On the afternoon of October 19, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Ma Zhaoxu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! I have two announcements to start with.
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Giorgio Napolitano of the Republic of Italy will pay a state visit to China from October 24 to 30.
During the visit, President Hu Jintao will have talks with him, Chairman Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao will meet with him respectively. The two sides will exchange views on bilateral relations, practical cooperation in various fields as well as international and regional issues of common interest. President Napolitano will also attend the celebration to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of China-Italy diplomatic relations. Apart from Beijing, President Napolitano will also visit Shanghai, Macao SAR and Hong Kong SAR.
At present, China-Italy relations enjoy smooth development with substantial achievements in cooperation and exchanges in various fields. China wishes to deepen political mutual trust and strengthen traditional friendly relations with Italy through high-level exchanges with a view to furthering China-Italy comprehensive strategic partnership.
At the invitation of the Chinese Government, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will visit China from October 30 to November 3.
We will exchange views with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on China-UN cooperation as well as international and regional issues of common interest. We expect the visit to further enhance China's cooperation with the UN.
Q: It's reported that Mr. Satsuki Eda, former President of Japan's House of Councillors, is visiting Beijing together with 1000 Japanese youth. Please tell us more about it.
A: We welcome the visit by Mr. Satsuki Eda, former President of Japan's House of Councillors and the 1000 Japanese youth.
The two peoples of China and Japan share a history of over 2000 years of friendly exchanges. China is ready to go hand-in-hand with Japan to continue the friendly exchanges between the two peoples, particularly among the youth so as to enhance mutual understanding and friendliness so as to lay a sound social foundation for healthy and stable development of bilateral relations.
Q: First, has China resumed the exchanges at and above ministerial level with Japan which were suspended due to the Diaoyu Island collision incident? Second, how do you comment on the demonstrations by Japanese right-wingers in front of the Chinese Embassy in Japan and anti-Japan demonstrations in some Chinese cities?
A: On your first question, China is certainly not to blame for the situation. We hope Japan meet with China half way and exert joint efforts to improve and develop bilateral relations.
On your second question, China and Japan are important neighbors. We uphold a proper resolution of the existing sensitive and complicated issues between the two countries through dialogue so as to jointly safeguard the strategic relationship of mutual benefit. It is understandable that some Chinese people expressed their indignation against the recent erroneous words and deeds of the Japanese side, but we believe patriotism should be expressed in a rational and lawful way. We don't approve actions either irrational or against the law. We believe the majority of the Chinese people can translate their patriotic passion into good performance at work for the overall interest of China's reform, development and stability.
Q: Iranian President Ahmadi-nejad said on October 17 that Iran will return to the negotiation table if the six countries concerned meet with Iran's conditions. Do you have any comment?
A: China always upholds a peaceful settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiations. Under the current circumstances, parties concerned should step up diplomatic efforts to bring the issue back to the track of dialogue and jointly seek for approach that leads to comprehensive, long-term and proper settlement of the issue.
Q: Japanese Foreign Minister Maehara reportedly called China "hysterical" in dealing with the collision incident. How do you comment on that?
A: We feel shocked that a Foreign Minister should make such remarks.
It is in the fundamental interest of both countries and peoples to improve and develop China-Japan relations. The recent series of remarks by officials from the Japanese Foreign Ministry obviously run in the opposite direction.
Q: Which Chinese leader will attend the upcoming East Asia Summit meetings? Will there be any meeting between Chinese and Japanese leaders?
A: About Chinese leader's attendance at the East Asia Summit meetings, information will be released in due course as usual.
As for whether there will be any meeting between Chinese and Japanese leaders, we hope the Japanese side display sincerity to improve bilateral relations through concrete actions so as to create necessary conditions and atmosphere for the meeting.
Q: It's reported that the recent mine strike in a southern province of Zambia leaves several mine workers wounded and two Chinese managers facing charges. Please give us more details on that.
A: On October 15, a private Chinese company in Zambia got involved in a labor dispute with local workers. In the clash, Chinese managers mistakenly wounded several Zambian workers.
