On the afternoon of June 8, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have one announcement to start with.
At the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Vice President Boun-Gnang Volachit of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of the Commonwealth of Australia, Vice President Xi Jinping will pay official visits to the four countries from June 14 to 24.
Now, the floor is open.
Q: Japan's new Cabinet was officially set up today. What are your expectations? It is said that Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who had visited China for many times, highly values the sound development of China-Japan relations. How do you comment?
A: On the inauguration of the new Japanese Cabinet, Premier Wen Jiabao has sent a message of congratulations to Prime Minister Naoto Kan. We appreciate Prime Minister Naoto Kan's attaching great importance to relations with China and look forward to working with the Japanese side to promote China-Japan strategic relationship of mutual benefit. The pressing task at present is to implement the series of significant consensus reached by both sides during Premier Wen Jiabao's successful visit to Japan not long ago, thus pushing forward China-Japan relations towards the direction of enduring friendship, mutual benefit and common development.
Q: Two questions on the Cheonan incident. First, what is China's attitude towards the informal consultations within the UN Security Council? Does China support the Council to pass a resolution or a presidential statement condemning the DPRK? Second, the ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Chun Yung Woo is now visiting China, please brief us on his agenda and the topics of his talks with the Chinese side.
A: China's position on the Cheonan incident has been consistent. We call upon all parties to bear in mind the overall interests of peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, exercise calmness and restraint and properly handle relevant issues.
As far as I know, Mr. Chun Yung Woo comes for a visit at the invitation of the ROK Embassy in China. He is arriving today and will meet with officials of the Chinese Foreign Ministry today and tomorrow. The two sides will exchange views on international issues and regional situation of common interest. Pending his official activities, I have no more information to offer.
Q: Is Iranian President Ahmadinejad planning to visit China? If this is true, please brief us on his itinerary and arrangements.
A: Iranian President Ahmadinejad will come to China to attend relevant activities of the Iranian Pavilion Day at the Shanghai World Expo on June 11.
Q: According to Japanese media, Prime Minister Naoto Kan has cancelled his visit to China originally scheduled on June 12. Can you confirm?
A: We haven't received any formal notification from the Japanese side. I'll leave it to the Japanese side for authoritative information.
Q: It is reported that Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said something impolite at the Copenhagen Conference about China's actions. How do you respond?
A: I have no idea what happened on the spot. However, I am aware that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd always highly values bilateral relations with China, thus it is hard to believe such reports are true.
Q: Will President Ahmadinejad come to Beijing during his visit to China? Will he meet with Chinese leaders? He said today that Iran would stop negotiations with the P5+1 countries if further sanctions were to be imposed. How do you comment?
A: President Ahmadinejad is in China only for activities related to the Shanghai World Expo.
On your second question, China always sticks to the "dual-track" strategy on the Iranian nuclear issue. We believe dialogues and negotiations are the best way to resolve this issue. We hope relevant parties strengthen communication and cooperation with each other and Iran intensify its cooperation with the IAEA so as to resolve the pending issues. China calls upon and is ready to work with other parties to step up diplomatic efforts towards a proper settlement of this issue through dialogues and negotiations.
Q: First, will President Hu Jintao meet with President Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the SCO Summit? Second, some members of the UN Security Council said that they would push for the adoption of a new sanctions resolution against Iran this week. What's China's position? Third, please brief us on the itinerary of Vice President Xi Jinping's visit.
A: China is in consultation with parties concerned regarding President Hu Jintao's bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Tashkent and will keep you updated.
On your second question, as far as I know, consultations within the Security Council on the draft resolution of sanctions against Iran are still ongoing. China stays committed to the "dual-track strategy" and believes that negotiations and dialogues are the best solutions to the Iranian nuclear issue. As China has long stressed, discussion of the draft resolution in the Security Council doesn't mean the end of diplomatic efforts. China will continue to work with other parties to play its due role in the proper settlement of the issue.
On the itinerary of Vice President Xi Jinping's visit to the four countries, he will be in Bangladesh from June 14 to 15, in the Laos from 15 to 16, in New Zealand from 17 to 19 and in Australia from 19 to 24. This is the first time that a vice president of China visits Bangladesh, the Laos, New Zealand and Australia. We believe, with the joint efforts of all parties, this visit will be a complete success and will promote China's friendly and cooperative relations with these four countries.
