Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on February 23, 2010


On the afternoon of February 23, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.

Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! Wish you a Happy New Year and wish you good health and success in the year of the tiger. First, I have some announcements to make.

Minister Han Changfu of Agriculture, Special Envoy of President Hu Jintao, will be invited to attend the inaugural ceremony of Ukrainian President Yanukovich on February 25.

At the invitation of the Government of Oriental Republic of Uruguay, Minister Chen Lei of Water Resources, Special Envoy of the Chinese Government will attend the power transfer ceremony of Uruguay President on March 1.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Gordan Jandrokovic, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Croatia will pay an official visit to China from February 28 to March 4.

Now the floor is open.

Q: First question, Vice Minister Zhu Weiqun of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee said earlier that if President Obama insisted on meeting with Dalai, China will react. Now China has lodged strong complaint to the US through different channels, what specific retaliatory or punitive measures will China take next? Will China cancel the China-US Human Rights Dialogue? Will President Hu Jintao still attend the Nuclear Security Summit in the US as scheduled? Second question, recently, China-US relations have been quite tense. What was expected has taken place, such as US arms sales to Taiwan and US President's meeting with Dalai. Is it time for the two countries to repair relations? Finally, which US companies involved in the arms sales have been or will be sanctioned? What are the specific measures and how long will the sanctions last?

A: On the US leader's meeting with Dalai, China has made our solemn position known many times. China urges the US side to take China's position seriously, correct its mistakes, undo the serious damage done and take concrete measures to uphold the healthy and sound development of China-US relations.

Regarding the Nuclear Security Summit, China has been participating in the preparation and has no information to release now.

On issues such as China-US Human Rights Dialogue, the working groups of two sides have been in contact over the preparatory work.

Recently, due to reasons such as US announcement of arms sales to Taiwan and US leader's meeting with Dalai, China-US relations have been severely undermined. This is what we don't want to see and the responsibility goes completely to the US side.

The sound and stable development of China-US relations serves the fundamental interests of both sides and are conducive to world peace, stability and development. The US side should earnestly abide by the principles set in the three China-US communiqu├ęs and the China-US Joint Statement, respect China's core interests and major concerns, and prudently and properly handle relevant sensitive issues so as to create conditions for the improvement and development of China-US relations.

On your last question, as my colleague has answered many times earlier, China will sanction US companies involved in the arms sales.

Q: First question, the US and other western countries hope and demand more sanctions against Iran due to the IAEA's doubts over Iran. What's China's position? Do you think the IAEA's sanctions against Iran are reasonable? Second question, the US Special Representative for North Korea Policy will visit China tomorrow, what issues will the two sides discuss? Will they talk about the visit to the US by the DPRK's representative in mid-March? Third question, Japan said that it will appeal to the International Maritime Court if China unilaterally develops the oil and gas fields in the East China Sea, how does China react?

A: On the Iranian nuclear issue, China has taken note of the IAEA report on the issue and hopes that the Iranian side will strengthen cooperation with the agency on relevant issues.

On sanctions against Iran, China believes that at present stage, all parties involved should step up diplomatic efforts to maintain and push forward the dialogue and negotiation. We hope relevant parties will show further flexibility and create conditions for the comprehensive and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic means.

On Bosworth's visit to China, Mr. Bosworth will visit China on February 24. Special Representative Wu Dawei of the Chinese Government on the Korean Peninsular Affairs will have talks with him and the two sides will exchange views on the Six-Party Talks and other issues of mutual interest.

As for whether the DPRK and the US will have contact shortly, we always believe that under the framework of the Six-Party Talks, the bilateral and multilateral contact between relevant parties will promote mutual trust, the improvement of bilateral relations between relevant countries and the process of the Six-Party Talks so as to realize the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula at an early date and ensure peace and stability of Northeast Asia. China has always supported and welcomed such contact. But I am not in a position to confirm the bilateral arrangement between the US and the DPRK. Please refer to them directly.

