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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Press Conference on 25 September 2003/09/25
Kong Quan: Good afternoon. Today we have the visiting delegation of civil servants from the Hong Kong SAR here. On behalf of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I extend my warm welcome to you and wish you a happy stay in Beijing.

Now, I shall start with an announcement. At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Mary McAleese of Ireland will pay a state visit to China from October 6th to 15th. Besides Beijing, President McAleese will also visit Shenyang, Shanghai, Shenzhen and the Hong Kong SAR.

Now the floor is open.

Q: About Shenzhou-5. As a developing country, China is now on the verge of realizing its plan of manned space program. Do you see any contradiction between this plan and China's status as a developing country?

A: You are sure to know about the four parts of China's modernization drive and the scientific and technological modernization is one of them. The peaceful use of space is the long-cherished dream of the mankind. As a developing country, China has made some explorations towards this end and provided some beneficial experience for our further understanding of the space.

Q: Will the NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo visit the DPRK? South Korea said today that the time is running out for the DPRK to resolve the nuclear issue. Do you have any comment on that? Later this week, you said that China was working on its own to resolve the nuclear issue. Would you please specify the effort you've mentioned?

A: For your first question, I fully understand your hope to get the accurate information. Therefore, I promise to let you know it as soon as I get the definite news. Although the definite news is not available right now, I can tell you that China and the DPRK have the tradition and mechanism of exchange of visits. Furthermore, both sides often consult with each other on the exchange of high-level visits. Your second question touches upon China's basic position on the nuclear question on the Korean Peninsula. Actually, you have been very familiar with that. Since the DPRK nuclear question came to the fore in the later half of last year, China has been making its own efforts in materializing the trilateral talks and the six-party talks in Beijing. The major results achieved by the talks are as follows: firstly, it's extremely important for all parties to confirm the objective of the non-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Secondly, all parties launched the process of seeking the peaceful solution to the nuclear question on the Korean Peninsula, including addressing the DPRK's security concerns. We hope that the process of Beijing Talks will continue. With keeping contacts with all parties, we hope that the Beijing process can go on with our common efforts so as to seek a peaceful solution to the nuclear question on the Korean Peninsula and maintain the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Q: How do you evaluate the results achieved by the visit to China by Russian Prime Minister Kasyanov?

A: Russian Prime Minister's visit to China marks the 8th Regular Prime Ministers' Meeting between China and Russia. Undoubtedly, it has been an important one. I believe all of you have read the Joint Communiqué issued after the meeting. The 12 wide-ranging articles not only reviewed the results achieved by both sides in various areas since the Prime Ministers' meeting last year, but also examined some cooperation projects at present and made plans for the cooperation in key areas in the future. As President Hu Jintao said when meeting with Prime Minister Kasyanov: We should constantly deepen and expand the good-neighborliness, friendship and full cooperation between China and Russia, and strengthen the China-Russian strategic partnership of coordination. The common strategic choice made by both countries serve the fundamental and long-term interest of the two peoples. We are pleased to see the success of the meeting. At the same time, we also hope that the meeting can further promote the friendly relationship and full cooperation between China and Russia in terms of depth and scope.

Q: During his visit to China, Kasyanov discussed the pipeline project with his Chinese counterpart. Will the construction of the Angarsk-Daqing pipeline be delayed? If so, why?

A: Energy marks a very important area of cooperation for both China and Russia, which has been confirmed in the Joint Statement issued by two heads of state during President Hu Jintao's visit to Russia this May. The point has been reaffirmed in the Joint Communiqué issued by Chinese Premier and Russian Prime Minister. At the press conference after the meeting, Prime Minister Kasyanov said that the Russian side would keep its promise in the area of energy including the construction of pipelines. I believe that the energy cooperation between China and Russia will enjoy broad prospects and tremendous practical possibility. The further cooperation in this area would be beneficial for both sides. And both sides are keeping close consultations on this project.

Q: The former First Lady Hillary Clinton said she was outraged knowing that parts of her autobiography were deleted in its Chinese version by a Chinese publishing house. Do you have any comment on that?

A: According to the report I have read, a Chinese publishing house reached an agreement after negotiation with her agent on the copyright of her autobiography. I don't know specifics about its Chinese version. I think you may refer your question to the publishing house because it relates to the agreement I've mentioned. As a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I really don't have much to say.

