On the afternoon of April 22, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have several announcements to make.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France will pay a state visit to China from April 28 to 30.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Emannel Mori of Micronesia will pay a state visit to China from April 28 to May 4.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Tsahiagiin Elbegdorj of Mongolia will pay a state visit to China from April 28 to May 3.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Abbas of the State of Palestine and the Palestinian National Authority will pay a state visit to China from April 30 to May 1.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov of Turkmenistan will pay a state visit to China from April 30 to May 2.
At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, President Barroso of the European Commission will pay an official visit to China from April 29 to May 1.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, President Treki of the 64th Session of the UN General Assembly will pay a visit to China from April 26 to May 2.
Now the floor is open.
Q: Former IOC President Samaranch passed away yesterday. Since he was very close to China and had supported the Beijing Olympic Games, how do you comment on his death?
A: Today, President Hu Jintao sent a message of condolences to President Rogge of the International Olympic Committee, expressing deep lament over the death of Mr. Samaranch, the IOC Honorary President for Life, and sincere solicitude to his family.
In the message, President Hu said that Mr. Samaranch was an extraordinary leader of the IOC. He devoted all his life to the reform and development of the modern Olympic Games and made unremitting efforts to advocate the Olympic spirit of solidarity, friendship and peace, moving the Games to new glories. His contribution has been highly praised by people all around the world.
Mr. Samaranch is an old friend and good friend of the Chinese people. We shall never forget his remarkable efforts to help China restore its legitimate seat at the IOC, expand exchanges and cooperation between the IOC and China and promote friendship and cooperation between China and Spain.
The Chinese Government will continue to support the Chinese sports community in strengthening its exchanges and cooperation with the IOC and sports communities of other countries with a view to building up mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese people and people from the rest of the world.
Q: Deputy Foreign Minister Borodavkin of Russia is visiting China and has had talks with Chinese officials. Please give us more details. Has the resumption of the Six-Party Talks been discussed? Has any progress been made on the issue?
A: Mr. Borodavkin, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia and head of Russian delegation to the Six-Party Talks is visiting China. He arrived in Beijing on April 20.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has met with him. Special Representative Wu Dawei of the Chinese Government on the Korean Peninsular Affairs has held talks with him. The two sides agree that to promote the Six-Party Talks is in the interest of all parties and conducive to peace, stability and enduring tranquility in Northeast Asia. Both sides pledged to work with other parties involved for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.
Deputy Foreign Minister Borodavkin also met with Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue, Assistant Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping and Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhengmin. They exchanged views on such issues as China-Russia relations and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
Q: Please brief us on French President Sarkozy's visit to China. What will be discussed during his visit? How do you comment on the current China-France relations considering your discord in the past?
A: President Sarkozy will start his visit from April 28 in Xi'an. He will be in Beijing from April 28 to 29 and attend the opening ceremony of Shanghai Expo on April 30. During his visit, President Hu Jintao, Chairman Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao will meet and talk with him. The two sides will have an extensive and in-depth exchange of views on further development of China-France comprehensive strategic partnership as well as international and regional issues of common interest.
At present, the China-France relations have staged a sound momentum of development. The two sides keep frequent exchanges at high level and other levels with active cooperation in various fields. This year, the bilateral relations face significant development opportunities. We are willing to work with France and continue to build up political mutual trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields and strengthen communication and coordination on major international and regional issues so as to promote sound and stable development of bilateral relations.
Q: The Summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is to be held shortly. Since China is an observer of SAARC, which Chinese official will be sent to the Summit?
A: The 16th SAARC Summit will be held from April 28 to 29 in Bhutan.
China attaches great importance to developing friendly relations of cooperation with SAARC. Vice Foreign Minister Wang Guangya will lead the Chinese delegation to the Summit. As the most important regional organization of cooperation in South Asia,SAARC has played an active role in promoting cooperation among its members as well as regional economic and social development. China wishes the Summit a complete success and expects to see SAARC achieve new progress, thus making more contribution to the peace, stability and development of South Asia and the world.
