On the afternoon of April 13, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have two announcements to make.
First, at the invitation of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of the Republic of Indonesia and Prime Minister Thein Sein of the Union of Myanmar, Premier Wen Jiabao will pay official visits to the three countries from April 22 to 25.
Second, the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum will be held in Tianjin, China, from May 13 to 14. Foreign Ministers or representatives of China and Arab states and Secretary General of the League of Arab States will attend. With the theme of "Deepening All-Round Cooperation for Common Development", the meeting will carry out broad and in-depth discussion on China-Arab States relations, forum building, practical cooperation and international and regional issues of common interest. The meeting will play a positive role in promoting the development of friendly relations between China and Arab States and strengthening China-Arab States Cooperation Forum.
Now the floor is open.
Q: Please brief us on the talks between President Hu Jintao and President Obama. The US said China has agreed to sanction Iran. Please confirm.
A: The Chinese delegation has briefed the press on their talks and released information. During the talks, President Hu made a five-point proposal on China-US relations: first, adhere to the right direction of China-US relations. Second, respect each other's core interests and major concerns. Third, maintain exchanges at the high-level and other levels. Fourth, deepen practical cooperation. Fifth, step up communication and coordination in major international and regional issues. The two sides also exchanged views on China-US economic and trade relations as well as other issues of mutual interest.
We believe a sound China-US relationship is in line with the common interests of both countries and conducive to world peace, stability and prosperity. We are ready to work with the US side to enhance dialogue, deepen mutual trust and expand cooperation to promote the further development of China-US relations.
On the Iranian nuclear issue, our position has been consistent. We stand for the international non-proliferation regime as well as peace and stability in the Middle East. We oppose Iran's possession of nuclear weapons. China supports the "dual track" strategy and always believes that dialogue and negotiation is the best way to solve the Iranian nuclear issue. Sanctions and pressure are not the fundamental way out. Relevant actions of the UN Security Council should be conducive to the turn-around of the situation and proper settlement of the issue through dialogue and negotiation.
Q: It is reported that the prospect of reaching a new treaty at the upcoming conference on climate change is dim since China and the US, the two largest carbon emitters, do not accept a legally binding treaty. How does China comment?
A: I'd like to answer your question. The Kyoto Protocol specifies the quantitative emission reduction obligations of developed countries from 2008 to 2012 (the first commitment period). Now the period will soon be over, yet most of the developed countries haven't fulfilled their promise and their emission is still growing substantially. Their proposal of a new treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol is apparently to avoid their responsibilities. China supports reaching a legally binding treaty through negotiation, including the emission reduction of developed countries during the second commitment period. We believe all parties to the Protocol should honor the Kyoto Protocol, the existing obligation, which is of vital importance to international cooperation on climate change.
The key to the success of international negotiations on climate change is to define the emission reduction obligations of developed countries, non-parties to the Kyoto Protocol included, in the second commitment period based on the mandate of the "Bali Roadmap" in the process of dual track negotiations and make relevant arrangement on financing and technologies. Developing countries, on the other hand, could take voluntary mitigation measures within the framework of sustainable development. Equating developed countries with developing countries on the emission reduction issue means denying the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" set in the UNFCCC and will lose the foundation of negotiation. This is unacceptable to all developing countries including China.
Q: Please brief us on Premier Wen's visits to the three countries in Southeast Asia. What will be discussed during his visit in Myanmar? Will the two sides talk about the election? Besides, you just mentioned "relevant actions by the Security Council", can we say that China is ready to agree to sanctions on Iran?
A: On Premier Wen's visits to the three countries in Southeast Asia, Mr. Hu Zhengyue, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, will hold a briefing here at 3:30pm on Thursday. As far as I am concerned, Premier Wen's visits will last from April 22 to 25. He will have talks with Sultan Haji Hassanal and meet with royal members of Brunei, talk and meet with President Susilo and other leaders in Indonesia, hold talks with Prime Minister Thein Sein and meet with Chairman Than Shwe and other leaders in Myanmar. Premier Wen will also join leaders of Indonesia and Myanmar to attend celebrating activities for the 60th anniversaries of the establishment of diplomatic ties and have extensive contact with people from all circles of the three countries.
On the Myanmar election, as a friendly neighbor, China hopes to see all its relevant parties achieve national reconciliation through consultation and gradually realize stability, democracy and development.
We hope Premier Wen's visits will deepen our traditional friendship with the three countries, strengthen all-round cooperation of mutual benefit and promote China's relations with the three countries and the ASEAN.
