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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on December 9, 2010
2010/12/10

On the afternoon of December 9, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference.

Q: Russia and the EU have recently reached an agreement on Russia's accession to the WTO. How do you comment?

A: I have noted the developments. China, as one of the first WTO members who have concluded bilateral market access negotiations with Russia, believes that Russia's accession is conducive to increasing the universality and representation of the WTO and expanding the influence of the multilateral trade mechanism. We hope Russia becomes a WTO member at an early date.

Q: State Councilor Dai Bingguo visited the DPRK and had talks with Chairman Kim Jong-il today. Please brief us on the purpose and importance of his visit.

A: State Councilor Dai Bingguo visited the DPRK from December 8 to 9 upon invitation. General Secretary of the Workers Party of Korea and Chairman of the National Defense Commission Kim Jong-il met with him in Pyongyang today. State Councilor Dai also held talks with DPRK Vice Premier Kang Sok Ju. The delegation just released information, which you may refer to. I have no further information at present, but have noted down your question.

Q: The Vatican is not satisfied with the 8th national congress of Chinese Catholics. How do you comment?

A: Please refer to competent authorities for more information on the congress. I would like to say we hope the Vatican face the fact of China's policy of freedom of religious belief and development of Chinese Catholics with a view to creating favorable conditions for the development of China-Vatican relations with concrete actions.

Q: On State Councilor Dai Bingguo's visit to the DPRK, how does Kim Jong-il respond to China's proposal of emergency consultations among heads of delegation to the Six-Party Talks?

A: The delegation released information a moment ago. I don't have further information at present.

Q: The websites of BBC, CNN and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation were blocked today. Is it related to the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony?

A: I don't know what kind of problems these websites have. But I can tell you the Internet in China is open and administered in accordance with law. There are explicit stipulations as to what information cannot be spread on the Internet. Our measures are in line with international practices.

Q: Following the dialogue between the EU, six countries and Iran on Tuesday in Geneva, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili agreed to hold the next round of dialogue in January in Istanbul, but made conflicting remarks on the agenda of the dialogue. Can you brief us on the agenda of the next round of dialogue?

A: China is of the view that the just-concluded dialogue between the EU, six countries and Iran is positive, helpful and conducive to enhancing understanding among the parties. We hope the parties stick to the direction of settlement through diplomatic negotiations, continue the dialogue process with a cooperative, flexible and practical attitude, and push for constant progress in the dialogue by establishing mutual trust and seeking common ground. We are ready to stay in communication with the parties on relevant issues. China will continue to play a constructive role in the process.

Q: Norwegian Foreign Minister Støre will take part in a CNN program about the Nobel Peace Prize. How do you comment on his sending a message to the outside?

A: I think people will have a fair opinion. The majority of the international community does not support the erroneous decision by the Nobel Committee. Any action by the Nobel Committee cannot change the criminal facts of Mr. Liu Xiaobo. Any attempt to exert pressure on China and disrupt China's development by making use of the issue will not succeed.

Q: Why doesn't China allow Mr. Liu Xiaobo and his friends to receive the award in Norway?

A: I have taken related questions many times here. I've read your reports these two days and found them regrettably failed to paint a comprehensive, complete and balanced picture to your readers. Maybe you are not clear about some basic facts, for example, why Mr. Liu Xiaobo was sentenced and why China is not happy.

I would like to tell you that Mr. Liu Xiaobo was not convicted because of his remarks. Liu, by writing and openly posting subversive articles on the Internet, organizing and inducing signatures of others, instigates overthrowing China's political power and social system. His acts have broken Article 105 of the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China and constitute the crime of instigating subversion of the political power of the state.

Liu's problem has gone beyond remarks of general criticism, but rather is action that poses a realistic threat to the society.

It is the common practice of the majority of countries in the world to punish in accordance with law criminal activities that threaten the state's political power and social system. One should not take a double standard against China's judicial system.

