Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on December 3, 2009


On December 3, 2009, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.

Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have an announcement to make.

At the invitation of State Councilor Dai Bingguo, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev will come to China to attend the Fourth Round of China-Russia Strategic Security Talks from December 7 to 8.

Now the floor is open.

Q: I have two questions on Canadian Prime Minister Harper's visit to China. First, has China made further request on the repatriation of Lai Changxing? Second, the Uyghur suspect Yu Shanjiang was convicted in 2007. Canada claimed that he is a Canadian citizen and requested consular visits. Has China approved that?

A: Lai Changxing is the leading criminal of the serious Yuanhua Smuggling Case in Xiamen. It is the consistent position of the Chinese Government to request his repatriation back to China for trial. We urge the Canadian side to repatriate him at an early date so as to conclude the case.

On Yu Shanjiang case, he is a Chinese instead of a Canadian. He is a member of the terrorist organization "East Turkistan Islamic Movement". This group is on the comprehensive sanctions list of terrorist organizations by the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council. The trial of Yu Shanjiang by the Chinese Government in accordance with law is totally within China's sovereignty.

Q: Do you have further information on the kidnapped "De Xin Hai" ship?

A: I have no further information on the ship.

Q: During Canadian Prime Minister Harper's visit to China, will the two sides discuss economic, trade and energy issues?

A: Prime Minister Harper is in China for a visit. As far as I know, President Hu Jintao is meeting with him now. Later this afternoon, Premier Wen Jiabao will have talks with him. They will exchange views on the further development of bilateral relations and major international and regional issues of mutual interest. I think the economic cooperation and trade will be one of the key issues in their discussion.

The economic cooperation and trade between China and Canada have sound basis, great potential and broad prospect. Against the background of the current international financial crisis, the two sides need to join hands to reduce the adverse impact of the crisis on bilateral trade and take proactive measures to stabilize bilateral economic relations and trade. Meanwhile, the two countries need to jointly explore the cooperation in business, trade, investment, energy and other fields through the existing mechanisms and channels. We'd like to make joint efforts with Canada to push our cooperation in business, trade, energy and infrastructure construction to a new high.

Q: Recently, spokesperson Kelly of the U.S. Department of State had an interview with us. The U.S. wants to work with China on anti-terrorism in Afghanistan. Do you have any response? Will you open the boundary between China and Afghanistan?

A: Although you did not mention the background of your interview, I think the U.S. official might be referring to President Obama's announcement of increasing troops to Afghanistan.

China has taken note of President Obama's speech. We are willing to see an Afghanistan of peace, stability, development and progress. We hope the efforts by the international community would be conducive to achieving the above-mentioned goals and promote an enduring peace and stability in the region. China holds that the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the relevant countries should be fully respected.

China and the U.S. maintain communication and consultation on South Asian issues including the Afghanistan issue. We will continue to have dialogue and cooperation with the U.S. in the future.

Follow-up: Have you agreed on any specific cooperation projects, for example, the opening of the China-Afghanistan boundary?

A: I suggest that you read again the recently published China-U.S. Joint Statement during President Obama's visit to China. It is stated that both China and the U.S. support the anti-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan and promote peace, stability and development in South Asia. The two sides have consensus in this regard, which is to strengthen communication and dialogue.

Q: Does China welcome the increase of troops in Afghanistan? Do you think this may be a bad thing for China, since it may cause the Taliban forces to enter Xinjiang? On the Iranian nuclear issue, yesterday Iranian President said that Iran will produce 20% enriched uranium on its own. Do you have any response to that? Iran is not happy with China's voting for the new resolution of the IAEA. How do you comment on that?

A: On your first question, I have responded to that when I was answering the question from the South China Morning Post. You may refer to that again.

On the Iranian nuclear issue, China hopes that Iran can cooperate with the IAEA, promote dialogue and consultation and realize the proper solution of the issue at an early date.

China and Iran maintain sound relations. China's position on the Iranian nuclear issue is consistent and clear-cut. We support the maintenance of the international non-proliferation regime and we also believe that peace and stability of the Middle East region need to be maintained. That's why China is firmly committed to the solution of the issue through dialogue, consultation and negotiation. This is our position, and we will continue to promote the diplomatic settlement of the issue.

Q: Recently China announced the figure on the reduction of emission. The Indian media said that after seeing China's goal, they feel great pressure. Do you have any comment on that?

A: First, I want to stress that the action goal on the control of greenhouse gas emission announced by the Chinese Government is an independent and voluntary action. It shows the political will of the Chinese Government to attach great importance to climate change and proactively deal with the challenge. Second, China and India are developing countries and victims of climate change. We are not obliged to meet binding emission reduction target. China and India share the same propositions, concerns and demands on climate change. We both request the developed countries to fulfill their commitment and take the lead in emission reduction by a large margin in light of the principles of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, as well as the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities". Meanwhile, they need to provide the developing countries with financial, technology transfer, and capacity building support. We understand the position of India on climate change. We support the measures on adaptation and proper mitigation taken by India in light of its own national conditions and capacity. At the same time, China is ready to enhance communication, coordination and cooperation with India on climate change.

Q: Mr. Ikuo Hirayama, former Chairman of the Japan-China Friendship Association, passed away on December 2. What's China's comment on that?

A: Mr. Ikuo Hirayama, an old friend of the Chinese people, dedicated his life-time to China-Japan friendship, and made important contributions to advancing friendly exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. We deeply regret the untimely passing away of Mr. Hirayama and offer our deep condolences.

Q: It's reported that several developing countries including China, India, South Africa and Brazil are strongly opposed to the draft outcome document proposed by the Danish Government for the Copenhagen Conference. What does China specifically oppose and why? Is China confident that an agreement will ultimately be reached at the Copenhagen Conference?

A: Developing countries like China, India, South Africa and Brazil you just mentioned share the same situation, position and demand on climate change. In the final analysis, our demand is simple. That is, developed countries and developing countries alike should shoulder their respective responsibilities. The developed countries in particular should honor their commitment to binding mid-term emission reduction targets on the one hand and set up and improve the mechanism to provide financial support, technology transfer and capacity-building assistance to developing countries on the other hand. With the above support, developing countries may take adaptation and proper mitigation actions against climate change in light of their sustainable development and national conditions. On this issue, the majority of the developing countries have the same strong demand. We demand the developed countries to fulfill their promises with actions. The success of the Copenhagen Conference lies in whether we can adhere to the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" and the Bali Roadmap to push for the comprehensive, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC. You asked whether we are confident. My answer is as long as we do the above, we will be able to push for progress at Copenhagen. But if we go against these principles and delay implementation, then the situation for the Copenhagen Conference will be no cause for optimism.

Therefore, we call on all parties, especially developed countries, to make utmost efforts together for positive outcomes out of the Copenhagen Conference.

Q: China believes in dialogue and negotiation with Iran, but voted for the IAEA resolution. Is it contradictory?

A: It's not contradictory. On the contrary, it's consistent with our position. If you look close into the statement I just made, you will find that our decision was made based on our established principle and position.

If there are no more questions, thank you for coming. See you!

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