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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on October 28, 2008
2008/10/29

On October 28, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on several Chinese hostages killed in Sudan, the international financial summit and etc.

Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'd be happy to take your questions.

Q: It's reported that some of the Chinese workers held hostage in Sudan were killed. Please confirm and share with us the details.

A: As our Embassy in Sudan was informed, by October 27, among the nine Chinese workers with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) that had been kidnapped in Sudan, four were killed, four were rescued and one went missing.

The CPC Central Committee and State Council took the abduction seriously and expressed great concern about the workers' safety. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao made important instructions, requiring the Foreign Ministry to spare no efforts in the rescue work. The Foreign Ministry and our Embassy in Sudan have kept close contact with Sudan, worked on it through multiple channels, and exerted great efforts to rescue the abducted workers.

The Chinese Government expresses deep condolences to the four victims, and sincere sympathy to their families. We express strong indignation and condemnation over the inhumane terrorist deed of the kidnappers in killing those unarmed workers. The Foreign Ministry has directed our Embassy in Sudan and the CNPC joint working group to Sudan to continue to exert utmost effort to rescue the missing and take care of the aftermath.

China cherishes its friendly cooperation with Sudan. We urge Sudan to continue the rescue efforts without compromising the safety of the missing, bring the murderers to justice and take every measure necessary to protect life and property of Chinese people in Sudan.

Q: Could you tell us how wide-spread is the toxic contamination of eggs from melamine? Are you worried that it may have spread to other food stuff?

A: About this specific question, I suggest you refer it to competent authorities. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to food safety. Should any problems arise, there are normal channels to contact relevant authorities to conduct investigation. If the problems are confirmed, I believe competent authorities will request relevant companies to recall relevant products.

Q: I'd like to express my condolences to the murdered hostages in Sudan. Could you be more specific about what China is doing to rescue the other hostages, and how would you prevent such things from happening again? Secondly, the US military attacked a Syrian civilian target, causing eight dead and several injured. What is your view about this aggression against a sovereign state?

A: Thank you for your expression of condolences and sympathy. Our friendly cooperation with Sudan on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and shared development has played a positive role in improving people's well-being there and promoting the socio-economic development in Sudan. Chinese companies in Sudan are also engaged in many non-profit undertakings to help the local people improve their lives. This is widely recognized by the Sudanese people. In the future, we will continue to have exchanges and cooperation with Sudan in a wide range of fields on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. With regard to the abduction, we are keeping close contact with Sudan. Under the current circumstances, we urge Sudan to continue the rescue work to their best without compromising the safety of the missing. Meanwhile, we hope the Sudanese Government will take all necessary and effective means to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and other foreign citizens in Sudan.

About your second question, we oppose actions that infringe upon other countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity. Relevant parties should properly handle this issue in the interest of peace and stability in the Middle East.

Q: The international financial summit is to be held in the US next month. What is your expectation of the summit? Some countries suggested reform on the international financial system. Do you have any propositions or suggestions?

A: China has received the US invitation to attend the "summit on financial market and world economy" among the G20 members. We will consider taking part. China hopes this summit will be pragmatic and effective in addressing the current and future problems, reflect the global development partnership featured by equality, mutual benefit and win-win solution, and make contributions to stabilizing the financial market and promoting the development of world economy.

The current financial crisis has revealed the deficiency and defect of the existing international financial system. On the basis of full consultation among all stake-holders, the international community should proceed from long-term interest, carry out effective and all-round reform on the international financial system, and promote the establishment of a fair, reasonable, inclusive and orderly international financial system that safeguards stable development of world economy and prosperity. We appeal for closer international cooperation on financial supervision, reform on international financial institutions, better representation and greater voice of the developing countries in international financial institutions.

Q: Like my colleague, I'd also like to express my condolences to the Chinese hostages killed in Sudan. To my understanding, Mr. Liu Guijin, the Chinese special envoy on Sudan issue is now in Sudan. What is the purpose of his visit? Will he stay there to take care of the aftermath?

A: Thank you for your condolences. Ambassador Liu Guijin is in the US and Sudan from October 18 to 30 to promote a proper solution of the Darfur issue. China has always cared about the settlement of the Darfur issue, and has played a proactive and constructive role in the process. We hope to work with the international community to promote the peace process in Sudan. Meanwhile, we hope relevant parties in Sudan will properly solve relevant issues peacefully through dialogue and consultation so as to realize peace and stability in the Darfur region.

