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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on April 15, 2008

2008-04-16

On April 15, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Olympic torch relay, China-France relations, CNN commentator's anti-China remarks and etc.

Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Firstly, I have two announcements to make.

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will pay an official visit to China from April 24 to 26.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will pay an official visit to China from April 19 to 26.

Now the floor is open.

Q: Do you think the Olympic torch relay will meet large-scale protests on Thursday in India? Has China discussed with India about the security measures for the torch relay? Second question, is there any progress on the dialogue between the Central Government and Dalai?

A: The Beijing Olympic torch has been relayed smoothly in some cities. We have seen aspiration and enthusiasm of people all over the world to support the Olympic Games. The relay went smoothly under the assistance of relevant countries. We believe that the relay in New Delhi will also get the support of the Indian people and the effective cooperation and assistance of the India side. The nature of separation and sabotage of Tibetan independent forces will be exposed once again if they try to disrupt the relay in India.

Our policy towards Dalai is consistent and clear. The Central Government has maintained contact with the Dalai side with maximum patience. At present, the obstacles for contact and dialogue don't fall within us, but into the Dalai side. We hope Dalai can truly abandon the separatist and sabotaging activities. If he really wants to continue the contact and dialogue, he must take concrete actions. Otherwise, there is no way out.

Q: It's reported that the US State Department and some organizations and Funds colluded with the Tibetan independent forces to launch protest against the Beijing Olympic Games. How do you comment on that? Some US senators may meet with Dalai next week. How do you comment and respond to that?

A: More and more facts have proven that the incidents of beating, smashing up properties, looting and arson in Lhasa and other places are organized, premeditated by the Dalai Clique, and colluded by the Tibetan independent forces, both in China and abroad. We hope relevant countries and individuals can respect facts, tell the right from wrong, and fully understand and support the Chinese Government's efforts to protect the life and property of the Chinese people and safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The US side should see clearly the true nature of Dalai, who is a political exile engaged in splitting motherland and undermining national unity for a long time which has been proved by more and more facts. We hope the US refrain from supporting and conniving at the separatist activities by the Dalai Clique by any means.

Q:Because of the torch relay disruption in Paris, some Chinese launched an internet campaign for the boycott of French products, especially Carrefour. Do you support the boycott?

A: It's true that some Chinese people expressed their views and emotions in the past few days, but there is a reason for this. This is actually something the French side should ponder over. I believe the Chinese citizens will express their reasonable appeal in accordance with the law.

Q: Can foreign journalists enter Tibet freely after the May Day? China has hosted many rounds of talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, and what is the significance for China to host the talks on the Iranian nuclear issue?

A: in the past, you only need to go through certain formalities for a reporting trip to Tibet. The current special measures are taken just because of the violent crimes days ago. The government of Tibet Autonomous Region is making efforts to resume the normal social order based on the maintenance of the stability there. On entering Tibet for report, you could contact the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region for any new arrangement.

The E3 plus 3 Political Director-Generals' Meeting on the Iranian nuclear issue will be held in Shanghai tomorrow. The Political Director-Generals from the Foreign Ministries of the US, Russia, Britain, France, Germany and China as well as the Director-General for External and Politico-Military Affairs at the General Secretariat of the European Council will be present at the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to implement the Joint Document issued by the Foreign Ministers of the six countries at the beginning of March and resolve the issue through dialogue and negotiation. We hope relevant parties can have in-depth discussions on the resumption of the talks on the Iranian nuclear issue and try to find a proper solution of the Iranian nuclear issue in a comprehensive and long-term way through diplomatic channels. China is ready to join hands with related parties to send positive signals to the international community and make achievements at an early date.

Q: In covering the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay in San Francisco recently, CNN's commentator Jack Cafferty attacked China, saying that imported Chinese products are "junk", Chinese people are "basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they've been for the last 50 years". How do you comment on that?

A: We are shocked to hear the malicious attacks of CNN commentator Cafferty against the Chinese people and express our strong condemnation. Taking the advantage of the microphone in his hand, Cafferty vilified China and the Chinese people, seriously violated the ethics of journalism and human conscience. His arrogance, ignorance and hatred to the Chinese people have aroused indignation of the Chinese people at home and abroad, and will definitely be denounced by righteous people all over the world. We solemnly request CNN and Cafferty to take back the malicious remarks and apologize to all the Chinese people.

Q: I've got two questions. A survey by Financial Times shows that the Europeans view China as the biggest threat to the global stability. Do you have any comment? Secondly, Japan and Australia have voiced their rejection of the torch relay escorts, what's your response?

A: I don't think the survey you mentioned can represent the voice of the international community. China's development is peaceful in nature, and Chinese people love peace, pursue truth and uphold justice. This is well known to people worldwide. China is playing a responsible and constructive role in international affairs by actively making contribution to peace, stability and development of the entire international community through its own peaceful development. Our role is widely applauded by the international community.

