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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on November 19, 2009


On November 19, 2009, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.

Qin Gang: Good Afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Now, the floor is open.

Q: In the China-U.S. Joint Statement, China and the U.S. agree to be committed to stability in South Asia. What role will China play in the improvement of relations between India and Pakistan?

A: Both India and Pakistan are countries of major impact in South Asia, and the improvement and development of their relationship will contribute to regional peace and stability. China values its friendly cooperation with these two neighbors and hopes to see relations between the two continue to improve and grow. China always endorses efforts to achieve this goal and those beneficial to regional peace and stability.

Q: What's China's position on Israel's approval to set up new Jewish housing units in east Jerusalem?

A: China expresses grave concern over the recent decision of Israel to set up new Jewish settlement in east Jerusalem, which will surely pose new obstacles to the Middle East peace process. China opposes this move and urges Israel to take concrete measures to restore mutual trust with Palestine and create favorable conditions for an early resumption of the peace talks.

Q: How does China evaluate the achievements made by Macao since the handover 10 years ago? What role has Macao played in serving as a bridge between mainland China and Portugese-speaking countries?

A: Over the past ten years, the policy of "one country, two systems", "Macao people governing Macao" and a high degree of autonomy has been fully implemented in Macao Special Administrative Region. The Central Government of China strictly follows the Basic Law of Macao SAR and firmly supports the governance of the SAR government accordingly. Thanks to the joint efforts of the SAR government and various communities, remarkable progress has been achieved in Macao. Today, the people in Macao enjoy a stable social order, a prosperous economy, active exchanges with the outside world as well as harmonious co-existence of diverse cultures. The SAR is seeking further regional cooperation and exchanges so as to build a world tourism center and regional trade service platform. We believe that with the guarantee of "one country, two systems" and the joint efforts of the SAR people as well as the extensive support of the international community, the Macao SAR will build upon the achievement of the past decade and open up a new chapter of glory. The future of Macao will surely be more prominent.

On your second question, since its return, Macao has enjoyed smooth development in its relations with Portugese-speaking countries and played a unique and positive role in boosting trade and economic cooperation between mainland China and those countries. We will continue to support the SAR Government to conduct foreign exchanges and cooperation in line with the Basic Law.

Q: It is reported that Defense Minister Liang Guanglie will visit the DPRK, Japan and Thailand at the end of this month. Please share with us more details.

A: China maintains friendly and normal exchanges and cooperation with the three countries in various areas, including military-to-military exchanges. As for the specific agenda of the Defense Minister, I'd better leave it to the Ministry of Defense.

Q: Did President Hu Jintao and President Obama discuss U.S.-India nuclear cooperation? The second question, China and India have signed an agreement on climate change. Does China continue to have the same stand on climate change after President Obama's visit?

A: As far as I know, the issue of U.S.-India nuclear cooperation did not come up in the two Presidents' discussion. China's principled position on this issue is unequivocal and we've stated it on various occasions. Relevant countries have the rights to peaceful use of nuclear energy and should fulfill the international obligation of non-proliferation at the same time.

As for your second question, during President Obama's visit, there were constructive and productive dialogues on climate change. Both leaders agree that as a major common challenge to human beings, climate change calls for stronger international cooperation. They also agree to stay committed to working together with other parties for a positive outcome at Copenhagen based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in light of their respective national realities and capabilities.

China's stand on climate change is very clear. It has been elaborated in the joint press conference of President Hu Jintao and President Obama and the China-U.S. Joint Statement.

Q: Can you update us on the latest developments of the hijacked Chinese cargo ship "De Xin Hai"?

A: The Chinese Government is sparing no efforts to rescue the cargo ship "De Xin Hai". I hope you can understand that I can not disclose more details in consideration of the safety of the sailors and the ship.

Q: It is reported in Indonesia that the heads of state of China and Indonesia have agreed to designate next year as "China-Indonesia Friendship Year" to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries during APEC. What is your comment?

