Home > Remarks by China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on May 29, 2008
2008-05-30 00:00

On the afternoon of May 29, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the earthquake relief efforts, the Six-Party Talks, Indian Foreign Minister's visit to China, the peace process of Nepal and etc.

Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to begin with an announcement.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India, will pay an official visit to China from June 4 to 7.

Now the floor is open for your questions.

Q: Could you please share with us more information on the arrangement of Mr. Mukherjee's visit to China? Will the two countries sign any agreement? Will the visit boost the further development of India-China relations?

A: This is the first visit of Foreign Minister Mukherjee to China. China and India both attach great importance to the visit. We hope it can further enhance mutual trust of the two countries, the communication and cooperation between the two Foreign Ministries and bilateral pragmatic cooperation in various fields so as to further promote the development of China-India strategic partnership of cooperation.

During his stay in China, Mr. Mukherjee will talk with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, and meet with Chinese leaders. They will discuss how to further implement the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries on further promoting the development of China-India strategic partnership of cooperation and have in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of mutual interest. Besides Beijing, Mr. Mukherjee will also visit Guangzhou and inaugurate the Indian Consulate General there. Looking forward to his important visit, we wish it a complete success.

Q: Could you please brief us on the progress of the talks concerning the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue? When will the next round of talks be held?

A: The heads of delegations of China, the US, the DPRK and Japan to the Six-Party Talks began a series of bilateral meetings and consultation in Beijing from yesterday. Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, Head of the Chinese delegation met with his counterparts from the US, the DPRK and Japan respectively yesterday and today in Beijing. He will meet with his ROK counterpart tomorrow. Besides, the US and the DPRK, the ROK and the DPRK, the US and Japan have had or will have bilateral consultation and communications. We see these communications helpful and conducive to mutual understanding between related parties. We hope the proactive interactions can help to bring the comprehensive and balanced implementation of the second-phase action plan so as to promote the progress of the Six-Party Talks.

The date of the next round of Talks is still under discussion. We will update you once it is fixed.

Q: Yesterday, the Constitutional Assembly of Nepal announced the establishment of the Federal Democratic Republic. Do you have any response to that?

A: China is happy to see the first meeting of the Constitutional Assembly of Nepal going on smoothing. As a good neighbor and friend of Nepal, we sincerely hope to see it continue to press ahead with the peace process and enjoy political stability and economic progress.

The Chinese Government adheres to the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs. China respects the choice of people in Nepal of its social system and development road in light of its own national conditions. We are ready to make joint efforts with Nepal to promote the development of bilateral friendly relations and cooperation.

Q: Can you confirm that Japan Self-Defense Forces will send planes to deliver disaster relief goods to the quake-hit areas? Second, can the foreign journalists go to Tibet to cover the torch relay there?

A: On your first question, after the happening of the Wenchuan quake, the international community and many countries including Japan have offered human resources, material, financial or moral support. We express our heartfelt thanks to them. Some countries provided emergency disaster relief assistance. To make sure these materials reach the disaster-affected areas as fast as possible, as agreed by both sides, some countries use military planes to deliver the materials. Besides, the militaries of some countries also provided tents, blankets and other emergency relief materials.

Given the gravity of the disaster, further emergency relief assistance from countries or militaries will be welcome. If the Japan Self-Defense Forces have the kind intention, they need to discuss with the Defense Ministry.

On your second question, I will convey your will to the BOCOG and other related authorities.

Q: Has China asked the Japan Self-Defense Forces to send planes to deliver the materials? Have the two countries reached agreement on that? Second, will the ROK President Lee Myung-bak go to the disaster-affected areas?

A: China welcomes the aid for disaster relief from foreign countries and militaries. At the same time, some countries and militaries also express their willingness to provide aid to China. The specific arrangement and way of delivery for the aid from Japan will be decided after consultation between the two Defense Departments.

On your second question, the ROK President Lee Myung-bak is in China for a state visit. He will leave for Qingdao this afternoon and visit the disaster-affected area in Sichuan tomorrow to express his solicitude. We believe his visit to Sichuan represents the good wishes from the ROK Government and people to the Chinese Government and people, especially to those in the disaster-affected area. We express our thanks to that. Meanwhile, we also appreciate the kindness of the ROK Government and people from all walks of life for their aid and support after the earthquake. President Lee Myung-bak will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi during his stay in Sichuan.

Q: You said on Tuesday's regular press conference that, the US-ROK military alliance is something leftover from the history, and as time has changed, the Cold War mentality of "military alliance" would not be valid in viewing, measuring and handling the current global or regional security issues. If so, how do you view the China-DPRK Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance?

