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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao's Regular Press Conference on July 24, 2008
2008/07/25

On July 24, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference and answered questions on the informal meeting of Foreign Ministers of the six-party talks, the launching of the China-Russia Vice Prime Ministerial-level Energy Talk and the Beijing Olympic Games and etc.

Liu Jianchao: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to start with an announcement.

At the invitation of Vice Premier of the State Council Wang Qishan, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Igor Sechin will visit China from July 26 to 27. During his visit, he will hold talks with the Chinese side on launching the China-Russia Vice Prime Ministerial-level Energy Talk.

Now the floor is open.

Q: How many state leaders has China invited to the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games? How many of them have agreed to come? Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has confirmed his attendance at the opening ceremony of the Games. Will President Hu Jintao meet with him in Beijing? What other foreign leaders will President Hu meet?

A: As I have introduced on many occasions, heads of state or government are invited to the opening ceremony of the Games by their respective national Olympic committees. As the host of the 29th Olympics, China welcomes leaders of all countries to attend the opening ceremony and other events of the Beijing Olympics, and will provide necessary convenience.

As to how many state leaders have confirmed their attendance at the Games, I have just introduced you on the invitation procedures. Heads of state, heads of government, royal families' representatives and Sports Ministers of the IOC member states or regions are invited as accredited dignitaries to the opening ceremony and other relevant events.

With regard to how many state leaders have confirmed their attendance at the opening ceremony, in addition to Sports Ministers, more than 80 accredited dignitaries have confirmed their attendance at the opening ceremony and relevant events of the Games.

On the possibility of Chinese leaders meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda during his stay in Beijing for the opening ceremony, the Chinese side is willing to meet with all leaders coming to Beijing for the Olympics. We are still finalizing the relevant arrangements. We will brief you as soon as they are confirmed. You are welcome to cover those meetings.

We warmly welcome Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games. Exchanges between leaders of our two countries have played an important driving role in the development of Sino-Japanese relations. President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda have met twice this year. If time allows, the Chinese leaders would like to meet Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda during his visit in Beijing, exchanging views on bilateral ties and issues of common interest.

Q: With regard to the US-India civilian nuclear cooperation, India is going to sign a draft agreement with the IAEA. China is a member of both IAEA and Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG). What is China's position on the US-India civilian nuclear cooperation?

A: China is now studying the draft safeguards agreement between India and the IAEA.

Q: A report published by Human Rights Watch today said that China's ambassador to Nepal exerted pressure on the Nepali Government to arrest hundreds of Tibetan protestors there. If this is true, does it mean China interfere into Nepal's internal affairs?

A: China cannot accept those accusations in this report.

Nepal is a friendly neighbor of China. We never put pressure on our friends and neighbors. To impose pressure is not the Chinese Government's foreign policy.

Our friendly neighbors have reiterated their positions on Tibet for many times that they won't approve any activities within their territories which undermine China's interest, which we appreciate. I want to point out that some "Tibetan independent forces" take violent and intimidatory action against China's interest in our neighboring countries including Nepal, attacking China's overseas diplomatic missions and attempting to separate Tibet from China. We appreciate the necessary and justified moves taken by relevant countries. I believe this is the position a responsible country will hold.

Q: On China-Russia energy negotiation mechanism. Can you share with us more details? What will be discussed? Who is the Chinese representative? Secondly, China has designated three venues for protests and demonstrations during the Olympics. Are the foreigners entitled to pretest there?

A: On your first question. To establish a negotiation mechanism on the Deputy Prime Minister level is an important arrangement based on the consensus of our leaders, and also a reflection of the strategic cooperative partnership between China and Russia, which will plan for the energy cooperation between China and Russia. We expect that both sides will discuss the launching of this mechanism during Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Sechin's visit to China. The Chinese representative is Vice Premier Wang Qishan, and his counterpart is Deputy Prime Minister Sechin.

