Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on June 17, 2010
On the afternoon of June 17, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have one announcement to start with.
At the invitation of Governor General Michaelle Jean and Prime Minister Stephen Happer of Canada, President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to Canada and attend the Fourth G20 Leaders Summit to be held in Toronto from June 23 to 27.
Now I'm ready to take your questions.
Q: I understand that Pakistan's Army Chief is visiting China at the moment, do you have any details on his itinerary? What are military relations like between China and Pakistan? Secondly, the US State Department said yesterday it was seeking clarification from China about a deal that China signed earlier this year to build two civilian nuclear power stations in Pakistan. I understand the US is expected to oppose this deal at a meeting of Nuclear Suppliers' Group. I wonder if the US has already communicated with you its concerns about this deal, and what China's reaction is to that.
A: About Pakistan's military official's visit to China, please check with the Defense Department. If you are interested in military-to-military relations between China and Pakistan, please also refer to Defense Department.
Over the past years, China and Pakistan have been cooperating on nuclear energy for civilian use. Our cooperation is consistent with the two countries' respective international obligations, entirely for peaceful purpose and subject to IAEA safeguard and supervision.
Q: Could you brief us on China's efforts to evacuate Chinese citizens in Kyrgyzstan? How many Chinese nationals are still left stranded?
A: After the unrest erupted in Southern Kyrgyzstan, the Chinese leaders and Chinese Government placed great emphasis on the safety of Chinese nationals in the country. Thanks to joint efforts, the evacuation has basically been completed. Around 1300 Chinese citizens have returned to China in 9 chartered planes. We will continue to follow the situation closely and provide good consular protection.
Q: It's reported that the DPRK side offered to make compensation for the gunshot incident at China-DPRK border early June. Could you confirm?
A: China took the case seriously and has made solemn representations to the DPRK side. The border authorities from both countries are working on the issue. I believe competent authorities will release information in due course.
Q: Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang has recently visited Pakistan and had talks with Pakistani leadership on various subjects including economic cooperation. Some media reports in China have suggested that China and Pakistan are considering building an energy pipeline for diversifying China's energy supply. What would you like to comment on this?
A: China and Pakistan share profound traditional friendship and sound cooperation relations. During Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang's recent visit to Pakistan, the two sides had in-depth exchange of views on furthering cooperation in various fields, reaching a lot of major consensus. China is ready to further strengthen cooperation with Pakistan in different fields including energy on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win result.
Q: The G20 Summit is being seen as kind of an unofficial deadline by some for China to make a move on its currency reform. Critics in the US are again getting louder about the issue despite China having said that the two sides must talk about it "in a quite manner". I know you have already talked about it Tuesday, but I was wondering if you could comment today, are you concerned about a negative cycle of reinforcement emerging where the louder the US rhetoric gets, the less able China is to move on its currency reform without seeming to give in to international pressure. What sort of message will President Hu Jintao be giving to the American leader at the next week's summit?
A: You are trying to ask whether China would agree to discuss the RMB exchange rate issue at the G20 summit. I have to point out that the RMB exchange rate is not the cause for the international financial crisis, nor is it a barrier for world economic recovery or balanced and sustainable growth. Although there's sign of economic recovery, the basis remains vulnerable, and there are still lots of uncertainties and unstable factors. The international community should further strengthen solidarity and cooperation in order to consolidate the momentum of recovery, which is supposed to be the main theme of the Toronto Summit. We don't think it is appropriate to discuss the RMB exchange rate issue at the G20 Summit.
During the international financial crisis, the Chinese Government maintained the basic stability of the RMB exchange rate, rather than depreciating it against the US dollars as other currencies did. This has played an important role in overcoming the crisis and promoting early recovery of world economy. We hope countries could take this issue fairly and objectively, and strengthen cooperation in the spirit of tiding over difficulties together so as to promote strong, sustainable and balanced growth of global economy. The Chinese Government will continue to steadily advance the reform of the formation mechanism of the RMB exchange rate under the principle of independent decision-making, controllability and gradual progress. As for when and how to carry out the reform, it will depend on the specific situation with Chinese and world economy. We oppose politicizing the issue or imposing pressure by making use of it.
Q: What are the topics China wants to discuss in the agenda of G20 summit? What is China's expectation ahead of this meeting?
A: Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai, Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao and Vice Governor Yi Gang of the People's Bank of China will brief the press at 9:30 am tomorrow about President Hu Jintao's upcoming visit to Canada and attendance at the G20 summit in Toronto. You are welcome to attend.
As for China's expectation of the summit, like I said, although there is sign of economic recovery, the basis remains vulnerable. We expect the summit to achieve positive and practical results as the following: First, strengthening countries' communication and coordination on macro economic policies to consolidate world economic recovery. We expect the Toronto Summit to focus on the European sovereign debt crisis, which is a prominent issue at present. Second, pushing towards the conclusion of IMF quota reform before the G20 summit in Seoul to give more representativeness and voice to the emerging markets and developing countries. Meanwhile, reform on financial regulation should be deepened and international financial system should be improved. Third, paying more attention to the issue of development and offering political support to the UN MDG high-level meeting to be held this September. Lastly, keeping opposition against trade protectionism, trying to conclude the Doha round negotiation and realize the established goals of the development round. This is China's expectation of the Toronto Summit. We hope G20 member states could make joint efforts to make sure that the summit live up to people's expectation.
Q: To follow the question on the nuclear power plants that China plans to build for Pakistan, you reiterated China's stance in general, but I'd appreciate if you could just elaborate a bit on whether China has already secured NSG permission on that? And is China going to clarify this issue to the US in the coming weeks?
A: I don't have anything to add on this issue. Still, I have to stress that the China-Pakistan cooperation on civilian nuclear energy is consistent with the two countries' respective international obligations, for peaceful purpose and subject to IAEA safeguard and supervision.
Q: About US arms sales to Taiwan, yesterday, the US Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Feinstein told the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates that Chinese leaders had offered to reposition some of their military forces opposite Taiwan and that the US arms sales to Taiwan would hurt closer ties with China. May I have your comment please?
A: We have taken note of the remarks by US Senator Feinstein.
China firmly opposes US arms sales to Taiwan, which severely undermines China's core interest. Our position is clear and consistent. We demand and urge the US side to honor its commitment, stop arms sales to Taiwan and take concrete actions to create conditions for the improvement and development of China-US relations.
Q: The Japanese Government decided on June 15 to appoint Mr. Uichiro Niwa who is from Japan's private sector as the new Ambassador to China. How do you comment? What is China's expectation to the new Ambassador?
A: We welcome the appointment of Mr. Uichiro Niwa as Japan's new Ambassador to China by Japanese Cabinet, and expect new Ambassador to play a positive role in promoting China-Japan relations.
If there are no other questions, there's something I'd like to say. This week from June 12 to 18 is China's week of energy conservation. I'd like to take this opportunity to call on the society through our media friends to raise people's awareness of water conservation, energy efficiency and low-carbon life to build a harmonious world by starting from everyday efforts. Let's do it together.
Thank you all. See you!