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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on June 25, 2009

2009/06/26

On the afternoon of June 25, 2009, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.

Qin Gang: Good afternoon, Ladies and gentlemen. I have several announcements to start with.

At the invitation of Vice President Xi Jinping, Vice-President Boakai of the Republic of Liberia will pay an official visit to China from July 5 to 11.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Bogollagama of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka will pay an official visit to China from July 1 to 5.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Hassan of the Republic of Indonesia will pay an official visit to China from July 1 to 2.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Hungarian Foreign Minister Balázs will pay a working visit to China from July 2 to 5.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: Recently, 75 Chinese fishermen were detained by Indonesia in China's traditional fishing grounds off the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea. Could you update us on their situation? When can they be released?

A: On June 20, eight fishing boats from Guangxi Autonomous Region were detained by Indonesian patrol vessels in China's traditional fishing grounds off the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea. China takes this very seriously. China's Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia lodged urgent representations with the Indonesian Ambassador to China and relevant authorities in Indonesia respectively, expressing strong dissatisfaction over the detention and urging the Indonesian Government to release the fishermen and their boats immediately.

The Foreign Ministry has instructed the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia to send officials to visit the fishermen shortly.

Q: US trade officials are dissatisfied with China's plan to pre-install the Green Dam software in PCs, claiming that it would violate international trade rules. Given no comment yet from the Ministry of Commerce, how do you respond?

A: I have answered questions concerning the Green Dam software many times from this podium and I have nothing more to add. Please refer to competent authorities for more details.

Q: Some believe that the DPRK will not scrap its nuclear program and return to the negotiating table unless China stops its aid to the DPRK. Do you have any comment?

A: China's position on the DPRK nuclear issue is unequivocal. We uphold the objective of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and a peaceful resolution of this issue through dialogue and consultations for peace and stability of the Peninsula and this region.

As a responsible member of the international community, China believes that all countries are obliged to earnestly implement relevant Security Council resolutions. Meanwhile, measures taken should not affect the DPRK people's wellbeing, its normal trade and economic activities, which is the consensus of parties concerned and the international community at large.

We are willing to join other parties in bringing the issue back to the track of dialogue.

Q: Which Chinese leader will attend the G8 outreach session? Will there be any briefings on that?

A: China always adopts a positive and constructive attitude towards participating in the G8 outreach session. We believe this mechanism contributes to South-North dialogue and cooperation and enables the international community to tackle global issues and challenges so as to enhance cooperation for mutual benefit. In this spirit, we are actually considering taking part in this year's session and we will release relevant information in due course.

Q: Could you share with us the schedule of Indonesian Foreign Minister in China? According to Indonesian media, the two countries will sign an extradition agreement during his visit, please confirm.

A: China and Indonesia, as strategic partners, have witnessed sound momentum for development of bilateral relations. The bilateral trade volume stood at $31.52 billion in 2008, reaching the goal of $30 billion two years in advance. This year, the two sides signed a bilateral currency swap deal worth RMB100 billion, which played a positive role in promoting trade and economic cooperation and restoring market confidence. We also have enjoyed remarkable results of cooperation in infrastructure construction, culture, and judiciary, among others.

During Foreign Minister Hassan's visit, Vice Premier Li Keqiang will meet with him and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will hold talks with him. They will exchange views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common interest. It is believed that this visit will further develop our strategic partnership.

As for the Chinese shipping boats detained by Indonesia and issues alike, we hope they be properly dealt with through consultation and in line with overall interest of bilateral relations.

As to whether any extradition agreement will be signed, I could double-check that for you.

Q: Today marks the 59th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. The second nuclear test of the DPRK has brought much destabilizing elements to the situation on the Peninsula. The DPRK released a statement recently to withdraw from the Armistice Agreement. Do you have any comment?

A: First of all, thank you for reminding us of the occasion. At this point, in retrospect of the situation on the Peninsula, we realize that it is indeed of great significance to achieve denuclearization on the Peninsula and to safeguard peace and stability there. We hope that under the current circumstances, parties concerned maintain cool-headedness and restraint and enhance mutual trust through dialogue and consultations in a bid to achieve denuclearization and lasting peace and stability of the Peninsula. China will continue its unremitting efforts towards that goal.

Q: Given the Indonesian detention of Chinese fishing boats, will China plan to send patrol boats to waters off the Nansha Islands to protect Chinese fishing boats?

