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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Press Conference on March 9

Liu: Good afternoon! Two announcements to make:

At the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Lieutenant-General Soe Win, Secretary-1 of the State Peace and Development Council of the Union of Myanmar and the Government of Maldives, Vice Premier Wu Yi of the People's Republic of China will pay an official visit to the above four countries from March 17th to 29th.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Javier Solana, Secretary General of the Council of the European Union and High Representative for the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy will pay an official visit to China from March 16th to 17th.

Now the floor is open.

Q: It's reported that the US House of Representatives passed a resolution recently, asking the US Government to table an act against China during the UN human rights meeting this year. What's your comment?

A: The Chinese Government has always committed itself to the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms. China has made great achievements in the field of human rights, which have been universally acknowledged. It is totally unreasonable for the US House of Representatives to pass the above-mentioned resolution criticizing China's human rights situation regardless of basic facts. Facts have proved that dialogue and cooperation is the only correct way to address human rights differences between two countries. Confrontation will lead to nowhere.

Here I'd like to introduce more to you the progress China's made in the field of human rights during the past year, hoping to help some people, including those from the US Congress, understand better the headway China's made in the field of human rights. In the past year, the Chinese Government adopted a series of measures to protect the rights and freedom of its citizens. Last year the SARS epidemic broke out. Despite the influence of the epidemic, China's economy grew consistently and rapidly. The living standards of the people have also been improved continuously.

China also established a legal aid system and promoted public security and judicial measures for the convenience of the people. The system of Detention and Rehabilitation was abolished. The Chinese Government also further completed the social security system, strengthening the protection for migrant workers and other vulnerable groups.

Recently, China also proposed a coordinated development of material civilization, political civilization and spiritual civilization. On the one hand, we will actively push forward the economic system reform to promote sustained, rapid and healthy development of the economy. On the other, we will make efforts to realize the political structural reform to promote the comprehensive development of the society and the people on the basis of economic development.

I think you surely have noticed that when Mr. Wang Zhaoguo, Vice Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, was elaborating upon the Amendment to the Constitution, he put forward the inclusion into the Constitution the provision of respecting and guaranteeing human rights. There are two considerations for adding this to the Amendment of the Constitution. No.1, respecting and guaranteeing human rights is a consistent policy of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese Government. Laying it down in the Constitution can further provide constitutional guarantee for implementing this policy. No.2, the 15th and 16th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party raised explicitly the issue of respecting and guaranteeing human rights. Laying down such a provision of respecting and guaranteeing human rights in the Constitution embodies the requirement of the nature of socialism. It's conducive to pushing forward China's socialist human rights cause and to the exchanges and cooperation between China and the international community in human rights affairs. Therefore I hope that those who don't know China's human rights situation very well could see clear these facts.

Q: What's your comment on Iraq's adoption of a provisional constitution?

A: China welcomes the signing of a provisional constitution by the Iraqi Interim Governing Council. We hope this could play a positive role in the promotion of political reconstruction of Iraq and the restoration of normal social order in Iraq. It will also help the Iraqi people resume the exercise of sovereignty at an early date.

Q: The Board of Governors of IAEA started to discuss about the Korean Peninsular nuclear weapon issue and the nuclear technology black-market issue. What kind of contribution China is ready to make to prevent and eradicate such a black-market? It's reported that some of the nuclear technology documents found in Libya were in Chinese. Has China conducted any investigation about this? And will this year's session of NPC rectify the CTBT?

A: With regard to your first question, the Chinese Government has always attached importance to the question of non-proliferation, and is resolutely opposed to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, and their vehicles. The Chinese side shows deep concern to the nuclear black-market that exists in the world. The Chinese Government is willing to work together with the international society to make its own efforts for the prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. And we are ready to have consultations and exchanges with countries concerned.

With regard to your second question, I'd like to reiterate the Chinese Government's position on the issue of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. China resolutely opposes the nuclear proliferation and supports efforts for preventing the nuclear proliferation. China joined IAEA in 1984 and acceded to the NPT in 1992. China has always shouldered and strictly observed its international obligations concerning non-proliferation.

With regard to your third question, the CTBT you mentioned just now is conducive to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the process of nuclear disarmament. China hopes the treaty can come into effect at an early date. The Chinese government is actively promoting the examination and rectification of the treaty according relevant laws. As far as I know, the topic is not on the agenda of this NPC session.

Q: It's reported that some decoded documents of the US government revealed that there was an obvious connection between China and Pakistan's nuclear program. What's the comment of the Foreign Ministry on this? Will you say that it is not true, or there is no such connection? Before China acceded to the NPT, had it provided nuclear technology to other countries?

A: Just now I have introduced to you that China joined IAEA in 1984 and acceded to the NPT in 1992. China shoulders and strictly observes its international obligations concerning non-proliferation. That has also been widely acknowledged by the international community.

Follow-up: then you don't have any comment on the document?

A: I don't have the specifics about the document you mentioned.

Q: Foreign Minister of the Afghan Interim Government Abdullah is visiting China. Could you tell us what other issues will the Chinese side talk about with him besides the reconstruction of Afghanistan?

A: The Afghan Foreign Minister will start his working visit to China tomorrow. During his visit, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will hold talks with him. State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan will also meet with him. We stand ready to discuss together with the Afghan Foreign Minister ways to strengthen the China-Afghanistan good neighborly friendly cooperation in the political, economic and other fields. At the last press conference, I made a quite comprehensive introduction of China-Afghanistan relations, which I will not repeat. The cooperation between China and Afghanistan is not confined to the field of economy. With the development of the bilateral relations, the cooperation in various fields will gradually expand and deepen.

Q: The North Korean News Agency said that if the United States asks it to completely, verifiably and irreversibly dismantle its nuclear weapons program, North Korea will require the United States to completely withdraw its troops stationed in South Korea irreversibly. Do you think it is a setback for the six-party talks?

A: I also noticed the relevant information. The key to this question is the security concerns of DPRK. The Chinese side has always maintained that the settlement of the nuclear issue should both realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsular and address DPRK's security and other reasonable concerns in fields like security. This is an important aspect for resolving the question. As you know, thanks to the active efforts of the parties concerned , the six-party talks has made major progress and got extensive concerns and supports from the international community. We hope the parties concerned can continue to adopt a flexible and pragmatic attitude, adhere to the peace talk process and consider seriously the concerns of each party. In doing so we can find a mutually acceptable final solution in the interests of all.

Q: It's reported that China and Pakistan will sign an agreement, according to which China will help Pakistan to build a second nuclear power plant. Can you confirm that? And what kind of safeguard measures has China adopted in the prevention of nuclear proliferation?

A: A few years ago China and Pakistan agreed to build a second nuclear power plant at Chashma. Industrial departments of the two sides have held several consultations about the specifics. The project is for electricity generation and subject to the safeguard and supervision of IAEA. China's principles for such cooperation are: No.1, The relevant cooperation should be out of peaceful purposes; No.2, It should be subject to the safeguard and supervision of IAEA; and NO.3, Without the permission of the Chinese side, the relevant technologies should not be transferred to a third party.

(The end)

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