|Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan's Press Conference on 2 June 2005|
On the afternoon of June 2nd, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan held a regular press conference.
Kong: Good afternoon, everyone! Let me begin with two announcements.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President of the Republic of Turkey Ahmet Necdet Sezer will pay a state visit to China from June 12 to 15.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Kenya Chirau Ali Mwakwere will pay a working visit to China from June 8 to 12.
Now I would like to take up your questions.
Q: With regard to the case of Ching Cheong, there are reports saying the overseas intelligence agency referred by the Foreign Ministry might be a Taiwan intelligence agency. Please confirm that. Are there any other people arrested in Ching Cheong's case?
A: With regard to the case of Ching Cheong, I don't have more information for you. As far as I know, Hong Kong resident Ching Cheong has been gathering intelligence in China's mainland under the order and direction of overseas intelligence agency. I don't know if there are any other people involved as you mentioned. But I want to stress that China deal with all the cases of its kind in accordance with law.
Q: It is said that the Chinese ambassador to the UN indicated China will block the adoption of a draft on the reform of the UN Security Council. Is it because China is not willing to see Japan to become a permanent member of the Security Council, or China is concerned about other countries which are trying to become permanent members, like Brazil, India or Germany? If the new permanent members are not given the power of veto, will China agree to increase the number of the permanent members of Security Council?
A: All your questions are linked to the reform of the UN Security Council. Actually, the reform of the Security Council is just part of the reform of the UN, which has attracted much attention and deliberation among the international community. Both the reports of the panel of eminent persons and the comprehensive report of the UN Secretary General Annan treated it as a part of the UN reform, rather than the whole reform. Some countries put too much emphasis on the reform of the Security Council. Therefore the reforms of other aspects of the UN are left with little attention and insufficient discussion. We are concerned about the situation.
As to the specific question you raised, we maintain that the reform of the Security Council is of great importance and bears on the immediate interests of all parties. Under such circumstances, we should adhere to the principle of consultation and consensus and continue to take thorough, democratic and transparent discussions, so as to seek the convergent point of interests and a plan of compromise. It is exactly from this perspective that we are opposed to forcing a vote on any resolutions that may undermine the solidarity of the member countries and the process of the reform.
As to the specific countries and questions you mentioned, including the power of veto, China certainly have its own view. However, we put more emphasis on conducting thorough discussion and democratic consultation among all UN member countries so as to reach the broadest possible consensus on these issues. Only this will be truly helpful to the reform of the UN. Only this will be conducive to upholding the efficient and authoritative role of the UN in international affairs. And only this will benefit the solidarity among the member states in their large numbers.
Q: On the issue of the reform of the UN Security Council, does China support the enlargement of the permanent member seats?
A: Under the current situation, the reform of the Security Council needs to follow some basic principles. To the Chinese side, these principles are equally important. First, every reform plan should be conducive to enhancing the authority and efficiency of the Security Council. Secondly, all these plans should give priority to better representation of developing countries. Thirdly, they should help bring about more opportunities for the large number of the small and medium-sized countries to participate in the decision-making process of the Security Council. Fourthly, as we stressed repeatedly, the plans should take account of geographical balance and the representation of different civilizations and cultures. There are various opinions toward the reform of the Security Council. The key is to conduct thorough democratic consultations and reach the broadest possible consensus. It is exactly out of this spirit that China is maintaining close contacts with all parties, conducting thorough discussions and exchanging views.
Q: Please brief on the itinerary of the visit of US Secretary of Commerce and the issues to be discussed. Second, why hasn't China up to now sent any delegation to Europe to discuss the textile issue?
A: This question should be raised to Mr. Chong Quan, my colleague at the Ministry of Commerce. The US Secretary of Commerce arrived in Beijing today, and we set high store by his visit. He will have an in-depth exchange of views with Minister Bo Xilai on China-US trade and economic relations. We expect the meeting between the two ministers in charge will enhance our mutual understanding, narrow differences and help resolve, or gradually resolve the problems and frictions arising in the rapid development of the mutually beneficial trade and economic relations between us.
Q: The foreign ministers of China, Russia and India will hold a meeting today. Will the three countries enter into a permanent alliance? How does China view the impact of relations between the three countries on other Asian countries and the cooperation between China and the rest of the world?
A: The foreign ministers of China, Russia and India will start their meeting this afternoon in Vladivostok, a Far East city in Russia. The tripartite cooperation between us is mutually beneficial and all-win, instead of targeting any third party. We believe to further strengthen the communication and understanding between our three countries and promote our cooperation at the tripartite and international level conform to our common wishes and our shared interest in politics, economy, security and other fields. It will also help maintain the peace and stability in the region and world. We hope the meeting of three foreign ministers will make our tripartite cooperative relations closer and more fruitful.
Q: Before embarking on his visit to China, US Secretary of Commerce Gutierrez said he hoped China to revaluate RMB. Canadian Central Bank voiced the same requirement. How will China respond to the external pressure?
A: This question does go beyond my portfolio. If you insist on your question, what I will do is to repeat Premier Wen Jiabao's recent remarks on RMB exchange rate and relevant questions during his meeting with US Chamber of Commerce. I believe you are clear about Premier Wen's remarks, and therefore I won't repeat here.
Follow-up: Who will China send to the G-8 meeting in London this year?
A: Current G-8 chair Britain expects China to attend the dialogue meeting. The Chinese side is considering the proposal seriously and positively. Once there is a decision, I will inform you promptly. We attach importance to this form of dialogue and agree that the G-8 is playing an important role in today's international affairs. In recent years, it expressed its hope to advance its relations with China. China and G-8 have dialogues and contacts at different levels, which we believe are beneficial to both our two sides.
Q: Before his visit to China, U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez told the US Chamber of Commerce that if China did not take concrete measures to put stricter restrictions on its textile export, the US congress will further strengthen restrictions to the import of Chinese textile. What comment does China have? Can you brief on the development of the case of Zhaoyan, a New York Times journalist? It is reported that he is accused of fraudulence in addition. Does China's arrest of journalists indicate its stronger control and restriction on foreign media?
A: We hold a positive attitude towards developing mutually-beneficial trade and economic relations with all countries over the world. Specifically talking about US, China and US enjoy a rapid development in their trade and economic relations, which is an outcome based on mutual benefits and win-win. Things which only benefit one side can't develop so fast. Regarding problems, frictions and conflicts during the development, we always uphold a proper solution through equal and friendly consultations on the basis of mutual benefit. We believe a proper solution can be achieved through joint efforts of the two sides. We oppose to any arbitrary use of restrictive measures. As to specific issues, I advise you to inquire the Ministry of Commerce for more information. Particularly after the meeting between commerce ministers of the two countries, the two sides will have an opportunity to give an all-round introduction of their respective views and proposition.
Regarding latest development of Zhaoyan's case, as far as I know, accused of fraudulence and illegally offering state secrets to overseas agencies, Chinese citizen Zhaoyan was transferred to the Second Branch of People's Procuratorate of Beijing on May 20th for investigation and prosecution. The Procuratorate organs are dealing with the case according to law.
In my opinion, the perspective of your third question is one-sided and partial. I think when you explicate the prosecution of the journalist with governmental restrictions or control over journalists, you forget two facts: first, journalists should abide by professional ethics and laws and regulations as well; secondly, when journalists violate laws and regulations, they should also be subject to law. They can't evade legal punishment or enjoy privileges simply due to their profession. Right now over 480 foreign journalists of 270 foreign news agencies from 45 countries are stationed in China. Besides resident journalists, 4000 to 5000 journalists come to China every year for interview. Foreign journalists' rights of interview according to law are fully respected. They can conduct interview and reporting activities as they expect. I welcome these journalists to conduct complete interviews in China according to law and give the world an all-round introduction of China, although not all these reports are positive. Above all, we have fully guaranteed journalists' rights to report according to law.
Q: US State Secretary Rice made a telephone conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing. Did they talk about the informal meeting among foreign ministers of China, Russia and India today?
A: During the telephone conversation between Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and State Secretary Rice, the two sides exchanged views on bilateral relations. As far as I know, the main context of their conversation includes that the two sides should make further efforts and good preparation for exchange of visits between heads of the two countries this year. Meanwhile they exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest. I have no more details to share with you.
Q: Recently some reports say that China has already or will put restrictions on its energy assistances to the DPRK. Can you confirm the news? What efforts has China to promote the Six-Party Talks and what progress has been made?
A: I haven't seen the the report you mentioned. China and the DPRK have a good bilateral relationship. When the DPRK encountered difficulties, we offered assistances within our capacity at the DPRK's request.
Your second question is very important. Right now the Six-Party Talks is facing some difficulties. Under such circumstances, the Chinese side never gives up, we have always been maintaining close contact and consultations with all parties, passing messages and encouraging major parties concerned to further release good will and make more efforts to enhance mutual understanding and trust, so as to create conditions for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks at an early date. Of course, it is not enough simply relying on China only. We hope all other parties of the Six-Party Talks can make joint efforts with the Chinese side.
If there are no questions, let's call it a day!