A: The Chinese Government attaches great importance to safeguarding national sovereignty as well as its citizens' safety and legitimate rights and interests. We have been resolute and responsible on this point. Under the current circumstances, we maintain that all parties should strictly follow the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and seek for solution through dialogue and consultation, so as to jointly safeguard peace and stability at South China Sea, which is in the common interest of all parties.

Q: Which Chinese official will attend the G8 plus five outreach session to be held in Italy in July?

A: Relevant information will be released in due course. Or you can check the records and see who attended the previous sessions.

Q: Are you expecting the newly-elected Nepalese Prime Minister to visit China in the weeks to come? A senior official from Myanmar recently visited China. Did you sign any agreement on oil pipelines?

A: On your first question, China and Nepal are friendly neighbors that share a peaceful and friendly boundary. We'd like to strengthen high-level exchanges with Nepal, deepen our cooperation in various fields and further promote our good neighborliness and friendly relations. As for Nepalese Prime Minister's visit to China, I don't have any confirmed information yet, when there is, we'll release it in due course.

On your second question, I think you were referring to the visit by Mr. Maung Aye, Vice-Chairman of Myanmar's State Peace and Development Council. The visit has concluded with a series of cooperation documents signed. As for the agreement you mentioned, that is corporative business and I take note that China National Petroleum Corporation has released relevant information on its website. We support companies from the two sides to strengthen cooperation and achieve win-win results on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

Q: The Japanese media Asahi Shimbun reported last week that Kim Jong-Un talked with President Hu Jintao and insisted that their source was reliable though the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson denied the news on June 18. Do you have any comment? Secondly, other Japanese media questioned the Asahi Shimbun story by quoting Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, now the Asahi Shimbun protests and wants an apology. Has Asahi Shimbun made any complaint to Foreign Ministry?

A: I've already made clarification on your question. It's your choice to believe in me or the report.

We have not received any complaint from Asahi Shimbun. Are you sure you are not talking about James Bond 007 series?

Q: Does the UN sanctions imposed upon the DPRK affect the country's trade with China?

A: UN Security Council Resolution 1874 explicitly prescribes that actions taken by the Security Council should not affect people's well-being and development in the DPRK, should not affect the country's normal trade and should not affect humanitarian assistance there. The fact that the Resolution was unanimously adopted means that there is high degree of consensus on this issue. As a responsible country, China will strictly comply with the Resolution.

We say in China that "it takes more than one cold day for the river to freeze three feet deep". The same goes with the DPRK issue, not to mention its ice was left over from the Cold War. For the ice to melt, we need heat from sincerity, mutual trust and cooperation. Ultimately, it's all about mutual trust and cooperation. How far the denuclearization on the Peninsula can go depends on how much trust parties can build and how well we can cooperate thereof.

Q: Report says that US Secretary of State Clinton had a phone conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. Could you tell us what was discussed, particularly on the DPRK nuclear issue?

A: Yesterday, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi had a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Clinton. They exchanged views and expounded on their respective positions on China-US relations as well as issues of common interest, including the DPRK nuclear issue.

Q: Could you give us more details about Sri Lankan Foreign Minister's visit to China? What will be discussed, especially China's role on the post-war reconstruction in Sri Lanka?

A: About Sri Lankan Foreign Minister's visit to China, I've just released the news. China and Sri Lanka are traditional friendly neighbors. In the past 52 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the two countries enjoy deepening political mutual trust and increasing exchanges and cooperation in various fields. The two countries always understand and support each other on international and regional issues. We have built up a comprehensive and cooperative partnership featured with sincerity, mutual assistance and friendship from generation to generation. Committed to developing friendly relations of cooperation with Sri Lanka on the basis of Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, the Chinese Government supports the efforts of the Sri Lankan Government in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. We always support national reconciliation and peace process in Sri Lanka, and stand ready to play a positive and constructive role in this regard. During Sri Lankan Foreign Minister's visit, the two countries will have in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and friendly cooperation. China will also convey the above message to Sri Lanka. Through concerted efforts from both sides, we believe the visit will further consolidate our traditional friendship and expand our mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields.

Q: Chinese media reported that India has imposed an import ban on China's electronic and daily products. Do you have any comment?

A: The Chinese Government always opposes trade protectionism and pursues an open-up policy of mutual benefit. Chinese products, including the electronic and daily products you mentioned are of good quality and low price. Why should such benefit to consumers around the world including those in India be denied? To close the door on such products by setting up trade barriers is not only a loss to China but also to consumers in India.

If there are no more questions, thank you for coming. See you!

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