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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on October 9, 2008
2008-10-09 17:11

On October 9, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on Pakistani President Zardari's visit to China, the financial crisis, quality and safety of export products and etc.

Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

I have an announcement to start with. At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Asif Ali Zardari of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan will pay a state visit to China from October 14 to 17.

Now the floor is open.

Q: It's reported that a US military helicopter crashed in Iraq on October 4 due to counterfeited chips made in China. Do you have any comment?

A: I have neither read the report you mentioned, nor heard of the accident. We need to double-check it before making any response.

Q: Central Banks of many countries, including China have taken measures to lower interest rates. Is China's decision made upon consultation with foreign governments? Will China join future coordination with other countries to cope with the current financial crisis?

A: The Chinese Government has already made clear its position on the current international financial crisis. We believe the international community should keep faith and strengthen cooperation in the concerted efforts to properly address the crisis.

Relevant authorities of the Chinese Government, including the People's Bank of China are keeping close contact and communication with their foreign counterparts. We are ready to further strengthen coordination and cooperation with other countries to safeguard the stability of international financial market as well as sound and stable development of world economy.

Q: Please brief us on the itinerary of President Zardari's visit to China, which is also his first official overseas visit. Whom will he meet with?

A: As you said, President Zardari decided to choose China as the first stop for his official overseas visit since he took office. We warmly welcome and look forward to his visit. During his stay in China, President Zardari will talk with President Hu Jintao, and meet with State Councilor Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao and Chairman Jia Qingling. We hope the two countries' strategic partnership of cooperation will grow deeper through his visit.

Q: US Federal District Court in Washington D.C. has ordered the US Government to release immediately the 17 "Eastern Turkistan Movement Organization" members detained in Guantanamo, a ruling which the latter opposes. The Bush Administration was also concerned that these people could be tortured once they were sent back to China. The question is, what will China do with these people after they are repatriated? If any other country decides to receive and keep them, what will be China's reaction?

A: We have repeatedly and explicitly stated our position on this issue. We urge the US to repatriate these terrorist suspects to China without any delay. This position stays unchanged. It is because of their biased position or lack of knowledge about China that people are talking about the torture concerns. The Chinese Government runs the country under the rule of law. Besides, China joined the UN Convention Against Torture as early as 1988. Chinese Authorities including those in charge of justice and public security all prohibit torture. These people will be faced with legal proceedings once they are repatriated.

Q: The Brazilian Government has decided to ban all Chinese food imports due to safety concerns. Did China talk to Brazil about this? Are you concerned that other countries might follow suit?

A: We understand that some countries have taken restrictive measures over Chinese dairy products due to the Sanlu incident. After all, governments want to protect health and safety of their domestic consumers. Yet, while taking the issue seriously, we should adopt an objective, scientific and realistic approach. The Chinese quality inspection authorities are testing the samples of exported dairy products. Should any problem emerge, measures will be taken - we shall inform relevant countries and require relevant companies to shoulder their responsibility, recall and destroy problematic products.

Food safety is a global challenge. China is ready to strengthen communication and cooperation with relevant countries in this field. As a matter of fact, the Chinese Central Government, upon learning the incident, immediately informed governments of other countries and relevant international organizations including the WHO. In the future, we will intensify food quality monitoring and food safety supervision. With these measures in practice, and with relevant work improved, I believe foreign consumers' confidence in Chinese food will be restored.

Q: Both the US Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates support the US arms sale to Taiwan. How do you comment on that? Secondly, has China decided on whether to renew or abolish the Regulations on Reporting Activities in China by Foreign Journalists during the Beijing Olympic Games and the Preparatory Period?

A: Regarding the US arms sale to Taiwan, we have repeatedly expressed our clear, stern and firm opposition. I'd like to emphasize that the Taiwan issue is the most important and sensitive issue at the core in China-US relations. Political foundation of the bilateral relations heavily relies on a proper policy towards it. It's been almost three decades since China and the US established diplomatic ties. During this period, the China-US relations have weathered twists and turns on a bumpy road. The 30 years' experience tells it well that China-US relations will embrace smooth and further development when the Taiwan issue is properly handled and significant political foundation intensified. Otherwise, the relationship is troubled by difficulties and setbacks. It is not only the US Government who advocates developing China-US relations. It is also an important bipartisan agreement and shared consensus in the US society. Given the importance placed on the bilateral constructive relationship of cooperation, there should be no problem in cherishing and safeguarding the significant political foundation of the bilateral relations. We hope the two parties in the US can realize this and honor the commitment to adhering to the one China policy, abiding by the three China-US Joint Communiqu├ęs and opposing "Taiwan Independence", and properly deal with Taiwan-related issues so as to push forward the China-US relations.

About the second question, we have repeated on many occasions that China's policy of opening up stays unchanged. And so does our attitude to good service and convenience for the reporters.

Q: It is reported that a large number of US military weapons and systems could be assembled with fake spare parts which are mostly from China. If this is true, the US military armaments could be in big trouble. Could you comment?

A: Are you suggesting that China is selling munitions to the US? I've never heard of such things. It is quite surprising. Maybe you can share with me the source of your information so that we could check it for you.

Q: Yesterday, the IMF released a semi-annual report, urging China to allow RMB to appreciate, could you comment? Facing the current financial crisis, will the Chinese Government consider selling some of its US dollar reserves in the near future? Secondly, the DPRK reportedly test-fired a couple of short-range missiles over the past few days. The ROK military officials said the DPRK was developing nuclear warheads. Do you have any comment?

A: I am not a financial officer. But to my knowledge and common sense, it is true that the RMB is facing increasing pressure of appreciation in the context of current international financial and economic situation. As a responsible country that advocates international cooperation to jointly address the crisis, China will take measures that should firstly, help ensure the stable and relatively rapid development of China's economy and safeguard the stability of China's domestic capital and financial market, and secondly, encourage international cooperation and maintain the healthy and stable development of the international financial market and the world economy. It is on this basis that we consider the issue and adopt measures accordingly.

As for the DPRK-related question you raised, we have also read the reports, but I cannot confirm them.

If there are no further questions, thanks for your attendance. See you next time.

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