Q: Yesterday, the Sudanese government reached an agreement with rebel forces. Do you have any comment on that? Since thousands of Chinese are working there, is the Chinese government worrying about their safety? Will China still considers expanding cooperation projects in Sudan? Secondly, in the UN Security Council, France and the U.S. still hold obviously different views on the Iraqi issue. On which side will the Chinese government stand? What's your comment on the role of the Security Council?

A: You've mentioned the agreement reached between the Sudanese government and rebel forces. I've read the related report. Both China and Sudan are developing countries friendly to each other and share the common task of economic development. As a friend, China is certainly pleased to learn that progress has been made in the negotiation between the Sudanese government and rebel forces in purpose of ending the civil war. We sincerely hope that Sudan will commit itself to the national development with domestic peace resumed at an early date. As far as I know, we do have some Chinese working there. The Chinese Embassy to Sudan has been sparing no effort in asking for Sudan's full guarantee for their life safety and normal working conditions. As for the bilateral cooperation, as long as the project is appropriate, the Chinese side will be active as always to expand the friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation with Sudan.

For your second question, I want to make the answer from another perspective. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing expounded upon the Iraqi issue in his speech at the general debate at the 58th UNGA on September 24th: We support an important role played by the UN in the post-war arrangements and reconstruction in Iraq. We also support the Iraqi people to resume their exercise of sovereignty as soon as possible. Both the Chinese government and the overwhelming majority of the international community hold the similar, or even identical view on this subject. We hope that the resolution under discussion in the Security Council can more reflect the voice of the overwhelming majority of the international community. As one of the permanent members of the Security Council, China will play an active role during this process.

Q: Would you please specify the important role of the UN in the solution to the Iraqi issue? It will be a kind of political, economic or social role?

A: The important role of the UN means that the UN effectively participates in the proper solution to the Iraqi issue. It not only covers the political, economic and social areas, but also includes other areas.

Q: The speech made by the Chinese delegation at the general debate at the UNGA called for all parties to make common efforts in maintaining the world peace. What kind of role will China play in solving regional issues and conflicts?

A: The main tasks for the Chinese delegation to the UNGA are as follows: firstly, to elaborate views and positions held by the Chinese government on the international situation and major international issues, including multilateralism, promotion and strengthening of the UN's role and maintenance of the authority of the Security Council. Secondly, to actively advocate a coordinated development of the global economy and society and to promote the implementation of the Millennium Initiative for Development. Thirdly, to further consolidate and strengthen exchanges, coordination and cooperation between China and developing countries and surrounding countries, to make common efforts in maintaining the regional stability and to face up to the challenges towards developing countries posed by the economic globalization.

Q: The suspects of the murder case in Fukuoka turned out to be two Chinese students. Do you have any comment on this case? How will the Chinese side cooperate with its Japanese counterpart in handling the case? You've said that you would brief us in time about the NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo's visit to the DPRK. Then, will you brief us before his departure, or will the visit proceed  in a "quiet" manner?

A: We expressed our deep regrets for what had happened in Fukuoka. Tipped by its Japanese counterpart, Chinese police force has arrested two suspects and the case is under trial right now. As you know, the departments of legal enforcement in both countries are keeping close contacts and cooperative relationship with each other. We believe that both sides can find an early solution to the case under their friendly cooperation. For your second question, as what I've told you, I will try my best to update you  once I get the definite news.

Q: At the last press conference, I asked about the AIDS Conference held in Africa. What's the latest you can share with us? For what purpose and to what extent will China attend the conference?

A: I have noticed the report about the AIDS Conference held in Africa. There are more than 6000 attendants from all around the world to this conference. As far as I know, a medical expert from China also went there. At the same time, as you must have noticed, there was also a high-level conference on prevention and treatment of AIDS during the 58th UNGA. Chinese Deputy Health Minister Gao Qiang made a detailed speech at the conference. He not only introduced various measures taken by the Chinese government to cope with challenges posed by AIDS, but also expressed China's strong desire to strengthen cooperation with the international community. AIDS is an extremely dangerous disease for the mankind and China also suffers from the spreading of this disease. The Chinese government attaches great importance to this issue, regards the Chinese people's health as its top priority and has taken a series of measures. However, we still have a long way to go and much to be desired. The Chinese government will constantly intensify its efforts to this end. As far as the international cooperation is concerned, China has been cooperating with WHO, other international organizations, regional organizations, some African countries and developed countries in the area of prevention and treatment of AIDS. We hope that all the cooperation will be beneficial for treating both AIDS patients and HIV carriers in China and those suffered from AIDS/HIV in other countries.