After the incident, both sides took it seriously. As instructed by the Foreign Ministry, Chinese Embassy in Zambia took immediate measures, including helping relevant company to properly handle the labor dispute, visiting the injured and their families and assisting with communication between the company and the Zambian side. The situation has calmed down thanks to joint efforts of all parties. Proceeding from the overall interests of our friendly relations, China will continue close cooperation with Zambia, properly handle the aftermath according to law and guarantee the safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and personnel.
Q: It's reported that Israel announced in its recent statement to build over 200 new settler homes in east Jerusalem. The Palestini Chief negotiator said this would close the door for direct talks. How do you comment?
A: China expresses regrets over Israel's approval of new Jewish housing units in east Jerusalem and is deeply concerned about the Palestine-Israel direct talks which are now in crisis. China hopes the Israeli side take a responsible attitude towards the hard-won peace talks and take actions in a prudent manner to create conditions for pressing ahead with the peace talks.
Q: How do you respond to the statement issued by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry on the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Mr. Liu Xiaobo?
A: China appreciates the statement by the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan. I believe that any person or country without bias against China will draw a fair conclusion.
Q: The US side claimed that it had already asked the Chinese Government to stop some Chinese companies from helping Iran with missile technologies and nuclear weapons. Please confirm.
A: This September, US Coordinator for Iran and North Korea Sanctions Einhorn came to China for consultation over the Iranian nuclear issue. China upholds that relevant Security Council resolutions should be implemented in a comprehensive, accurate and earnest manner, which is favorable for safeguarding the integrity of the international non-proliferation regime and also conducive to peace and stability in the Middle East. China has been fulfilling its international obligations in an honest way and has taken an active part in relevant diplomatic efforts. We have made this position clear to the US side.
Q: Do you have any update on whether the Japanese side will release the video tape about the Diaoyu Island collision incident?
A: You should go to the Japanese side for that information.
Q: Can you brief us on China's diplomacy in its next Five-year plan?
A: The fifth plenary session of the 17th CPC Central Committee has concluded and issued a communiqué. The meeting was held at a critical stage when China is to complete the 11th five-year plan and moves to build a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way. The session is of great importance for China to seize and effectively utilize the major period of strategic opportunities, consolidate and reinforce the achievements of addressing the international financial crisis, promote long-term, stable and relatively fast economic growth and the great cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The communiqué makes an explicit statement on China's diplomacy and the international situation. Holding high the banner of peace, development and cooperation, pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace and adhering to the path of peaceful development, China will take an active part in international cooperation, safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development and build a harmonious world featured by enduring peace and common prosperity together with other countries in the world. If you want to understand China's diplomacy in the new period, I think this is the most authoritative description.
Q: According to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed between the Sudanese National Congress and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement in 2005, a referendum will be held in Southern Sudan next January. How do you see the current problems and troubles with the referendum process?
A: China hopes to see enduring peace and stability in Sudan, appreciates Sudanese Government's commitment to domestic peace and ethnic reconciliation and supports the North and the South to promote the peace process steadily through dialogue and friendly consultations. We hope to see a transparent and fair referendum in Southern Sudan that reflects the aspiration and choice of the Sudanese people. It's of paramount importance to safeguard peace and stability in Sudan and the region no matter what the result might be. We sincerely wish an early and proper settlement of the Darfur issue.
Q: Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe compared China to German Nazi in his recent speech in the US. How do you comment?
A: China pursues the path of peaceful development. The remarks you quoted are absolutely preposterous.
Q: Could you comment on some Japanese congressmen paying tribute to the Yasukuni Shrine?
A: China's position on the Yasukuni Shrine issue is consistent and clear. The Japanese side should prudently and properly handle relevant issue in the spirit of "taking history as a mirror and looking into the future".
Q: Japan's Trade Minister said today that China had barely lifted the rare earth export ban on Japan. Could you tell us how long the ban will last?
A: Every country has the right to make reasonable use of its domestic resources. For a long period of time, China has provided the world with large amount of rare earth products at low prices. Recently, China has taken necessary measures of management and restrictions to the industry according to domestic laws and regulations. The core purpose is to protect environment and achieve sustainable development. This is not only for the sake of China's own development but that of the world.
Thank you! See you!