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Chinese Government: Press Briefing

On the afternoon of February 17, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan held a regular press conference.

Kong: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the first regular press conference after the Spring Festival. First, please allow me to make an announcement. At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister Ham Lini of the Republic of Vanuatu will pay an official visit to China from February 24 to March 4.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: The DPRK declared that they had nuclear weapons, which is not welcomed by China. Does China feel threatened? Does China think it will trigger an arms race in the South Asia? Is China holding three-party talks with the US and the Republic of Korea to solve this issue?

A: We are still making analysis and discussion on the declaration by the DPRK on February 10. I want to stress that China persistently stands for the denuclearization, peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula has been agreed upon in the Six-Party Talks and approved of by the international community. We hope a fresh round of the Six-Party Talks can be held at an earlier date through the joint efforts of all parties. The fruits of the Six-Party Talks are hard-won, for which three rounds of talks as well as relevant working-group meetings have been held. The fruits should be jointly cherished by all parties. As to the nuclear issue on the Peninsula and the DPRK's reasonable concern about its security, we should seek a solution acceptable to all parties and finally realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through the mechanism of the Six-Party Talks on the current basis, which needs the unremitting efforts of all parties and particularly sincerity and flexibility of the DPRK and the US.

This afternoon, the Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei will separately meet with Mr. Hill, new top US negotiator on the Six-Party Talks and Song Min-soon, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. At this moment, relevant meetings are just underway. I hope I can brief you on the meetings later.

Q: How will China press the DPRK into returning to the road of Six-Party Talks? Will China stop its energy supply to the DPRK as before? An official from the US CIA said that China constituted a threat by increasing its military force in the Taiwan Straits. What's China's comment on that?


A: When handling international relations, we propose not to use sanction and pressure at every turn, which usually complicate the situation instead of solving the problem. We also stress on many occasions that the solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula can only be found through dialogue and negotiation, which is acceptable to all parties and in the interests of all parties. Any other choice does not help to solve the issue or maintain the peace and stability on the Peninsula, but only to complicate the issue. During his telephone talks with the US State Secretary, the Russian Foreign Minister, the Japanese Foreign Minister and the ROK Foreign Minister respectively on February 12, 14 and 16, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing clarified China's position that China hoped all parties to make joint efforts to ensure the early start of the Six-Party Talks by keeping self-restained and calm.

As to the speech on the US Senate hearing by the new director of CIA, we also read relevant reports on that. I think a large amount of facts have proven that China's peaceful development brings opportunities of peaceful development and cooperation to Asia and the countries form the world as well. This has won the praise of the international community. Now, it is the separatists within the Taiwan Island who are causing troubles, disturbances and tense situation in the Taiwan Straits and Asia. I hope this US senior official can objectively analyze the current situation across the Taiwan Straits, seriously carry out the 'one China' policy reiterated by the US Administrations, stick to the three Sino-US Communiqués, oppose 'Taiwan Independence', restrain from sending false signals to Taiwan separatists and jointly safeguard the peace and stability in Asia.

Q: From the perspective of Chinese Government, can China understand the DPRK's withdrawal from the Six-Party Talks? Does China think the DPRK's action reasonable?

A: I want to answer your question from another perspective. We emphasize on many occasions that the denuclearization of the Peninsula is conducive to the peace and stability of the Asian-Pacific Region and the world as a whole. That has been agreed in three rounds of the Six-Party Talks and become the consensus of the international community. We believe the Six-Party Talks is the most efficient way to solve the issue. We hope the next round of the Six-Party Talks to be held at an earlier date. The process of the Six-Party Talks is hard and zigzagging and the issue is complex. The biggest obstacle is that the two major parties ?? the DPRK and the US, lack trust in each other. We called on them for many times, hoping them to increase trust and reduce suspicion, to show patience, sincerity and flexibility, and to make joint efforts together with the international community to create conditions for the early start of the next round of the Six-Party Talks.

Q: After the DPRK announced that they had nuclear weapons, did China contact the DPRK? It's reported that Wang Jiarui will be sent to the DPRK. Can you confirm that?