On the Iranian nuclear issue, China has actively participated in the international diplomatic efforts to solve the issue in a responsible manner. As a member of the P5 plus one mechanism, China has and will continue to join in discussing ways to solve the issue by diplomatic means and proposals of parties concerned.
Q: It is said that Israel plans to expel more than 70,000 Palestinians from the West Bank, which is condemned by Secretary General of the League of Arab States. How do you comment?
A: We haven't seen the news you just mentioned. China supports the efforts of the international community for the Middle East peace process and opposes any act that undermines the basis of the negotiation and mutual trust between Palestine and Israel. We hope Israel take concrete measures to resume peace talks.
Q: Nuclear terrorism will be discussed at the Nuclear Security Summit. Western media worry that nuclear technologies may fall into the hands of terrorists and Al Qaeda may carry out nuclear terrorism. Does China have such concerns?
A: How to tackle the threat of nuclear terrorism is one of the topics of the Nuclear Security Summit. Attaching great importance to nuclear security, China is active in shouldering international responsibilities and has taken effective measures in this regard. Strengthening nuclear security serves the common interests of all parties and China is willing to work with the international community in deepening cooperation and jointly confronting challenges.
Q: Japan called it a "dangerous maneuver" that a Chinese naval helicopter flew close to its waters. How does China respond?
A: I have just seen the report and am not aware of the details. But I've noticed that it is the high seas the report refers to.
Q: First question, there are views that the DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il's visit to China will be conducive to the resumption of the Six-Party Talks and ease the situation on the Korean Peninsula. But Kim Jong-Il has not visited China. What is China's view of the prospect of the Six-Party Talks and the situation on the Korean Peninsula? Secondly, given recent issues including the closing of the cross-border tour program of Mt. Kumgang, how does China comment on the current ROK-DPRK relations?
A: Recently, all parties concerned have been enhancing contact in a joint endeavor to explore how to resume the Six-Party Talks. We hope that all parties stay in contact and dialogue, show flexibility and make concerted efforts to create conditions for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks.
As a close neighbor and common friend to the DPRK and the ROK, China always believe that the two countries improving relations and promoting reconciliation and cooperation serves the common interests of all people on the peninsula and contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in the region. China will continue to support reconciliation and cooperation between the DPRK and the ROK.
Q: Chinese officials remarked that China and the US share similar positions on the Iranian nuclear issue. Has China's position on sanctions against Iran changed? What exactly is China's stance?
A: I have made clear our position on the issue which is consistent and unequivocal. We support the "dual track" strategy and stand for a proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation.
Q: How does China comment on the current China-US relations? Does China believe the bilateral relationship has improved after the meeting between the two heads of state?
A: We have released information on the meeting between the two heads of state. China and the US are both countries with major influence. The two countries share the same tasks and shoulder major responsibility in promoting peace, stability and development. A sound China-US relationship serves the common interests of both countries. Respecting each other's core interests and major concerns holds the key to sound and steady development of China-US relations. We hope that both countries view and steer China-US relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, step up dialogue, exchanges and cooperation, and properly handle the disputes and problems in bilateral relations with a view to pushing forward the sound and steady development of China-US relations in the new era.
Q: You mentioned China supports the "dual track" strategy, meaning diplomatic dialogue and sanctions, to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. Does it mean that China also support sanctions as part of the solution of the Iranian nuclear issue?
A: China has been playing a constructive role in resolving the Iranian nuclear issue. Being part of international diplomatic efforts to resolve the issue, we have actively promoted dialogue and peace talks among all parties concerned. As a member of the P5 plus one mechanism, China has and will continue to join the discussion on diplomatic solution of the Iranian nuclear issue and the proposals of parties concerned. We will continue to play a constructive role in seeking a solution of the issue through dialogue and negotiation.
Q: Russia said in a press conference earlier that it knew about the US and Israel's plan to bomb Iran. Is China also aware of the relevant plan? How does China comment?
A: I haven't heard of such news or any statement from the US side. We are of the view that the principle of mutual respect and treating each other as equals should be observed in handling state-to-state relations and that all parties concerned should take a rational, flexible and constructive approach to the Iranian nuclear issue.
Q: The Chinese ship Shen Neng 1 ran aground off the coast of Australia, causing damage to the environment of the Great Barrier Reef. What has China done to repair the damage? How does China comment?
A: As far as I know, competent Chinese and Australian authorities have been in close and effective communication to seek an early and proper settlement of the incident.
Q: The Japanese Defense Minister told reporters that several Chinese warships sailed on international waters near Japan for training but the intention of China was unclear. How does China comment?
A: As I said before, I have just heard of the news and I'm not aware of the situation. Please refer your question to the Chinese military authorities.
If there are no more questions, thank you!