Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on September 25, 2008

On September 25, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference and answered questions on China's cooperation with Venezuela, the DPRK nuclear issue, the Sanlu incident and etc.

Liu Jianchao: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It's been quite a while since we last met, nice to see you again. Now I'm ready to take your questions.

Q: Did China sign any military deal with Venezuela during President Chavez's visit? Would you take into consideration the US position and attitude? And why?

A: To my knowledge, during President Chavez's state visit to China, the two countries exchanged views on bilateral relations and cooperation in a broad range of fields, including politics, economy, trade, culture, as well as regional and international affairs. However, I did not hear any exchange of views on cooperation in military technology or trade.

There are two points that China considers in dealing with other countries. One, abiding by the fundamental norms governing international relations; and two, developing normal state-to-state relations. China and Venezuela have nothing more than normal state-to-state relations and normal cooperation between states. We will continue to promote a comprehensive and steady development of this relationship based on norms governing international relations.

Q: IAEA officials said that the DPRK has removed seals on Nyongbyon nuclear facilities and barred IAEA inspectors. Could you comment? Do you condemn this? Secondly, this year's Nobel Peace Prize could possibly go to human rights activist Hu Jia. Do you have any comment? Thirdly, has the Chinese Government taken over Sanlu Company?

A: About your first question, thanks to efforts of all parties, the Six-Party Talks made major progress over the past few months. At present, the Talks are facing opportunities to move further ahead, while undeniably, there are difficulties to overcome. We hope relevant parties could display flexibility to solve the verification issue, implement the remaining tasks of the second phase in a comprehensive and balanced manner and jointly bring the Six-Party Talks to a new stage.

About your second question, I cannot confirm your information. But we believe, for the Nobel Peace Prize to live up to its reputation of honoring those who have truly contributed to world peace, it should be awarded to the right person. We hope relevant party will make the right decision, and do not challenge the original purpose of the Nobel Peace Prize or hurt Chinese people's feelings.

About your third question, the Chinese Government and competent authorities are dealing with the Sanlu incident rigorously, and are taking care of the aftermath. As for specific measures taken, please refer to the quality inspection and health authorities.

Q: Is there any new progress with the investigation over the poisoned dumpling case? What exactly did China tell Japan about the case in August?

A: The investigation over the poisoned dumpling issue has been underway for quite a while, right now I have no more information to share. We hope the two sides could strengthen cooperation to find out the truth.

Q: How would you comment on the Russia-Venezuela joint military exercise?

A: I prefer not to comment on this cooperation between Russia and Venezuela.

Q: Given the latest development of the DPRK nuclear issue, do you think relevant energy assistance should be postponed?

A: I have never heard of any party suspending assistance to DPRK. At least we are not officially informed in this regard. We hope to see the relevant parties find a way to resolve such issues as verification through dialogue as soon as possible to press ahead with the Six-Party Talks.

Q: I have several questions. President Bush made a phone call to Dalai the other day, expressing concern over his health. How do you view Dalai's status and Bush's phone call to him? Secondly, several countries have already recalled non-dairy products made in China, because they think these products including candies contain melamine. It is said that the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision has already withdrawn some candies from the markets. I would like to know whether these products have been recalled nationwide?

A: Regarding your first question, I would like to reiterate that Tibet is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory and Tibetan issues are purely internal affairs of China. Dalai is not just a religious figure, but a political exile who has long been engaged in activities aimed at splitting the motherland in the world. China has made solemn representations with the US side on its leader's phone conversation with Dalai and meeting with the so-called Dalai's "Representative in the US", urging it to abide by the basic norms governing international relations. The US should fulfill its commitment in real earnest, recognize Tibet as an inalienable part of the Chinese territory, not support the "independence of Tibet", and stop using the Tibet issues to interfere in the internal affairs of China.

Regarding your second question, we have noticed that some countries have expressed concern over China's diary and related products. We are also willing to strengthen cooperation with the food security authorities of relevant countries and regions in light of the scientific and fact-respecting principle so that we can properly resolve the issue of possible contamination of China's diary products exported there and prevent expansion of the problem. We will continue to handle such issues in a highly responsible manner.

Q: You just said that China did not sign any arms sales agreement with Venezuela, however, President Chavez insisted that he had already discussed and negotiated with China over this issue yesterday. Do you have any comment and could you confirm it?

A: I am not clear about what specific cooperation between China and Venezuela President Chavez was talking about. I could confirm again that military cooperation has never been discussed during President Chavez's state visit to China.

Q: Shenzhou VII will be launched tonight, how do you comment on it and China's spaceflight development?

A: We always advocate peaceful use of the outer space. The fundamental purpose of China's manned spacecraft program is to make exploration and peaceful use of the outer space, promote China's economic development and Chinese people's wellbeing. The launch of Shenzhou VII manned spacecraft is another major step for China to explore and use the outer space peacefully. We believe that this move will further accelerate China's space technology, and contribute to the efforts of human beings to make peaceful use of the outer space. Shenzhou VII will be launched in due course later today. We wish a complete success to this great space exploration.

Q: As for the agreements signed by China and Venezuela during President Chavez's visit to China, most of information comes out from the latter until now. Do you reach any energy agreements, such as the construction of a crude refinery factory and Venezuela oil supply to China? What benefits could China get from them?

A: Yesterday, after the talks between President Hu Jintao and President Chavez, a total of 12 agreements were signed, covering not only cultural, quality supervision, judicial assistance, educational cooperation, but also economic, trade and oil cooperation. I believe that these agreements will further promote the friendly and mutual beneficial cooperation between China and Venezuela in the fields mentioned above. As for the specific agreements that have been signed, many of you have been invited to the signing ceremony and must have been well aware. Of course, I do not know the details of the agreements. I suggest you to inquire the signatory parties, especially the competent authorities for further information.

If there are no further questions, thanks for your attendance and wish you a happy holiday!

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