|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on June 22, 2010|
On the afternoon of June 22, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have one announcement to start with.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Calmy-Rey, Member of the Swiss Federal Council and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, will pay an official visit to China from June 27 to 29.
Now the floor is open.
Q: It's been one month since the ROK released its report on the sinking of "Cheonan" ship. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has said China would evaluate the report, has there been any progress? Does China agree with the investigation result? The second question is about the US arms sales to Taiwan. When and under what conditions would China resume military-to-military contacts with the US? What part of the Chinese Government is responsible for making that decision?
A: The Cheonan incident is an extremely complicated issue of which China has no first-hand information. We deal with the issue fairly and objectively according to its own merits. We value the joint investigation by the ROK and other countries as well as reactions from all sides. We will look into and study situation of all sides. As you know, the UN Security Council has recently started the discussion on the issue and held a non-official interaction of dialogue during which the ROK and the DPRK stated their respective position and opinion. We believe this was helpful for Security Council member states to understand the issue. Under the current circumstances, relevant parties should stay calm and exercise restraint and avoid escalation of the tension. Fundamentally, China proceeds from safeguarding peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula in dealing with the Cheonan incident, and we will continue to do so.
On your second question, China firmly opposes the US arms sales to Taiwan which severely jeopardizes China's core interest. Our position is consistent and clear. We urge the US side to abide by the three Sino-US joint communiqués, particularly the spirit and principle established in the August 17 Communiqué by stopping arms sales to Taiwan. This is both the solemn position of the Chinese Government and the just appeal of the Chinese people.
Q: Over the weekend, the People's Bank of China announced its recent policy on RMB exchange rate. Will President Hu Jintao elaborate more on this policy at the G20 Summit? Related to that, some members of the US Congress have said that this announcement by China is not enough and expect China to make significant moves to raise the value of the RMB. What does China have to say about these criticisms?
A: About the topics for discussion at the G20 Summit, never has any country's currency been singled out in the agenda of the previous three G20 summits. The upcoming summit is held in the context of a vulnerable and imbalanced recovery of the world economy. The immediate priority for the G20 member states is to discuss how to strengthen communication and cooperation to safeguard and promote the momentum of economic recovery so as to contribute to a strong, sustainable and balanced development of world economy.
As for the main topics and China's position at the summit, I've already taken that question last week. I'd like to stress that under the current circumstances, all countries should display the spirit of tiding over difficulties together and strengthen cooperation to jointly address the various challenges faced by the international community, promote world economic recovery and a strong, sustainable and balanced development, instead of playing the blame games or imposing pressure.
As for your specific questions on the RMB exchange rate, please refer to the People's Bank of China, which is the competent authority in this regard. But I would stress that we will continue to advance the reform of the formation mechanism of the RMB exchange rate under the principle of independent decision-making, controllability and gradual progress with a view to increasing the flexibility of the RMB exchange rate. This overall direction will stay unchanged.
Q: June 25th marks the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, which the Chinese history textbooks call a civil war on the Korean Peninsula. Which side does China think started the war? And since Chinese People's Volunteer Army took part in it, how do you comment on the war?
A: About that war 60 years ago, China already reached conclusion long time ago. What's important now is to take history as a mirror so as to build a better future. The hard-won peace, stability and tranquility should be cherished. As a peace-loving nation, China is ready to develop friendly cooperation with countries in the region on the basis of Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence and be jointly committed to safeguarding peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. Given the current circumstances, countries concerned should work towards this goal now more than ever.
Q: Secretary General İhsanoğlu of the Organization of Islamic Conference has recently been in China and visited Beijing and Xinjiang. In his press conference this morning, he called on China to place equal emphasis on Xinjiang's culture and economy. Could you comment on that? Secondly, on the G20 meeting, has any arrangement been made for President Hu Jintao's bilateral meetings with other leaders? If so, will the DPRK nuclear issue and the Iranian nuclear issue be discussed?
A: During his stay in China, Secretary General İhsanoğlu of the Organization of Islamic Conference was received by Chinese leaders and officials from the Foreign Ministry in their meetings and talks. Apart from Beijing, Secretary General İhsanoğlu also visited Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. He spoke highly of the socio-economic development of Xinjiang. As for his remarks you just quoted, to my knowledge, it was because a certain journalist intentionally asked him a misleading question. Here, I want to warn that journalist to be careful with his way of raising questions and not to quote people's remarks out of context. We hope to see objective, precise and fair media reports.
Over the past years, thanks to the care and support of the Central Government and the entire Chinese nation as well as the concerted efforts of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has made marked socio-economic progress.
On your second question, the arrangement for President Hu Jintao's bilateral meetings during the G20 summit is still under consultation. I don't have anything concrete yet, but we'll release relevant information in due course. The G20 summit will mainly discuss how to promote world economic recovery, and contribute to a strong, sustainable and balanced development of world economy. But I cannot rule out the possibility that leaders at the summit may also exchange views on issues of common interest on the sidelines of the summit, including bilateral meetings.
Q: Which Canadian cities will President Hu Jintao be going to when he is in the country? In addition to Prime Minister Harper, who will President Hu be meeting with? Also, will the Chinese delegation set any press centers, and could you give us their phone numbers?
A: To my knowledge, President Hu Jintao will be visiting Ottawa and Toronto. In Toronto, he is to attend the fourth G20 summit. During his visit to Canada, President Hu Jintao will meet and talk with Governor General Michaelle Jean and Prime Minister Harper.
The Chinese delegation will set press centers in Ottawa and Toronto to help Chinese and foreign media understand and cover the story in a full, comprehensive and timely way. You'll be welcome to the press centers. As for their contact numbers, I will ask my colleague to tell you.
Q: It's reported that the US will send nuclear aircraft carriers to the Yellow Sea at the end of June to take part in the joint military drill with the ROK. Are you concerned that this might pose threat to China's security?
A: We are very concerned about the relevant report and are following the development closely. Under the current circumstance, relevant parties should stay calm, exercise restraint and refrain from doing things that could aggravate tension and harm the interest of nations in the region.
If there no more questions, I have one more announcement to make.
The recent unrest in the Osh region of southern Kyrgyzstan brought about large numbers of refugees who have crowded into Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is in urgent need of humanitarian aid from the international community. Under the current circumstances, the Chinese Government has decided to provide to Uzbekistan 20 tons of humanitarian aid worth 3 million RMB, including rice, sugar, biscuits, children's wear, daily sanitary necessities, small-sized generators and antibiotics. The aid had already been shipped to Toshkent, capital of Uzbekistan, at 3:30 a.m., June 21, Beijing Time. China hopes these materials contribute to Uzbekistan's efforts to settle the refugees.
Thank you for coming! See you!