|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Press Conference on April 29,2003|
Q: You told us that China, the DPRK and the US agreed to maintain contact through diplomatic channels on the talks. What do you mean by the “diplomatic channels”? Do you still have contacts with the DPRK and the US? Is there any possibility of convening second round of Beijing talks? What is the prospect? Secondly, it is reported that the DPRK revealed in the talks that they had a nuclear bomb. Would you please confirm?
A: On your first question, the three parties all maintained in the Beijing talks that talks are conducive but they need some time to study the positions of the other parties. They all agreed to keep contact on the process of the Beijing talks through diplomatic channels. The Chinese side has always maintained contact with the US and the DPRK on the DPRK nuclear question. At the same time the Chinese side has always stressed in the talks that the Korean peninsula should be nuclear free and the DPRK nuclear question should be solved peacefully. The goal of the Chinese side is very clear, that is, to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula. The Chinese side will continue to make its unremitting efforts.
On your second question, according to what I know, the DPRK side has not made such statement in the talks. I want to reaffirm here that the Chinese side stands for the denuclearization on the peninsula and the position is consistent.
Q: We got the news from the Japanese embassy in China that Japan has decided to provide 205 million yen assistance to China to prevent and treat SARS. Please confirm.
A: The Japanese Government announced on 28 April that it would provide 205 million yen assistance in medical equipment and pharmaceuticals to China to prevent and treat SARS. The Chinese Government appreciates this.
Q: US Secretary of States Powell said yesterday that during the tripartite talks last week in Beijing, the DPRK offered to scrap its nuclear and missile program in return for various concessions including diplomatic concessions from the US. Can you confirm and what is China’s position on that offer?
A:During the Beijing Talks, the parties elaborated on their own positions and had a full exchange of views. The talks achieved the objective of enhancing understanding. We believe that the Beijing Talks are a good beginning for the efforts to solve the Korean nuclear question. As I mentioned just now, the three parties all believe that the talks are beneficial. However, it needs time to study the positions of the others. I believe that the U.S. side will also study the positions and proposals that the parties raised during the talks. The parties agree to keep touch with each other on the Beijing Talks process through diplomatic channels.
Q: What is China’s reaction to French Prime Minister’s invitation to China to attend the G8 summit? Secondly, Wen Jiabao is currently on his first overseas trip as the Premier to Thailand. What will he propose to the ASEAN countries to combat SARS?
A: On your first question, French President Chirac has officially invited President Hu Jintao to attend the informal dialogue meeting between leaders of the south and the north to be held at Evian of France on 1 June. We believe that the talks between the south and the north are very important to safeguarding world peace and promoting common development. China supports the French proposal and will give positive consideration to the French invitation.
On your second question, Premier Wen Jiabao has arrived in Bangkok, Thailand today. He will attend the special leaders meeting on SARS between China and the ASEAN. The meeting will be held at 5:30 (Beijing time). The leaders will meet the press at 7:00 p.m. Countries of the region are confronted with the common challenge and threat of SARS. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the meeting. China will attend the meeting in a constructive attitude and come up with China’s proposals and propositions. We hope to make joint efforts with the ASEAN countries to treat and eradicate the threat of SARS. The relevant information of the meeting will be provided to you by the relevant side in due course. Your colleagues in Bangkok will also timely get the information.
Q: Please comment on the DPRK’s proposal made at last week’s talks in Beijing? Secondly, as far as China knows, the DPRK is still not a nuclear power. Is that correct?
A: On your first question, I have introduced just now and have nothing to add.
On your second question, namely the DPRK nuclear plan, the Chinese side has had no knowledge but its position on the DPRK nuclear question is consistent. We support the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and maintain that peace and stability should be kept and that the relevant issues should be solved peacefully. At the same time, the legitimate security concern of the DPRK side should be cared for.
Q: Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee extended the “hand for friendship” to Pakistan on 18th April and expressed that it was willing to hold peaceful dialog to solve questions. Following this, Pakistani Prime Minister Jamali phoned his Indian counterpart in which he reaffirmed his wish to resume dialog with India and invited him to visit Pakistan. What is your comment? Second question, what is your comment on the recent announcement by the Tamil Tiger to suspend dialog with the government?
A: China welcomes and appreciates the recent positive gestures made respectively by India and Pakistan that are conducive to the resumption of dialog between them. China has always maintained that they should solve their disputes peacefully through dialog and negotiations, and hopes that they adopt further measures to improve bilateral relations and live together in harmony. This not only conforms to their common interests but also to peace and development in South Asia.
As a friendly and close neighbor of Sri Lanka, we have always followed very closely the development of situation there. To achieve national reconciliation and rejuvenate economy through peaceful talks conforms to the fundamental wish and interests of its people. We sincerely hope that its peace process can continue.