On November 12, 2009, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Qin Gang:Good Afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have no announcements to make and I am ready to take your questions.
Q: Xinhua News Agency reported today that CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin is going to visit Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and other countries. Can you give us more details about his visit, such as which leaders he is going to meet and what agreements will be signed?
A: As you have mentioned, CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin is going to visit the above Latin American countries. At present, China is having good relations with these countries. We expect and believe that Chairman Jia's visit will further promote our bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation and the two sides will also exchange views on major international and regional issues of mutual interest. At the same time, Chairman Jia will also introduce to them about China's system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation to boost mutual understanding. As for what agreements will be signed, I will keep you updated.
Q: It's reported that the two sides are talking about ransom on the "De Xin Hai" issue. Phoenix TV reported today that the issue might be resolved within six weeks. Please confirm. What role does the Chinese Government play in the rescue efforts?
A: Relevant authorities of the Chinese Government have been making all-out rescue efforts. For the sake of the safety of the hostages and the success of the rescue efforts, please understand that I'd rather not disclose more details.
Q: Can you update us on the specifics of President Obama's visit to China? Will he give a speech to the college students in Beijing or have exchanges with them?
A: We have announced the date of President Obama's visit. He will meet and have talks with Chinese leaders and will also have the opportunity to interact with the Chinese public, youth in particular. He will also visit the famous historic and cultural sites in Shanghai and Beijing.
Q: As far as we know, President Obama will have interactions with college students in Shanghai. But the two sides are still having consultations about live broadcast. Can you tell me what issues they are consulting on?
A: President Obama is going to have interactions with youth in Shanghai. The two sides are still having communication and consultation on the specific arrangements about the activity.
Q: Will the interactions between President Obama and college students in Shanghai be on live TV broadcast? Second question, the Australian Foreign Ministry recently said that China has extended the investigation of the Rio Tinto case to another two months. Please confirm and explain why. Third question, Saudi Oil Minister is visiting China. Please update us about his visit. Which Chinese officials is he going to meet with?
A: I have answered your first question just now. The Chinese and U.S. sides are having communication and consultation about the specific arrangements of the activity.
The Rio Tinto case is handled by the Chinese judicial authorities according to law. Relevant authorities will cope with the case according to China's laws and the China-Australia Consular Agreement.
I have not heard about the Oil Minister's visit. The Foreign Ministry is not in charge of energy and I suggest that you refer to relevant authorities. If you want, I can ask for information for you after the press conference.
Q: The U.S. side once expressed that President Obama will meet with Dalai after his visit to China. Will the two sides discuss the issue during President Obama's visit?
A: We have stated on many occasions that China firmly opposes Dalai's international activities and foreign political figures' contact with him in any capacity or any form. Our position has been consistent and unequivocal.
I remember President Obama saying in a speech after taking office that he felt "a special gratitude" to President Lincoln because without Lincoln, he would not be able to become the first black president of America. He also said that President Lincoln played a unique role in upholding the country's national unity and territorial integrity.
Dalai was head of the feudal serfdom of Tibet and he is now engaged in activities aimed at splitting the motherland and sabotaging its territorial integrity. We hope President Obama will understand better and deeper than other foreign leaders China's position of upholding national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
President Obama, as a black president, certainly knows well the great significance of the U.S. Abolition Movement initiated by President Lincoln. The old Tibet in the reign of Dalai enforced dark serfdom and he was head of Tibetan serfdom. In 1959, China completely abolished serfdom, which was a great step forward in the human rights cause. Such a move is of the same nature as the abolition of slavery by President Lincoln in the U.S. President Obama should understand better the Chinese Government's position against Tibet independence and Dalai's separatist activities on the international stage.
What's more, I also hope that the U.S. side can listen to the voice of the Chinese public. I suggest that journalists present today log onto some Chinese websites which have designed questionnaires with questions such as how do you look at Dalai's international activities? How do you see the U.S. statement that President Obama is going to meet with Dalai? Over 90% of the interviewed Chinese public stated their firm opposition. The public opinion of the Chinese people cannot be neglected and bullied. We urge the U.S. side to face the public opinion of China squarely and respect China's territorial integrity and unity, which is our core interests and major concerns.
Q: The Foreign Affairs Office of the city of Kashgar told us that journalists are denied access to the city while tourists are not. Why?
A: Like what I have replied to your colleague last time, in China, there are laws and regulations about the report of foreign journalists and they also apply to the Kashgar district of Xinjiang. If your colleagues or you encounter difficulties or problems there, please report to the local authorities in charge of foreign journalists promptly or contact the Information Department of the Foreign Ministry. We will provide facilitation to your just and legitimate requests.
Q: A follow-up question about Dalai. If President Obama is going to meet with Dalai, will it gravely undermine China-US relations? What statement does China hope President Obama to make on the Tibet issue during his visit? Will President Hu Jintao quote President Obama's remarks about President Lincoln when they meet?
A: China firmly opposes President Obama or any other foreign leaders' meeting with Dalai. This position is firm and unequivocal. China-US relations are very important to both sides. We should cherish the good momentum and opportunities presented to the current China-US relations, respect each other, treat each other on an equal footing and respect each other's core interests and major concerns in particular. Tibet-related issues bear on China's core interests and major concerns and we hope the U.S. side can respect China's position on these issues, respect the sentiments of the Chinese people and respect China's public opinion by handling them properly to ensure the healthy and smooth development of China-US relations.
Q: President Obama is the first president of ethnic minority in the U.S. history. When will China have a president of ethnic minority as well?
A: President Obama's election is the internal affair of the U.S. and I am not in a position to comment. What I want to stress is that the Chinese people can also exercise the various political and democratic rights enshrined in the constitution.
Q: About going to Kashgar for report, do you mean that we can go ahead and you will help us?
A: I want to reiterate that we will facilitate if journalists go to Kashgar with legitimate and just report requests.
If there are no more question. Thank you for coming. See you next time!