A: 2010 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Indonesia. The two countries have agreed to designate next year as "China-Indonesia Friendship Year" and plan to hold celebrative activities. Relevant authorities of the two countries are discussing the specifics.

Q: Media reports say that Afghanistan's Minister of Mining took $20 million bribe from a Chinese company, China Metallurgical Group and help it win a copper mining contract. Is the Chinese Government aware of this and how do you respond?

A: I have seen relevant reports, but I don't have the information. What I can tell you is that the Chinese Government supports the peaceful reconstruction process of Afghanistan, encourages and supports competent and credible Chinese enterprises to actively participate in the economic and social development of Afghanistan for the wellbeing of its people.

Q: I have a question about China's land boundaries. Recently, China reached agreements with Russia and Vietnam on the demarcation of land boundaries. Is India the only country that has land boundary disputes with China? Are China and India still negotiating on the dispute?

A: On the boundary issue, the Chinese Government follows a major principle, which is to solve relevant differences and disputes peacefully through friendly consultations. We followed the principle in our negotiations with Russia, Vietnam and other countries and likewise with India.

In recent years, China-India relations have been improving and developing continuously. Both sides realize that the boundary issue should be solved through friendly consultations instead of being allowed to affect the overall development of bilateral relations. During Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India in 2005, the governments of the two countries signed the Agreement on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the India-China Boundary Question, mapping out the direction of the resolution of the boundary issue. The two countries also established the special representative consultation mechanism on boundary issue, under which there are ongoing consultations and negotiations. In the high level exchanges and meetings between China and India in recent years, the two sides have reiterated their commitment to a fair and reasonable solution to boundary issues acceptable to both sides through consultations on an equal footing. The two sides should ensure peace and tranquility of the border area pending a final settlement.

Q: When meeting with President Lee Myung-bak, President Obama reportedly mentioned that U.S.-DPRK direct engagement has yielded some progress. What's China's expectation of the timetable of the resumption of the Six-Party Talks?

A: We have noticed that the U.S. has announced that, Mr. Bosworth, Special Representative for North Korea Policy will visit the DPRK shortly. We support and welcome the dialogue and engagement between the U.S. and the DPRK, which we hope to be conducive to the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and peace and stability of the Peninsula and the region.

Regarding when the Six-Party Talks will be resumed, we believe that the ongoing efforts of the parties concerned are within the framework of the Six-Party Talks and part of the overall direction and process of the Talks. As for the arrangement of the formal head-of-delegation meeting of the Six-Party Talks, China will maintain communication and consultation with relevant parties.

Q: It's reported that President Lee Myung-bak briefed President Obama on the ROK proposal of solving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, including the plan to provide economic aid and security guarantee to the DPRK, which President Obama endorses. What's China's position on the ROK proposal?

A: China adopts a positive and open attitude toward any proposal that's conducive to the Six-Party Talks process, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and regional peace and stability. We are ready to communicate with relevant parties, including the ROK on various plans and proposals.

Q: Afghan President Karzai was sworn in today. What's China's comment? Second question, please brief us on the purpose of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's visit to Japan. Is his visit to prepare for President Hu's visit to Japan?

A: On your first question, we congratulate President Karzai on his inauguration. We hope that under his leadership and that of the Afghan Government and with the support of the international community, Afghanistan will achieve peace, stability and development at an early date.

As for Foreign Minister Yang's visit to Japan, I have answered the question on Tuesday's press conference and I can reiterate here. Since Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama took office, China-Japan relations have gotten off to a good start and maintained a sound momentum of development. Exchanges and cooperation between the two countries have been progressing smoothly. Foreign Minister Yang's visit is to further deepen the China-Japan strategic relationship of mutual benefit, advance bilateral cooperation in various fields and strengthen their dialogue and coordination on major issues.

China and Japan are close neighbors with the tradition of high-level exchange of visit. We will continue to intensify this tradition to provide strong impetus to the growth of bilateral relations.

If there are no more questions, thank you for coming. See you next time!

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