Q: You've told us last time that Premier Wen Jiabao would visit the U.S. in December. Will he pay visits to other countries before going to the U.S.? If there will be no other arrangements, is the U.S. the first country he will visit as Chinese Premier? If so, does it prove the importance of Sino-U.S. relations?

A: I clearly remember that I didn't make any announcement about Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to the U.S. at the last Press Conference. What I had said was that when meeting Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, President Bush mentioned that he was expecting to meet with Premier Wen Jiabao in Washington this December. Both Governments pay much attention to this visit. Therefore, when releasing your news report, do please not say that the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced Premier Wen Jiabao's future visit to the U.S. in December. (Laughter) However, undoubtedly, you can be sure that both sides are making serious preparations for Premier's visit to the U.S. This is really an important visit to the Sino-U.S. relations. During his visit to the U.S., Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing met with President Bush, Secretary of State Powell and other American senior officials. They have reached the most important consensus that the development of Sino-U.S. relations enjoys a favorable momentum. Both sides should make further efforts in expanding consensus, promoting mutual understanding and trust, and pushing forward the bilateral cooperation. Of course, during his meetings with American leaders, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing repeatedly reiterated China's request that the U.S. side properly and seriously addresses China's most important concern, the Taiwan Question, representing the most sensitive and essential part of the Sino-U.S. relations. We request that the U.S. side strictly abide by the three Sino-U.S. Joint Communiqués and the One China policy reaffirmed by its leadership on many occasions, and oppose to the "Taiwan Independence". We believe that all that mentioned above is extremely important to the sound and stable development of Sino-U.S. relations.

As for your second question, at the end of April, Premier Wen Jiabao was present at the conference on SARS prevention and treatment attended by governmental leaders from China and ASEAN countries. In the early October, Premier Wen Jiabao will attend the leaders' meetings of ASEAN 10+3 and 10+1 to be held at Bali, Indonesia.

Q: I have a question about the people that are supposed to be coming and going. It's been almost a year since Vice President Cheney was invited to China. Do you have any information on that? Also, during Secretary Snow's visit to China, he mentioned that Huang Ju would be invited to the U.S. Do you have any information on that?

A: As for your first question, both China and the U.S. keep consulting with each other on Cheney's visit to China. The Chinese side also expects Vice President Cheney to visit China at his convenience. He should have visited China in the early half of this year. However, the visit was postponed due to some other reasons. Personally, he also expressed his willingness to have the chance coming to China. As for your question about Vice Premier Huang Ju's visit to the U.S., I don't have any specific information. What I want to say is that we have seen frequent exchange of visits in various areas and at all levels between China and the U.S.

Q: Earlier this week, there was a naval visit to the Zhanjiang Port by two U.S. warships. Does China have any plans for reciprocal visit by its own warships to the U.S.?  

A: You're right that two U.S. warships visited the Zhanjiang Port recently. This is the first visit paid to the Zhanjiang Port by foreign warships. This is quite symbolic for the port itself and the visit also indicated that Chinese military exchanges are being conducted in a wider range. The visit is very beneficial for the military exchanges between China and the U.S., and especially between navies of the two countries. The military exchanges between China and the U.S. should be on the basis of mutual respect, mutual benefit, reciprocity and mutual understanding. It's quite possible for Chinese naval fleets to visit the U.S. at some point.

Q: Defense Minister of Australia announced this morning in Beijing that President Hu Jintao would pay a visit to Australia in two weeks. Would you please confirm that? What significance will be of the visit  to both countries and the region?

A: I am pleased to confirm the information. One month ago, when Australian Prime Minister Howard visited China, he conveyed Australian Governor-General's invitation for President Hu Jintao to visit Australia. President Hu accepted the invitation with pleasure. Both sides are making serious preparations for the visit. The visit will be of great significance to the further enhancement of mutual understanding and promotion of mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Australia.

Q: It is reported that Foreign Ministry of Russia denied the visa to Dalai Lama. Do you have any comment on that?

A: I've noticed the position stated by the spokesperson of Foreign Ministry of Russia. We completely approve and appreciate the position held by the Russian side.

Lastly, may I remind you that our press conference will be resumed on October 9th due to the National Holiday. However, during the Holiday, we will as always answer your questions on time through phone calls and fax. Thank you for your presence.

Wish you a great and happy holiday! Goodbye!



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