Since China became an observer of SAARC in 2005, constant progress has been made in the cooperation between China and SAARC. China will continue to have equal dialogues and pragmatic cooperation with SAARC in the spirit of mutual benefit, cooperation and win-win outcome so as to play a constructive part in promoting regional peace, stability and prosperity.
Q: According to a diplomat to the United Nations, China proposed changes to the draft resolution elements that would soften sanctions on Iran. What are China's major concerns?
A: As a member of the P5 plus one mechanism, China has participated in the discussions on diplomatic resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue and relevant US proposal in a constructive manner and has given its views. China's goal is to uphold the international non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in the Middle East. We hope that relevant actions can promote the proper settlement of the Iranian issue through dialogue and negotiation.
Q: I have two questions. First, is China concerned about the upcoming British election? Have you made any contact with the Liberal Democratic Party which may play an important role in the new government for the first time? Second, the ROK media reported that the ROK military believed the ship Cheonan was hit by a torpedo launched by a DPRK submarine. Has China expressed concern over it?
A: The general election is Britain's internal affair and we are not in a position to comment.
At present, China-UK relations have been in a good shape. China is committed to China-UK comprehensive strategic partnership. As permanent members to the UN Security Council and members of G20, China and the UK share common interest on many major international and regional issues. We are ready to strengthen bilateral relations as well as communication and coordination in the multilateral arena with the UK to jointly address global challenges.
On the Cheonan ship, we have noted that the ROK plans to conduct a scientific and objective investigation and believe the issue will be properly handled.
It's the consistent position of the Chinese Government to realize denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, oppose nuclear proliferation and maintain peace and stability in Northeast Asia. At present, we hope relevant parties can make joint efforts to stay in communication, strengthen dialogue and meet each other half way.
Q: Many foreign leaders are going to visit China during the opening ceremony of the World Expo. Will the DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il also come to China?
A: Preparations for the World Expo have been well underway and final touches are being made. Some foreign political figures scheduled to visit China or take part in Expo events will attend the opening ceremony and we will keep you updated.
At present, 192 countries and 50 international organizations have confirmed participation in the Expo. We warmly welcome leaders and people from all countries to the Expo and hope they see more of China in their trips. We look forward to the wonderful display of all parties and are ready to work with them for a successful, splendid and unforgettable World Expo.
Q: I want to confirm whether there will be any DPRK leader among the foreign leaders attending the opening ceremony of the Expo.
A: Leaders of some countries have expressed wish to attend the opening ceremony and relevant arrangements are underway. The arrangements will be made public in due course.
Q: Yesterday, the Japanese Government released the information that a Chinese ship-based helicopter flew close to the Japanese warship in the midst of training. The Japanese Government has expressed concern. How does China comment?
A: The spokesperson of the Defense Ministry already responded to relevant questions of the media a few days ago. The Chinese navy held annual regular training in the international waters recently. If you want more details, please refer to the Defense Ministry.
If there are no more questions, thank you for coming.
After the press briefing, a journalist asked about European Commission President Barroso's visit to China and China's comment on current China-EU relations.
Jiang Yu stated that from April 29 to May 1, President Barroso of the European Commission, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Ashton and six EU Commissioners in charge of economic and monetary affairs, currency, trade, climate change, energy, digital agenda, cultural and youth affairs will visit China. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao will meet and have talks with them respectively. The two sides will exchange views on China-EU relations, climate change, financial crisis and other issues of common interests. President Barroso will also attend the opening ceremony and relevant activities of the Shanghai World Expo.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Europe. At present, China-EU relations have maintained good momentum of development as evidenced by frequent high-level visits, productive dialogue at various levels and close communication and coordination in major international and regional affairs. China highly values this visit and is ready to work closely with the EU to ensure the success of it with the view to strengthening China-EU political mutual trust, deepening practical cooperation and moving forward China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership under the new historic circumstances.