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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on December 21 2006

2006-12-22

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang held a regular press conference on the afternoon of December 21.

Qin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentleman.Now I'd like to take your questions.

Q: The US chief negotiator of the Six-Party Talks Hill said that China may put forth a draft statement on the second phase of the Talks tommorow. Please tell us the details. What efforts has China made to draft the statement?

A: All parties concerned are keeping close and intensive contacts and consulations on how to implement the September 19 Joint Statement. As for whether this round of talks will reach a conclusion in the form of statement, I'm not sure now. it depends on the consensus to be reached among all the parties concerned.

Q: Did the DPRK and the US hold bilateral talks today?

A: Now I will brief all of you on what I know about the bilateral consultations. Since the beginning of the Talks till 1:30 pm this afternoon, there were 25 bilateral consultations within Diaoyutai Hotel. China participated in 13 of them. This morning, China held consultations with the DPRK and the US respectively. This afternoon, China will hold talks with the rest of other three parties respectively. I don't know about the contacts between the DPRK and the US. Since some contacts are made outside Diaoyutai Hoel, I advise you to refer your questions to the US or the DPRK.

Q: Will the US and the DPRK hold talks on financial sanctions in New York next month? What position does China hold on the talks between the US and the DPRK outside Beijing?

A: If you want to confirm whether the US and the DPRK will hold another consultation on financial sanctions, you' d better raise your question to the two parties directly than take pains to get second-hand information. On financial santions, China supports and welcomes a proper solution to the issue through bilateral talks and consultations between the US and the DPRK so as to create sound conditions for the progress of the Six-Party Talks. In fact, the US and the DPRK had held many contacts before the resumption of the Talks.

Q: The DPRK asks for lifting all sanctions, otherwise it will not discuss denuclearization and it considers the issue of financial sanctions as the greatest obstacle. Whereas the US argues that sanctions and the denuclearization should be separated. Does China support the US? Secondly, is China ready to realize the goal of denuclearization of Korean Peninsula by halting its assistance to the DPRK? Last question, it is reported that a senior official of Banco Delta Asia is in Beijing now, please confirm. Will he talk about the issue of financial santions with Chinese leaders? Does he have a plan to meet with the delegates of the Six-Party Talks?

A: As for your first question, all parties concerned are committed in the September 19 Joint Statement to implement the Statement step by step at different stages in line with the principle of "commitment for commitment and actions for actions". It is starting from this priniple that we handle the issue related with the denuclearization of Korean Peninsula. The September 19 Joint Statement is inclusive, which covers how to to realize the denuclearization of Korean Peninsula, the normalization of relationship between relevant countries, the economic and energy cooperation as well as the establishment of peace mechanism in Northeast Asia. The Six-Party Talks is a systematic project. We hope to see a proper resolution of financial sanctions as soon as possible, which is conductive to the process of Six-Party Talks.

Secondly, sanction is not the goal. Thre are two points of departure for China in handling China-DPRK relations and the issue of Peninsula: First, equal and mtually benefitial cooperation between China and DPRK; secondly, peace and stabilty of the Korean Peninsula.

As for your third question, the issue of financial sanctions involves a bank in China's Macao special administrative region. We hope that relevant investigations can be conducted on the basis of respecting facts so as to resolve relevant issues as soon as possible. As for whether there is any official from the bank in town, I have no information at present.

Q: It was reported that the Chinese government would modify relevant rules on foreign adoption of Chinese children, please give us some details.

A: This issue is not in the charge of the Foreign Ministry. I suggest you check with relevant authorities.

Q: China and Japan will hold a meeting on joint study of history in Beijing on 26. What is China's exception for the meeting?

A: China and Japan have reached consensus to carry out joint study of history. The two sides have agreed to hold the first meeting before the end of the year.

Both sides believe that relevant study should be based on the principles enshrined in the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement and other two political documents, and fulfill the spirit of "facing up to history for the benefit of future". The study of more than 2000 years of interaction between China and Japan, the tragic modern history and 60 years' Sino-Japan postwar relationship, will help both sides strengthen the objective recognition of history and mutual understanding. China expects experts of both sides hold a successful meeting by following the said principles and spirit.

Q: It's reported that the Yasukuni Shrine will amend some explanations involving China. What is China's response?

A: The position and attitude of China on the Yasukuni Shrine have not changed. We oppose denying, falsifying or glorifying history of agrression.

Q: Please brief us on China and Japan's recent meeting on Japanese-abandoned chemical weapons in China.