A: After the DPRK's declaration, China has been keeping in contact and communication with the DPRK. Minister Wang Jiarui is to visit the DPRK at the invitation of International Department of the DPRK Workers' Party. During his visit, he will exchange views with the DPRK on some plans and arrangements of the exchanges between the two parties this year as well as the international and regional issues of common interest.

Q: Yesterday, the nominator of the US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick said at the hearing that China was running in the opposite direction to the peaceful solution of the Taiwan question by stipulating anti-secession law. What's your comment? In addition, will some Guatemalan officials visit China recently?

A: As to Zoellick's address, I paid more attention to his remarks that the reciprocal cooperation between the US and China will be enhanced. We appreciate that. We hope to make concerted efforts with the US to push forward the constructive cooperation between the two countries according to the consensus reached when the leaders of the two countries met in San Diego.

As to China's law against secession, we have clarified our stand on many occasions that the Chinese National People's Congress launched this procedure only for the purpose of checking the splittist movement. This law will help to safeguard the peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits. We also reiterate on many occasions that the Chinese Government firmly upholds the policy of ' peaceful reunification, one country two systems', and will make the biggest efforts to strive for the peaceful solution of the Taiwan question with the biggest sincerity and determination. But by no means, will we tolerate 'Taiwan Independence'. As for your second question, I have no information available. I can check it out for you.

Q: The DPRK hopes to talk with the US directly after declaring they had nuclear weapons. What's China's view on that? You just mentioned Mr. Wang Jiarui is to visit the DPRK. What's the agenda? Will he meet with Chairman King Jong IL?

A: It's necessary for the DPRK to have direct contacts with the US. In the past three rounds of Talks, the DPRK and the US also had different forms of direct contacts. Under the current situation, we think the most important thing is that all parties can show sincerity and flexibility, and make joint efforts to hold the Six-Party Talks at an earlier date. We believe the mechanism of the Six-Party Talks is effective and diplomatic negotiation is the best way to solve relevant issues.

As for the agenda of Minister Wang Jiarui's visit, I have no information available on who he is to meet with.

Q: The Kyoto Protocol came into effect yesterday. As a country with the second largest carbon dioxide emission , what measures will China take?

A: We are pleasant to see the Kyoto Protocol became effective yesterday. I think your question should be considered comprehensively. The change of the global climate is the outcome of the long-term industrialization of developed countries and the price paid in their accumulation process of industrialization. That's why in the negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, all sides reached a consensus that although both the developed countries and the developing countries are responsible, their responsibilities are different due to the history and process of industrialization. The Kyoto Protocol demands that the developed countries reduce or limit the emission of green house gases from 2008 to 2012. The Protocol, as an important document to implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the legal basis for the international community to take concrete measures to cope with climate changes, should be put into action as early as possible.

It's true that China, as the largest developing countries, ranks second in terms of carbon dioxide emission. On the other hand, our per capita emission of carbon dioxide is low in the world due to a 1.3 billion population. Nevertheless, China is also taking active measures to prevent our common home and the global climate from further deteriorating. Yesterday, China held a special ceremony to celebrate the entry into force of the Kyoto protocol. In the ceremony, Liu Jiang, Vice Minister in charge of the State Development and Reform Commission and head of the Chinese delegation to negotiation of convention on climate change, briefed on some measures taken by China to reduce the impacts on the climate in the process of economic development and industrialization. Besides the organization of a national coordination institution on climate change and active participation in international negotiation on climate change, all departments of the Chinese Governments adopted a series of policies and measures to slow down the emission of greenhouse gases, including increasing the efficiency of utilizing energy, improving energy structure, promoting the utilization of new energy and reproducible energy and etc. China's positive measures proved that we attached great importance to the issue of climate change and we took a positive attitude towards the issue.

Q: Although the Six-Party Talks have been underway for more than two years, the situation saw little change up to now. Under the current condition, does China have any new proposal on holding the Six-Party Talks?

