|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on 8 May 2007|
On the afternoon of 8 May, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular conference and answered questions on China-Japan relations, the Darfur issue, the Six-Party Talks, and food and drug security.
Jiang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Before taking your questions, I have four announcements to make.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Nguyen Triet Minh of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam will pay a state visit to China from May 15 to 18.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Paul KAGAME of the Republic of Rwanda will pay a state visit to China from May 13 to 18.
Foreign Minister BAKAYOKO Youssouf of the Republic of Coté d'Ivoire will be invited to pay an official visit to China from May 9 to 14.
The 2007 Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank Group will be held in Shanghai from May 16 to 17. Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council will attend and address the opening ceremony of the meeting.
Now the floor is open.
Q: According to the US media, China is ready to join the UN in sending 3000 peacekeepers to the Darfur region. Please confirm. Is China in favor of increasing the peacekeepers to 20,000?
A: The position of China on the Darfur issue is very clear. China has played a constructive role. We have been mediating relevant parties to solve the issue peacefully through equal dialogue and negotiation. We've also been actively participating in the UN mission in Sudan. There are more than 400 Chinese peacekeepers in the UN mission in south Sudan. Recently the mission has extended its term for another 6 months.
At the request of relevant authorities of the UN, the Chinese government has decided to send an engineer team to the Darfur region to implement the second phase of the Annan plan, aiming at providing UN support to the AU mission in Darfur region.
Under the current circumstances, relevant parties should stick to the "double track" strategy to press ahead with the political process in Darfur region and phase in the Annan Plan based on equal consultation instead of taking actions that may complicate the situation. China is ready to make joint efforts with the international community to ensure peace and stability of the Darfur region at an early date.
Q: Japanese Prime Minister Abe sent a potted plant to the Yasukuni Shrine at his own expense in April. What is your comment?
A: The Yasukuni Shrine is a major political and sensitive issue in China-Japan relations. The two sides have reached consensus on overcoming the political obstacles to the bilateral ties and promoting the healthy development of the friendly relations and cooperation. The consensus should be strictly abided by.
Q: It is reported that Panama wants to send officials to China to investigate the case that the counterfeit pharmaceutical-material diglycol imported from China killed more than 100 patients. But Panama does not have diplomatic relations with China. Will China allow Panama to come here for investigation?
A: This morning we contacted the State Food and Drug Administration. Last October, the US FDA required the State Food and Drug Administration of China to help investigate the diglycol incident. According to the investigation, the company involved is not a pharmaceutical producer or trader. The substitute glycerin they produced was chemical material instead of source for pharmaceutical use. China has strict pharmaceutical regulations on the source and supplementary material purchased by pharmaceutical producers.
Q: The German parliament will adopt a resolution to condemn China's reeducation through labour system and request China to provide specific information on the system. What is your comment? Will China allow the UN High Commissioner on Human rights and the International Committee of the Red Cross to investigate the situation in China?
A: The question you mentioned involves China's internal affairs. We are opposed to irresponsible remarks on China's internal affairs by other countries including the German parliament.
The reeducation through labour system is not a criminal punishment, but an executive measure to maintain public security, prevent and reduce crimes. Those who committed minor crimes will be rehabilitated through mandatory reeducation. The system is based on special or relevant laws and regulations approved and promulgated by the Standing Committee of the NPC and the relevant executive regulations of the State Council. Besides, relevant authorities have stipulated a series of executive regulations on the system. The reeducation center safeguards the legitimate rights and interests of those subjected to reeducation through labour. They also enjoy the legitimate right of election, the freedom of religious belief and communication. Their dignity and legitimate private properties shall be protected. They shall not be subject to torture or abuse.
To protect human rights and fundamental freedom through international cooperation is one of the basic aims of the UN Charter. The Chinese Government has always been supportive of the efforts made by relevant UN organizations in human rights protection and active in participating UN activities concerning human rights protection. 2005 witnessed the signature of cooperation memorandum between China and UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, which set the orientation of cooperation in the next three years. Besides UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, we also maintain good relations with other UN organizations in charge of human rights and have received the Special Rapporteur on Religion, members of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Special Rapporteur on Education and the Special Rapporteur on Torture.
Q: Recently, the new Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held fruitful talks with his Canadian counterpart Peter McKay. However, the two sides remained unchanged on the issue of Huseyin Celil. What are the results of this meeting? How does China assess this meeting?
