|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu's Regular Press Conference on May 7, 2009|
The following is the transcript of Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu's regular press conference on the afternoon of May 7, 2009.
Ma Zhaoxu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have two announcements to start with.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of the Federative Republic of Brazil will pay a state visit to China from May 18 to 20.
At the invitation of Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will attend the SCO Foreign Ministers' Meeting to be held in Moscow on May 15. The Meeting is to prepare for the SCO Summit in Yekaterinburg in mid-June. Participants will exchange views over deepening pragmatic cooperation in various fields as well as major international and regional issues.
Now I'm glad to take your questions.
Q: It's reported that 77 trafficked Chinese children have gone missing since 2006 from a safe house in Britain. What measures has the Chinese Government taken to combat human trafficking? Secondly, has China suspended the express and rush service for the US citizens in order to prevent the spread of influenza A/H1N1?
A: On your first question, the Chinese Government places great importance on protecting its people's rights and interests and combating trafficking of women and children. Through unremitting efforts, China has made remarkable progress in curbing human trafficking as the crime has been brought under effective control within the country. Besides, China has taken an active part in international cooperation in law enforcement and conducted fruitful cooperation with relevant countries and international organizations in fighting human trafficking and illegal immigration, which is a global challenge that calls for joint effort of the international community. China will continue to be dedicated to international cooperation in this area. As for the specific case you mentioned, we are checking on it.
Proper adjustment to visa practice according to relevant laws and regulations is non-discriminatory and not targeted at any country. I'd like to stress that China's visa policy towards US citizens remains unchanged. And I don't think the adjustment will affect normal foreign visits to China or people-to-people exchanges.
Q: Would you call the Australian Defense White Paper a "China Threat" fallacy in disguise?
A: I made an unequivocal response to this question at Tuesday's press conference. You may check our website for the answer. Here, I'd like to reiterate, as a country that follows the path of peaceful development and adopts a national defense policy which is defensive in nature, China is a positive force in safeguarding and promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large. China's development does not pose threat to any other countries.
Q: A judge with the Spanish National Court recently expressed his hope to come to China and "question" some Chinese officials engaged in handling the March 14 incident last year. Will you allow his coming? And will this affect China-Spain relations?
A: The March 14 incident in Lasha last year is a serious crime of violence and the Chinese Government has handled it according to law. We hope relevant country observe international laws and fundamental norms governing international relations rather than encourage separatist forces.
Q: Mr. Bosworth, the US Special Representative for North Korea Policy arrives in Beijing today. Whom will he meet with? What will be discussed? And what message will China send to the US?
A: Mr. Bosworth, US Special Representative for North Korea Policy is visiting China today. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei will meet with him this afternoon. They will exchange views on issues of common interest.
Q: The movie Nanjing! Nanjing! (also known as "City of Life and Death") is now on screen as one of the 10 recommended movies in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the PRC. Do you think the movie will help enhance mutual understanding between the Chinese people and Japanese people? Or will it affect China-Japan relations?
A: On the issue of history between China and Japan, our position is very clear. We hope the Japanese side adhere to the spirit set forth in the four political documents between the two countries, take history as a mirror for the benefit of the future. The two countries should make joint efforts to promote our strategic relationship of mutual benefit.
Q: The Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan will be held in Pakistan next week. Which Chinese official will lead the delegation to take part?
A: The 3rd Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan will be held in Pakistan from May 13 to 14. Ms. Yang Yanyi, Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs will attend the meeting.
Q: Foreign journalists covering stories in Sichuan said that they were frequently harassed by local officials. How do you comment on that? Are you going to take any measures?
A: I doubt if there is any specific basis for your words. If you and your colleagues encounter any difficulty there, you can always contact our Department or local authorities. We will properly handle the issues according to law.
Q: In your remarks yesterday on the confrontation between China and the US in the Yellow Sea, you said that the US surveillance ship violated relevant international law as well as Chinese laws and regulations. Does that mean the Chinese Government support Chinese fishing boats to dispel the US ship? Apart from jointly tackling the influenza, what else did President Hu Jintao and President Obama talk about over the phone yesterday?
