On the afternoon of February 21, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Six-Party Talks, the China-Japan Strategic Dialogue, the US firing a missile to destroy a failed satellite, the Beijing Olympics and etc.
Liu Jianchao: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to begin with two announcements.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Umru Musa Yar' Adua of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, will pay a state visit to China from February 27 to March 1.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, US Secretary of State Rice will visit China from February 26 to 27. The two sides will exchange views on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues of common interest.
Now, the floor is open.
Q: The US successfully launched a missile to destroy the failed satellite today. Do you have any comment?
A: China is closely following the possible damage to the security of outer space and relevant countries by the US move. China urges the US to fulfill its international obligations in earnest and provide necessary information and relevant data to the international community promptly, so that relevant countries can take precautions accordingly.
Q: Mr. Hill and Kim Kye-gwan had a meeting in Beijing on Tuesday, and chief negotiators from the DPRK and the ROK to the Six-Party Talks met in Beijing today and exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the Six-Party Talks. Do you have details of the meeting? Do you have any comment?
A: China has met with Mr. Hill and Kim Kye-gwan respectively and we have briefed each other on the bilateral meetings. I have no information about the specifics of the meeting between the DPRK and the ROK.
It is witnessed by all that the Six-Party Talks and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula have made lots of positive progress, as a result of the enormous efforts of all parties including China. In spite of the current difficulties, relevant parties, persisting in their political will of fulfilling their obligations and moving ahead, have kept beneficial communication and coordination. China hopes to continue its efforts with relevant countries and the international community and play a constructive role in implementing the agreement reached in an all-round and balanced way, pressing ahead with the Six-Party Talks and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and phasing in the goals set in the Joint Statement.
At the press conference this Thursday, I was asked a question about the economic and energy working group meeting of China, the DPRK and the ROK. I would like to share with you some information I have got. China, DPRK and ROK agree to hold a coordination conference in Beijing on February 21, to discuss the economic and energy assistance to the DPRK from China and the ROK within the framework of the Six-Party Talks. Ambassador Chen Naiqing for the Korean Peninsula Issues from the Chinese Foreign Ministry will attend the meeting, heading a delegation composed of officials from the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Commerce.
Q: Some foreign media quoted officials from the State Administration of Religious Affairs as saying that the Vatican might take moves over the Taiwan issue or send representatives to attend the Beijing Olympics. Does the Chinese Foreign Ministry believe that the Vatican is making efforts? Will the Vatican attend the Games? Besides, could you tell us how many countries will send representatives to the Olympics?
A: We still adhere to the two fundamental principles on issues relating to China-Vatican relations and this position remains unchanged. China has been having contact with the Vatican and hopes it can exert sincerity to address the two major concerns of China with a view to creating conditions for the improvement and normalization of China-Vatican relations. I have no information on whether Vatican representatives will attend the Beijing Olympics. As far as I know, up to now, over a hundred leaders from dozens of countries have expressed their wish to attend the Games and specific numbers have to be further confirmed.
Q: Free Tibet issued a statement that the Chinese Government is promoting Mandarin in Tibet at the cost of the development of Tibetan language. Do you have any comment?
A: Many of you present here have been to Tibet and should be well aware of the use of Tibetan language there. Tibetan and mandarin have been given equal importance in Tibet and Tibetan is widely studied, used and promoted. As to the statement from the group, we in China will describe it as calling white black and I don't believe they could fool those who know the situation there.
Q: Yesterday, due to the opposition of the US Committee of Foreign Investment, Huawei Company and US investor Bain Capital withdrew their application for purchasing shares of US 3Com Company. Are you concerned that Chinese companies may encounter US trade protectionism when they make investment in the US?
A: To my knowledge, Huawei is a relatively competitive company in telecommunication equipment industry in China. In seeking international cooperation, it conducts normal business investment in line with market rules and makes investment decisions according to its need of development. We hope competent US authorities deal with relevant problems according to law and create a fair and reasonable environment for the investment of Chinese companies in the US.
Q: China-Japan strategic dialogue will be held in Beijing from tomorrow. As far as I know, the East China Sea issue will remain to be the major topic. Do you believe any breakthrough could be made in this dialogue? Will the dumpling issue be discussed? Experts and authorities from both countries are communicating on that in Tokyo, how do you assess the investigation?
A: The 8th China-Japan Strategic Dialogue will be held in Beijing from February 22 to 23. Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka will head respective delegation. The two sides will proceed from strategic and long-term perspective in the in-depth exchange of views on the enhancement of strategic mutual trust and cooperation. Under this circumstance, we would not rule out the possibility that there might be discussions on certain specific issues. Chinese and Japanese governments and competent authorities, attaching great importance to the dumpling issue, are conducting coordinated investigation and exerting utmost efforts to find out the cause. I hope, with the enhanced cooperation between the two sides, the investigation could proceed smoothly and yield beneficial results.
Q: During his visit to Ghana, President Bush said that China, seeking commercial resources in Africa, does little to improve the people's livelihood there while the US policy is to help African people. Do you have any comment?
A: I won't comment on the US Africa policy but I hope it be conducive for peace and development there. As to China's policy, first of all, it is a responsible policy. Second, China's trade and economic policy towards Africa is aimed to enhance mutually-beneficial cooperation with win-win outcome and to promote peace and development of Africa. Third, the cooperation between China and Africa is widely applauded by African people. I took note that the Ghanan President said explicitly during his meeting with President Bush that China participates in Africa's construction and cooperation as a friend and partner, which I believe represents the common views of leaders and people from the vast majority of African countries. This is undeniable no matter how one views or interprets China's Africa policy.
Q: It's been a while since some suggestions were put forward by people both in and out of China on how China could better deliver its Olympic commitments and improve human rights protection. For instance, some Chinese scholars suggested that the NPC should ratify International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. What measures will the Chinese Government take before the Beijing Olympic Games commences so as to live up to international expectations?
A: As I see it, the Chinese Government is not improving human rights protection merely for the sake of the Beijing Olympics. Ever since the People's Republic of China was founded, the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese Government under its leadership have been committed to improving and codifying human rights protection in China. In the past decades, particularly since reform and opening-up, the Chinese Government has spared no efforts in improving human rights, and has scored remarkable achievements. Many of you in this room have been staying in China for quite a while, and you must have witnessed the constant improvement and development of Chinese people's rights of survival, development and civil and political rights. The Chinese Government will always be dedicated to improving and protecting human rights, be it prior to, or in the midst of or beyond the Beijing Olympics. In this regard, any suggestions of good-will are welcome. At the same time, I believe, to promote human rights undertaking in China, it's also important to bear our national conditions in mind.
Q: China Daily recently quoted Mr. Rogge, the President of the International Olympics Committee as saying that US President Bush and French President Sarkozy are likely to attend the Beijing Olympics. Can you confirm?
A: President Bush and President Sarkozy both expressed their wish to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. And they are warmly welcome to come.
Q: Japanese Police said today that the Chinese dumplings were probably contaminated before they were exported to Japan. How would you comment on this?
A: I have taken note of similar remarks by the Japanese Police last week. Such judgement, or rather speculation still needs to be checked through serious, scientific and comprehensive investigations. I don't think it's correct or responsible, to draw a conclusion based on speculations or one-side stories at this point. I believe that the police also have rules to play by in their investigations. I also notice that some Japanese media have suggested lately that China and Japan should not blame each other or request each other to take entire responsibilities in this case, but instead, carry out earnest investigation in full sail. Given the current circumstances speculations that do not hold water will do no good to the investigations.
Q: Could you brief us on US Secretary of State Rice's itinerary in China? Whom will she meet with? And what topics will be covered?
A: US Secretary of State Rice will pay a short visit to China from 26 to 27, and her schedule will be tight with a lot of activities. She will meet with Chinese leaders and have a talk with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. The specific itinerary is still under discussion between the two countries, and it will be released in due course. Friends from the press are welcome to cover the visit.
China views the current visit by US Secretary of State as an important diplomatic exchange between China and the US. We hope that the two countries will exchange views on a broad range of issues of common interest, further implement a series of major consensus reached by leaders of the two countries, and strengthen exchanges and cooperation in a wide range of fields so that the China-US constructive relations of cooperation will move ahead in a sound, stable and sustained manner.
If there are no further questions, thank you for your attendance. See you next time!