On your second question, I took note that an official of the BOCOG held a press conference yesterday. I think this question is quite simple. The answer will be found in the Law of the Peoples Republic of China on Assemblies, Processions and Demonstrations adopted by the National People's Congress of China. It covers all the questions you mentioned. The competent authorities in China will handle this in accordance with law. I also believe that those who apply for protest will also abide by the law.

Q: A press release of the China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting issued yesterday mentioned that China will send an ambassador to the ASEAN. Is this the first time for China to appoint an ambassador to a regional organization? What are the considerations behind the decision? Do you have any candidates for this post now? When will he be sent there?

A: The Chinese Government has decided to send an ambassador to the ASEAN. This is an important symbol of the in-depth development of China-ASEAN relations, which will further enhance the strategic partnership between China and the ASEAN. I believe through this channel we can strengthen our relations with the ASEAN. We are satisfied with the current development of China-ASEAN relations, and look forward to the continued development of bilateral strategic partnership.

In recent years, China has appointed several Ambassadors in charge of special affairs, for example, the Chinese Ambassador to the EU, the Ambassador for African Affairs, and the Ambassador for Korean Peninsula Affairs. This indicates the development of China's diplomacy and promotes the cooperation between China and relevant countries and regions. It also helps China and other countries and regions to have in-depth exchanges of views on international and regional issues of mutual interest, jointly maintain international and regional stability, and promote common prosperity. As to the appointment of the Ambassador to ASEAN, it is still going through procedures.

Q: The US House Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted a resolution requesting China to stop the violation of human rights, end its support to the Governments of Sudan and Myanmar. Do you have any comment?

A: The US House Committee on Foreign Affairs proposed the draft making unfounded accusations against China. It is not only against the Olympic spirits but also runs counter to the aspiration of people and athletes of all countries including the US. China always opposes the politicization of the Olympic Games. We have made solemn representation with the US on that. We urge the few US congressmen to stop disrupting the Beijing Olympic Games with "human rights issues" and interfering with China's internal affairs, so as to avoid harming the healthy and stable development of China-US relations.

Q: How do you comment on informal meeting of the Six-party Foreign Ministers? According to the joint statement last October, the Foreign Ministers' Meeting shall be held in Beijing. What is the difference between these two meetings? Does China still plan to hold the Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Beijing, and when?

A: The six parties reached an important agreement to hold the Foreign Ministers' Meeting in the joint statement last year. We are glad to see convening of the informal meeting in Singapore. The meeting itself is of great significance, because it is for the first time since the very beginning of the Six-party Talks for the six Foreign Ministers get together to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and peace and stability of Northeast Asia. The Ministers also reached consensus during the meeting. As the host, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has summarized the consensus and I will not repeat that. We hope the meeting will further promote the process of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

As to the timing for the Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Beijing, it still needs consultation among the six parties through diplomatic channels. Now all the parties wish to hold the Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Beijing when it is necessary and the conditions are ripe. As the host, China will consult with related parties on the issue.

Q: After the earthquake in Wenchuan, an earthquake hit the northern part of Iwate prefecture of Japan early this morning. Japan expressed it willingness to enhance cooperation with China on earthquake-resistance. Do you have any expectation on that? What does that mean for China-Japan Strategic Relations of Mutual Benefit?

A: Both Japan and China are countries frequently hit by earthquakes. It is very necessary for us to enhance exchanges and cooperation in this regard. China holds a positive attitude to that. Quake-resistance and disaster-relief is an important field for Asian countries to strengthen cooperation, including that between China and Japan. During his attendance to the outreach session of the G8 Summit in Japan, President Hu Jintao exchanged views with Prime Minister Fukuda on the issue. Both sides hold positive views of that. I believe the competent authorities of China and Japan will explore the methods and channels for the enhancement of cooperation in this regard.

I would like to once again express our gratitude to the Japanese Government and people for their support to China after the Wenchuan earthquake.

If there are no other questions, thank you!

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