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 Home > Topics > Regular Press Conferences by MFA Spokesperson > 2002 > June
Foreign Ministry Spokesman's Press Conference on June 25, 2002

On June 25th, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao announced the upcoming visits by State Councilor Wu Yi to Czech, Poland, Albania and Bulgaria and her attendance at the 131st General Assembly of the International Bureau of Exhibitions, by Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan to France, Romania and Austria and his attendance at the 131st General Assembly of the International Bureau of Exhibitions, and by Prime Minister of Mauritius to China.

Q: US President Bush made an important speech on the issue of Middle East and claimed that the Palestinian leader should be replaced. What’s your comment?

A: The Chinese side welcomes the efforts by the US Government and President Bush to promote the Middle East peace process. We hope that the new plan for Middle East peace by the US side will facilitate the conclusion of conflicts and resumption of peace talks between Israel and Palestine. The Chinese side is now making a study over the details of the speech by President Bush.

Q: US Assistant Defense Minister Peter Rodman will visit China from June 25th to 27th. Who is he going to meet? Are his talks with the Chinese side going to touch upon the Taiwan Question? Does the visit mark the beginning of the climax of China-US military exchanges?

A: US Assistant Defense Minister Peter Rodman will visit China from June 25th to 27th. During his visit, he is going to meet with relevant military and foreign affairs leaders, and leaders of the departments concerned of the Defense Ministry will hold working talks with him. The two sides are going to have an exchange of views on the bilateral ties, military-to-military relations and other issues of common concern. The Chinese side maintains that the strengthening of consultations and cooperation in various fields, including the military field, will be conducive to comprehensive and sound development of the bilateral relations.

Q: The Der Spiegel Germany reported that the US acquired the equity shares of HDW so that it could sell submarines to Taiwan on behalf of the US side. German Economic Minister already disclosed this information during his visit to China last April. Please confirm and make comments.

A: We have taken note that the German side has already explicitly expressed that it would not allow its companies to sell weapons or submarines to Taiwan. The US side should strictly abide by the three joint communiqués between the two sides, especially the August 17th Communiqu, and refrain from doing anything that harms the smooth development of the China-US relations.

Q: According to the Washington Times of the US, China once provided military training to Taliban and Al-Qaeda. What’s the comments of the Chinese side?

A: It is not at all surprising to see such reports on Washington Times. It is known to all that this newspaper has been frequently making sensational, bizarre and absurd stories. In fact, China has never provided any military training to Taliban or supporters of Al-Qaeda. The above-mentioned story is utterly groundless. As a friendly neighbor to Afghanistan, China has closely followed the developments in Afghanistan, hoped to see an early resolution of the Afghan issue and made unremitting efforts in this regard. Now the transitional government has been established. China stands ready to further develop the good neighborly and friendly relationship of cooperation with Afghanistan.

I would also like to point out that the Chinese Government has constantly and explicitly opposed all forms of terrorism, and actively participated in international counter-terrorism cooperation, which is there for all to see. A handful of people within the US has always been spreading rumors to slander China and undermine China’s image, destroying our relations with countries concerned. Their attempts will go no where.

Q: Japan will begin its salvage of the sunken ship in the East China Sea today. What actions is China going to take?

A: Japan started the salvage operation after an agreement is reached between the two sides. The Japanese side will honor its commitments during and after the salvage operation as promised.

Q: Please brief us Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to the US. In addition, China and US held the second round of counter-terrorism consultations in Washington. Please give us some details.

A: Chinese Vice Foreign Minister is now in Washington for a visit to have an exchange of views on the Asian situation and some international issues of common concern with US government officials. Such consultations and exchanges between the two sides are very conducive to the smooth development of the bilateral ties, the deepening of mutual understanding and expansion of consensus between the two countries.

As for the second round of counter-terrorism consultations, head of the Chinese delegation is Li Baodong, Director General of the Department of International Organizations and Conferences of the Foreign Ministry. During his stay in the US, he had an extensive and in-depth exchange of views on the issue of counter-terrorism with the US side, which conduces to the deepening of the cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism between the two countries.

Q: In the past military exchanges, the US side has always complained that they only had access to the Military Museum when they are in China, while the Chinese officials could see some substantive projects while visiting the US. Will this be changed during the visit of US Assistant Defense Minister Rodman in China?

A: Since the establishment of the diplomatic ties between the two countries, the two militaries have had many exchanges, promoting the mutual understanding and development of the military relations. It is safe to say that these are two-way and reciprocal exchanges that benefit more than one side.

China and US have distinct national and military conditions. It is only natural for the two sides to have some differences in the principles of their exchanges. We maintain that the key is for the two sides to cherish the good will to have exchanges, strengthen understanding and develop relations. The two sides should, based on the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, reduce differences through contacts and dialogues.

Q: As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and an economic power, is China going to play a more active role in the realization of Middle East peace?

A: The Chinese Government has closely followed the Middle East peace process, and has made many substantive and concrete efforts to promote the Middle East peace process.  Not long ago, Vice Foreign Minister Yang Wenchang visited Israel and Palestine and had very good talks with Prime Minister Sharon and President Arafat. The visit by the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister to the region facilitates the promotion of Middle East peace process. In my last press conference, I briefed the meeting between Vice Foreign Minister Yang Wenchang and Prime Minister Sharon. Now the meeting between Vice Foreign Minister Yang and President Araft has concluded. I would like to brief you relevant information.

The meeting was held on June 20th in West Bank city Ramallah. Yang Wenchang said that China has closely followed the Middle East situation and has maintained that the Palestinian issue is at the core of the Middle East Question. Without a just and reasonable solution to the Palestinian issue and the resumption of the legitimate rights and interests of the Palestinian people, the Middle East will enjoy no peace and security. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has taken a series of diplomatic actions to appease the Palestine-Israel conflicts, defuse the tension in the region and ensure the personal security of President Arafat. China hopes and believes that Palestine should soon resume the reconstruction work and wishes greater efficiency of the new government of Palestine under the leadership of President Arafat. China will, as always, provide moral support and economic assistance within its own capacity to the just course of the Palestinian people.

Q: President Bush said that the Palestinian leadership should not include Arafat. What’s your comment?

A: I have mentioned just now that the Chinese side is making a study on the details of the newly proposed initiative of President Bush. We believe that Arafat was a leader elected by the Palestinian people, and has been extensively recognized by the international community.

Q: Is the Chinese side going to send law enforcement ships to monitor the salvage by the Japanese side of the sunken ship in the East China Sea?

A: According to the agreement reached by the two sides, China will monitor the operation in line with the international law and relevant domestic laws and regulations.

Q: After the consultations between China and South Korean, the Chinese side allowed 26 North Koreans to leave for South Korea, According to South Korean officials, the South Korean side turned down China’s request that the South Korean Embassy in China should not shelter the North Koreans. If more refugees enter the South Korean Embassy and Consuls in China, they are still going to accept them. What’s the response from the Chinese side?

A: I have no knowledge of the remarks by South Korean government officials as you just mentioned. As for the agreement between the two sides, I already made an explanation in my Sunday remarks.        

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