A: The Japanese-abandoned chemical weapons problem is a grave crime committed by the Japanese militarism during its aggression of China, and it's a major problem between China and Japan left over from history. These weapons still pose a major and real threat and harm to the safety of people's lives, their property and ecological environment in the affected areas. In July 1999, The Chinese and Japanese governments signed a Memo on the destruction of Japanese-abandoned chemical weapons in China, Japan admitted in the Memo abandoning a large number of chemical weapons in China, and promised to fulfill its obligations as regulated in the Chemical Weapons Convention. We hope Japan honor its commitment to relevant international treaties, and solve the problem earnestly as soon as possible.

Q: Yesterday the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan signed an energy agreement. Can you brief us on that? Which enterprise will be involved? What type of investment will it make?

A: Today's People Daily published in detail the 11 agreements signed between China and Kazakhstan. You will find information you need from there. I suggest you to read it carefully.

Q: US Assistant State Secretary Hill said that all parties had agreed to extend the talks to Friday so as to fix on how to implement September 19th Joint Declaration together and release a document. How China is going to encourage all other parties to fulfill the task in the coming two days? Do you think two days will be enough?

A: As I know, the six parties discussed about the duration of the talks and agreed to carry on the talks until tomorrow. As to what will happen after tomorrow, I am not sure. It will depend on the progress achieved during the relative consultations in the past two days.

Whether time is sufficient, it depends on the results of the consultations especially on whether the major parties concerned will further narrow down disputes and promote mutual understanding and consensus. We will definitely play a positive role on this. However, it is not objective, realistic or fair to rely solely on China's efforts for any progress and how much progress to be achieved. China will exert its utmost efforts to help all other parties to get closer,meet half way,and bridge their gap. But the final outcome will rest with the joint efforts made by all six parties.

Q: Foreign minister Li Zhaoxing proposed three new consenses while meeting with the delegates of the six parties. However, the three new consenses are already covered by the September 19th Joint Declaration. What is the reason that Foreign Minister Li reiterated them? What phase do you think the current Six-Party Talks is in?

A: You noticed the three new consensuses described by Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing yesterday. They are new for the situation has changed ever since the first phase of the fifth round of talks thirteen months ago. Some people, including some journalists, questioned on such an occasion that whether the Six-Party Talks had failed. However, facts have proved that the Six-Party Talks is still with vitality. As the situation changes in the past thirteen months, the six countries, through contact and negotiation, all find it necessary to restart the Talks and have reaffirmed their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through negotiation. All parties have expressed the will to make joint effort to go forward. These common grounds have now brought the six parties together again. Is this not new progress and consensus compared with the situation two months ago?

It's time now for parties to discuss substantive issues in an earnest, candid and pragmatic manner. All parties have put their cards on the table and spoken out their opinions, which will facilitate mutual understanding, narrow down differences and build up consensus. Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo have met with the head of every delegation respectively. We can see all parties are willing to continue promoting the Talks to achieve the goal of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and negotiation. Certainly they have differences, some of which are even sharp. That is not fearful. The key is whether all parties can proceed from the interest of the overall situation and take concrete and flexible measures to bridge their gap.

Q: Currently all parties are discussing the establishment of working groups. What opinions does the DPRK hold? If the second phase of the Talks finishes on Friday, does it suggest the end of the fifth round of the Six-Party Talks? Will there be any third phase?

A: The issue concerning the establishment of working groups is still under discussion, in which all parties have put forward their opinions and suggestions. Whether to establish working groups and what sort of groups needs further discussion of all parties.

The Six-Party Talks is a course that constantly advances. I would like to quote what Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei said during the fourth round of talks last year that we have just taken the first step of the Long March. There are the second and third steps awaiting us down on the path towards the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. We hope all parties concerned press ahead with joint effort, determination and patience.

Q: This morning Hill said that in this round of Talks China and the US need to agree on every aspect, otherwise the Talks would not succeed. What comment do you have?

A: Since it's the six parties' talks, agreed consensus will be the important principle of the talks.

Q: Has China brought forward any draft document to summarize the achievement of the Six-Party Talks?

A: It can't be better than to produce a paper that is agreed by six parties and integrated with consensus, especially fresh consensus. We are willing to make effort and keep communication and negotiation with other five parties about this, which requires joint effort from all parties concerned.

Q: This morning Hill said that the Six-Party Talks provides China and the US a rare opportunity to cooperate on an issue that both sides have reached consensus. The success of the Talks can strengthen the Sino-US relation and make for more cooperation on other global issues down the road. What is China's position about this?

A: China maintains good cooperation with the US on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, just as with other four parties. Sound negotiation and cooperation between China and the US on major international and regional issues of great importance demonstrate the common aspiration of both sides to develop the constructive cooperation between two countries. It also suggests that China and the US are not only stakeholders but also constructive cooperators. We will maintain close dialogue, coordination and cooperation with the US to promote the constant advancement of Sino-US relations.

If there are no other questions, let's conclude here. Thank you! Goodbye!

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