On the afternoon of January 5, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I will go straight to your questions.
Q: Will Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei continue to be the Chinese representative to the Six-Party Talks after stepping down? If Ambassador Cui Tiankai is going to be the Vice Foreign Minister, who will succeed him as Chinese Ambassador to Japan?
A: I know you are interested in the personnel changes of the Foreign Ministry. I will release information in due course after relevant arrangement is confirmed. I suggest that you follow our website closely.
Q: First question, will the cancellation of China-Australia natural gas contract affect bilateral relations? Second question, the British newspaper Guardian recently said that some economists believe that China’s rise is the main cause of the collapse of the world economy from 2007 to 2009. Whether the Chinese economy can successfully integrate into the world economy determines the fate of the world economy. How does China comment?
A: Your first question concerns the cooperation between the enterprises of the two countries and I am not aware of the specifics. However, the Chinese and Australian economies are highly complementary and it is in the common interest of both sides to strengthen mutually-beneficial trade and investment cooperation.
On your second question, the British newspaper Guardian recently said that some economists believe that China’s rise is the main cause of the collapse of the world economy from 2007 to 2009. What caused the international financial crisis is very clear. I don’t want to elaborate here, but I want to pose a question. In the past, when financial crisis hit Russia, Latin-American and East Asian countries, economists in the west asserted that it was those countries themselves to blame. But this time the financial crisis obviously originated in the US and European countries, they conveniently choose to attack others instead of asking themselves what they have done. I just don’t see their logic.
The above-mentioned report also said that whether the Chinese economy can successfully integrate into the world economy determines the fate of the world economy. I think from what ever perspective, the Chinese economy has deeply integrated into that of the world and has made important contribution to its development. As for the success of the world economy, it is not determined by a certain country, but it relies on the joint efforts of the international community. As a responsible member of the international community, the Chinese Government will continue to step up cooperation with other countries while maintaining steady yet relatively rapid economic growth to make our due contribution to the sustainable development of the world economy.
Q: The US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said that the US is discussing new sanctions against Iran with other parties. Can you brief us on the discussion with China?
A: We have taken note of the situation you mentioned. China believes that dialogue and negotiation is the correct way out for the Iranian nuclear issue and there is still room for diplomatic efforts. China hopes that all parties concerned will adopt more flexible and pragmatic policies and intensify diplomatic efforts for the early resumption of talks.
Q: First question, a US think tank released a report yesterday, claiming the deterioration of Sino-US relations will be the biggest political risk in 2010. What is your comment? Second question, could you share with us the specific itinerary of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's visit to Africa?
A: Sharing comprehensive common interest on major issues bearing on peace and development of mankind，China and the US should handle bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, respect each other's core interests and major concerns, strengthen dialogue, exchanges and cooperation and properly handle their differences.
I have taken note of the report suggesting that the China-US relations would face challenges on the Taiwan question, Tibet-related issue as well as bilateral trade and economic relations. The first two issues bear on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, thus are China's core interests. We resolutely oppose the US arms sales to Taiwan and have made solemn representations to the US over that. We urge the US to recognize the gravity of arms sales to Taiwan, observe the principles of the three China-US Joint Communiqués, in particular the August 17 Communiqué, drop its plan to sell arms to Taiwan and stop its current arms sales, so as not to undermine the overall cooperation between China and the US.
On Dalai's visit to other countries. We are firmly against Dalai visiting other countries, as well as any contact between foreign political figures and Dalai in whatever form or name.
On Sino-US trade and economic relations, in our view, both sides should resolutely oppose and resist trade protectionism in a bid to maintain the sound development of Sino-US trade and economic ties.
On the itinerary of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi’s visit to six Asian and African countries as well as Maldives, Foreign Minister Yang left Beijing for Maldives this morning, and he will meet with President Nasheed this afternoon and have talks with Foreign Minister Shaheed this evening. From January 6 to 7, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will visit Kenya, from 8 to 9, Nigeria, from 9 to 10, Sierra Leone, from 10 to 11, Algeria, from 11 to 12, Morocco and from 12 to 13, Saudi Arabia.
Q: Some Chinese netizens express their support for Iran’s pro-democracy party on the internet. Do you have any comment?
A: We hope to see Iran maintain social stability and unity.
Q: After the execution of Akmal, has China made any open or underground efforts to patch up its relations with the UK or the EU? This case also worried some China's trading partners, who regard this as a signal that China is too big and important to be challenged. How do you respond to that?
A: We have expounded on China's position over the Akmal case on many occasions. China's judicial authorities handled this case in strict accordance with law. Akmal's litigation rights, ethnic and religious custom have been fully respected and guanranteed. The independence handling of the case by China's judicial authorities should be fully respected and no one has the right to challenge China's judicial sovereignty.
As to the China-UK relations, we have made our position clear to the UK. The Akmal case is an individual criminal case. We may disagree on certain issues, yet we should properly resolve our differences in a spirit of mutual-respect to ensure our bilateral relations free of any damage. The relationship with UK is important for China. We believe sound and stable development of the relations serves the interest of both.
We express strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the statement on Akmal case issued by Sweden, rotating president of the EU. We hope that the EU be discreet in both its words and deeds, take concrete steps to respect China's judicial sovereignty and safeguard the hard-won sound overall situation of China-EU relations.
Q: Vietnam condemned China for the latter's plan to develop tourism on Xisha Islands. How do you comment?
A: We have noted the reports. I'd like to stress that China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea including Xisha and Nansha Islands.
Q: We found that each year Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi starts his overseas trip with Africa. When did this tradition come into being? And why?
A: It is the 20th consecutive year for China's Foreign Minister to start his overseas trip with Africa. China and Africa are traditional friends, and China values its relations with Africa. Both sides are devoted to establishing a neo-strategic partnership featuring equality and mutual-benefit in politics, cooperation and win-win in economy and frequent exchanges in culture. We have witnessed intensified strategic mutual-trust, enhanced mutually-beneficial and pragmatic cooperation and closer cooperation and coordination in international affairs. Last November, the 4th FOCAC Ministerial Conference successfully convened in Egypt, charting the future course for development of bilateral relations as well as key cooperative areas. The Chinese Government also declared eight new measures for cooperation with Africa at the Conference. We will, following the principle of sincerity, friendship, equal treatment, mutual benefit and common development, join hands with African countries to implement the follow-up steps of the Conference and move ahead with the neo-strategic partnership for the well-being of the two peoples.
Q: According to Japanese media, China has forbidden "North Korean defectors" to leave China since last April. Could you confirm? Secondly, the DPRK released a new-year message, expressing its will to conduct dialogue with both the ROK and the US. How do you comment?
A: Those who entered China illegally have violated China's law. They should be handled by China according to the law. Foreign embassies or consulates should not shelter them.
The Chinese Government always deals with relevant issues in light of domestic laws, international laws and humanitarian principle. This position remains unchanged.
We always endorse cooperation between the DPRK and the ROK. We believe their further reconciliation and cooperation serves the common interest of people on the Korean Peninsula as well as regional peace and stability. We also support the US and the DPRK to carry out contact and dialogue to improve relations. We hope relevant parties work together to promote an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks and denuclearization on the Peninsula.
Q: Which Chinese official will attend the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos this year?
A: The Davos Meeting will be held from January 27 to 31 in Switzerland, with the theme of Improve the State of the World: Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild. China always supports the World Economic Forum to play a positive and constructive role in boosting world economic development and always sends high-level delegation there. This year will be no exception and relevant information will be released in due course.
If there are no more questions, thank you for coming! See you!