On the afternoon of July 13, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have an announcement to start with.
At the invitation of the governments of Ethiopia, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, State Councillor Dai Bingguo will pay official visits to the five countries from July 20 to 27.
With that, I'd like to answer your questions.
Q: I have two questions. After the UN Security Council released the presidential statement, China called for a turnover of the page of the Cheonan incident and an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks. Do you have any specific plan or arrangement? For instance, will some Chinese officials visit the DPRK? Secondly, media reports said that the ROK and the US are considering moving their joint naval exercise to the eastern or southern coasts of the Korean Peninsula because of China's firm opposition. Do you have any comment?
A: China always holds that the Six-Party Talks is the realistic and effective way to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as well as lasting peace and tranquility of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia as a whole. China is willing to join hands with other parties to promote an early resumption of the Talks and press ahead with that on what we have already achieved.
For the joint military exercise to be carried out by the US and the ROK, I made our position clear last week and the position is unequivocal.
Q: On Argentine President's visit, is there any progress in the disputes over the import of Argentine soyoil between the two countries? I heard that President Cristina was eager to resolve this issue during her visit.
A: Argentina is a major cooperative partner of China in Latin America. Over the past years, with the development of bilateral ties, trade and economic cooperation have seen great progress. The issue of soyoil imports to China is just a normal problem during the process of trade development. I believe that as long as both sides follow the spirit of mutual benefit and win-win outcome, a proper resolution can be found through friendly consultations.
Q: Still on the ROK-US exercise. According to the ROK media, the exercise may be moved to the eastern coast of the Peninsula, which means farther away from China's coastal areas. If they really do that, will this allay China's concerns?
A: I cannot verify the information you just mentioned. Our position on this issue is very clear and we will keep an close eye on the developments.
Q: The United Nations Command said that the DPRK postponed the talks over the Cheonan incident scheduled to take place today. Since China has called upon parties to come back to the negotiating table, what's China attitude towards the DPRK's move? Do you think it is a wise step to take?
A: The just-adopted presidential statement of the UN Security Council encourages and supports relevant parties to resolve issues through peaceful means including dialogue, and also encourages the DPRK and the ROK to conduct direct dialogue and negotiations. We hope parties concerned can enhance mutual trust, bridge differences and improve relations through dialogue and contact, thus contributing to peace and stability of the Peninsula.
Q: Recently, there are lots of reports on China's core interests in the Yellow Sea. Could you outline China's core interests? And in what way will the US-ROK joint naval exercise compromise China's core interests?
A: China's core interests refer to national sovereignty, security, territorial integrity and development interests.
On your second question, I'd like to reiterate that under the current circumstances, we hope all parties take the opportunity of the UN Security Council's adoption of the presidential statement so as to push forward dialogue and negotiations. The Korean Peninsula issue could only be resolved through peaceful means including dialogue and negotiations. Recriminations or even resort to military forces could never fundamentally settle the issue. We urge relevant parties to do things to ease rather than escalate the tensions in the region, and to safeguard rather than undermine the security interests of regional countries. We call upon parties to make concerted efforts to promote dialogue and negotiations with an aim to safeguarding peace and stability of the Peninsula and achieving denuclearization of the Peninsula as well as long-lasting peace in Northeast Asia.
Follow-up: I just want to clarify if you were saying that since the exact date of the exercise has not been decided, China is calling upon the ROK and the US to scrap the plan?
A: I've expounded on China's position over that repeatedly that we have expressed grave concern to relevant sides.
Q: Pakistani President Zardari paid a visit to China recently and held talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao. How do you evaluate this visit? What achievements have been made?
A: At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Zardari of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan paid a working visit to China from July 6 to 10. President Hu Jintao held talks with him, Premier Wen Jiabao and CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin met with him respectively. The two sides exchanged in-depth views on further developing China-Pakistan strategic partnership of cooperation as well as international and regional issues of common interest and reached broad consensus. They agreed that leaders of the two countries keep constant meeting and contact, two sides deepen economic and trade cooperation, expand people-to-people exchanges, conduct closer counter-terrorism cooperation and strengthen coordination and cooperation in international and regional organizations and multilateral forums. The two sides signed the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Governments of China and Pakistan as well as cooperative documents in agriculture, public health, justice, media and etc.
President Zardari's visit has consolidated and deepened the traditional friendship and enhanced friendly exchanges and pragmatic cooperation in various fields between China and Pakistan, thus making it a success.
Q: The Democratic Party of Japan showed a poor performance in the upper house election. Do you have any comment?
A: The election of the upper house of Japanese Parliament is an internal affair of Japan and we are not in the right place to comment on that. We hope that China-Japan strategic relations of mutual benefit can move forward in a continuous and steady manner.
Q: Last weekend, Indian foreign secretary Rao met with the Dalai Lama. How do you comment? Has China communicated with India over this? Does China oppose any contact between the Indian Government and the Dalai Lama?
A: China has made its position clear to the Indian side. The Indian Government has expressed on many occasions that it recognizes the Tibet autonomous region as part of the territory of the People's Republic of China and does not allow exiled Tibetans carrying out anti-China political activities in India. China hopes that India abide by its commitment on Tibet-related issues and properly handle relevant issues.
If there are no more questions, thanks for coming! See you!