Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on May 22, 2008


On the afternoon of May 22, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the foreign-related rescue and relief work in the quake-affected area, ROK President Lee Myung-bak's visit to China, the Six-Party Talks, the Iranian nuclear issue and ect.

Qin Gang: Good afternoon. I would like to start with an announcement.

At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, ROK President Lee Myung-bak will pay a state visit to China from May 27 to 30.

Now I'm ready to take your questions.

Q: The US Strategic Command officials reportedly claimed in recent days that China was still active in developing outer space weapons, including ones that could shoot down man-made satellites. Could you comment on that?

A: I have taken note of the relevant report. Such a claim is unacceptable. Our position on the relevant issue is consistent and clear-cut. China upholds the peaceful development of the outer space, and opposes development of weapons and arms race in the outer space in any forms. China has never and will never be part of any arms race in the outer space. We hope that relevant US officials will contribute to the mutual trust between the two countries in their remarks and acts, not the opposite.

Q: About the earthquake and the relief work. President Hu Jintao delivered an important speech 72 hours after the quake, saying that intensive rescue work must be continued to save the trapped. Now it's been six days since his speech, will China continue to give top priority to the rescue work? Or will you shift your focus onto treating the wounded and restore the infrastructure?

A: China is mobilizing the entire nation to engage in the relief operation. We are still trying every possible means in searching for and rescuing the trapped. With the relief operation going on, relevant work will be proceeding in light of the overall arrangement. To treat the wounded and the ill is also one of the major tasks at the current stage.

If you are interested in details, I suggest you attend the Press Conference of the State Council Information Office which begins at 4:00 p.m. every day. You will get more specifics there.

Q: Will the Chinese Financial Minister or other Chinese officials attend the G8 Finance Ministers' meeting in Osaka next month? If not, why?

A: I'm not sure whether the G8 has sent out the invitation to our Finance Minister. But if there is such invitation like before, we will give it a serious consideration. China is earnest and active in its cooperation with the G8. Against the backdrop of globalization, particularly when the current international finance fails people's expectation, it is in the interest of all countries to enhance international cooperation, pool our wit together to safeguard international financial stability and security and address the current problems. Should we have information on the Chinese Finance Minister's attendance of the meeting, we will keep you updated.

Q: The Dalai Lama said in London that he would like to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, provided that the situation in Tibet improves, and he is invited by the Chinese Government. Will China send him an invitation? Secondly, it's said that China will have the second round of contact with Dalai's personal representatives in June. Please confirm, and brief us on it.

A: I have heard of those remarks by the Dalai side. For us, if the Dalai side really wants to do something good for the motherland and for the Beijing Olympics, it should take concrete steps, stop separatist activities, stop plotting and provoking violent activities and stop disrupting the Beijing Olympics.

As for the next round of contact you mentioned, the specific timeframe is still under consultation. As you know, under the current circumstances, the entire Chinese nation is sparing no efforts on the relief work.

Q: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Myanmar. Is China going to invite him to Beijing to discuss about the relief?

A: After the Wenchuan earthquake, the Security Council, other UN agencies, and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon himself expressed sincere consolation and solicitude to China, and deep condolence to the victim. We are deeply thankful that the international community stands by the Chinese Government and people in face of this catastrophe.

China is having consultation with the UN about whether Secretary Ban will come to China, particularly to the affected area. I'm not in a position to reveal more before it's settled. Relevant information will be released when it's confirmed.

Q: Some African media said that China's cargo ship "An Yuejiang" had arrived in Zimbabwe, and that the Zimbabwe Government had confirmed receiving the goods. Meanwhile, China denies such a thing. Have you had any communication with Zimbabwe?

A: As we have said on many occasions, relevant military goods will be shipped back by "An Yuejiang", which is now on its way home. Relevant report is utterly groundless.

Q: IAEA officials said recently that Beijing could be attacked by terrorists with "dirty bombs" during the Olympics. How serious do you take this? Are there any preventive measures?

A: The Chinese Government resolutely opposes terrorism in any forms. Our position is clear and firm. We would like to see international cooperation in this regard. I'm not aware of the "dirty bomb" threat to the Beijing Olympics. I would like to stress that we take the security issue very seriously. Our aim is to make the Beijing Olympics safe, smooth and successful. On the one hand, relevant Chinese authorities will step up preventive measures; on the other hand, we are ready to invite international cooperation so as to ensure the safety of the athletes, delegation officials and other people coming to the Beijing Olympics.

Q: Iran has rejected the talk resumption plan proposed at the six Foreign Ministers' meeting in London by coming up with its own package of counter proposals. What is your response?

A: You seem to be very interested in this issue, as this is the third time you raise this question within two days. China has received and is studying Iran's package of initiatives. We believe other parties concerned are doing the same.

I would like to reiterate that China hopes to settle the Iranian nuclear issue peacefully through diplomatic means. Under the current circumstances, we hope all parties concerned will display more flexibility, take each other's concerns into full consideration, and resume talks at an early date, so as to seek for a long-term, comprehensive and proper resolution.

Q:Could you please give us more details on the international donation and materials China has received?

A: Since the earthquake stroke Wenchuan, we have received great support and assistance from the international community. Aid in various forms has been delivered to China continuously. According to the incomplete statistics from competent authorities, the donation from the international community through diplomatic channels has registered 249 million RMB. The donation and material assistance countries have intended to offer through various channels reaches 615 million RMB and 249 million RMB respectively. International and regional organizations have committed to around 81 million RMB donation and about five million RMB-worth materials.

Besides, in the process of disaster relief, especially considering the relocation need, the following specific materials are in urgent need. We now need large numbers of tents and simple houses to shelter those who lost their homes. According to our rough estimation, 3.3 million tents or travelling houses are in great need. However, up to now, only 400,000 tents are there, so there is a big gap. We hope foreign countries will provide tents first when they are planning to give aid to China. Besides, blankets, clothes, quilts, and food are also needed and welcome. In addition, health and medical materials, like medicine and medical devices as well as communication equipment, like satellite phones and machines for rescue and relief efforts are also welcome.

After the earthquake, many countries express solicitude to China. Some countries express their willingness to send rescue or medical teams to China. We will consider it according to the need in disaster-affected area and the receiving capacity of the localities. I would like to once again express our heartfelt thanks to the international community for their support to China.

Q: Are there any psychologists in the foreign medical teams?

A: As far as I know, there are some psychologists in the foreign medical teams working in disaster-affected area.

Q: Sources say that the Chinese navy ships guarded a Chinese oil drilling platform in Xisha Islands. Do you have more details?

A: I have not heard of that. I shall reiterate that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Xisha Islands and its adjacent waters and has been exercising jurisdiction over it.

Q: Could you brief us on ROK President title="Lee Myung-bak"Lee Myung-bak's visit to China?

A: I can share with you his framework itinerary. On the afternoon of the 27th, he will meet with President Hu Jintao. On the afternoon of the 28th, he will meet with Chairman Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao and Chairman Jia Qinglin respectively.

Q: Do you have any update on the next round of the Six-Party Talks?

A: Not yet. The talks have maintained a sound momentum recently. We hope to have communication and consultation with other parties so as to press ahead with the Talks.

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

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