With regard to the escorts of the Olympic torch relay, we have repeated on many occasions that this is in line with international practice, and has been approved by the IOC. As a matter of fact, similar measures had been taken in previous Olympic torch relays. We would like to stress once again that these escorts are not law enforcement personnel, but volunteers with clear and sacred mission of protecting the safety, sanctity and dignity of the Olympic torch. I believe they will fulfill their duties. We hope relevant countries will show full understanding and active cooperation in this regard. We also believe that relevant countries will provide effective protection for the smooth and safe relay of the Olympic torch, which belongs to people worldwide.

Q: Two questions. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is asking China to stop interfering with the press up to the Olympics. Did the IFJ talk with the Foreign Ministry, and how will China ensure journalists' freedom of report up to the Olympics? Secondly, "Amnesty International" issued a statement today, saying that China leads the world in death penalty. Have you read the report? And how do you comment on its demand for China to increase transparency of death penalty?

A: On your first question relating to the complaint by some journalists about some obstacle in their work, our position is very clear. The Chinese Government will continue to protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign journalists in China according to law. Meanwhile, we hope foreign journalists will abide by Chinese laws and regulations and display the objectiveness, justness and balance that they always acclaim so as to build up trust with the Chinese people.

As for covering the Olympics, we will continue to fulfill our commitment in bidding for the Olympic Games, follow the common practice and facilitate journalists from all countries with their work. Actually, you should see that a lot of work has been done in this regard.

Regarding death penalty, there are more countries with death penalty than those without. Besides, the Chinese people are unlikely to agree with it if we abolish death penalty right now when things are not mature. But we are very strict and prudent with execution policy to make sure that it only applies to a small number of criminals who committed extremely serious crimes. In the future practice, we will continue to safeguard human rights through judiciary procedures.

Q: Please brief us on the talk between Deputy Foreign Ministers from China and Japan this morning.

A: Like you said, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japanese Deputy Minister Mitoji Yabunaka held talks this morning, exchanging views on the bilateral relations and issues of common interest, particularly the preparation work for President Hu Jintao's upcoming state visit to Japan. The two leaders also had conducive and in-depth consultation on the East China Sea issue, and they agreed to continue to work towards solution.

Q: Last weekend, the Chinese Ambassador to Ireland left a function in protest at an Irish minister's remarks on Tibet. As China has enjoyed friendly relations with Ireland, do you think it is an appropriate reaction for the Ambassador to leave the function? Will it have any impact on the China-Ireland bilateral relations?

A: With regard to the remarks on Tibet by Irish Minister of Environment, I want to point out that, in recent years, China-Ireland relations have witnessed good momentum of development. The two countries have seen frequent exchanges of high level visits. Substantial results have been achieved in cooperation of various fields. It is our firm principled position that the Tibetan affairs are China's internal affairs, which brook no interference by any foreign country or international organization. Tibet has been an inalienable part of China since the ancient times, which is a consensus of the international community including Ireland. We believe that those irresponsible remarks by a handful of people could not represent the position of the Irish Government.

Q: Is China satisfied with India's security arrangement for the torch relay? If anything happens to the torch relay, what impact will it have on the China-India relations?

A: The development of China-India relations has seen sound momentum over the recent years. The two countries maintain close exchanges and communications on various levels. India has expressed on many occasions that the Olympic torch relay is a glory not only for the Indian people but also for the people in Asia as a whole. India attaches great importance to the Olympic torch relay in New Delhi, and has close cooperation with China in this regard. We believe that India values the torch relay in New Delhi and will take effective measures to make the torch relay in India a success.

Q: China calls France a friend of China, how does China view its citizens' call for boycott against French products in recent days? Do you think the protests over the torch relay in Paris will damage China-France relations?

A: I believe that Chinese people will express their views and take actions reasonably and legally. It needs the efforts from both sides to make friends. On the one hand, France has been saying that they value the China-France relations, while on the other hand, we have seen something happen in France which the Chinese people can not understand and accept. We hope that the French side could listen to the Chinese people, adopt an objective and impartial attitude, respect facts, draw a clear line between the right and wrong, and, as the vast majority countries of the international community have done, understand and support the just position and legitimate measures taken by the Chinese Government.

We attach great importance to the China-France Strategic Partnership of Cooperation. It is our hope that people from all walks of life in France could cherish the relations, create sound conditions and make positive efforts and contributions for the further development of the ties between our two countries.

Q: Over the past days, there have been some demonstrations supporting China in countries such as Canada. Are the Chinese embassies in those countries involved in these activities?

A: I don't know which demonstrations you refer to. We have seen a lot in this kind. Do you mean those taken by some overseas Chinese opposing separatism, interference of China's internal affairs and malicious attack against China by Western countries? I think they are expressing their righteous voice. Do you think it needs the Chinese Government to organize such kind of activities?

If there are no more questions, thanks for coming, and see you next time!

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