|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on January 24, 2008|
On the afternoon of January 24, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on Six Foreign Ministers' meeting on the Iranian nuclear issue, the Darfur issue, China-Vietnam relations and etc.
Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have no announcement to start with, so I'd like to take your questions.
Q: State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan met with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Phan Gia Khiem yesterday. Is there any breakthrough in solving the dispute over the South China Sea?
A: Like you said, the second round of meeting of the Guiding Committee on China-Vietnam Bilateral Cooperation was held in Beijing on January 23. The meeting was presided over by State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan, Chinese chair, and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phan Gia Khiem, Vietnamese chair. The two countries had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on the bilateral relations and reached important consensus. Both China and Vietnam agree to properly handle issues in our bilateral relations including the dispute over the South China Sea in order to make sure that the bilateral relations is on the right track of sound and stable development.
China's position on the South China Sea issue is consistent. China possesses indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and the adjacent waters. Leaders of the two countries have exchanged views on the question on many occasions, and agreed to solve the dispute through dialogue and consultation so as to safeguard peace and stability of the South China Sea as well as the overall interest of China-Vietnam relations.
Q: Have the Chinese top leaders made the final decision on the US military ship's port call to Hong Kong? US Pacific Commander Keating and Deputy Secretary of the State Negroponte both called on China to increase its military transparency, what's China's position?
A: When it comes to foreign military aircrafts and warships' application for port call to Hong Kong, China has always dealt with their applications case by case in light of the principle of sovereignty since Hong Kong's return. This will remain unchanged in the future.
As for your second question, we have reiterated our position to the international community that China follows the path of peaceful development, and adopts a national defense policy which is defensive in nature. The purpose that China keeps a justified military force is not to engage in arms race against any country, but to safeguard our sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. In recent years, China has been increasing its military transparency by strengthening military exchanges with other countries and issuing white papers on national defense. We hope to further enhance mutual understanding and mutual trust with other countries and make joint efforts to safeguard world peace and stability.
Q:Do you have any comment on the six-nation Foreign Ministers' meeting on the Iranian nuclear issue in Berlin? Are you satisfied with the adopted draft resolution? Besides, is there any progress on the DPRK nuclear declaration? Has the energy aid from China been delivered to the DPRK?
A: The six countries reached consensus on the major elements of the draft resolution,which is the result of consultations and discussions by various parties. According to my knowledge, the draft urges various parties to intensify the diplomatic efforts and exert the will to resolve the issue through negotiation. It also welcomes the progress made by Iran and IAEA on resolving the pending issues and encourages the IAEA to continue its work. China calls on the parties concerned to strengthen diplomatic efforts, take initiative and be creative in finding the way to break the stalemate so as to resolve the issue comprehensively and properly.
On the second question, thanks to the concerted efforts of the parties concerned, the Six-party Talks have been making progress. Most of the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon have accomplished disablement. The heavy fuel oil and substitute materials aid are under way step by step. The relations between relevant countries have been more or less improved. We hope relevant parties continue to display sincerity and patience, and implement their respective obligations according to the principle of "action for action" and in a comprehensive and balanced manner so as to translate the second-phase action into reality at an early date.
Q: What's China's position on the US Taiwan Relations Act? Are you satisfied with the US compliance with the August 17 Communiqué?
A: The Taiwan question bearing on China's core interest of sovereignty and territorial integrity is the internal affair of China. It is universally recognized by the international community that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory.
The Taiwan question is the most important issue at the core of China-US relations. We have always urged the US to honor its commitments to adhering to the one China policy, observing the three China-US communiqués and opposing Taiwan Independence. We hope the US do more things enhancing the mutual trust with China and join hands with China to safeguard the overall interest of China-US relations as well as peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
Q: It is reported that Kim Jong Il will stop over in China when he visits Vietnam this year. Could you confirm?
A: The Chinese Communist Party maintains friendly exchanges with the DPRK Workers' Party. I don't have the information yet.
Q: Critics say that China's position on the Sudan Darfur issue will tarnish the image of the Beijing Olympics. Will China exert pressure on the Sudanese government to avoid more criticism?
A: The Chinese Government will never accept those accusations. The international community is well aware of the positive and constructive role China has played on the Darfur issue. I wonder if those critics have any knowledge of China's role and the actual situation in the Darfur region. Recently, thanks to the concerted efforts of parties concerned, progress has been made in the political process and the deployment of peace-keeping mission in the Darfur region. China always believes that to resolve the Darfur issue, the political process and the peace-keeping operation should complement each other and go side by side in a balanced way. Meanwhile, we support the tripartite mechanism including the UN, AU and the Sudanese government to play a dominant role. Considering the unprecedented scale of the hybrid action, it is natural that the deployment may encounter some difficulties. We hope parties concerned strengthen consultation and cooperation so as to solve the relevant issue through the tripartite mechanism and we support an early and all-round deployment of the hybrid peace-keeping mission.
There are obvious political motives behind the attempt to link the Darfur issue with the Beijing Olympics. Some organizations have tried to disrupt and sabotage the preparation for the Olympics by taking advantage of the Olympics to play up some topics. We resolutely oppose politicizing the Olympics because that definitely runs counter to the principle and spirit of the Olympics and will surely get nowhere.
Q: On January 7, Sudanese military attacked a convoy vehicle of the UN-AU peace-keeping mission. Do you have any comment?
A: Any attack against peace-keepers is unacceptable. The hybrid action is of unprecedented scale, therefore various difficulties and problems may arise during the process. We hope relevant parties fully cooperate and properly settle the problems through consultation. China has always played a positive role in the peace-keeping mission. China is the first country to commit to and take part in the peace-keeping mission in the Darfur region. At present, the advance team of 140 military engineers has entered the Darfur region and the rest is to phase in shortly. China will, together with the international community, continue to play a constructive role in the proper resolution of the Darfur issue.
Q: On the Iranian nuclear issue. Does China believe that the six foreign ministers' meeting will be more effective, if Iran is invited?
A: The six foreign ministers have reached an agreement on the key elements of the draft resolution, which will be further discussed by all members of the Security Council. At this critical moment, we call upon relevant parties to enhance diplomatic efforts so as to seek a proper and all-round resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue.
Q: The US pursues a strategy of ambiguity on the Taiwan question. Do you have any comment?
A: As for the Taiwan question, China's position is clear and resolute. The US has reiterated on many occasions that it abides by the three Joint Communiqué and opposes Taiwan Independence. We request the US to honor its commitments in real earnest and take concrete actions to safeguard the overall interest of China-US relations.
If there are no more questions, thanks for your attendance. See you next time.