Q: Last week, the Foreign Ministry said that China would not change its policy towards Sudan despite the Chinese workers kidnapped there. But for now, as some of them have been killed, will China consider policy change? Will this incident affect the close relationship between China and Sudan?

A: China is willing to provide assistance within its capacity for Sudan's social and economic development. The friendly relationship and cooperation between China and Sudan is mutually beneficial, based on win-win and shared development. Abiding by the principle of equality and mutual benefit, Chinese companies operate their business in Sudan in light of the international market rules. They have actively promoted public wellbeings of local people there as well. In the future, we will continue to develop friendly relationship with Sudan featured by sound and mutual beneficial cooperation. In the meantime, we hope that Sudan could provide all effective safeguards to ensure life and property of Chinese citizens, as well as the normal people-to-people exchanges between China and Sudan.

Q: Could you brief us on President Hu Jintao's forthcoming visit to Cuba? Which Cuba leaders will he meet with? Will China sign any cooperative agreement with Cuba?

A: As for President Hu Jintao attending the APEC summit and visiting some Latin American countries, preparation is still under way and relevant information will be released in due course.

Q: Last week, the Dalai Lama said that he has given up talks with the Central Government. It is reported that the Central Government will start a new round of talks with the Dalai Lama this week. Will it still held as scheduled? How do you comment on Dalai's remarks?

A: So far as I know, the arrangement of the contact and consultation between the Central Government and Dalai's representatives is still under negotiation. I do not have any further information to release. However, I must point out that the Central Government's policy towards the Dalai Lama is consistent and clear. We are serious towards the contact and consultation. We hope that these contacts will help the Dalai Lama further recognize the current situation, display sincerity and take actions, so as to do something helpful for the Tibetan people in the rest of his life. We have also taken note of the recent remarks by Dalai side. As an old Chinese saying goes, actions speak louder than words. If the Dalai Lama and his representatives have the sincerity to improve the relationship with the Central Government, they should fulfill in real earnest the commitment they made at the previous meeting in Beijing this July.

Q: Greenpeace and WWF released a report yesterday, urging the Chinese Government to introduce a "carbon tax" on coal in order to reduce the serious impact on environment and public health caused by burning coal, and to promote fair pricing of coal. What is China's reaction to the report?

A: In my view, those organizations do not understand China's policy on energy saving and environmental protection. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the development and exploration of clean energy, and has been making great efforts to increase the share of clean energy in the energy mix. China has promulgated a renewable energy law and encouraged development of all sorts of renewable energy, including wind power, solar energy, water and hydro energy, biomass energy, thermal energy and sea energy. In addition, the Chinese Government also pays much attention to the clean use of coal, and has done a lot to control the emission of pollutants produced in burning coal, such as dust emission, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide, with positive progress been made so far. We believe that the international community should intensify investment in R&D and application of energy saving technologies so that countries can use energy in a comprehensive and efficient way.

Q: Just now you said that China will continue its friendly cooperation with Sudan, does it mean Chinese companies will not withdraw their business in Sudan after the kidnapped Chinese workers being killed. My second question, which Chinese leaders will attend the world summit on financial crisis to be held in the US in November? The third question, China will buy ivory from South Africa through legal trade, how does China ensure those ivories will not be sold illegally to other countries?

A: I already made comments on your first question. Chinese companies will continue their cooperation with the Sudanese side based on the principle of equality and mutual benefit. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the safety of overseas Chinese. We are highly concerned with the recent incident, and have actively taken rapid and effective actions to deal with those issues. We have asked relevant countries to take concrete measures to safeguard life and property of the overseas Chinese. At the same time, we also want to remind overseas Chinese companies and citizens to raise self protection awareness and take precautions.

About your second question, we are giving it serious consideration. You will be briefed on the relevant arrangements when they are confirmed.

About your third question, the Chinese Government's policy on ivory trade is clear. As a contracting state of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Chinese Government has been performing its obligations in real earnest. Our efforts are approved by the international community. In the future, we will continue to handle the ivory trade in light of sustainable development and our international obligations.

Q: According to sources from Japan, DPRK leader Kim Jong Il is hospitalized recently. Do you have any information on this?

A: I haven't been informed of such news.

Q: Did you know about the rescue plan of the Sudanese Government beforehand? Did you provide any suggestions or logistical assistance? Did you have any contacts with the rebellious militants?

A: Right after the Chinese citizens were kidnapped, we went all out in the rescue work through various channels. The Chinese and the Sudanese Government have made tremendous efforts in rescuing the kidnapped personnel.

If there are no more questions, thanks for coming. See you.

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