Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on February 19, 2009
On February 19, 2009, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on a Chinese cargo ship sinking in Russian waters, China-US relations, China-France relations, the commemorative activities of the “International Opium Commission”, and etc.
Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have an announcement to start with.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Mr. Yu Myung-hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea, will pay a working visit to China from February 24 to 25.
Now I’d like to open up the floor for questions.
Q: Now there have been all kinds of reports on a ship with Chinese crew members sinking in Russian waters. Is there any latest update from the Foreign Ministry? While China making representations with Russia, has the Russian side promised a full investigation?
A: The Department of Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry released relevant information yesterday. On February 15, a Chinese cargo ship sank in the waters close to Vladivostok, Russia. Among the 10 Chinese crew members, three were rescued, the other seven were missing. Relevant Chinese Consulate-General and Consular Office have sent officials to the spot to visit rescued crew members, and assist relevant company in properly dealing with the aftermath. The Department of Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry and Chinese Embassy in Russia have made representations to Russia respectively, urging the Russian side to continue to spare no efforts in searching for the missing crew members, investigating and finding out the cause. According to our knowledge, Russia’s search-and-rescue efforts and investigation are still underway.
Q: US Secretary of State Clinton is going to visit Beijing soon. Will the bilateral talks cover the issue of Taiwan? Given that cross-strait relations have been improving since last year, is the Taiwan issue still at the very core of China-US relations?
A: Secretary Clinton will visit China from February 20 to 22. China and the US will have an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and a broad range of issues of common concern. We stand ready to strengthen dialogue with the US, enhance mutual trust, expand cooperation and promote greater development of bilateral relations in the new era.
The One-China principle is an important foundation for our bilateral relations with countries having diplomatic relations with China, and a consensus of the international community. We have always adhered to the One-China principle, and hope relevant country can abide by its commitment to the One-China policy. We hope the US can continue to abide by the three Sino-US joint communiqués, handle the Taiwan issue properly and cautiously, and take concrete actions to support the peaceful development of cross-strait relations.
Q: Can you update us on President Zardari’s visit and meetings?
A: We welcome and look forward to President Zardari’s visit to Hubei Province and Shanghai from February 20 to 23. It is his second visit to China since his successful state visit last October. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to it. State Councilor Dai Bingguo will meet with him in Hubei on behalf of the Chinese Government. President Zardari’s visit will focus on observing China’s development in agriculture, water conservancy and the financial sector, and strengthen bilateral cooperation in the above areas. We wish him a successful visit.
Q: A US court has recently ruled that seven Uyghur prisoners in the US Guantánamo prison have got to go back. They aren’t being released for the time being. One result of that is it gives the Government of the US more time to figure out where they will go once they are released. I wonder if this issue will come up during Hillary Clinton’s visit to China, and outside of Clinton’s visit, if you have any comment on what is China’s position for the final location of these prisoners.
A: During Secretary Clinton’s visit to China, China and the US will have an in-depth discussion and exchange of views on a broad range of issues. I cannot predict for the time being whether the specific question you raised will be covered in the talks. However, China has expressed its position on the issue of terrorist suspects of Chinese nationality detained in Guantánamo time and again. We believe that the Chinese terrorist suspects detained in Guantánamo prison are members of the terrorist group, "the East Turkistan Islamic Movement", which is on the sanction list of the UN Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1267. They must be handed over to China and brought to justice. We oppose any countries accepting them. Our position remains consistent and unchanged.
Q: Vice President Xi Jinping is currently in Brazil. Can you tell us what agreements are expected to come out of that meeting, especially in respect to developing Brazil’s energy resources?
A: Right now, Vice President Xi Jinping is visiting Brazil. Relevant information such as whether there are cooperation deals to be signed will be released in succession. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Brazil. Over the past years, bilateral cooperation has continued to expand and deepen. Breakthrough has been made in economic relations and trade. Last year, bilateral trade volume stood at 48.497 billion US dollars, up by 63.2% over the same period of the previous year. Chinese companies are having more investment and contracted projects in Brazil. Progress is also made in science and technology, culture and education. As China and Brazil are two major developing countries, better cooperation between the two will not only boost socio-economic development domestically, but will help developing countries have a greater voice and better representation in international affairs. On the occasion of the anniversary, we would like to bring bilateral relations to the new stage.
Q: About Hillary’s visit to China. Some environmental organizations have lately called on China and the US to scale up collaboration and have some real discussion so as to bring success to the Copenhagen conference at the end of this year. Do you think Hillary’s visit could catalyze such collaboration?
A: We believe that climate change is a challenge to the entire world that cannot be solved without global cooperation and collaboration. As the biggest developing and developed countries respectively, China and the US both set great store by the issue of climate change. Better cooperation of the two countries on this issue will not only benefit themselves, but also contribute to international efforts in addressing climate change. We stand ready to step up cooperation with the US in this regard and secure substantial results through our joint efforts.
The Chinese Government places great importance on climate change and deals with the issue in a responsible attitude by taking a series of effective policies and measures including formulating China’s National Climate Change Programme. In spite of the current international financial crisis, China’s determination to address climate change stays firm and its action stays active. We are ready to join the international community to bring success to the Copenhagen conference and further promote the international cooperation on climate change.
Q: What is the position of the US in China’s foreign policy? How do you expect the new US Administration to improve China-US relations?
A: We highly value our relations with the US. China and the US are the biggest developing and developed countries respectively. A healthy, stable and sound China-US relationship not only benefits the two countries and peoples but also contributes to peace and development in the Asia-Pacific region and other parts of the world. We are ready to work with the new US Administration, strengthen dialogue and cooperation and build up mutual trust so as to further promote the bilateral relations in the new era.
Q: This year marks the centenary of the International Opium Commission, which was convened in Shanghai in 1909. Will China hold any commemorative activities?
A: In order to commemorate the centenary of the International Opium Commission, the Chinese Government will host commemorative activities in Shanghai from February 26 to 27.
The International Opium Commission, convened in Shanghai in February 1909, was the first international meeting on drug prohibition. The meeting led to the signing of the International Opium Convention at the Hague in1912, which was the first international anti-drug treaty. Having vigorously promoted the international anti-drug efforts, the meeting was a milestone in international drug control history.
At present, the Chinese Government is actively preparing for the commemorative activities, and planning to invite 16 government delegations and representatives from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the International Narcotics Control Board.
The secretariat of the commemoration will release information to the media in due course.
Q: President Sarkozy met with the Dalai Lama last year. Can you tell us if the Chinese and French diplomats are working on a reconciliation text between the two countries?
A: We have noted several times that the difficulties in current China-France relations are not caused by China. France should take the initiative to adopt concrete and active steps, actively and positively respond to China’s major and core concerns, and bring China-France relations back to the track of normal development.
If there are no more questions, thank you for coming. See you.