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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on February 5, 2009


On February 5, 2009, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on the situation in the Korean Peninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue, climate change, and etc.

Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have no announcement today. Now the floor is open.

Q: It is reported that China is providing aid to the DPRK. May I know what kind of aid you are providing and when?

A: Over the years, the Chinese government has been providing aid to the DPRK within its capacity to help the people of the DPRK weather economic difficulties.

Q: Would you care to respond to Amnesty International's claim that the Chinese government's report to the UN Human Rights Council is a whitewash?

A: The Universal Periodic Review, which China will be subject to later this month, is an important procedure newly established by the UN Human Rights Council. China attaches great importance to the review and has submitted its country report to the council. We look forward to constructive dialogue with council members over the review.

The Chinese government respects and protects human rights, and has worked unremittingly to improve the human rights conditions in China with remarkable achievements. We will continue to promote the development of China's human rights cause.

It is only normal that countries differ on the human rights issue. We advocate narrowing the differences through dialogue and exchanges on an equal footing, expanding consensus and strengthening cooperation so as to promote the human rights cause around the world. We hope that relevant organization can take a fair and objective approach toward China's human rights development.

Q:Please brief us on the meeting of political director-generals from the foreign ministries of the six countries on the Iranian nuclear issue held in Germany.

A: Political director-generals from the foreign ministries of China, the US, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and Germany met in Wiesbaden on February 4 to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue. China's Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jieyi attended this meeting.

Liu Jieyi said at the meeting that the six countries should adhere to resolving the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiation, seize the current opportunities, intensify diplomatic efforts, display creativity and flexibility so as to seek comprehensive, long-term and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.

Q:Please provide us some details about China's aid to the DPRK. Recently the DPRK issued a statement, declaring the abolition of all its agreements with the ROK. China is the DPRK's long-term ally and always stands for peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula. Is China worried about the DPRK's behavior? Will China make representation to the DPRK?

A: As for China's assistance to the DPRK, I don't have any specific information to share with you. The purpose of our assistance is to help people of the DPRK overcome their economic difficulties.

We believe relevant parties could realize that maintaining peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula is in the common interests of all parties concerned.

Q: China has long advocated peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. The DPRK is now getting tough with the U.S. and ROK and also preparing for new missile tests. However, China has remained silent over this situation. How you do comment on it?

A: We have already made our position clear on this issue. We believe that all parties can realize that maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula is in the common interests of the relevant parties. As a close neighbour, we always support the North and South of the Korean Peninsula could improve relations through dialogue and promote reconciliation and cooperation. We believe that it serves the interests of the people of the Peninsula and contributes to regional peace and stability.

Q: There is speculation that the Obama Administration would ask Canada to accept the Uighur detainees in the Guantanamo Bay. What effect would Canada taking in these detainees have on Canada's relationship with China?

A: We hope the parties concerned can properly handle this issue according to international laws and regulations. We have expressed our position on various occasions over the Chinese terrorist suspects detained in the Guantanamo Bay. We are opposed to any country accepting those people.

Q: What is China's response to the US decision to speak directly with Iran, the policy change of the New U.S. Administration?

A: We have noted the recent U.S. diplomatic initiatives in the Middle East. We hope that its policy and initiatives can be conducive to easing the tension in the region, and promoting the Middle East peace process. The development of the situation in the Middle East not only concerns peace and stability in the region, but also peace and development of the world. Maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East is in the common interests of the international community.

Q: Reports say that the US will bring the issue of climate change to its dialogue with China. And today there is a report saying that EU officials said in the US that they would ask China to undertake more obligations on the issue of climate change. How do you comment on this?

A: The issue of climate change is a challenge faced by all members of the international community, who should join their hands in addressing this issue. At present the timeline for negotiations on implementing the "Bali Roadmap" is over half, but progress is still very sluggish. We have to emphasize that according to the consensus of the "Bali Roadmap", the voluntary emission reduction efforts of developing countries are fundamentally different from compulsory reduction of developed countries. Therefore the results of Copenhagen negotiations should reflect the consensus and the different responsibilities and obligations of developed and developing countries, so as to make effective arrangement for the full implementation of the Convention and the Protocol. According to articles of the Convention and the Protocol, following the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", developed countries should continue to take the lead in reduction efforts after 2012. We believe it holds the key to the Copenhagen negotiations.

China's big amount of total emission is because of its large population, but the level of per capita emission and accumulative emission is very low. Nonetheless, China is willing to work with other developing countries to participate in international cooperation on climate change with a positive attitude and address the issue through a sustainable development strategy to make our own contribution. In fact, China and other developing countries have already made huge efforts to deal with climate change. If developed countries honor their commitment, provide funds and transfer technology to help developing countries in this regard, developing countries can make more contributions.

I believe that you already know very well that the Chinese Government attaches great importance to the issue of climate change, and has formulated China's National Climate Change Programme. The objectives put forward in the Programme include reducing energy consumption per unit GDP by 20% by 2010 on the basis of that of 2005, increasing the share of renewable energy to 10% in primary energy supply, increasing forest coverage rate to 20%, etc. These are all binding objectives, and have been integrated into national plans for economic and social development.

Q: According to media reports, Japan's Maritime Safety Agency stationed for the first time PLH (patrol vessels large with helicopter) in the waters of Diaoyu Islands, saying that the action was aimed to defend against "invasion" from Chinese marine survey ships. How do you comment on this?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its adjacent islets have been China's inalienable territory since ancient times. China has undisputable sovereign rights over them. Any action by the Japanese side to strengthen actual control over the islands constitutes an infringement upon China's territorial sovereignty, which is illegal and invalid, and should be stopped immediately.

If there are no more questions, thank you for coming. See you!

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