On the afternoon of April 9, 2009, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions over the 2009 annual conference of Boao Forum, DPRK's announcement of a satellite launch, Iranian nuclear issue and etc.
Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have two announcements to start with.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Nursultan Nazarbayev of the Republicof Kazakhstanwill pay a state visit to China from April 15 to 19.
At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council, Mr. Michael Somare, Prime Minister of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea will pay an official visit to China from April 14 to 19.
Now, I'd like to take your questions.
Q: Could you update us on the seized Taiwan shipping boat? What role could China play in combating Somali pirates? Since five Chinese cities are introducing a pilot program of using RMB for cross-border trade settlement, will Premier Wen Jiabao set forth fresh measures at the East Asia summit and related meetings?
A: On your first question, the Chinese Government takes the safety of the 30-member crew and the boat very seriously. After the incident, the Foreign Ministry has worked together with competent authorities and Chinese embassies overseas in an effort to have them safely rescued. As far as I know, competent mainland authorities have already contacted and stayed in communication with their Taiwancounterparts, and expressed their willingness to provide positive assistance upon Taiwan's request.
Recently, we have witnessed rampant piracy and expanding scope of activities off the Somalia coast. The Department of Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry has released a travel alert to Chinese vessels and people, asking them to stay away from the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia, Kenya, east coast of Tanzania and north coast of the Seychelles without any safety guarantee.
As part of the resolute international efforts in combating piracy, China has conducted convoy missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off the Somalia coast in line with relevant UN Security Council resolutions. We stand ready to enhance information exchanges and humanitarian relief cooperation with other countries so as to safeguard peace and tranquility in the shipping lane.
As to the RMB settlement, that's a quite professional issue, I suggest you refer to competent authorities. However, I would like to brief you on the 10+3 financial cooperation. Over the past years, ASEAN plus China, Japanand ROK have enjoyed flourishing cooperation with remarkable progress in financial areas. The Chiang Mai Initiative and its multilateral process have been continuously pushed forward. The building of the Asian bond market has been pressing ahead. With US$84 billion bilateral currency swap and US$120 billion regional foreign exchange reserve, 10+3 countries are now in a better shape to fend off financial risks.
Q: The US indicted a Chinese company of helping Iran buy nuclear materials, how do you comment? Former French Prime Minister Raffarin said that Chinese leaders might visit France this year, could you confirm? Will more French leaders visit China in the coming days?
A: On your first question, we have noted relevant reports. China's policy on non-proliferation is explicit. We exercise strict and effective export control in accordance with our laws and regulations. Any individual and company involved in illegal exports will be seriously dealt with according to law. However, we are firmly against any sanction imposed by the US relevant authorities against Chinese companies pursuant to its domestic law.
As to your second question, French President Accoyer of the National Assembly, former President Chirac and former Prime Minister Raffarin will come to China this month. Mr. Raffarin, at the invitation of the CCPIT, will attend the 15th China-France trade and economic symposium this week. Mr. Accoyer, at the invitation of the National People's Congress, will arrive in mid-April and meet with Chinese leaders. Mr. Chirac, invited by the Institute of Foreign Affairs, will come later this month and have talks with Chinese leaders. As old friends of the Chinese people, they have long been dedicated to promoting bilateral friendship. They will be warmly welcomed in China.
For the high-level visit you mentioned, I don't have any information so far.
At this point, China-France relations are recovering gradually. We hope the two sides, in light of the spirit of the London meeting between the heads of state and principles set by the press communiqués, join hands to promote long-term, sound and steady development of bilateral ties.
Q: At the just-concluded London meeting of Director-Generals on the Iranian nuclear issue, the six countries agreed that the EU send a representative to conduct dialogue with Iran. When will the dialogue begin? What's China's expectation for that?
A: As you just said, the political Director-Generals' meeting on the Iranian nuclear issue was just concluded in London. Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jieyi took part as China's representative. We are glad to see the US improving its ties with Iranand supportive of efforts in seeking a proper resolution of this issue through dialogue and negotiations. We encourage Iran to make proactive contact with other parties for a comprehensive, long-term and proper resolution of the issue.
Q: US Senator McCain urged China to take a firmer stance against the DPRK after the rocket launch, claiming that the international community should take tough measures including sanctions against the DPRK. How do you respond?
