Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on July 31, 2008

On the afternoon of July 31, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference and answered questions on China-US relations, the Beijing Olympics and etc.

Liu Jianchao: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to start with an announcement.

At the invitation of the Governments of Hungary and Bulgaria, about 100 primary and middle-school students from Wenchuan quake-hit areas of China will visit the two countries respectively for recuperation from August 4 to 25.

Among the first countries establishing diplomatic relations with China, Hungary and Bulgaria both maintain traditional friendship with China. Inviting students from quake-hit areas for recuperation fully demonstrates the friendship of people in the two countries towards the Chinese people, and we express our appreciation and gratitude to that. We believe the recuperation tour will further enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between the people especially the youth of China and the two countries, enrich China-Hungary and China-Bulgaria friendly and cooperative relations, and further promote the development of the bilateral relations between China and the two countries.

Now the floor is open.

Q: Relevant Chinese authority is said to have taken away the passports of some Russian tourists on their arrival at an airport in Hainan, saying that foreign tourists will not be allowed to travel all around China for the safety of the Beijing Olympics. Could you confirm and comment?

A: Hainan is a desirable tourist destination for Russian travelers. I believe the local authority in Hainan will provide convenience to tourists from Russia and other parts of the world, so I have to doubt your story. I could check it for you with relevant tourist authorities. Foreign tourists from Russia and other countries are welcome to China for visiting, sightseeing and attending the Beijing Olympics. This policy remains unchanged.

Q:US President Bush will come to China to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics next week. It is said he will meet with President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping. What will they discuss? Which issue is the priority to be resolved between the two sides?

A: President Bush will come to China to attend the opening ceremony and relevant activities of the Beijing Olympics. President Hu Jintao and other Chinese leaders will meet with him. China and the US, both countries of major impact in the world, attach importance to bilateral relations. Leaders of the two countries have kept frequent contacts and exchange views on important issues. I believe this time is no exception. During President Bush's stay in China, he will exchange views on the China-US relations and major international and regional issues of common interests with his Chinese counterpart.

Q: How do you comment on President Bush's contribution to the development of China-US relations?

A: I think it is not the time to evaluate President Bush's political achievements over the past eight years. However, he has made great efforts and accomplished significant achievements in promoting the sound and stable development of bilateral relations. The past 8 years have witnessed an overall momentum of stable development of bilateral relations and sound cooperation in the fields of politics, trade and economy, society, culture, education, law enforcement, counter terrorism, environmental protection and etc. The two countries have kept communication, coordination, and cooperation on major international issues. The development of China-US relations is beneficial to the people of the two countries.

Admittedly, there are still some differences between us. We hope to continue dialogues, communication and cooperation with the US side on the basis of mutual respect, equality and non-interference in internal affairs. China welcomes President Bush to attend the Beijing Olympics and expect to hold talks with him on relevant issues.

Q: It is reported President Bush will attend the opening ceremony of the new US embassy in China. How do you comment on it?

A: We extend congratulations on the completion of the new US embassy in China and we are happy to see President Bush attend the ceremony. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi also attended the opening ceremony of the new Chinese embassy in Washington recently. The construction of the two embassies also reflects the continuous expansion of bilateral relations. I believe that diplomats of the two countries will continue to make contribution to the sound and stable development of China-US relations. I hope the new offices will further facilitate the work of our diplomats and we will continue to provide convenience to the US embassy in China.

Q: New Zealand Prime Minister Clark signed her name on the petition banner of Amnesty International, expressing her hope to see all nations stop execution. Do you have any comment?

A: China resolutely opposes interference in China's internal affairs under the pretext of "human rights". To separate sports from politics is an important feature of the Olympic spirit. Any attempt to politicize Olympics and disgrace China will end up nowhere.

Q: People's Daily published a commentary today criticizing an unnamed foreign leader, we believe it's Czech Prime Minister, for wearing a badge to support Tibet Independence and Dalai Lama. Do you have any official comment? Why is he still welcome to the Beijing Olympics?

A: We take relevant issue seriously, and have required the Czech side to make clarification. We hope relevant foreign leader, during his attendance at the Beijing Olympics, will respect the IOC rules and Olympic spirit, and do not do things that hurt Chinese people's feelings and undermine the bilateral relations. When it comes to foreign leaders' attendance to the Olympics, I have briefed on the invitation procedure on many occasions. As the host country, China will provide convenience to foreign leaders and friends attending the Beijing Olympics.

Q: The rehearsal of the Olympic opening ceremony was somehow video-recorded by a ROK television despite tight security guard. How do you explain that?

A: We take note that a ROK television broadcast a footage of the Olympic opening ceremony rehearsal, which aroused a row in the public. I know that many people, including some foreign TV stations have keen interested in the Olympic opening ceremony. But there's no need to rush, I think it'd better to play by the rules, no need to rush.

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

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