I would also like to ask you Germans a simple question. What happens to a lawbreaker in Germany? If your judicial authorities handle the case in accordance with law, but foreign countries interfere and demand a change of verdict, what would you think? I think German journalists should straighten out these questions first.

Q: Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mullen said that the US and ROK would have more joint military exercises and welcomed Japan to take part. How do you comment? Second, US Deputy Secretary of State Steinberg will visit China next week. Please provide some details.

A: On military exercises between some countries, China has reiterated its position many times. We hope parties concerned take China's concerns seriously. Given the highly complicated and sensitive situation, an improper settlement of relevant issues will lead to further escalation of tensions, gravely jeopardizing regional peace and stability and undermining common interest of countries in the region. We hope parties concerned set store by overall interests, act prudently with a responsible attitude and do more to contribute to regional peace and stability.

I would like to emphasize that we oppose anyone creating tensions and causing conflicts. China is always committed to peace and stability on the Peninsula. Parties concerned should stick to the correct direction of dialogue and consultation and resolve the issue in a peaceful manner by reducing confrontation and improving relations.

I don't have any confirmed information now on the visit to China by Steinberg, US Deputy Secretary of State and Bader, Senior Director for Asian Affairs of the National Security Council of the White House. I will share with you if I have information.

Q: The Chinese embassy in Norway has addressed a letter to foreign embassies in Norway, hoping they will not take part in activities that threaten China's national interests. But if the majority of those countries attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony anyway, what would you think?

A: I mentioned last time that over 100 countries and international organizations have expressed to us their support of China's position. This is a fact that can withstand test. Those people at the Nobel Committee have to admit they are the minority. The Chinese people and the overwhelming majority of countries and people in the world oppose what they do.

The Chinese Government has expressed its solemn position of firm opposition to the Nobel Peace Prize issue. I think you have noticed that many countries and people of vision in the world have expressed criticism. The Nobel Committee has to admit itself that the Nobel Peace Prize this year is controversial.

Q: In its new National Defense Program Outline, the Japanese Government has proposed to shift the focus of the SDF deployment to the Southwest Islands to balance China's presence in the East China Sea. Japan also plans to send troops to Yonaguni Island. How do you comment?

A: Following the path of peaceful development and pursuing a national defense policy which is defensive in nature, China poses no threat to any other countries. We hope the Japanese side do more to contribute to political and security trust between the two countries as well as peace and stability in the region.

Q: Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mullen criticized China for tacitly approving the DPRK's provocation. How do you comment?

A: I'd like to ask those criticizers, what positive efforts have they ever made for regional peace and stability? Military deterrence will not make the problem disappear but only heighten tension. China's Peninsula policy is in the long-term interest of all parties. We have made unremitting efforts and played a positive and constructive role in safeguarding peace and stability on the Peninsula and easing the current situation. We oppose any action that undermines regional peace and stability.

Q: Some organizations say China is asking Chinese nationals in Oslo to join the protest against the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony. Please confirm.

A: Why is it that so many people are against this year's Nobel Peace Prize? This is a question people should all think about. Some organizations claim that the Chinese nationals in Norway are to hold anti-Nobel-Peace-Prize activities. Since when did they become spokesperson of Chinese nationals in Norway?

Q: The US House of Representatives adopted a resolution on Wednesday to call on the Chinese Government to free Mr. Liu Xiaobo. Could you comment?

A: Disregarding facts and confounding black and white, the so-called resolution by the US House of Representatives constitutes brazen interference in China's internal affairs, thus China firmly opposes it. We urge relevant US lawmakers to stop their erroneous words and deeds on the issue, drop their arrogant attitude and show due respect for the Chinese people and China's judicial sovereignty. I'd like to stress that the Chinese judicial authorities will safeguard the solemnness of China's law.

Q: State Councilor Dai Bingguo has visited the DPRK after his recent visit to the ROK. What else will China do to safeguard peace and stability on the Peninsula?

