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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Press Conference on 22 April, 2004

Kongquan: Good afternoon everyone. It gives me great pleasure to meet you here. I have no announcement to make today. Now I'd like to take up your questions.

Q:  Could you please update us on King Jong Il's visit to China? Reports of Chinese press suggest that DPRK has changed its position on the Six-party talks. My question is whether King Jong Il and DPRK have demonstrated flexibility or accepted China's suggestions, and whether DPRK has also shown flexibility in its relations with the US.  Apart from Beijing, did King Jong Il also visit Shenyang and Dalian as reported by some media

A:  Yesterday afternoon, a spokesperson for the International Liaison Department of the CPC Central Committee already released detailed information about the visit of King Jong Il, General Secretary of Korean Workers' Party and Chairman of National Defense Commission. Vice Minister Liu Hongcai of the International Liaison Department of the CPC Central Committee also made a general comment on the results of this visit. He described the visit as a successful one that can carry forward the traditional friendship between the two countries into the future and enhance cooperation. He laid out four points in his remarks: First, leaders of China and DPRK both confirmed their willingness to further consolidate and develop traditional friendship between the two countries. Second, the two sides deepened mutual understanding, increased mutual trust and promoted their friendship. Third, leaders of the two countries reached important consensus to further enhance exchanges and cooperation. Here, I would like to call your attention to the four suggestions China raised for further enhancing friendly cooperation between the two countries, including promoting exchanges of high-level visits, deepening comprehensive cooperation, strengthening coordination in international affairs and enhancing economic cooperation and trade. China's proposals have well received by the DPRK side. Fourth, the two sides both agreed on working together to push for the Six-party talks. As for the Six-party talks, it is reported that DPRK expressed its commitments to a peaceful resolution for the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula through dialogues and the general objective of a nuclear-weapon-free peninsula. The DPRK also said it would continue to participate in the Six-party talks process with patience and flexibility and make its due contributions to the progress of the talks. If you need more details, I suggest you could raise the question with the International Liaison Department of the CPC Central Committee which is in charge of receiving the visit.

Q:  Did Chairman King Jong Il and Premier Park Pong-chu visit Tianjin and Hancunhe Village yesterday? Where did Chairman King Jong IL go in Tianjin and why is the visit? Is the visit to Tianjin and Hancunhe Village a recommendation of China or a request of DPRK?

A:  I don't have any detailed information with me about the visit you mentioned. What I have in hand is only the press release published yesterday afternoon. As for how to choose destinations of visit, I guess DPRK may have indicated some places they would like to visit. I suggest you could raise the question further with the International  Liaison Department of the CPC Central Committee for more details.

Q:  Is King Jong Il still in China? If the answer is yes, where is he and what is he doing?

A:  Mr. King Jong Il visited China from 19 to 21 April, and today is 22 April.

Q:  You mentioned China had raised some proposals to the DPRK side, so could you give us more details about these suggestions?

A:  As I said just now, we raised four suggestions during Mr. King Jong Il's visit, including promoting exchanges of high-level visits, deepening comprehensive cooperation, strengthening coordination in international affairs and enhancing economic cooperation and trade. The two sides both have some ideas and suggestions concerning the exchanges of high-level visits. As you know, in recent years, Chinese leaders including President Jiang zemin, Chairman Wu Bangguo of the NPC and then Secretary Jia Qinglin of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the CPC visited DPRK respectively and DPRK leaders also visited China. In general, the two countries will maintain and strengthen their exchanges of high-level visits. Besides, leaders of the two countries will also maintain communications and contacts through other means, keep enhancing their exchanges and cooperation in all fields and exchange views on major world and regional issues.

Q:  It is reported that China promised aid gratis to DPRK during Chairman King Jong Il's visit. What kind of aids will China provide? Chinese press confirmed and reported the visit after Chairman King Jong Il left Beijing. Is the report approved by Chairman King or has China changed its policy concerning media reports?

A:  During Secretary King Jong Il's visit to China, the Chinese side decided to provide aid gratis to DPRK. In recent years, the DPRK people have scored remarkable achievements in building their country. However, they also face some difficulties in economic development. Therefore, in order to further promote the traditional friendship between the two countries, the Chinese people have provided some assistance within their capacity to help the DPRK people alleviate their difficulties in economic development. The sum involved in the aid is still limited and further discussions will be held on the details of the aid.

As for your question concerning press reports of the visit, I understand that you all hope to get the exact news about the visit as soon as possible. However, this visit is an unofficial internal visit, so the two sides agreed to publish relevant news after the visit. I believe you may have also noticed that the information released by the International  Liaison Department of the CPC Central Committee is very specific and concrete. You can find detailed information about every meeting between leaders of the two countries, including Secretary King Jong Il's visit to Tianjin and Premier Park Pong-chu's visit to Hancunhe Village.

Q:  Cambodian Prime Minster Hun Sen is currently on a visit in China. Could you please update us on that?

