|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on June 11, 2009|
On the afternoon of June 11, 2009, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Qin Gang: Welcome to the press conference. I have several announcements to start with.
At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council, Grenadian Prime Minister Tillman Thomas will pay an official visit to China from June 15 to 21.
At the invitation of Vice President Xi Jinping, Vice Chairman Maung Aye of the State Peace and Development Council of the Union of Myanmar will pay an official visit to China from June 15 to 20.
Now I'm happy to take your questions.
Q: The Afghan Foreign Minister is currently visiting China. Could you give us some details about his talks with his Chinese counterpart, whether or not China might provide additional aid to Afghanistan and strengthen security cooperation with it?
A: This morning, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held talks with Afghan Foreign Minister Spanta. Foreign Minister Yang said, China and Afghanistan are traditional good neighbors that always enjoy harmonious relations with mutual respect and support. Besides remarkable achievements in exchanges and cooperation in economy and trade, security and culture, we have kept close coordination and cooperation in international and regional issues,. China thanks Afghanistan for its support on issues involving Taiwan and Tibet, and stands ready to further expand and deepen our cooperation in various fields on the basis of mutual benefit so as to push forward our comprehensive partnership of cooperation.
Foreign Minister Spanta said, China and Afghanistan enjoy long-standing friendship and sound cooperation in trade and culture. The Afghan Government attaches great importance to its relations with China, thanks China for its active participation in Afghanistan's economic reconstruction and is ready to contribute to the two countries' cooperation of mutual benefit.
Cooperation documents including economic and technological agreement were signed.
As China and Afghanistan are close neighbors, it would be in the fundamental interest of the two countries and two peoples as well as serve the regional interest if the two could jointly safeguard regional peace and stability and promote joint development. China feels positive about developing trade and security cooperation with Afghanistan and will continue to provide support and assistance within our capability for the peaceful reconstruction and economic development of Afghanistan.
Q: Does China support the proposed Security Council resolution that calls upon countries to inspect suspicious cargo ships from the DPRK?
A: At present, parties are having discussions over the draft resolution of the UN Security Council. China has taken part in the discussion with a serious, responsible and constructive attitude. China believes that the resolution should be appropriate and balanced, be conducive to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as well as peace and stability in Northeast Asia. China will continue to contribute to this endeavor as it is doing now.
Q: Just now you said that the resolution should be appropriate and balanced. The present draft resolution includes sanction against several DPRK economic entities and tougher arms embargo against the country. Would you regard this resolution appropriate and balanced?
A: A resolution is only appropriate and balanced when it is conducive to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, non-proliferation as well as peace and stability in Northeast Asia. As the Security Council is still discussing over the issue, I find it a bit too early to make comments.
Q: The Pacific Island of Palau has agreed to temporarily accept 17 Chinese Uygurs who are being held in Guantanamo Bay. How does China react to that? Secondly, Afghan Foreign Minister Spanta suggested China open its border with Afghanistan as a supply corridor to help anti-terrorism efforts. Would China agree with that?
A: On your first question, China's position on this issue is consistent and clear. The Chinese suspects held in Guantanamo prison are members of the terrorist group, "the East Turkistan Islamic Movement", which is on the sanction list of the UN Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1267. China urges the US side to fulfill relevant Security Council Resolution and its international obligation of anti-terrorism, repatriate these terrorist suspects to China instead of transferring them to any third country. We also oppose any third country accepting these suspects.
About relevant suggestions by Foreign Minister Spanta, we will study them with a serious and positive attitude towards conducting cooperation with Afghanistan in transportation and trade.
Q: Peshawar, capital city of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan was reportedly hit by explosion on June 9, which claimed the lives of a dozen, including a UN worker and injured 70. Do you have any comment?
A: China strongly condemns this terrorist attack. We express deep condolences to the victims and sincere solicitude towards their families and the injured. As a friendly neighbor of Pakistan, China will continue to give firm support to the unremitting efforts of the Afghan Government and people in combating terrorism and safeguarding social stability.
Q: According to Indian press, India recently has deployed 60,000 more troops along its border with China and shifted its fighter jet base to the northeast so as to counter the "China threat". Do you have any comment? Besides, Indian media reported a batch of China made drugs with labels read "Made in India" were caught in Africa. How do you respond to that?
A: China and India have never demarcated their border. To resolve the border issues at an early date is one of the ten strategies of developing China-India relations set by leaders of both countries. We are willing to pursue a fair and reasonable solution through negotiations with India. Both sides should endeavor to implement the consensus reached by leaders of our countries and do more things beneficial to the development of bilateral relations.
On your second question, the Chinese Government firmly opposes to and cracks down on production and sale of fake drugs. Upon reading the reports, we take this issue very seriously. Relevant Chinese authorities are carrying out the investigation. For more details, please refer to China's drug supervision authorities.
Q: Could you give us more details about the SCO Yekaterinburg Summit? What are your expectations of the Summit?
A: Tuesday afternoon, Vice Foreign Minister Li Hui briefed the press on the SCO Summit.