A: I cannot agree with you on your remarks that no fruits have been yielded through all these rounds of Six-Party Talks. In retrospect, we have made great efforts and we have achieved progress and reached important consensus. In the third round of Talks, all parties made detailed discussion on the core issue. That is a marvelous progress compared with setting the topic for discussion at the very beginning. That is also the basis to resume the Six-Party Talks. We hope that all parties can make joint efforts to hold the Six-Party Talks at an earlier date based on the hard-won fruits.

Q: China has the most dangerous coal mines in the world and saw many mine disasters over these years. Have the Chinese Government considered to invite international organizations to help supervise the safety of coal mines or ask for technical assistance from foreign countries?

A: It is a good question, although it shall not be answered by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson. The disastrous accident happened in Fuxin coal mine aroused the concern of all Chinese and greatly shocked the international community. You mentioned that whether China would ensure the safety in production of coal mines through international cooperation. I totally agree with you even though I don't know the detailed information on that. In fact, China has already cooperated with many countries on the safety in production of coal mines. Certainly, we hope that similar accidents will continue to reduce in our economic development. Over the past two or three years, the Chinese Government continually stressed the guarantee of safe production. Judging from the current situation, more measures are needed. After the accident, Mr. Hua Jianmin, General Secretary of the State Council, headed a working group and hurried to Fuxin coal mine at that night. A series of rescue work were adopted. It's more important that he especially mentioned that the concept of safe production should be strengthened throughout the country and relevant measures should be enhanced.

Q: It has been 8 months since the last round of Six-Party Talks. At present, the DPRK shows no interests in returning to negotiation. Can we say the Six-Party Talks has been failed? Should we take new diplomatic means to solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula?

A: I don't know how long you have been following the Six-Party Talks. If you have carefully reviewed the Six-Party Talks in the past two years, you would not reach such a conclusion. Every step taken in the first, the second and the third round of Talks has proven that the process of negotiation is hard and tortuous due to the complexity of the issue. Every progress achieved demands all parties to show great sincerity, patience, flexibility and calmness. We encountered unexpected difficulties for many times. It is the consensus of the international community as well as all the six parties that the Six-Party Talks is the effective mechanism and channel to solve the issue. Therefore, we should cherish the fruits yielded. The pressing demand of the moment is that all parties, the DPRK and the US in particular, continue to make efforts to create conditions for the early start of the Six-Party Talks.

Q: With regard to the Six-Party Talks, you have said that Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the United States should be more flexible and more friendly for many times. On which aspects should they be more flexible and friendly? Besides, the British Chancellor of Exchequer Brown will pay a visit to China from next Monday to Tuesday. What is the subject of his discussion with the Chinese counterparts? Will they sign any agreements?

A: As long as you write in your report that China hopes all parties, especially the United States and Democratic People's Republic of Korea, to be more sincere, friendly and flexible,. I believe that they will understand the meaning. With regard to the visit of British Chancellor of Exchequer Brown, I will tell you on the next press conference after getting some information. I believe that it is an important visit, and China and Britain always keep sound relations in financial cooperation. Recently, when the president of People's Bank of China and the Chancellor of Exchequer held a talk with colleagues of other seven countries in London, they also met with Mr. Brown. The meeting is very important to enhance mutual consensus. We hope that the two parts will promote cooperation and further enhance mutual consensus on regulations of macro-economy and future of the world economy through the visit of Mr. Brown.

Q: With regard to the Kyoto Protocol, what message does china want to send to those countries that have not signed the Protocol yet?

A: China appeals for and hopes those developed countries sign the protocol as soon as possible.

Q: The Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs paid a visit to Pakistan today, and the two sides signed an agreement on opening road traffic in Kashmir. What is your comment?

A: I have taken note of the news. We welcome and feel pleasant with the action of opening road traffic in Kashmir through friendly negotiation between India and Pakistan. We always hope that the two sides will solve their conflicts left by history through friendly negotiation.

Q: China keeps close relations with the DPRK. Did the Democratic People's Republic of Korea notify China before its announcement? Does China believe that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have the nuclear arms?