On your last question, I remember in January the Chinese side made timely clarification when some Japanese media made reports inconsistent with facts.

As is known to all, the position of China on the East China Sea has been consistent and unequivocal. China values and stands firm on the principled consensus on the East China Sea issue. This position remains unchanged. We hope the Japanese side can take concrete measures to create favorable atmosphere and conditions for the implementation of the principled consensus.

Q: First question, please update us on the latest developments of the Google issue. Secondly, there are reports recently that the cyber attacks at Google came from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and a vocational school. How does China comment?

A: Google's accusation of China in its statement on January 12 is groundless and we are firmly against it. China administers the internet according to the law and this position will not change. So is our position to promote the development of the internet. Chinese laws prohibit hacking and crack down on such crimes. We welcome international internet companies to operate in China according to the law. Competent Chinese authorities have smooth channel of communication with these companies.

We have also noticed that the heads of the two schools you mentioned have made clarifications through the media that reports of hacking attacks coming from their schools are unfounded and out of ulterior motives.

I want to stress that it is totally unfounded, irresponsible and ill-advised to accuse the Chinese Government of having connections with the hacking attacks and supporting hacking behind the scenes.

Q: It is reported that a security delegation headed by the Israeli Vice Prime Minister Ya'alon is visiting China. Please share with us more details. Israel is not a member of the NPT, and some countries in the Middle East believe that it is an unstable factor in the region. Will you talk about this with the Israeli side during the meetings?

A: Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs Ya'alon will visit China from January 25 to 27. State Councilor Dai Bingguo will meet with him and the two sides will exchange views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest.

We hope the Middle East will realize and maintain peace and stability. China firmly supports the maintenance of the nuclear non-proliferation mechanism. To realize the two goals, China hopes relevant parties in the region to take concrete actions to increase mutual trust and promote the resumption of the talks and the peace process of the Middle East.

Q: When will China impose sanctions against relevant US companies, and in what specific fields? Will the recent disputes between China and the US change China's position on the Six-Party Talks and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula?

A: I have already answered the first question and have no more to add.

On the second question, the realization of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the maintenance of peace and stability in Northeast Asia are in the fundamental and long-term interests of all parties concerned. China will as always make consistent efforts with other related parties to realize this goal.

Follow-up: When will China impose sanctions against the US companies?

A: I have got your questions, and hope you can understand my answer.

Q: At the end of January, Premier Wen Jiabao wrote to Prime Minister Rasmussen of Denmark in support of the Copenhagen Accord. Recently, Rasmussen wrote back to Premier Wen. Could you share with us more details?

A: As you know, on January 29, Premier Wen Jiabao wrote the letter to Prime Minister Rasmussen. In the letter of February 12 written by Prime Minister Rasmussen to Premier Wen, Rasmussen expressed that he completely agrees with Premier Wen on his positive evaluation of the Copenhagen Conference and its achievements. He appreciates the important and constructive role played by China, especially by Premier Wen himself during the Conference and feels encouraged by China's positive evaluation and support of the Copenhagen Accord. He warmly welcomes the information on China's mitigation efforts submitted by China to the Secretariat of the UNFCCC on January 28, 2010. He agrees with Premier Wen that the future negotiation shall follow the main channel of the UNFCCC.

China hopes Denmark, chair of the Signatory Conference of the Convention, to continue its positive role and China is ready to maintain communication with Denmark.

Q: Please brief us on Zambian President's visit to China. It is said that during his visit, China and Zambia will sign a MOU, please confirm. Second, on the Google issue, has Google made any contact with China after the Spring Festival, and which Chinese agency is in charge of the matter?

A: At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Rupiah Bwezani Banda of the Republic of Zambia will pay a state visit to China from February 24 to March 4.

This is the first visit to China by President Banda. During his visit, President Hu Jintao, Chairman Wu Bangguo, and Premier Wen Jiabao will meet with him respectively. The leaders will exchange views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest. The two sides will sign cooperation documents in economic and trade and other fields. We believe that the visit by President Banda will further promote the traditional friendship between China and Zambia and deepen the bilateral friendly and cooperative relations.