A: Since you refer to my remarks on the US-ROK military alliance, and other ROK media have also expressed concern on the issue, I would like to remind ROK media, I made comprehensive and systematic remarks on the issue on Tuesday's regular press conference. There is no change in China's position on the issue. China is an advocate for a new security concept of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation. Relevant countries should build up mutual trust and deepen cooperation so as to jointly safeguard regional security.

The US-ROK military alliance is a bilateral arrangement made under certain historic conditions. We hope that relevant countries in the Asia-Pacific region could work together, on the basis of the UN Charter, international laws and universally recognized norms governing international relations, to safeguard peace, stability and security in the region.

Again, I would like to remind the ROK media to read carefully the script of my press conference on Tuesday, and understand and report it comprehensively, systematically and accurately.

As for the China-DPRK Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, the goal of the treaty is to maintain and promote the friendship and cooperation between China and DPRK. The history over the past years has proved that the treaty would contribute to the goal. We will continue to maintain and promote the good-neighborly and friendly cooperation between China and the DPRK and that between China and the ROK, and stay committed to peace, stability and security in the region.

Q: Does the logic also apply to the US-Japan military alliance?

A: As for the US-Japan military alliance, it is also a bilateral arrangement, a product of certain historic conditions, and should be confined within the bilateral framework. We hope that the arrangement between relevant parties would conduce to regional stability and security, as well as mutual trust and cooperation among countries in the region.

Q: How do you respond to the US actress Sharon Stone's comments about China's earthquake? Secondly, a Chinese citizen admitted guilty of providing intelligence to China at a US court. How do you comment on this?

A: We have taken note of Sharon Stone's recent remarks. We also note that she has apologized to the Chinese people through her agent.

We hope that the relief efforts of the Chinese Government and people could be fully understood and supported by the international community. We also hope entertainers could contribute to promoting the mutual understanding and friendship of the two peoples.

As for your second question, we have repeated on many occasions that the so-called accusation of the Chinese military espionage against the US is groundless and fabrication with ulterior motives.

Q: Do you think the heads of delegations' meeting of the Six-Party Talks should be held before the DPRK submits its nuclear declaration list? Will the talks in Beijing this week speed up the nuclear declaration process? When will the next round of chief negotiators' meeting be held?

A: Relevant countries are working on pressing ahead with the Six-Party Talks so as to ultimately realize denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. There have been positive and helpful interactions between relevant parties recently, reflecting a sound momentum of the Six-Party Talks. We hope this momentum will be maintained. As for which to be first, the meeting of the heads of delegations or DPRK's nuclear declaration, the six parties will study carefully and discuss the specifics. I want to emphasize that we are closer to our shared goal, as long as all parties have the same aspiration.

As for when to hold the heads of delegations' meeting, it is still under discussion. No specific date has been fixed. If there is further information, we will keep you updated.

Q: The US website Facebook set up a page for Prime Minister Wen Jiabao recently, which is very popular with more than 13000 supporters. Do you have any comment? Was this page set up by the Chinese Government?

A: I'm not aware of this website nor the page.

I think the website you mentioned might be related to China's quake relief efforts.

We do hope the international community could better understand the Chinese Government, Chinese leaders and the Chinese people through their heroic, united and arduous efforts in overcoming various difficulties and fighting against the disaster.

Q: In the next few months, China will be busy preparing for and holding the Olympics, while the US will focus on its presidential election and its new government's policy towards the DPRK may change dramatically in the future. Are you concerned that time might be running out for the resolution of the DPRK nuclear issue?

A: The goal of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is clear. But the issue is not like something that has just occurred. Rome was not built overnight, that is to say, the settlement of this issue is a process of accumulation of efforts which needs resolve, courage and patience. We have enough patience and firm resolve.

As for the future of the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue and whether it will be affected by the domestic situation of relevant parties, first of all, it is true that China will hold the Olympic Games, but this does not mean that China will do nothing else. As a Chinese saying goes, "Preparation may quicken the process" We will not only hold a characteristic and high-level Olympics, but also work on other issues including the Six-Party Talks. We have such positive aspiration, and look forward to more accelerated progress in the Six-Party Talks. But it is not totally up to China's aspiration, it is determined by various factors as well as the attitude and efforts of the other five parties. As for whether the domestic politics of the US will change its policy towards the DPRK, I'm not in the position to make response. We hope that relevant parties could make efforts along the track of the Six-Party Talks towards the long-term goal of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula as well as peace and stability in the region.

If there are no further questions, thank you and bye-bye!

Suggest To A Friend: