Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on July 22, 2008

On July 22, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference and answered questions on Nepalese Constitutional Assembly election, situation in Zimbabwe, the Six-party Talks, the Beijing Olympics and etc.

Liu Jianchao: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Now the floor is open for your questions.

Q: I have two questions. Firstly, relevant parties in Zimbabwe recently signed a memorandum of understanding in Harare that established the framework for negotiation. Do you have any comment? Secondly, the Nepalese Constitutional Assembly elected Ram Yadav, leader of Nepali Congress Party as the first President of the Republic of Nepal. Could you comment on that?

A: About your first question, on July 21, relevant parties in Zimbabwe reached consensus and signed a memorandum of understanding on the framework for negotiation. China appreciates and welcomes this agreement. It is the result of joint efforts of all parties in Zimbabwe and active mediation of African countries, which also shows that parties in Zimbabwe are dedicated to solving their disputes properly through peaceful means. According to the memorandum, the substantive negotiation will start in the coming days. China sincerely hopes that all parties in Zimbabwe will put their national and people's interest first, continue to display sincerity and flexibility in the negotiations so as to find an early solution which is consistent with people's will and political reality in Zimbabwe. China will continue to support the meditative efforts of SADC and the AU.

As for your second question, China is glad to see that the Nepalese Constitutional Assembly has elected Nepal's first President and Vice President. We extend our congratulations to the elected President Mr. Ram Yadav and the Vice President Mr. Paramananda Jha. As a good neighbor, friend and partner of Nepal, China sincerely hopes that Nepal will continue its peace process, and realize political stability, economic development and national solidarity.

Q: China promised to facilitate foreign journalists' work in China, yet some foreign reporters are still facing hassles just weeks ahead of the Olympics. How do you comment on that?

A: As I have stated on many occasions, it is the Chinese Government's policy to implement the Regulations on Reporting Activities in China by Foreign Journalists during the Beijing Olympic Games and the Preparatory Period in an earnest and comprehensive manner, and Chinese governments at all levels have done a lot of work in this regard. We also hope foreign journalists will have good communications with relevant Chinese departments and their interviewees. We will continue to encourage relevant governmental departments at all levels to better implement the regulation.

Q: US President Bush said he hoped that the American athletes attending the Beijing Olympics would be "ambassadors of liberty" to convey the American value of freedom and human rights to the Chinese people and athletes from other countries. Can you comment?

A: I have taken note of the relevant report. We hope and believe that during the Olympics, all the athletes including those from the US will help promote mutual understanding and friendship among the peoples of different countries and regions and advocate the Olympic spirit.

Q: It's reported that China has made representation to Vietnam for its joint exploration with Exxon Mobil on the South China Sea, which China considers an infringement upon its sovereignty. Please confirm. Secondly, it's reported that China plans to block all the bridges into the DPRK during the Olympics to prevent North Korean refugees. Please confirm.

A: As you all know, China's position on the South China Sea is clear and consistent. As for the case you mentioned, China has stated our position to relevant parties. China opposes any actions that infringes upon China's sovereignty, sovereignty rights and jurisdiction over the South China Sea,

As for your second question, I have taken note of relevant report, and checked it without delay. The relevant report is totally groundless. Everything along the China-DPRK border is normal.

If there are no more questions, thank you for your attendance.

After the press conference, Liu Jianchao was asked to brief the press on the unofficial meeting to be held among foreign ministers from the Six-party Talks. Liu said that, as agreed upon consultation, an unofficial meeting among foreign ministers from the six parties concerning the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsular will be held on the sidelines of ARF foreign ministers' meeting in Singapore on July 23. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will preside over the meeting with no topics specified. This will be the first unofficial meeting among foreign ministers of the six parties, during which the six foreign ministers will exchange views on the achievements made so far, direction for the future and other issues of common interest. We expect the meeting to be successful and conducive to the realization of the goals set in the joint statement.

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