On the afternoon of May 26, 2009, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Ma Zhaoxu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the press conference. I have several announcements to start with.
At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia will pay an official visit to China from June 2 to 5.
Prime Minister Najib's visit coincides with the 35th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Malaysia. China attaches great importance to this visit, which is also Prime Minister Najib's first visit to China since he took office in April. During his visit, President Hu Jintao will meet with him. Premier Wen Jiabao will host a welcoming ceremony in his honor and hold talks with him. They will have in-depth exchange of views on how to deepen bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest. Agreements of cooperation will be signed. There will also be anniversary celebrations.
At present, China-Malaysia relations enjoy a sound development momentum. This visit is expected to further bolster the two countries' friendship, deepen strategic cooperation and bring the bilateral relations to a new height.
At the invitation of Premier Wang Qishan, Special Representative of President Hu Jintao, US Treasury Secretary Geithner, Special Representative of US President Obama will visit China from May 31 to June 2. The two sides will exchange views on the current world financial and economic situation, efforts to strengthen the two countries' cooperation in addressing financial crisis and preparation for the first round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue, among other issues of common interest.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Costa of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste will pay an official visit to China from June 3 to 8.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Tsekoa of the Kingdom of Lesotho will pay an official visit to China from June 3 to 9.
Now, the floor is open for questions.
Q: Mr. Gration, the US Special Envoy to Sudan is visiting China. Please brief us on his visit.
A: At the invitation of Ambassador Liu Guijin, the Chinese Government's Special Representative on the Darfur Issue, Mr. Gration, the newly appointed Special Envoy of the US President to Sudan visited China on May 25. During the visit, Special Envoy Gration met with Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jieyi and Special Representative Liu Guijin. They exchanged views on the Darfur issue and implementation of North-South peace agreement in Sudan. The two sides agreed to maintain communication and contact on the Sudan issue and jointly work for the proper settlement of relevant issue.
Q: We all have seen China's condemnation of the DPRK nuclear test. What proposals will China bring forth to resume relevant talks and nuclear disarmament?
A: According to the Korean Central News Agency, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea announced that it conducted the second nuclear test on 25 May. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China hereby makes the following statement regarding this matter:
On 25 May 2009, the DPRK conducted another nuclear test in disregard of the common opposition of the international community. The Chinese Government is firmly opposed to this act.
To bring about denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, oppose nuclear proliferation and safeguard peace and stability in Northeast Asia is the firm and consistent stand of the Chinese Government. China strongly urges the DPRK to honor its commitment to denuclearization, stop relevant moves that may further worsen the situation and return to the Six-Party Talks.
To safeguard peace and stability in Northeast Asia serves the common interests of all parties involved. The Chinese Government calls on all parties concerned to respond in a cool-headed and appropriate manner and persist in seeking a peaceful solution through consultation and dialogue. China will continue to make every effort towards this goal.
As requested by Security Council members, the Council chair has arranged an emergency meeting on the DPRK nuclear test. The chair released a verbal statement, expressing the common position of all parties. China will continue to work together with other parties and make unremitting efforts to achieve denuclearization on the Peninsula and safeguard regional peace and stability.
Q: You said China is taking an active part in the consultations within the Security Council. Will China support a strong Security Council resolution with sanctions? Besides, the DPRK had announced to pull out of the Six-Party Talks, is China confident to resume the Talks or does China agree that the Talks has been dead?
A: China believes that under whatever circumstances, the objectives of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and peace and stability in Northeast Asia should be upheld. We call upon parties involved to respond in a cool-headed and appropriate manner so as to pursue a peaceful solution through consultation and dialogue. The moves taken by the Security Council should contribute to that goal.
As to the Six-Party Talks, China strongly urges the DPRK to honor its commitment to denuclearization, stop relevant steps that might lead to further deterioration of the situation and return to the track of the Talks. China will work with other parties and spare no effort to achieve denuclearization on the Peninsula and safeguard peace and stability of the region.
Q: As to my understanding, the ASEM Foreign Ministers Meeting in Hanoi will issue a statement calling on Myanmar to release Aung San Suu Kyi and other opposition activists and China is supportive of that. Does that mean China has changed its position of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs?
A: China always follows the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs. This position has stayed and will remain unchanged. China's stand over the Myanmar issue is consistent and clear. The trial of Aung San Suu Kyi involves the internal judicial procedures of Myanmar, whose judicial sovereignty and independence should be respected.
Q: Still on the DPRK. China's statement is tougher than ever. It is said that China had worked on the DPRK before its test, yet the latter was bent on its way. Will China adopt any economic sanctions against the DPRK?
