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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Press Conference On 17 February, 2004


Zhang Qiyue: Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon. I will start the press conference with a piece of announcement. At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of the Kingdom of Denmark will pay a working visit to China from February 24th to 28th.

Now the floor is open for questions.

Q: I have several questions about the US Under Secretary of  State Bolton's visit to China. First, during the press conference he gave last evening, he said that China is starting to use the same language as the United States does regarding the DPRK nuclear issue, specifically speaking, the phrase CVID meaning the comprehensive, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of the DPRK nuclear program. Is it indeed the case that China is using that phrase? Second, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing met with Bolton today. Would you please brief us upon the substances of the talks? Third, during the second round of Six-Party talks, are there going to have discussions about sending weapon inspectors to the DPRK?

A: The US Under Secretary Bolton, who is in charge of international security and arms control affairs, paid a visit to China yesterday and today. This morning, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing met with Under Secretary Bolton. Yesterday, Vice Minister Zhang Yesui and his US counterpart held the third round of vice-ministerial consultation on strategic security, multilateral arms control and anti-proliferation.

This round of consultation focused on related issues of non-proliferation. TheUSside expounded on the speech on non-proliferation by President Bush on February 11. The US side placed the focus on the interpretation and explanation of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), hoping to get China's understanding and support.

The Chinese side reiterated its position of opposing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and supporting the international non-proliferation cooperation. The Chinese side attaches importance to President Bush's speech and believes that the speech includes some positive proposals. Therefore, the Chinese side would seriously study it. As for PSI, the Chinese side understands the concern of related countries on the proliferation of  WMD and its vehicles and agrees with the principle and purpose of anti-proliferation. At the same time, the Chinese side stresses the importance of solving proliferation-related problems through political and diplomatic means. Both sides agreed to continue dialogues on PSI.

On the same day, Vice Minister Wang Yi and Mr. Bolton exchanged in-depth views on the DPRK nuclear issue. Both sides believed that it was important to make good preparations for the second round of Six-Party Talks for its smooth proceeding.

As for whether to send weapon inspectors to the DPRK after the Talks, I understand your hope for the second round of Talks to yield positive results. The Chinese side is seriously preparing for the Talks and all the parties concerned have made contacts and consultations on related issues. We hope that the Talks can be held on the planned date, smoothly proceed, produce substantial results and continue in the future. The Chinese side will work together with related parties to this end.

Q: According the US press, some Middle East countries got nuclear technologies through the Pakistani scientist Kadir Khan and the technologies are from  China. What's your comment on this? Did Under Secretary of State Bolton mention this during his visit to China?

A: The Chinese side is concerned over the related report. The Chinese Government firmly opposes the proliferation of nuclear weapons and supports international efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation.Chinajoined the IAEA in 1984 and the NPT in 1992.Chinashoulders and strictly observes its international obligation of non-proliferation.

As for your second question, as I have just said, duringBolton's visit to China, the Chinese and US sides exchanged views on issues concerning non-proliferation.

Q: According to China Youth Daily, related Russian authorities confiscated a large amount of goods of Chinese merchants inRussia. Do you have any comment on that?

A: The Chinese side attaches great importance to your question. On February 10, Russian Interior Ministry agents made a surprise raid to the Emila Market, a gathering place of Chinese merchants inMoscow. The agents required the goods owners to show related documents such as customs declaration and hauled away part of the goods by force.

After the incident, the Chinese Embassy in Russia immediately sent officials to the incident site. The Chinese Embassy and the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have made representations with the Russian side through various channels for many times. The Chinese side requires that the Russian side not take radical measures, proceed from the overall situation of friendly bilateral relationship, immediately return the confiscated goods and protect legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese citizens from being harmed.

The Chinese side hopes that the Russian side fully considers the historical reasons of the formation and development of the non-governmental trade between China and Russia, strengthens cooperation with the Chinese side and actively seeks a solution to the problem.

Q: As for the discovered Chinese blueprints of nuclear weapons inLibya, couldChinaexplain how the blueprints found their way toLibya? Is the Chinese side cooperating with the US side to confirm the content of the blueprints? Are there any orders in China to look into the issue of the lost blueprints?

A: I have just clearly stated China's position that we have expressed our concern on the related report. The Chinese Government firmly opposes the proliferation of nuclear weapons and supports the international non-proliferation efforts. For many times, I have introduced you a series of measures taken by China in recent years to improve and strengthen the comprehensive export control. The Chinese side has a clear-cut position on this issue.

Q: Does this indicate that the Chinese Government believes that these blueprints possibly have any official background?

A: We have got the related information through the report. I have just clearly statedChina's position. I don't want to add more on that.

Q: During the visit to China by the Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen, will China and Denmark sign a tourism agreement similar to the China-EU Tourism Agreement?

