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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Press Conference on 13 January, 2004

Kong Quan: Good afternoon, everybody. I have no announcement to make. I'd be happy to take your questions right away.

Q: I have two questions concerning the US delegations' visits to China. First, a US textile delegation is visiting Beijing. Whom will they be meeting with? What??s the nature of the visit? How long it will last? Second, Chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff, General Myers will visit China shortly, can you confirm? How long it will last? Whom will he be meeting with? Will Chairman Jiang Zeming of the Central Military Commission meet with him?

A: I don't have much information on the visit by the US textile delegation. I can make inquiries for you. But what I can tell you is, economic relations and trade between the two countries have been developing rapidly. The trade volume has exceeded 120 billion dollars, a marginal increase over 2.5 billion when the two established diplomatic ties. The development of economic ties and trade benefits both countries. There are problems in the course of development, which should be dealt with through friendly consultations. We are positive towards continuous development of friendly and mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation as well as constant expansion of cooperation, which will benefit peoples of both countries.

With respect to the visit by US Joint Chief of Staff, General Myers to China, I'd like to share with you what I know.

At the invitation of General Chief of Staff, General Liang Guanglie of the People's Liberation Army, General Myers and his delegation will pay an official good-will visit to China from 14th to 15th. During his visit, General Liang Guanglie will have talks with him. General Myers will also have chance to meet with leaders of the Central Military Committee of the CPC and leading officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and visit the China space city.

This visit is an important military exchange between the two countries in recent years and an important visit at the beginning of the year of 2004. Both China and the US have attached great significance to and made careful preparation for the visit, which will help promote mutual understanding, common consensus and friendship between the two militaries as well as facilitate healthy and steady development of the military relationship.

Q: Reports say that a Japanese trying to help North Koreans flee the DPRK was arrested by China with two North Koreans in Guangxi. Can you confirm and tell us more about it? What's the reason for their detention? Where are they now? Will they be released?

A: Can you tell me the name of the Japanese?

Q: Noguchi.

A: The question was asked this morning through telephone. My information is that, on December 6th, 2003, the Japanese citizen Takayuki Noguchi entered China via Dalian city of the Liaoning Province. With the help of others, he tried to get two illegal transgressors smuggle out of China via Guangxi. He was arrested on spot by the Chinese Public Security Bureau in Nanning. In accordance with the Criminal Law of the People??s Republic of China, his activities violate relevant regulations. He??s suspected of helping others smuggle out of China. The Guanxi Public Security Authorities put him under criminal detention on December 13th, 2003 and informed the Japanese Embassy in China in accordance with relevant regulations. At the moment, the case is under further investigation.

Q: Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov will be visiting China shortly. He will meet with Chinese leadership and attend the inaugural ceremony of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Secretariat. Whom will he be meeting with and what will be discussed? What's the impact of the launch of the SCO Secretariat on the economy and stability of Asia?

A: Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov will be in China for a visit. He will have talks with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing. China has close relationship with Russia. In recent years, there has been rapid development of cooperation in various fields and sound coordination in international affairs between the two in particular. I believe that during their talks, the two foreign ministers will have in-depth review of the recent development of the bilateral ties and outline future development, including high-level exchanges of visits and cooperation in other fields. I also believe that the Chinese leadership will also have chance to meet with Foreign Minister Ivanov.

With respect to the other question you raised, SCO Secretariat will be officially launched in Beijing on January 15th. It's an event of great significance, representing an important stage for an institutionalized SCO. SCO has started with the mutual confidence building in border areas among the five countries. For the past several years, there??ve been constant expanding and deepening cooperation among them. The official launch of the Secretariat will play an important role in further promoting the building of SCO itself as well as regional peace, development and stability.

Q: Asahi Shimbun quoted sources from Washington last Saturday as saying that Chairman Wu Bangguo noted to the DPRK leaders last autumn when he was there for a visit that China would give the DPRK 50 million-dollars assistance if DPRK agreed to participate in the second round of the six-party talks. Please confirm.

A: I don't believe that the correspondent of Asahi Shimbun was present when Chairman Wu Bangguo held talks with the DPRK leadership. (laughter) What I know is that Chairman Wu Bangguo informed the DPRK of our decision to offer assistance to it during his visit. As the friendly neighbour of the DPRK, China enjoys traditional friendship with the latter and has been providing economic assistance within its capacity. Authorities of the two countries are having discussions to finalize the specifics of the assistance.

Q: Foreign Ministry confirmed lately that Director-General Fu Ying of the Department of Asian Affairs and the Ambassador in charge of the Korean Peninsular affairs will be visiting the US. When will the trip be made? What's their program there?

A: Director-General Fu Ying, whom you are very familiar with, and Mr. Ning Fukui, Ambassador in charge of the Korean Peninsular affairs left Beijing for the US on 15th. Sorry I can??t find out their flight. They will be meeting with Assistant Secretary of State Kelly on 13th local time. Their discussions will be focused on the Korean Peninsular nuclear question. China is having close contact with the other five parties, hoping that the second round of the six-party talks can be launched at an earlier date. Besides the meeting with Mr. Kelly, there will also be meetings with senior officials from the US Department of State and the White House. I wish I could share with you some more details next time here.

Q: Yesterday, the US Secretary of Energy signed with his Chinese counterparts an agreement on nuclear non-proliferation. Can you comment on  the significance of the treaty?

A: At the invitation of the State Development and Reform Commission, the US Secretary of Energy, Mr. Abraham was here for a visit on January 10th. Much was discussed during his visit, of which what you mentioned is just one part. I??d like to give you some more information of it.

Mr. Abraham had talks with officials of the State Development and Reform Commission. He also met with officials from the Ministry of Science and Technology, held talks with Director Zhang Huazhu of China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) and signed a statement with the latter. Besides, he attended the signing ceremony of the Protocol for Cooperation between China and the US in Clean Energy Technology for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing hosted by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Beijing Municipal Government and the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Sino-US Clean Energy demonstration project.

The accurate name of the document you mentioned should be the Statement of Intent between the US DOE and the CAEA concerning Cooperation in the Fields of Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Non-proliferation and Counter terrorism. The statement demonstrates the aspiration of both countries to enhance cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy, nuclear non-proliferation and anti-terrorism technology. Enhanced cooperation in the above-mentioned fields will not only benefit the development of peaceful use of nuclear energy and the import and export control but also have a positive impact on the region and the world at large.

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