A: Not long ago, Canadian Foreign Minister Peter McKay paid a visit to China, holding talks with the new Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and meeting with State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan. Sino-Canadian relations are very important bilateral relations. We attach great importance to its further development. We believe the two countries should firmly focus on our common interests, maintain exchanges and talks at all levels and expand mutually-beneficial cooperation. We should conciliate each other's concerns, seek common grounds while reserving difference and handle those sensitive issues and differences in our bilateral relations properly so as to promote the healthy and steady development of Sino-Canadian relationship.
Concerning the case of Yu Shanjiang, we have made clear our position to the Canadian side on many occasions. This is not a case of consular issue, but a Chinese citizen involving in a criminal case. This is also not a human right issue, but an issue of counter-terrorism. During Minister McKay's visit to China, we reiterated the relevant position. Yu Shanjiang is a Chinese citizen. He was wanted by the Interpol in all countries including Canada before he was granted citizenship there. Yu was also a core member of an international terrorist group listed by the United Nations and has participated in a series of violent activities. According to the Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China, Yu is a Chinese citizen and China does not recognize dual citizenship. We hope that the Canadian side take into consideration our bilateral relations and the overall situation of the International counter-terrorist cooperation, understand and support the Chinese Government's lawful efforts to put terrorists to justice.
Q: Several conflicts have happened between the locals and Chinese merchants in Milan and Barcelona. What's your position on this?
A: The Chinese Government has all along requested its overseas citizens to abide by the local law and regulations, merge into the local mainstream society and make their own contribution to the local social and economic development. At the same time, we also hope the Governments of the relevant countries protect the legal rights and interests of overseas Chinese citizens.
Q: The US-Japan Security Consultative Committee ( 2 plus 2) meeting released a statement last week, which did not list Taiwan as a mutual security concern. What is China's reaction?
A: The cooperation between the United States and Japan, both of which are countries of impact in the Asia-Pacific region, should be conducive to peace, stability and development of the region. The Taiwan issue is China's domestic affairs bearing on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We shall never allow any country to interfere in the Taiwan issue under any pretext.
Q: What is your reaction to an Amnesty International report today that says China is trading weapons with Sudan in violation of UN arms embargo?
A: The Chinese Government adopts a cautious and responsible policy with strict management in arms export. China never exports arms to non-governmental entities or personnel. We only trade with sovereign state and request them to provide the certificate of the end-users and end-use purpose and commit themselves not to transferring to a third party. Strictly adhering to the UN Security Council resolutions, China never exports arms to any country or region under UN arms embargo. China has taken into full consideration the developments of African nations and the continent for the benefit of regional peace and stability. The military export to Africa is modest in number and restricted to conventional weapons only.
Q: Can you tell us the new progress, if any, in the Six Party Talks?
A: As I know that all parties concerned are making positive efforts for the resolution of DPRK's funds in BDA, pressing for a pragmatic solution. We hope relevant parties properly solve this problem as soon as possible and implement the initial phase plan at an early date so as to constantly promote the proceeding of the Six Party Talks.
Q: The number of the peace-keeping troops to Darfur is said to be expanded to 20,000. Is China active towards that?
A: China has decided to dispatch engineers unit to Darfur to implement the second phase of the Annan Plan.
Always positive on UN peace-keeping operations, China has so far sent over seven thousand military personnel, police and civil officials for 16 UN peace-keeping operations. Presently there are more than 1800 personnel performing duties in twelve mission areas around the world. China takes the lead among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council in terms of dispatching peace-keeping personnel.
Q: Can you tell us why former Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing was dismissed? And what will be the pragmatic direction of the Six Party Talks as you mentioned just now?
A: Thanks for your care for former Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing. It is a normal succession of leadership of the ministry. Li Zhaoxing has made great contribution to China's diplomatic work and been widely praised during his tenure as foreign minister. He will continue to be interested in and supportive for the diplomatic work.
We all know that it takes time to solve the funds transfer issue technically after political decision has been made. We look forward to a proper solution as soon as possible.
Q: May 1 witnessed a large scale of demonstration in Macau, protesting the deterioration of social condition and an influx of cheaper labor forces from the mainland. Do you have any comment on that?
A: What happens in Macau is China's domestic affairs since its return. Please consult relevant authorities. The Central Government of China endorsed Macau SAR Government's administration in accordance with the law and its efforts to maintain its stability and prosperity.
If there is no more question, thanks for coming. See you next time.