A: The Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen will pay a working visit toChinavery soon. At present, the bilateral relationship betweenChinaandDenmarkis developing well in general. Last year, the China-Denmark bilateral trade volume approached USD 2.5b, representing a 60% increase over the same period of the year before. The Danish direct investment inChinais also on the increase. The bilateral cooperation in such fields as finance, science and technology, culture, education and transportation is continuously deepening and yielding favorable results. The Chinese side is willing to take Prime Minister Rasmussen's visit as an opportunity to work with the Danish side to further promote the China-Danish relationship.

As far as I know, during his visit toChina, Prime Minister Rasmussen will meet and hold talks with the Chinese leadership including Premier Wen Jiabao. Both sides will sign cooperation agreements in such fields as tourism, environmental protection and ship building.

Q: Still some follow-up questions on the discovered Chinese blueprints of nuclear weapons inLibya. The Chinese side did not deny China as their source. Can that prove the accuracy of the report? According to someUSpress,China cooperated with Saudi Arabia and Pakistanin developing missiles and nuclear technologies. Would you please confirm that?

A: I have just pointed out that the Chinese Government holds an explicit position on preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

As for your second question, I would like to reiterate that China firmly opposes the proliferation of  WMD and its vehicles. In recent years, the Chinese Government has promulgated laws and regulations of comprehensive export control in various areas. The Chinese work on non-proliferation export control has geared into legal track. At the end of last year, China issued the related non-proliferation white paper. We will take effective measures to put above-mentioned laws and regulations into practice so as to guarantee the effectiveness of China's non-proliferation policies.

Q: Yesterday,Bolton said that both China and the US do not want to see nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula. The Chinese side is using the same language as the US does on the DPRK nuclear issue, which is to realize the comprehensive, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of the DPRK nuclear program. So does China support the freezing or thorough dismantlement of the DPRK nuclear program?

A:China has made lots of efforts towards solving the DPRK nuclear issue, including promoting the second round of Six-Party Talks inBeijing. Our goal is to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsulaand guarantee a nuclear-weapon-freeKoreanPeninsula. The Chinese side has made expansive contacts with related parties including the US. At present, all the parties show flexible and practical attitudes to different degrees and are willing to promote discussions on substantial issues during the Talks. The Chinese side is making serious preparations with other parties in the hope of conducting substantial discussions during the Talks.

Q: Has the length of the second round of Six-Party Talks been settled?  Will the Talks last for two or three days?

A: You are very interested in the length of the Six-Party Talks since this topic has always been on the question list these days. As far as I know, all the parties concerned hope to maintain proper flexibility and openness. The length of the Talks would be decided according to the specific situation of the Talks. The Chinese side respects the willing of all the parties.

Q: The ROK National Assembly recently decided to dispatch troops toIraq. Do you have any comment on this?

A: This is a decision made by the ROK side. We hope that the countries concerned could make positive contributions to political reconstruction and restoration of peace and stability inIraq.

Q: Still several follow-up questions on PSI. As I understand, the Chinese side will take more measures to control the export of weapons and relating technologies. Could you be specific about these measures? When meeting and holding talks with Bolton, have Chinese officials made some promises to theUSside in this regard?

A: As for PSI, the Chinese and US sides have frankly exchanged views with each other. Both sides oppose the proliferation of WMD and its vehicles and agree to strengthen cooperation in such fields as information exchanges.

The US side said that the PSI was a response by the international community to the proliferation of WMD, its vehicles and related items. Therefore, it hoped to get China's understanding and support.

During the meetings and talks, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui expressedChina's understanding for the concern of the PSI participant countries on the proliferation of WMD and its vehicles. The purpose of China's non-proliferation policy is identical with that of the non-proliferation policies of the PSI participants. However, the Chinese side is still concerned about the legal foundation and consequences therefrom of the PSI interception. This is also an issue drawing extensive concern from the international community. The Chinese side stresses the importance of non-proliferation through political and diplomatic means and indicates that since the purpose of non-proliferation is to promote international and regional peace, security and stability, means and measures harmful to peace, security and stability should not be used in non-proliferation.

As for specific propositions and measures on the Chinese side, I have just mentioned that the white paper gives a detailed introduction of measures taken by China. That's to say, China has promulgated comprehensive laws and regulations on comprehensive export control in such fields as nuclear, biological, chemical weapons and missiles.

Q: Will Mr. Liu Jianchao take part in the second round of Six-Party Talks as he did in the first round? What will be his specific job? "Blue Ridge", the command ship of the US Seventh Fleet, will pay a visit to Shanghai upon the holding of the second round of Six-Party Talks. What messages will the Chinese side convey to the DPRK?

Q: Thank you for caring the job of Deputy Director-General Liu Jianchao. During this round of Six-Party talks, the Chinese side will set up an information center to provide journalists timely information about the Talks and arrange related interviews. Deputy Director-General Liu Jianchao will be responsible for specific jobs. You may contact with the information center if you have specific questions concerning the second round of Talks or need to register for interviews.

As for your second question, "Blue Ridge", the command ship of the US Seventh Fleet will pay a visit to Shanghai from February 24thto 28th. This visit definitely has nothing to do with the DPRK nuclear issue.

(end)


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