On October 29, 2009, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Ma Zhaoxu: Good Afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. First of all, I'd like to welcome the high-level civil servants delegation from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and students of the Hong Kong Youth Leadership Training Program. I'd also like to extend my welcome to the junior diplomats delegation from the Republic of Korea present today.
I have no announcements to make. Now, the floor is open.
Q: The Taiwan Authorities claim that the U.S. will suspend sales of fighter planes to Taiwan due to pressure from China. Has China ever exchanged views on the matter with the U.S.? My second question is that President Hu met with a senior official from the DPRK yesterday. Did he mention the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue and once again urge the DPRK to return to the Six-party Talks?
A: On the first question, the Chinese Government's position on arms sales to Taiwan is clear-cut and consistent. We are firmly opposed to arms sales to Taiwan by the U.S. or any other countries or regions. The position remains unchanged.
On your second question, yesterday President Hu met with a delegation from the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) headed by Choe Thae Bok, Secretary of the Party's Central Committee. The WPK delegation is received by the International Department of the CPC Central Committee which I suggest you refer to for the specifics. Information on the meeting yesterday has already been released. I hope you can follow up.
Q: According to our report, China is about to carry out trade investigation on the unfair subsidies of the U.S. government to its auto manufacturing enterprises. Are you informed of the relevant situation? Can you provide more details?
A: If you raised the question to me or my office before the press conference, we would inquire of the Ministry of Commerce on your behalf. I suggest you refer to the competent authorities for the specifics.
Q: It is reported that the British citizen Akmal Shaikh who was sentenced to death filed an appeal to the court in Xinjiang, but the appeal was rejected. Please confirm that.
A: I have already given you information available on the case in previous press conferences. Here, I want to reiterate that it is a judicial case. The judicial authorities of China are handling it according to law. As the case is under trial, I hope you wait for the verdict with patience.
Followup: However, the case is still pending. I repeatedly raised the question in the press conference because the issue has attracted wide international attention. Nevertheless, relevant authorities in Xinjiang failed to provide related information on the case.
A: I understand your interest in the case, and you are not the only one since many friends from the media are also interested in it. However, I still wish to stress that China is a country ruled by law. The judicial authorities of China handle cases in accordance with law and brook no interference from anyone. I hope you respect China's judicial sovereignty and wait for the verdict of the court.
Q: Some American and Canadian media reported that the Canadian Prime Minister Harper will pay a visit to China from December 2 to December 6. Please confirm it. If so, can you introduce relevant details?
A: We welcome Prime Minister Harper to visit China in early December. At present, both sides are preparing for the visit. We will release relevant information in due course.
Q: I have two questions. First, how are things progressing with the "De Xin Hai" ship? Second, what is the present situation of the Chinese Embassy in the wake of the explosion in Iraq?
A: About the "De Xin Hai" ship, I have nothing new to add. The rescue efforts are underway.
On the suicide bombing in Baghdad, we are deeply shocked by another serious terrorist attack in Baghdad. China stands firmly against terrorism of all forms and hopes that the Iraqi Government and people will overcome difficulties and achieve national security, stability and development at an early date.
The attack heavily damaged the doors and windows of the Chinese Embassy in Iraq, and injured two Chinese citizens working in Al Mansour Hotel, where the Chinese Embassy is located. We have already asked the Chinese Embassy, Chinese institutions and local Chinese citizens in Iraq to increase awareness and intensify security measures. Chinese leaders and leading officials of the Foreign Ministry have also expressed their solicitude to our embassy staff in Iraq. The embassy is now further stepping up its security measures according to ministry instructions.
Q: Now the issue of Influenza A has become prominent in both China and Russia. It is reported that there have been three deaths of Influenza A in the Far East region of Russia. Does the Chinese government plan to restrict people-to-people exchanges in China-Russia border area, or take other measures?
A: According to health authorities, the Chinese Government constantly adjusts and improves prevention and control measures according to the development of the epidemic and changes in the prevention and control situation to meet the demand. Major adjustments have been made to port prevention and control measures since the early period of the epidemic. On the premise of prevention and control by law, more flexible and scientific measures have been taken for patients and close contacts, such as the canceling of temperature-taking on vehicles and collective medical observation for close contacts.
I can inform you that the Ministry of Health will hold an on-line interview on the Influenza A issue this afternoon, which you may follow.
Q: A question on the Somalia issue. The Prime Minister of Somalia expressed by media the hope to eliminate pirate activities in two years. Does China plan to help Somalia to realize that goal?
A: I haven't seen the statement of the relevant Somali official you have quoted. But I can point out that China maintains normal and friendly relations with Somalia.
Q: Public Security authorities announced yesterday they had rescued more than 2000 abducted children. Do you think the child abduction problem is caused by the one-child policy? What extra measures will China take to fight against child abduction?
A: China's family planning policy is beyond reproach. The policy not only contributes to the development of the country, but the improvement of people's livelihood.
Q: Yesterday the Prime Minister of the Somali Caretaker Government stated in an interview with Phoenix TV that the Chinese Government attempts to solve the hijacking issue by paying ransom or other ways with the help of the Somali Government. Please confirm that.
A: I can't confirm your information.
Q: Still on the Akmal case. His family urges China to have independent assessment on his mental situation, and consider the assessment results in the measurement of penalty. What is your comment?
A: I have answered the question at previous press conferences. Please refer carefully and I have no more to share with you.
Q: A serious explosion occurred in Pakistan yesterday. The police said more than 100 people died in the explosion. My country has made great sacrifice to maintain the peace and stability of the world. What do you think?
A: We are shocked by the serious terrorist attack in Peshawar and the heavy casualties. We condemn this attack and express deep condolences to the victims and sincere solicitude to their families and the injured. China is against all forms of terrorism. China and Pakistan are friendly neighbors and enjoy all-weather friendship. We will continue to firmly support the unremitting efforts of the Pakistan Government and the people to safeguard national stability.
Q: Follow up on the Akmal case. You just said we should wait for the outcome of the trial. Does that mean the case is still in trial and his appeal hasn't been rejected?
A: I understand your concern over that case, but I think only the judicial authorities can answer your question, if they will.
If there are no more questions, thanks for coming!