Q: Recently, the Peace Jirga was held in Afghanistan. To what extent does China believe that a peace conference amidst gunfire can push forward the peace process in Afghanistan?
A: As a friendly neighbor of Afghanistan, China follows the situation there closely, supports the Afghan Government's national reconciliation policy and appreciates its efforts to realize domestic peace. We congratulate on the success of the Peace Jirga and believe that Afghanistan will achieve peace, stability and development under the joint efforts of the Afghan Government and people.
Q: The US and the ROK postponed their joint naval exercise originally scheduled this week. Some people speculate this was to accommodate China's concerns. How does China comment? What's China's position on the US-ROK plan to stage a joint exercise with nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in the Korean Peninsula region?
A: Given the current circumstances, China calls for calmness and restraint from all parties concerned to avoid further escalation of tension. China upholds and stays committed to peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula. We have been handling affairs related to the Korean Peninsula based on such a position, which is also our intent and purpose.
Q: These years have witnessed frequent changes of Japanese prime ministers. Does China think it will affect China-Japan relations?
A: The changes of Japanese Prime Minister and administration are Japan's internal affairs and China is not in a position to interfere. We hope to see the healthy, steady and continuous development of China-Japan relations, which is in the fundamental interests of both peoples and the region. China and Japan enjoy ever-closer exchanges and increasing common interests. As Premier Wen Jiabao said during his visit to Japan, the foundation of China-Japan friendship lies in the people. On the one hand, we should continue to cement our common interests and deepen political mutual trust. On the other hand, we should unswervingly deepen amity between the two peoples, which is the fundamental guarantee for the long-term and stable development of China-Japan relations. We are ready to work with Japan to this end.
Q: Please give us some details on the arrangements of Vice President Xi Jinping's visit to Australia.
A: During his visit, Vice President Xi Jinping will have talks with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and meetings with other leaders including the Governor General and the Speaker, exchanging views on bilateral ties and international and regional issues of common interest. Vice President Xi Jinping will also attend trade and economic and cultural activities and have extensive contact with people from various circles there. A series of cooperative documents are expected to be signed.
Q: President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to Kazakhstan shortly. Could you brief us on his schedule? And what specific agreements will be signed?
A: On the upcoming visit to Kazakhstan by President Hu Jintao, we've already released relevant information. Last Friday, Assistant Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping held an ad hoc briefing on that. I suggest you review the transcript.
This visit is an important one since Kazakhstan is a major neighbor and cooperative partner to China. Laying great store on developing strategic partnership with Kazakhstan, we hope to join hands with Kazakhstan to further deepen political mutual trust, promote friendly feelings between the two countries and expand mutually-beneficial cooperation. Towards that goal, President Hu Jintao will exchange views on bilateral and major international and regional issues of common interest with President Nazarbayev and other Kazak leaders during his visit. We believe this visit will be a success in elevating China-Kazakhstan good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation to a new height.
Q: According to ROK media, a shooting incident took place along the border between China and the DPRK and caused Chinese deaths. Please confirm. How do you comment?
A: On the early morning of June 4, residents of Dandong City, Liaoning Province, were shot by the DPRK border guards on suspicion of crossing the border for trade activities, leaving three dead and one injured. China attached great importance to the incident and lodged solemn representation to the DPRK side immediately.
At present, the case is under investigation and relevant information will be released by competent authorities in due course.
Q: Please confirm that Iranian President Ahmadinejad won't have any meetings with Chinese leaders during his visit to China and will only attend World Expo activities in unofficial capacity. Secondly, please brief us on Russian Foreign Minister's visit to China last week. Which topics were discussed?
A: On President Ahmadinejad's visit to China, he will only be present at activities related to the Shanghai World Expo. I haven't heard of his other arrangement.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov paid an official visit to China on June 4. President Hu Jintao met with him and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held talks with him. They exchanged views on China-Russia relations and major current international and regional issues. Please refer to relevant information already released.
Q: Is President Ahmadinejad at the invitation of the Chinese Government or at his own request?
A: President Ahmadinejad's presence at Iran's Pavilion Day activities during the Shanghai World Expo is arranged in line with relevant BIE rules and is no different from other foreign leaders' attendance at the Pavilion Day of their countries.
If there are no more questions, thanks for coming! See you!