security work to the Olympics and the Chinese Government?
A: I don't think the bus bombings in Kunming have any direct connection to the Beijing Olympics. But it reminds us that we must enhance the security of some major public places in Beijing for the safety of the Chinese people and foreigners studying and doing businesses in China.
As for your second question, it is known to all that security work is of great importance to a successful and safe Olympic Games. It is also one of the priorities considered by BOCOG and the Chinese Government.
Q: Amnesty International issued a report, alleging the human rights situation in China is deteriorating before the Beijing Olympics. How do you comment on that?
A: Those who know China will not agree with these claims I hope the Amnesty International take off the tinted glasses it has worn for many years and see China in a fair and objective way and do something constructive.
Q: It is reported that, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to set up for the first time its overseas offices with permanent representatives in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, in order to enhance supervision over the food safety in China. How do you comment on the FDA's decision? Will you accept the establishment of the offices and their surprise inspections?
A: The Chinese Government attaches great importance to food safety and has taken concrete measures, including supervision and safe guarding of the food safety exported to other countries. We adopt a positive attitude on the issue and are ready to enhance cooperation with relevant countries in this field. Meanwhile the two sides need to discuss through bilateral channels on how to cooperate on the supervision of food safety. We have kept contact with the US side and hope to work out an arrangement accepted by both sides.
Q: The Turkistan Islamic Party claimed responsibility for the bus bombings in Kunming. But the Chinese authorities denied that. Will you share with us more information about the organization? Does it have any connection to the East Turkistan forces?
A: The Chinese police authorities have clarified on the claims and I have no more information to add. Setting aside the bus bombings, terrorists including the East Turkistan forces and terrorist activities do exist in China. I hope the international community understand China's concerns and enhance cooperation with China to combat terrorism including the East Turkistan forces, which is beneficial to all countries.
Q: As the Olympic Games is looming, some organizations and people accuse China of its human rights record. Do you have any response to that? Turkistan Islamic Party claimed responsibility for the bus bombings in Kunming. Do you believe the involvement of this group in the cases? Will they plot more terrorist attacks?
A: China has been holding an open attitude to human rights issues. We do not shy away from the discussions and the attention taken by relevant parties on human rights. But we oppose the following practices. First, the accusation against China based on rumors and fabrications. Second, the interference in China's internal affairs under the pretext of human rights. The dialogue and communications on human rights shall be based on mutual respect and understanding of each other's concerns.
On the bus bombings in Kunming, the police authorities of China have made clarifications on the claim of responsibility by some group and I have no more to add. What for sure is that we shall keep alert on the East Turkistan groups during the Games. Relying on the intelligence, we will ward off possible threats from the Games to ensure the security of Beijing Olympic Games.
Q: German Foreign Minister wrote articles recently on China-Germany relations. Do you have any response to that? Last week, you said that the ban on the entry of lepers into China had been lifted. Will China consider lift the ban on the entry of AIDS patients before the Games?
A: We have taken note of article by Mr. Steinmeier. I shall reiterate that China attaches great importance to China-Germany relations and is ready to promote the healthy and smooth development of the bilateral ties based on the principles of mutual respect, equal treatment, seeking common ground while reserving differences and win-win cooperation.
Chinese Government has fulfilled its commitment to allow the lepers and their families to enter China from July 20, 2008. As to the entry of AIDS patents into China, it shall be dealt with according to China's laws.
Q: The PLA Daily said yesterday the Chinese military has built the longest dock in the sea border of the South China Sea. Some foreign military experts believe it may be used to dock China's aircraft carrier. China once said it is studying the aircraft carrier issue. Is there any change in China's position?
A: You may confirm the reports with the Ministry of Defense. I shall stress that China adopts a national defense policy that is defensive in nature and it remains unchanged.
Q: It is reported that Beijing Municipal Government has suspended the registration of new French investment in Beijing. Could you confirm?
A: Beijing Municipal Government has been providing the normal registration for French companies and investment. I can give you some figures that might be helpful for your reporting. Trade and economic cooperation between China and France have maintained a good momentum in recent years. The bilateral trade volume hit 18.26 billion U.S. dollars in the first half, a 25.8 percent year-on-year increase. The figure is expected to exceed 40 billion U.S. dollars at year end. Also in the first half year, China approved 3,639 French-invested enterprises, and the French actual investment in China reached 8.53 billion U.S. dollars, ranked the fourth among European Union nations. Beijing approved 21 French enterprises in the same period, including five registered in June and July, a 31 percent increase compared with the same period last year. It also approved the capital increase and stock ownership transfer of 14 French companies. China would work with France to enhance economic and trade cooperation, and to promote the healthy and stable development of the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership. These figures prove that the Chinese Government including the Beijing Municipality has been providing the normal registration for French companies and investment.
Q: Sino-Russian Energy Talks will be held in October in Russia. Could you give us more details?
A: With regard to the launching of the Sino-Russian Vice Prime Ministerial-level Energy Talks, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin visited China not long ago. He had in-depth exchange of views on relevant issues with Chinese leaders including Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice Premier Wang Qishan. The two sides agreed that the launching of the Talks marked the two countries' cooperation in energy entering a new stage. We hope that the two sides would enhance cooperation in energy and achieve more progress. Strengthening energy cooperation is a strategic choice of our two countries with an aim of promoting bilateral trade and economic cooperation. We hope the mechanism would help the two sides build comprehensive, stable and long-term energy cooperation achieving mutual benefits and win-win results. The two sides agree to hold the Talks in Russia later this year.
Q: My question is about foreign journalists' reporting work in China in the run-up to the Beijing Olympic Games. We (ZDF) were disrupted by the security personnel when doing live broadcast on the Great Wall on July 4. We have reported the case to the Foreign Ministry. May I know what the result is and why we were stopped? What will you do to prevent similar cases from happening again?
A: I think we have already exchanged views on relevant issues. The relevant authorities have also made explanation to the ZDF. Concerning the problems in the foreign journalists' reporting work in China, in my opinion, some appears to be caused by Chinese side, some by foreign journalists and some are just misunderstandings resulted from ineffective communication. As you know, the Chinese government began implementing the Regulations on Reporting Activities in China by Foreign Journalists during the Beijing Olympic Games and the Preparatory Period on January 1, 2007. It can't be denied that the Chinese government has made great efforts in this regard. Progress achieved in implementing the Regulations is also acknowledged by foreign journalists. In the same time, to fully implement the Regulations in such a short period needs the efforts of the Chinese Government as well as the efforts, cooperation and understanding of the foreign journalists. Trade of accusation is no help in solving the problem. We hope all parties concerned would keep pushing forward the implementation of relevant regulations in a constructive and cooperative manner.
If there are no more questions, thanks for coming!