We hope that, through this Summit, member states could further boost political trust as well as cooperation in trade and economy, security and people-to-people exchanges. In particular, against the background of ever-spreading and deepening international financial crisis, all member states should devote themselves to closer cooperation in trade and economy. We should deepen our cooperation by facilitating trade and investment and promoting major bilateral and multilateral cooperative projects so as to pull together and tackle the crisis. Besides, the heads of state will exchange views on international and regional situation as well as other hotspot issues and strengthen coordination.
After the Summit, leaders of SCO member states will release a joint declaration together with some cooperative agreements.
Q: Today, China's Minmetals' offer for acquisition of a majority of OZ Mineral's mining assets has won OZ's shareholders' approval. Do you have any response?
A: I'm not in a position to comment on the business operations between companies. We hope enterprises from both China and Australia cooperate in an equal and mutually-beneficial way for a win-win outcome.
Q: Another question on the DPRK. The ROK chief negotiator left Beijing on Wednesday. Could you share with us some information on his meeting with Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi?
A: Mr. Wi Sung Lac, chief of the ROK delegation to the Six-Party Talks visited China on June 9. Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei held talks with him. They exchanged views on issues of common interest such as the Korean nuclear issue, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and how to safeguard peace and stability in Northeast Asia. They agreed to join hands to bring the DPRK back to the table of the Six-Party Talks and enhance communication and coordination for the peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia.
Q: The Japanese Government announced last night that it will cut its greenhouse emissions by 15% by 2020 from its 2005 level. Do you have any comment? China has already set its target for energy efficiency by 2010, will you set a new one by 2020 for the Copenhagen Conference?
A: I am aware of the mid-term target of the Japanese Government. According to our calculation, the target only equals a further 2% cut compared with its target in the first commitment period. This clearly falls short of the urgency of tackling climate change and the common aspiration of the international community. We believe the world will make an objective and fair evaluation of Japan's new goal.
For a successful Copenhagen Conference, we uphold that countries should adhere to the framework of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, strictly follow the authorization of the Bali Roadmap and stick to the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities". Developed countries should take the lead in emissions reduction and set their targets in the second commitment period at the Copenhagen Conference, that is, a 40% reduction by 2020 from the 1990 level. Developed countries should also honor their commitment of providing capital and technological transfer as well as support to the capacity building of developing countries. Developing countries should, within the framework of sustainable development and with the support from developed countries, take measures suited to their national situation to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
The Chinese Government attaches great importance to climate change and make combating climate change, energy conservation and emissions reduction a major task in the national development plan. In the future, we will continue our efforts in conserving energy, increasing energy efficiency and developing renewable energy to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change as our contribution to international efforts. However, as is known to all, China is still a developing country with the main task of developing economy, alleviating poverty and raising people's living standard. It is natural that we have some increase on emissions. Under the current circumstances, China could not accept binding targets for emissions reduction.
Q: This year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and the DPRK and also the Year of China-DPRK Friendship. Two sides have carried out and arranged many celebrations. Given the recent moves of the DPRK, will those activities still go on?
A: China has expressed its opposition against the DPRK's nuclear test. We develop our relations with the DPRK on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence and decide our policies and position according to the own merits of issues. The normal exchanges between China and the DPRK will not be affected.
Q: Sorry I didn't go to the briefing on President Hu's attendance to the SCO Summit. Is there any possibility that President Hu will meet with Pakistani President Zardari on the sidelines of the Summit? Second question, reports said that President Zardari would meet with Indian Prime Minister Singh during the Summit. As a neighbor of both countries, how do you comment on their meeting, especially after the Mumbai attack?
A: We are having consultation with relevant parties on President Hu Jintao's bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the SCO Summit and will release information in due course.
On your second question, as a neighbor and friend of both Pakistan and India, China is supportive of and glad to see the improvement and development of their bilateral relations. We hope the two countries could properly solve their issues through friendly consultation and dialogue. This serves not only the fundamental interests of the two countries but also peace, stability and common development of South Asia.
Q: The Indian Government claimed that the number of incursions by the Chinese troops had increased from 700 in 2007 to 2,200 in 2008. How do you comment on that?
A: I have made clear our position on the China-India border issue. The
two countries have consensus and principles of political guidance in solving this issue. We hope both sides strictly abide by relevant consensus and principles and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility along the borders. China always adopts such an attitude in handling China-India border issues. We consider relevant accusations from India unacceptable and hope relevant figures and media take a responsible attitude to do more things conducive to promoting mutual trust and bilateral relations.
Q: It was originally a US decision to inspect the DPRK cargo ships, which was followed by the ROK. Now the US is pushing for a Security Council resolution to implement the inspection. Will China support such a resolution? If not, please give us the reason.
A: I'd like to point out that the DPRK nuclear test is in defiance of the
international community. At the same time, I'd like to stress that to safeguard peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia is the common aspiration of the international community and conducive to the interests of all parties. China adopts a responsible and constructive attitude in discussions on the Security Council resolution. Our starting point and ultimate goal is to promote denuclearization of the Peninsula and safeguard peace and stability of Northeast Asia.
If there are no more questions, thank you.