A: With regard to the notification, I do not know the details. We are still analyzing its announcement delivered on February10. During the contacts with all parties on 12, 14, 16 and today, we have reiterated that our position on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and that goal should never be changed.

Q: Some reports say that a series of bomb attacks happened in Philippine recently and caused heavy casualties. What is your comment?

A: China strongly condemns the recent terrorist bomb attacks in Philippine. The Chinese Government is firmly opposed to terrorism in all forms and supports the Philippine government's effort to safeguard its national stability.

Q: After Democratic People's Republic of Korea has declared to suspend the six-party talk indefinitely, has China lodged any pretext to Democratic People's Republic of Korea? When Democratic People's Republic of Korea delivered the announcement, some congressmen of Japan claimed for economic punishments on the North Korea, what is your comment?

A: While keeping close watch on the state of affairs, China keeps in contact with all other parties, and indicates clearly that China is willing to continue the six-party talks after Democratic People's Republic of Korea delivered its announcement on February10. Regarding your second question, when Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing called Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs on February16, they exchanged views on mutual relations and the nuclear issue on Korean peninsula. Li zhaoxing emphasized that all parties should keep calm and self-restrained, and make efforts to resume the six-party talks in order to adhere to the goal of denuclearization in Korean Peninsula at present. The Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs figured out that Japanese Government would make efforts to resume the six-party talk as soon as possible and solve the nuclear issue on Korean Peninsula by peaceful means.

Q: What kind of flexible attitude does China expect the US to take on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula? And what does China expect the DPRK to do?

A: Just then a news agency raised the same question, and I already gave the answer. What we expect from the DPRK side and US side is quite clear. The meaning of sincere, patient and flexible participation is also clear to the two sides. The key point now is creating suitable conditions to resume the six-party talks as soon as possible, by efforts from both sides, accumulating trust and dissolving suspicions through dialogue and negotiation. We hope the two sides will earnestly address the concerns from each other.

Q: The Chinese side said it will adopt other effective measures after the telephone call between South Korea's Foreign Minister and China's Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing. What does the 'effective measures' refer to? My second question is, the G8 summit meeting will be held in Ireland this July, will China participate in this year's G8 summit meeting? Does China think the opportunity is already mature for China to join the G8?

A: Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and South Korea's Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon made a telephone call yesterday. Both sides believe the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsular should be solved peacefully through dialogue, a nuclear-free peninsular should be realized and the regional peace and stability should be maintained. We hope every side could reinforce its diplomatic effort, prevent the condition from becoming further complicated, and striving for an early resumption of the six-party talks. As for what measures to adopt, both China and Korea will choose what is suitable in their consideration, and make an effort to promote an early resumption of the six-party talks. Only China and ROK's efforts are certainly far from being enough, the main responsibility lies in the U.S. and DPRK's side.

G8 is an important component of the international community, and this mechanism is exerting an important influence in international politics and economic affairs. China is the biggest developing country in the world. As an important member in the international community, China keeps a positive attitude to hold dialogues and consultations with G8, which is beneficial to both sides and to the world peace, stability and development. During this year's G7 central bank governor and finance minister's meeting, China had a positive dialogue with its counterparts, which is good to deepen mutual understanding. As to the head level dialogue, the G8 group made some suggestions and China is considering.

Q: Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan will pay a visit to three African countries next week, including Angola. What goals does he want to achieve in this visit?


A: Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan's visit will cover three countries, which are Kenya, Congo and Angola. These three countries have traditional friendly relationS with China. During recent years, the mutual beneficial cooperation in many fields between China and the three countries are further deepening. This is Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan's first visit to the three coutries, and he will exchange in-depth opinions with leaders of the three countries on bilateral relations, especially on which fields could be further developed to widen and strengthen the bilateral cooperation. This visit will undoubtedly promote the development of the relations between China and Kenya, Congo and Angola in an all-round way. During the visit, Zeng Peiyan will also attend the 23rd meeting of the United Nations Environment Program, and 23rd Global Ministerial Environment Forum held in Nairobi as a special guest. He will introduce Chinese government's attaching great importance on environmental issues, as well as a series of measures taken to protect the environment, which especially includes the propositions and policies on scientific and sustainable development.

