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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao's Press Conference on 14 Feburary 2006

On February 14th, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao held the regular press conference.

Liu: Good afternoon everybody. I would like to start answering your questions right away.

Q: China has been working with the US and the EU on the Iranian nuclear issue. How will the cooperation affect their policies towards China, including EU's arms embargo against China? How would you respond to the request of the Bush Administration for China to stop its manipulation of the RMB rate?

A: We express concern over the current developments of the Iranian nuclear issue. At present, there is still space for a solution to the problem within the framework of the IAEA, which the international community should not give up. We hope that the talks between Russia and Iran will be held as slated and achieve positive progress. Relevant parties should stay calm, exercise restraint, patience and flexibility, do more to enhance mutual trust and diffuse suspicion and refrain from taking any actions that might lead to further escalation of the issue.

China hopes to play its role in its own way. We have maintained contact and coordination with the US, the EU, Iran and other relevant countries including the developing nations with a view to pushing for a proper settlement. A proper solution to the issue through diplomatic negotiation serves the interest of China, Iran and the rest of the world. China works for world peace, which should not be connected with the lift of EU's arms embargo.

On your second question, China never intends to seek for a trade surplus nor the increase of foreign exchange reserve. Although exchange rate affects international payment balance, it is not the sole factor. Countries should readjust its economic structure in light of its own situation so as to adapt to the globalization process. China remains to be determined in pressing ahead with reforming its exchange rate mechanism. As situation develops, China will move on based on the principle that the related reform should benefit both the international community and China.

Q: Myanmar's Prime Minister is here today for a visit. Could you please brief us on the details of his schedule and agenda? Could you give us some statistics of trade between China and Myanmar?

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister of the Union of Myanmar Soe Win starts his visit to China today, which will last through 18th. During his stay here, Premier Wen will be holding talks with him, which will take place later this afternoon. Prime Minister Soe Win will also meet with other Chinese leaders tomorrow. From the day after tomorrow, he will be going to Xi'an, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Views will be exchanged on bilateral relations and a series of issues of common interest. At the moment, all the talks and meetings are yet to come up. I will keep you updated once I have all the details.

You asked about the economic cooperation and trade between China and Myanmar, which has made considerable achievements in recent years. Last year, total trade volume registered 1.21 billion dollars last year. China and Myanmar are friendly neighbours. There is great potential for further economic cooperation and trade, which both will work to expand in the future. As I understand, during the visit, there will be several economic and trade cooperation agreements to be signed.

Q: Western countries are currently quite concerned about Myanmar's human rights issues. How would you comment on it?

A: The principled position of China is not to interfere with internal affairs of other countries. We have always held that what happened there are domestic affairs of Myanmar, which should be solved through negotiation of their choice by its people and government. In the meantime, we would be happy to see that the international community and the neighbouring countries in particular to adopt an active and constructive attitude in helping Myanmar's ethnic reconciliation process under the prerequisite of respecting Myanmar's sovereignty and national dignity.

Q: It's reported that a DPRK economic delegation will be visiting South China at the end of this month. Can you brief us on the agenda and purpose of the visit? Does it relate to the visit by General Secretary Kim Jong Il?

A: I haven't heard anything like that. China and the DPRK are friendly neighbours. It is thus quite normal for us to have economic and personnel exchanges.

Q: Concerning the visit by Myanmar's Prime Minister, will the construction of pipe line be discussed? Yahoo and several other internet companies are accused of filtering some key words in their searching engines in order to expand their operations in China. Some US congressmen proposed to draft a bill to confine these companies. What is your comment?

A: On your first question, the talks are yet to be held. I am not in a position to speculate on the details. What we can see from the economic cooperation and trade between China and Myanmar in recent years is that energy cooperation is also one important field. As to whether that will come up in the discussions, you will have to wait until the talks take place.

On your second question, I also read many reports. Some media and critics attacked China relating to activities of Google and Yahoo. I do not believe that they know well of our policy on internet. The Chinese Government values the development of internet. Since you live in China, I believe that you are very clear of the development of internet and the rapid increase of internet users in China. Up to the end of last year, 110 million users in China can have unimpeded and fast access to information from over 700,000 websites. These figures are continuing to grow. Wider coverage of internet has promoted China's economic development and facilitated people's work, study and life. However, like other countries, China also faces the same problem of how to tackle with online harmful and illegal contents, some of which have endangered the healthy development of youngsters. Various countries have adopted corresponding policies and regulations. The Chinese Government has done the same to manage internet in accordance with law, trying its best to contain the spread of those illegal, anti-social and harmful contents to youngsters in particular. The purpose, which is reasonable, rational and legal, is to protect the interest of the general public. Foreign companies will have to observe Chinese laws and regulations if they want to do business in China.