A: Over the past six years, the Six-Party Talks have made positive progress in some aspects. Practice proves that the Six-Party Talks is an important platform for parties concerned to enhance understanding and trust and conduct consultation and dialogue, which is conducive to denuclearization on the Peninsula and a new and harmonious situation in Northeast Asia. The fundamental starting point of China in dealing with the Peninsula issue is to safeguard peace and stability there. This is not only in the interest of China, but also in the common interest of the international community. Imposition of pressure and sanction does not help. We hope to work with other parties to promote the denuclearization process on the Peninsula through diplomatic approach.
Under the current circumstances, we hope relevant parties could exert calmness, restraint and prudence and properly handle relevant issues through dialogue and consultation so as to jointly safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the whole region.
Q: How many state leaders will attend the Boao Forum for Asia to convene on April 17?
A: At the invitation of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council will attend the BFA Annual Conference 2009 in Boao of Hainan Province and deliver a keynote speech. Some foreign state leaders will also be present, including President Zardari of Pakistan, President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, President Faure of Togo, Prime Ministers of Mongolia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Finland, Albania, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand. Besides, former US President George W. Bush and former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda have also confirmed their attendance. The theme of this year's conference is "Asia: Managing Beyond Crisis". We hope that people from political, economic and academic circles could take an active part and produce good initiatives on how to address the financial crisis in Asia.
Q: You just announced that President of Kazakhstan is to visit China from April 15 to 19. Could you give more information on his itinerary as well as your expectation of the visit?
A: At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Nazarbayev will pay a state visit to China from April 15 to 19 and attend the BFA 2009 in the meantime. During the visit, leaders of the two countries will have in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations, mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields as well as regional and international issues. A series of cooperation documents will be signed. We believe President Nazarbayev's visit will further promote the two countries' strategic relations of partnership.
China and Kazakhstan are friendly neighbors and strategic partners. In recent years, the bilateral relations have developed smoothly with marked achievements in practical cooperation in various fields and good coordination in international issues. Last year, the bilateral trade volume stood at 17.55 billion US dollars. It is a priority of China's diplomacy to cement and deepen China-Kazakhstan relations of strategic partnership. We are ready to work with Kazakhstan to promote comprehensive and profound development of the bilateral relations.
Q: On the DPRK rocket launch. The UN Security Council is working on a new resolution or statement and China is acting cautiously on this by possible approval of a new statement instead of a resolution. What is the basic attitude of China?
A: Our basic attitude is hoping the Security Council to take into account of the overall situation. The response of the Security Council should be conducive to maintaining unity of the members within the Council, peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia as well as the Six-Party Talks.
Over the past days, China has stayed in close communication and coordination with relevant parties through bilateral and multi-lateral channels including the Security Council. China adopts a serious and constructive approach in this regard. I'd like to reiterate that we hope relevant parties properly settle this issue through dialogue and consultation.
Q: It is reported that according to a "Tibet Independence" group, two Tibetans involved in the March 14 Incident last year were sentenced to death by the Chinese Government. How do you comment on this?
A: This is a question of domestic affairs. Given your keen interest, I'd like to give you some information for reference. Accusations from the so-called "Tibetan Government in-exile" could never twist the facts. In the open trial, people's Court of the Tibet Autonomous Region issued its verdict of several arson cases in the March 14 Incident last year. Those criminal activities caused huge losses to the lives and property of local people of various ethnicities and also seriously jeopardized social order and stability. It is fair to say that relevant cases were handled strictly according to Chinese laws and legal procedures. The verdict was given in an open trial, litigation rights of the defendants were guaranteed and their ethnic custom and dignity fully respected. For example, interpreters of Tibetan language were arranged and their lawyers expressed their views sufficiently in court.
In light of the principle of "educating the majority, handling the minority", judicial authorities of the Autonomous Region has handled the cases in a fair and civilized way in accordance with law. They took this approach to guarantee lives and property of all ethnic groups including the Tibetan people, to safeguard law and order.
Q: Wall Street Journal reported recently that spies from China and Russia have gained access to the US electrical grid and installed softwares that could shut down or damage service. How do you comment?
A: I have noted that the White House has already denied the report, there are no such things as China and Russia attack the US national grid. I hope the press take a cautious approach when it comes to ungrounded accusations, especially those targeting China.
If there are no more questions, thanks for your attendance. See you!