As for the cooperation documents to be signed, we will keep you updated.

On the Google issue, I want to reiterate that foreign internet operators, like other foreign enterprises in China, should observe China's laws and regulations and respect China's public interests and cultural traditions. Competent Chinese authorities have smooth channel of communication with internet companies. As for the specific question you raised, I have no information at present.

Q: Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer of the UNFCCC recently expressed the will to resign. How do you comment?

A: We have learnt that Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer of the UNFCCC will resign on July 1. Since taking office in September 2006, Mr. De Boer has played a positive role in leading the Secretariat of the UNFCCC and serving international negotiations on climate change. China has had sound cooperation with the Secretariat and supported Mr. De Boer's work. We hope he will continue to make contribution to efforts against climate change in his new post.

Q: Could you brief us on the Pakistani Foreign Minister's respective talks with Premier Wen Jiabao and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi? The Pakistani Foreign Minister said that Pakistan welcomed the role of China as a third-party mediator in the peace talks between India and Pakistan. How does China respond to that?

A: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held talks with Mr. Qureshi yesterday. The two sides spoke highly of the development of the friendly and cooperative China-Pakistan relations. Minister Yang said that in the new year, the Chinese side is ready to continue to keep the momentum of high level exchanges with Pakistan, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, actively expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges and intensify coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs with a view to jointly upholding regional peace and stability. Minister Qureshi said Pakistan stands ready to step up cooperation with China in various fields, appreciates China's support and assistance to Pakistan's social and economic development and firmly supports China's efforts to safeguard national stability, ethnic unity and its fight against the "Three Forces". Premier Wen Jiabao will meet with Foreign Minister Qureshi later this afternoon.

As for your second question, both India and Pakistan are major countries in South Asia. A stable, sound and constantly improving India-Pakistan relationship serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and is conducive to peace, stability and development in South Asia. China always supports and welcomes more dialogue and cooperation between India and Pakistan and their efforts to properly solve disputes through consultation and dialogue.

Q: According to a report by Japan's Asahi Shimbun, after the nuclear test by the DPRK last May, China asked the DPRK to renounce its nuclear programs and carry out reform and opening up. China also suggested that the DPRK abolish its hereditary system. The report also states that the DPRK secretly sent Kim Jong-Il's successor Kim Jong-un to visit China last June. Please confirm.

A: Relevant reports are completely groundless. China pursues the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs. We do not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. We hope the DPRK adopts a development path suitable to its national conditions and scores greater and new achievements in its national development. We hope to see continued growth of the good-neighborly and friendly relations between China and the DPRK.

Regarding Kim Jong-un's visit to China, last year I already clarified this many times. It seems as if relevant reports were suggesting to me that "there might have been," but my response is "there really wasn't."

Q: A notification of the Ministry of Education recently appeared on the websites of Minzu University of China, Wuhan University and Zhejiang University of Industry and Commerce that Oxfam, an NGO, was recruiting volunteers in China out of ulterior motives. Are you aware of it?

A: I am not aware of it. I know that some foreign NGOs are operating in China and China welcomes their active participation in China's modernization drive. This being said, we require these NGOs to observe Chinese laws and regulations in carrying out their activities in China.

Q: How does China comment on the recent situation in Niger? Will the coup in Niger affect relevant cooperation between China and Niger?

A: China follows closely the developments of situation in Niger. We have noted that the United Nations, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States have already sent delegations to Niger for mediation. We always stand for the settlement of disputes through dialogue and consultation. We hope relevant parties in Niger can bear in mind the fundamental interests of their country and people to restore constitutional order as soon as possible and maintain national stability and development.

The Chinese and Nigerien people have enjoyed long-time friendly exchanges and cooperation. China attaches great importance to China-Niger relations and is ready to continue to develop friendly cooperation with Niger in various fields to the benefit of the two peoples.

If there are no more questions, thank you all.

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