A: President Hu Jintao and President Obama had a very good phone conversation last night. They exchanged views on China-US relations, influenza A/H1N1 as well as the situation in the Korean Peninsula and South Asia.
What I would like to emphasize is, the USNS Victorious entered Chinese Exclusive Economic Zone in the Yellow Sea without China's permission, which is a violation of relevant international law as well as Chinese laws and regulations. China is concerned about the situation and has already urged the US to take effective measures to avoid similar incidents from reoccurring.
Q: Would you brief us on Brazilian President Lula's visit to China? Whom will he meet with? Is there any agreement to be signed? Secondly, how many foreigners from which countries are under quarantine in China now?
A: President Lula's visit coincides with the 35th anniversary of China-Brazil ties. China attaches great importance to this visit which is also his second state visit to China since he took office. During his visit, President Hu Jintao will host the welcoming ceremony and chair the talks. They will exchange views on deepening bilateral strategic partnership, expanding pragmatic cooperation in various fields and regional and international issues of common interest. During the visit, agreements of cooperation will be signed as well. I'm convinced that President Lula's visit will further enhance the already existing sound cooperation between the two countries so as to boost our strategic partnership.
For your second question, I suggest you refer that to competent authorities.
Q: It is reported that Dalai will visit France in early June when the city of Paris will grant him honorary citizenship. How do you comment? Besides, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso delivered a speech in Germany recently, touching upon "China's nuclear military build-up" and claiming that the activities of China and the DPRK have threatened security of Northeast Asia. How do you respond?
A: On your second question, China's nuclear strategy and policy is crystal clear, so is China's advocacy for nuclear disarmament. I couldn't keep wondering why the Japanese leadership starts to makes an issue of China's nuclear policy under the current circumstances.
Last year, the Paris council approved a bill to recognize Dalai as an "honorary citizen", arousing strong indignation among the Chinese public. If the Paris council does grant him this title, it would definitely meet once again with Chinese people's firm opposition. We urge the Paris city to stop all acts interfering in China's internal affairs and refrain from going further along the wrong track of Tibet-related issues.
I'd like to point out that, through the concerted efforts of those with a vision in both France and China, the bilateral relations have returned to the track of sound development. We hope to see France work together with China to remove all the obstacles to a sound and stable China-France relationship.
Q: During Kuwait Emir Sabah's visit to China, will the two countries sign the 9 billion-dollar-worth refinery project and oil cooperation agreement?
A: I have shared with you the details of Kuwait Emir's visit to China. China and Kuwait are highly complementary in the cooperation in energy and resources. Relevant authorities and enterprises from the two countries are discussing how to further enhance cooperation of mutual benefit.
Q: The US Joint Chief of Staff Mullen said in a speech that China's military build-up seemed to be focused on the US clout in Asia-Pacific. Do you have any further comments? Secondly, does the Foreign Ministry remind citizens from other countries that they might be under quarantine or medical checkups when coming to China?
A: My colleague has already responded to your first question. I'd like to stress that, China follows the independent foreign policy of peace in the pursuit of peaceful development. Adopting a national defense policy which is defensive in nature, China does not pose a threat to any country.
On your second question, the necessary medical measures China has taken over some Chinese and foreign tourists are to prevent the epidemic from further spreading hence safeguarding public health and hygienic safety. These are not discriminatory measures against foreigners. In fact, the overwhelming majority of those under medical checkups are Chinese citizens. We exert our utmost to provide favorable living and hygienic conditions to them. And most of them understand the situation and are satisfied with their living conditions.
Chinais a densely-populated developing country where painful lessons from the SARS epidemic are still fresh in people's mind. It has no other option but to take necessary steps to prevent possible grave consequences. Those measures will not only help preventing the disease from entering China, but also from spreading in Asia at large so that China will benefit and the whole world will have better control of the epidemic.
If there are no other questions, thank you for coming! See you!