A:  Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia started his official visit in China on 19 April. He visited Shanghai first and arrived in Beijing on 20 April. He has held talks with Premier Wen Jiabao, and will also go to Chongqin and Boao. President Hu Jintao is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Hun Sen on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia.

Chinese media has already made fairly comprehensive reports on the visit of Cambodian Prime Minster. During his talks with Prime Minister Hun Sen, Premier Wen Jiabao raised four suggestions for further enhancing friendly and cooperative relations between China and Cambodia: first, pushing for closer exchanges of high-level visits and further consolidating the foundation of bilateral political relations; second, developing new fields of economic cooperation and trade, particularly expanding various forms of cooperation in the field of infrastructure building, communication, agriculture and resource exploitation; third, promoting exchanges in all areas so that the two countries' cooperation in fields such as education, culture and sports will continue to yield fresh progress; fourth, enhancing regional cooperation and strengthening coordination and mutual support in advancing ASEAM Free Trade Area and developing Greater Mekong Subregion. This visit is a successful one and will play an important role in promoting China-Cambodia friendly and cooperative relations.

Q:  In the so-called full-text transcript of US Vice President Cheney's speech at Fudan University, those paragraphs concerning freedom and democracy and the question of Taiwan were either deleted or revised. The US side is disappointed at the deletion and revision. In your view, will such an act damage the image of an open China in the international arena? My second question is when giving evidence to the Congress, US assistant Secretary of State claimed that although China has always been saying it will strive for a peaceful resolution to the Taiwan question, China's short-range missiles deployment against Taiwan is increasing by 50-75 per year. If the situation continues, the US will increase its arms sale to Taiwan. What's your comment on that?

A:  For your first question, some correspondent already raised it during our press conference last time. I told him Mr. Cheney's speech at Fudan University was live broadcasted, and it's up to the Chinese press to publish a full text of the speech or just a round-up story. Your question reminds me of Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to the US at the end of last year which I accompanied. His speech at Harvard University was an impressive one. He talked about cultural differences between China and America, bilateral cooperation in various fields, divisions on major issues and how to reduce the impact of these divisions on China-US relations. However, I was very disappointed at finding that there had been rare reports on his speech in mainstream US media, even less than one tenth of Chinese media's reports on Cheney's speech. I feel that some media in developed countries intentionally make the speeches of their leaders known by others while they paid little attention to other people's observations on themselves. I believe they should change their mentality and foster a sense of equality. They should not only make sure their own words are received by others but also take up other countries' views.

I haven't read the full text of Mr. Kelly's statement in today's congressional hearing yet. But I believe the foundation of China-US relations lies in the three joint communiqués between the two countries and the position reiterated by successive US leaders that the US sticks to the One-China policy, not support "Taiwan independence" and oppose any words or actions of Taiwan to change the status quo unilaterally. I noted the sentence you quoted from Kelly's evidence while I cannot accept the saying. The US side has no right at all to accuse Chinese Government's military deployment in its own territory to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The US side should stick to the three joint communiqués between China and United States, honor its commitments and stop arms sales to Taiwan immediately. Chinese leaders also attached repeated emphasis to this point during Cheney's recent visit to China.

Q:  At present, Cambodia has not yet formed its official government. Will Prime Minister Hun Sen's current visit help him in handling the domestic situation?

A:  As a friendly neighbor of Cambodia, we follow closely the development of its domestic situation. It is our sincere hope that leaders of various factions in Cambodia will proceed from the overall interests of ethnic unity and national prosperity, make concerted endeavors to stabilize the situation, form a new government and concentrate their efforts on nation building.

Q:  During King Jong Il's visit, did China brief him on the relevant information about Cheney's visit? What kind of role will King Jong Il's current visit play in next round of Six-party talks and setting up the working group?

A:  I said just now that during Secretary King Jong Il's visit, Chinese leaders had an in-depth exchange of views with him on regional and world situations.

For your question relating to the role of the visit in the Six-party talks and the working group, I believe that the working group and the third round of Six-party talks call for not only the efforts of one or two parties but rather concerted efforts of all parties. China has always maintained contact with all parties. China exchanged views with US Vice President Cheney during his recent visit to China, Several days ago, China exchanged views with DPRK. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing is on a visit in Russia today, and he will also exchange views with the Russian side on this issue. We hope that all parties will make joint endeavors to press ahead along this track in order to launch the working group's meeting for the Six-party talks at an early date and make preparations for the third round of Six-party talks.

Q:  Now that Cheney and King Jong Il have both visited China respectively, is China optimistic about holding the third round of Six-party talks before the end of June?

A:  We should never lose confidence in any circumstance. It is no easy task to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, but we should keep our confidence and always hold a serious, pragmatic and flexible attitude. If all parties could view and handle relevant issues in this way, it is possible to hold the third round of Six-party talks before the end of June, and the working group's meeting could be held before the talks.

Is there any other question? Thank you for coming.

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