A: We have been making unremitting efforts to ease tension on the Peninsula and working on parties for peace talks. It will be in the interest of no one if the situation goes any worse. We hope the two sides on the Peninsula keep calm, exercise restraint and be prudent in their actions. It is also our hope that other parties do more to encourage and facilitate peace talks and contribute to peace and stability on the Peninsula and in the region. China will continue to play a constructive role.

Q: When will Premier Wen Jiabao start his visit to India? Some countries plan to attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony this year as they always did in the past. How would China regard its relations with these countries? What does their presence at the ceremony mean to their relations with China?

A: We keep friendly exchanges with all neighboring countries. I'll release the information on the visit when I get it.

On your second question, I believe there are principles to follow in developing state-to-state relations. We uphold all countries conduct dialogue and communication on the basis of mutual respect, equal treatment and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. We hope countries receiving the invitation can distinguish right from wrong and uphold justice, because this is not an issue of human rights but of interference in other's internal affairs.

Q: This week, some Norwegian journalists hoping to come to China can't get visa approval from the Chinese Embassy. How do you comment?

A: I won't comment on this individual case. China always handles foreigners' entry and visa issues according to laws and regulations. They'll get visas if they meet all the conditions.

Q: US Admiral Mullen expressed the hope to develop stable military relations with China. How do you comment?

A: It is in the common interest of both China and the US to safeguard regional peace and stability, and thus should be the goal of joint efforts. We hope the US side join us, put the overall interest first, be responsible and prudent in actions and do more in favor of peace and stability, rather than the opposite.

Q: Does State Councilor Dai Bingguo have plans for any more meetings with the DPRK before the possible Six-Party emergency consultations?

A: We have kept all along close communication and consultation with relevant parties in various forms. We will continue to do so in the future. As for specific plan for future contact, I haven't got any information on that so far.

Q: China-Norway relations have deteriorated since the Nobel Peace Prize issue. What lessons do you think should Norway learn from this?

A: In developing state-to-state relations, one should follow the principle of mutual respect, equal treatment and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. This is the basic norm governing international relations which is universally recognized by the international community. I believe the Norwegian Government should have a serious reflection on this.

Q: Do you think the issue of Mr. Liu Xiaobo and China's reaction to it has affected China's soft power?

A: The policies of the Chinese Government are in the interest of the vast majority of the Chinese people. The handful few of the Norwegian Nobel Committee have no right to judge China. Whether China's policies are successful, the answer can be found in the reality of China's development and stability. We will continue to adhere to reform and opening-up and follow the development path suitable to China's national conditions. While seeking for socio-economic development, we will continue to improve legal system and advance human rights cause. In pursuit of development of peace, cooperation and harmony, we develop friendly cooperation with other countries on the basis of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and cooperation of win-win outcome. We never interfere in other's internal affairs, and will not allow any attempt to infringe upon China's sovereignty and interfere in China's internal affairs under any excuses. We will resolutely safeguard our nation's sovereignty, security and development interest.

Q: Do you think writing letters to other countries' embassies constitutes interference in other's internal affairs?

A: Are you saying others have the right to make groundless interference in China's judicial sovereignty while China has no right to expound on its position? We have the right to state our position and express dissatisfaction.

After the Press Conference, some journalists asked the following question: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) recently held a special summit to discuss the situation in Côte d'Ivoire, acknowledging former Prime Minister Ouattara as the country's elected President. What is China's view on this?

A: China has been following the situation in Côte d'Ivoire since the election. Adhering to the principle of non-interference in other's internal affairs, China upholds respecting the sovereignty of Côte d'Ivoire and hope parties in the country properly settle their disputes through dialogue and consultation to realize political reconciliation and jointly safeguard state stability and national solidarity. China continues to support the efforts of African regional organizations and relevant African countries in resolving the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire and respect the decision of ECOWAS special summit.

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