Q: A Kazakhstan press ran an article not long ago, attacking China as inconsiderate of the legitimate interest of Kazakhstan when utilizing cross-border rivers flowing from Xinjiang to Kazakhstan and Russia. Besides, the plan for joint use of water resources between China and Kazakhstan failed to be implemented. What is your comment?

A: China has always attached importance to the question you raised. China is a country covering vast territory, sharing cross-border rivers with many neighboring countries. China has always attached great importance to the fair and reasonable use of cross-border rivers as well as the protection of water resources. We adopt a policy emphasizing both protection and utilization. I believe that you must have noticed that the Chinese Government is now working on fleshing out the concept of scientific development. On the issue of cross-border rivers, the Chinese Government will continue to adopt a responsible attitude, not harm the interest of our neighboring countries and properly handle relevant issues through dialogue and consultation.

Q: Yonhap News Agency reported yesterday that the U.S. presented to China some evidence on the illicit financial activities of the DPRK. After that, China pressured the DPRK to stop those financial activities. What is your comment?

A: After the first session of the fifth round of the Six-Party Talks, the financial problem has in fact become a major issue affecting the process of the Talks in a negative way. Thanks to China's active mediation, China, the U.S. and the DPRK held consultation on the issues in Beijing on January 18th. I believe such contacts are beneficial for pressing ahead with the Talks. Currently, the Talks are yet to be resumed and China hopes all parties will proceed from the overall interest, respect each other and strengthen dialogue and communication so as to find a solution to the problem at an early date. For the promotion of the Talks, China has been in contact with and working on all parties concerned. China will continue to do so.

Q: Minister Ban Ki-moon of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea is running for UN Secretary General. What comment does China have? Will China propose its own candidate?

A: Being the highest executive official of the UN, Secretary General has a unique position and a very important role in international affairs. We have repeatedly noted that Asian holds the important position for past 34 years. China firmly supports an Asian Secretary General. We hope that Asian countries can enhance mutual understanding and cooperation to ensure the next Secretary General is from Asia. China has no plan to propose its own candidate.

Q: What comment do you have on the just-concluded strategic dialogue between China and Japan? Does the Ministry have any plan to hold ministerial talks with Japan? Last week some reports said that the US accused a Frenchman and a Taiwan resident of attempting to export advanced weapons to China. What comment do you have?

A: Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo started to visit Japan from 9th this month. He held the fourth China-Japan strategic dialogue with Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi from 10th to 11th. The two sides exchanged views over how to handle major issues in China-Japan relations in a frank atmosphere. Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo met with a dozen of Japanese officials and politicians. As for when to hold the next round of strategic dialogues, I haven't got any information now.

As for your second question, we have noticed relevant reports. Such accusations are completely groundless. We have a series of strict inspective and supervision procedures for the import of military products. Chinese military importing enterprises will not purchase any military products without legal and valid certificates.

Q: An American representative said on China-US Trade Forum today that President Hu Jintao will meet with President Bush on April 24th. Can you confirm?

A: China and the US are making active preparation for President Hu Jintao's visit to US in the first half this year. We will continue to make efforts to ensure the visit achieve success and anticipated goals. As for the exact date of the visit, it is yet to be determined by the two sides through diplomatic channels. I will update you once I get the settled specifics.

Q: The Japanese police claimed that some high-tech products imported to China from a Japanese sophisticated instrument producer were found in Libya. The Japanese Government suspects China of transferring IT products to a third country in violation of the contract. What comment do you have on it?

A: I have seen the report which said the Japanese police searched the Mitutoyo Corporation, accused this company of providing Japanese company in China with such products. As far as we know, it has nothing to do with China. You can refer to the Japanese side for the specifics. China has a fairly clear position on non-proliferation. We resolutely oppose any form of proliferation of massive destructive weapons and their vehicles. As a signatory member to the Nonproliferation Treaty, China firmly fulfills its commitment and obligations.

Q: An American official said that China urged the DPRK to stop illegal financial activities a few months ago, suggesting that China admits that the DPRK has conducted some illegal financial activities. Can you confirm?

A: Such accusations are groundless. The financial issue has indeed become an obstacle to the Six-Party Talks. China has made active efforts to promote relevant sides to solve the issue through dialogue. On 18th last month, China, US and the DPRK conducted consultations over the issue, which is helpful for relevant sides to enhance mutual understanding. We hope relevant sides can continue to solve the issue through dialogue and consultations for an early resumption of the Talks.

If there are no other questions, thank you for your presence today!
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