Q: U.S. CIA said yesterday that North Korea might test missiles recently. What's comment on that? The second question, a U.S. Congress representative presented a bill, demanding U.S. to end the one China policy and resume diplomatic ties with Taiwan. What's your comment on that?

A: About your first question. I don't want to make any comment on questions based on speculation. I've said our propositions for the six-party talks, which includes any action to make the problem becoming further complicated should not be taken by every side, instead, we should show our goodwill and flexibility, to create conditions for an early resumption of the six-party talks.

The so-called 'bill' presented by a handful of U.S. Congress representatives severely violated the basic rules of international relations and the three joint communiqués between China and the U.S.. It runs to the opposite direction of the one China policy, which the U.S. government reiterated many times, and it's a brutal interfere of China's internal affair, sending a misleading message to "Taiwan Independence" force, for which China is strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposed. We demand the U.S. to realize the serious jeopardizing nature of that bill, carry on its one China policy and the promise to oppose to 'Taiwan Independence', clearly oppose it and adopt measures to prevent the Congress passing the relevant bill. We require the U.S. to do more things which are beneficial to China-U.S. relation and the maintenance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits, not the opposite.

Q: Iran and Syria have announced to form a common front to face external challenges and threats. What's China's comment on that?

A: We have read relevant reports.

Q: From China's angle, what results have been achieved from the six-party talks up to now?

A: I have answered that question just then. Simply speaking, it's already a great progress that we could hold three rounds of talks within two years. You should still remember, at the beginning these countries are seriously opposite to each other. Of course, resistance still exists, but these countries have come to the stage where the concrete issues lies, and they are discussing how to settle the problem, which is not an easy result. On the basis of this uneasily got result, we hope every side could cherish the efforts we have made and the results we have got, and continue the process of the six-party talk.

Q: What's China's position on Syria pulling out its troops from Lebanon?

A: Syria's garrison in Lebanon is a problem produced by the specific historical situations in the Middle East region, in which many respects are involved. We think this issue should be solved by dialogue and negotiation between the two sides.

Follow-up: What will be China's position if a ballot was held (in UN)? Will China support it? Or will China abstain?

A: First of all, we should see the content of the resolution, to see if this resolution is any helpful to maintain the peace and stability in the Middle East on the whole. We will give you our position only after we understand the resolution comprehensively.

Q: Just then you emphasized that, although China is the world second largest producer of greenhouse gases, from the people average angle, China is not that bad. Australia said, since the U.S. and China didn't participate in the Kyoto Protocol, it will also not participate. What's China's reaction to this?

A: we do not feel satisfied or self-consoled for the low emission per person. We have fully realized that we are facing a global problem, a problem which will influence the offspring of the whole human being. Just from this angle, although Kyoto protocol doesn't have a clear limit to its emissions, Chinese government still adopted a series of measures to reduce the green house emission in the process of our nation's fast economic development, and paid attention to the other environmental problems. Just then I have introduced the seven main measures that the Chinese government has taken. Actually, there are some others, such as planting trees to form forests. China's efforts and contributions to the protocol is widely recognized by the international community. The Chinese government will reinforce its efforts in this respect. As to the attitudes of some developed countries, we appeal these developed countries will sign the Kyoto Protocol as soon as possible, thus making the measures dealing with the climate changes by international society take concrete effect globally.

Follow-up: Although China doesn't have the duty to make commitment, Australia said it didn't participate in the Kyoto Protocol because China didn't take on its commitment. What's China's reaction to this?

A: I haven't heard the relevant remarks of Australia. I think China's effort to carry out the Kyoto Protocol is realized by the international society. I've made a specific introduction to you just then, that China has been actively participated in the negotiations. After the Kyoto Protocol took effect from February 16, China will reinforce the implementation of the Protocol. We will continue to explore new ways to deal with the climate changes which are suitable to different countries through international cooperation. Our final aim is to keep our earth and living environment well protected.

If no more questions are to be raised, let's call it a day.

Thank you for your coming!


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