Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on July 16, 2009
2009/07/17

On the afternoon of July 16, 2009, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.

Qin Gang: Good afternoon, Ladies and gentlemen. I have an announcement to start with.

Under the consultation between China and the United States, the first China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue will be held from July 27 to 28 in Washington. Chinese President Hu Jintao's special representatives, Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo, will join US President Obama's special representatives, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, to co-chair the Dialogue. The two sides will make in-depth exchange of views on the strategic, overall and long-term issues of common interests, so as to deepen understanding, enhance mutual trust and promote cooperation.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: Australian media reported that Chinese Embassy in Australia requested the organizers of the Melbourne International Film Festival to cancel screening a film of Rebiya Kadeer. Do you have any comment?

A: We are all very clear what kind of person she is. We are firmly opposed to any foreign countries providing platform for her anti-China separatist activities.

Q: Recent media reports say that some Chinese businessmen in Moscow are having a hard time after the Cherkizovsky Market was closed. How does China plan to help them out?

A: The Cherkizovsky Market was closed by Moscow authorities on June 29 and some Chinese businessmen's money and goods were seized in the market.

The Chinese Embassy in Russia and the Department of Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry made representations to the Russian side and urged Russia to deal with the case in a fair, just and reasonable way so that the lawful rights and interests of the Chinese businessmen can be guaranteed and their legal belongings protected. We will continue to follow this case, keep close communication and contact with the Russian side and guarantee the lawful rights and interests of the Chinese businessmen in Russia.

Q: It has been a week since those involved in the Rio Tinto case were detained. Could you tell us they are under what charges? What sentence will they be given? Australian Foreign Minister will meet with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Egypt. Besides, according to Australian media, Rio Tinto is pulling out its iron ore negotiators, will China prohibit those involved in the case from leaving?

A: These are very detailed questions concerning a case which is under investigation. I am not aware of the specifics of the legal proceedings.

I have noted that over the past few days, the press has been highly interested in the case. Here I would like to stress the following:

First, the Chinese Government firmly adheres to the opening-up strategy featuring mutual benefit and the policy of welcoming and attracting foreign investment. For foreign enterprises doing business in China, we in China will wish them a good fortune here. We hope all those enterprises could make money in China and we are delighted to create a favorable environment for that. However, we in China also say, "A man of noble character acquires his wealth by honorable means". There are two aspects of "honorable means". Firstly, law prevails. We urge foreign enterprises to observe Chinese laws and regulations. Secondly, honesty sustains. We hope foreign companies comply with business ethics. The acts of some Rio Tinto staff have severely undermined China's interests. Hu Shitai himself and Rio Tinto are very clear about that. Hence, the actions taken by China's competent authorities are completely proper and lawful.

Second, China, as a country under the rule of law, handles the case in accordance with law. During the process, the lawful rights and interests of those involved will be guaranteed. I have noted that some people in Australia are making some noise over this case, interfering in China's judicial sovereignty. However, this could never change the facts, nor could it sway the handling of this case in line with law.

Third, China and Australia are major trading partners to each other and we attach great importance to maintaining and developing sound and stable trade and economic ties. We firmly oppose anyone hyping up this case to interfere in China's judicial independence and undermine the sound and stable development of China-Australia ties, which contravenes the interest of Australia.

Q: Mr. Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, while attending the NAM Summit in Egypt yesterday, said the Six-Party Talks has come to an end. Do you have any response? Besides, Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei just concluded his visits to the ROK, US, Japan and Russia. When does he plan to visit the DPRK?

A: China always believes that achieving denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and safeguarding peace and stability in the region and Northeast Asia through peaceful means as dialogue and consultations serves the common interests of all parties, all of which have also made solemn commitment. We hope parties honor their commitment and take concrete measures to promote the Six-Party Talks, so as to properly resolve relevant issues through dialogue and consultations. In particular, parties should prevent the tension from escalating and make joint efforts to ensure the peace and stability in the region as well as Northeast Asia.

As you all know, Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei is now in Beijing after his visit to Russia, US, Japan and the ROK. He exchanged in-depth views with the four countries on the DPRK nuclear issue, the situation in Northeast Asia and the Six-Party Talks, among other issues of common interest. All parties agreed to working together for a peaceful resolution of issues through dialogue and consultations as well as committing themselves to the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. China is willing to stay in communication and coordination with other parties by all means.

Q: The ASEAN Regional Forum will be held in Thailand next week. What's your expectation for that?

A: The ARF will be held in Thailand shortly and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will head a delegation to attend the Forum there. We hope parties exchange views on major issues bearing on regional peace, stability and security through this meeting.

Q: Chinese media are reporting Xinjiang has restored normal order. Could you give us some specific figures? For instance, how many people are under detention? What legal proceedings will China pursue?

A: I am not in a position to comment on the current situation in Xinjiang Autonomous Region and how to handle those involved in the July 5 incident. I suggest you refer to relevant authorities.

Q: This morning, the third batch of fleets of China's naval convoy vessels are leaving for the waters off the Somali coast. Given the current situation there, could you tell us the significance of this move?

A: The purpose of our convoy vessels to the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somali coast is to protect the Chinese vessels going through that area as well as ensure a safe passage of humanitarian assistance materials of international organizations including the WFP. The third batch of the naval fleets will continue to perform their duty for that purpose.

Q: About the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting to be held in Thailand. First, will Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei attend the meeting? Second, will China have bilateral talks with the DPRK and the US?

A: So far, I haven't heard that Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei plans to attend the meeting. As for whether the Chinese delegation will have any contact or talks with other parties, it is still under coordination.

Q: I have a couple of questions. First, the US Commerce Secretary and Secretary of Energy are visiting China and discussing clean energy. Will their visit affect China's position on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions? Second, China has issued safety alert to its citizens in Algeria considering the terrorist threat from Al-Qaeda. Does China plan to issue similar alerts to other regions under the threat of Al-Qaeda?

A: China's position on climate change is clear and consistent. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol are the essential framework and legal basis for the international community to tackle climate change. We hold that developed countries should follow the principles of the Convention and the Bali Roadmap, continue to take the lead in cutting emissions after 2012 and provide developing countries with financial and technological support so as to enhance their capacity building in adaptation and mitigation of climate change. Developing countries can make efforts in tackling climate change by adhering to sustainable development strategy. The most important thing is to stick to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in tackling the challenge facing by the whole international community.

The US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is now visiting China. I believe that his communication with relevant Chinese authorities will help us better understand each other's position and promote cooperation. We have also noted that the positive developments in the US Government's attitude towards climate change. We welcome this and expect the US to play a role that matches its historical responsibility and actual capability.

On your question about Algeria, I made my position clear at Tuesday's briefing. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the safety of its overseas agencies and citizens and will take necessary measures to guarantee their safety.

Q: This morning, Chinese media reported an incident about foreigners in Guangzhou. Media quoted the police saying that no one died in the accident, but rumors had it that a Nigerian got hurt and died. How do you comment?

A: I have noted local media reports that head of the Bureau of Public Security in Guangzhou had briefed the press about the case which is now under investigation. You can refer to competent authorities for further details.

If there are no more questions, thank you. See you!

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