A: Realizing denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, opposing nuclear proliferation and safeguarding peace and stability in Northeast Asia is the persistent stand of the Chinese Government, which also serves the common interests of all parties.
Q: Some ROK press reported that China had been pre-notified before the test. Is that true? If so, when was China notified?
A: China maintains communication with all parties including the DPRK.
Q: I have two questions. Firstly, the Pakistani Government has recently appealed to the international community for urgent humanitarian assistance to settle its displaced civilians. Will China lend a hand? Secondly, Madhav Kumar Nepal, senior leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist Party) was sworn in as Nepal's Prime Minister on May 25. Do you have any comment?
A: As a friendly neighbor of Pakistan, China has been following the situation in the country and understands that Pakistan is facing difficulties in settling its displaced civilians.
As a token of friendship of the Chinese people towards the Pakistani people, China has decided to offer RMB 30 million-yuan-worth of material assistance on top of the one million US dollars in cash as urgent humanitarian aid. The first 90 tons of materials will be shipped to Pakistan from Beijing on May 27, mainly including water purifiers, power generators and medicine. We hope these materials will help Pakistan address the current challenges and safeguard social stability.
On your second question, China congratulates Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal on his election as Nepalese Prime Minister. Primer Wen Jiabao has sent him a congratulatory message. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to China-Nepal relations and stands ready to work with Nepal to foster our partnership of good neighborliness from generation to generation.
Q: We just got the news that the DPKR launched at least two short-range missiles. Do you have any comment? Does China regard that as another provocative act? Besides, a meeting of Chinese and ROK defense chiefs is being held in Beijing today, which will discuss the DPRK nuclear issue. Could you give us more details?
A: On your first question, I have taken note of the reports. As to the second question, I suggest you refer to the Ministry of National Defense.
Q: We all know China and the DPRK are very close, close enough to be described as "lips and teeth". China does not really condemn the DPRK's two nuclear tests and the previous rocket launch. What actions of the DPRK will infuriate China to change the relations? Does China support whatever things the DPRK does?
A: China has voiced its solemn position over the DPRK nuclear test. China's policy and position on the DPRK is known to all.
Q: The year 2009 marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the PRC as well as a milestone in China-DPRK relations. Will China invite the DPRK leaders to the celebration on October 1? Secondly, you said China's position on a nuclear-weapon free Peninsula is consistent. For a guest that constantly defies China's position and makes provocative moves, will you continue to invite them to the celebration ceremony?
A: The question you just raised is hypothetical. The preparation for the celebration of the 60th anniversary is underway. As to China-DPRK relations, I just made our position clear.
Q: The international community, including China, have condemned the DPRK's nuclear test. Under such circumstances, what will be the priority of China's diplomatic efforts?
A: China's position on the DPRK nuclear test is quite clear. We believe that peace and stability of Northeast Asia serves the common interests of all parties. We call on relevant parties to respond in a cool-headed and appropriate manner and persist in seeking a peaceful solution through consultation and dialogue. China will continue to make every effort in this regard and hope relevant parties make their due contribution as well.
Q: Despite the close ties between China and the DPRK, the nuclear test by the DPRK seems to indicate that China's influence on the DPRK is not heavy enough. How is the communication China had with the DPRK on the nuclear test going? Is the DPRK listening to you?
A: It is not China's policy to influence any country. China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and develops friendly relations with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. That's how we handle our relations with any other country around the world.
Q: You just mentioned that China is keeping contact with other parties. Did China contact the DPRK or any other party after the nuclear test?
A: China has made its position clear to the DPRK directly after its second nuclear test and kept contact with other relevant parties.
Q: The ROK Government issued a statement this morning, declaring its comprehensive participation into the PSI. How do you comment on that?
A: China has noted the report. The current security situation in Northeast Asia is complicated and fluctuating. Relevant parties should contribute to peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, which serves the fundamental interests of all.
Q: Will China send special envoys to the DPRK in the near future? What high-level exchanges have you had recently? The second question, given the provocative actions of the DPRK, how to realize denuclearization of the Peninsula?
A: On your first question, I'm not aware of relevant information.
On your second question, China unswervingly adheres to the goal of denuclearization of the Peninsula, opposes nuclear non-proliferation and safeguards peace and stability in Northeast Asia. Our stand is consistent and remains unchanged.
If there are no more questions, I would like to remind you that our press conference on May 28, which happens to be the Dragon Boat Festival, will be cancelled. Wish you all a pleasant holiday. Thank you!