|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu's Regular Press Conference on January 21, 2010|
On the afternoon of January 21, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu held a regular press conference and answered questions.
Ma Zhaoxu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. First, I'd like to welcome students from Macao, winners of the "Youth National Education Knowledge Competition". Welcome to today's press conference!
I have two announcements to start with.
At the invitation of President Doris Leuthard of the Swiss Confederation and Chairman Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum, Vice Premier Li Keqiang will pay an official visit to Switzerland from January 25 to 28 and attend World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2010 in Davos, Switzerland.
As the special representative of President Hu Jintao, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will attend the Regional Summit on the Afghanistan issue to be held in Istanbul, Turkey on January 26. He is also going to pay official visits to Turkey, Cyprus and France from January 25 to February 6 and attend the International Conference on Afghanistan in London on January 28 and the Munich Conference on Security Policy from February 5 to 7.
Now the floor is open.
Q: The situation in Haiti is getting worse. Will China consider sending more peacekeepers to Haiti?
A: You may have learnt from media reports that China is going to send four more peacekeeping police to Haiti. Out of humanitarianism and internationalism, China sent a rescue team to Haiti immediately after the earthquake and provided emergency relief and donations. China is ready to work with the international community to continue to support the relief efforts and post-disaster reconstruction of Haiti. As for whether we will send peacekeeping forces, it depends on the relevant UN resolutions and arrangement.
Q: First question, what does China propose to do regarding the post-quake reconstruction of Haiti? Is there the need to set up multilateral mechanism for coordination of relief efforts? Second question is about the role of the US in the rescue and relief efforts of Haitian earthquake. There are comments that the US is attempting to use this opportunity to "take over" Haiti. How does China comment?
A: At present, the rescue and relief efforts in Haiti have been in full swing. The priority for next stage is on post-disaster reconstruction. We can foresee that the reconstruction will be a long and arduous task. The United Nations should take full advantage of its strength in guiding and coordinating so as to pool the relief efforts of all parties concerned. China supports the UN in playing an important role in this regard to ensure that the reconstruction will be launched soon and effects be yielded at an early date. Meanwhile, China will further consider providing assistance to Haiti in light of the developments there and responding to the emergency appeal of the UN.
As for multilateral cooperation on relief efforts, China has maintained close consultation and cooperation with parties concerned in the Security Council as Chair of the Council this month. Ambassador Zhang Yesui has chaired several review meetings on the Haiti earthquake and pushed with other parties for the adoption of Resolution 1908 in the Council, deciding to send additional 3,500 peacekeepers to the UN mission in Haiti to assist the humanitarian relief, stabilizing efforts and post-disaster reconstruction there. The Resolution is of great significance to the security and reconstruction of Haiti. China will continue to enhance coordination with other parties to promote the greater role of the UN in international rescue and relief and make more contribution to Haiti's reconstruction.
On your second question, the international community is actively undertaking the rescue and relief efforts. We hope relevant parties will enhance coordination and make concerted efforts to help the Haitian people out of the plight and rebuild their homeland.
Q: First question, what is China's expectation of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2010 to be held in Davos, Switzerland? Second question, what measures will China take in its participation of the relief efforts and reconstruction of Haitian earthquake in the next stage?
A: Vice Premier Li Keqiang is going to attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2010. Currently, the world economy is at the critical juncture of recovering from recession. However, such recovery is not on a solid foundation since the profound impact of the international financial crisis still exist and many uncertainties and destabilizing factors remain in the way of all-round recovery of the world economy.
At present, focusing on the future direction of the world economic development in the post-crisis era, the international community has had extensive and in-depth discussions on the reform of the world economic governance and development model. We hope that all participating parties will make use of the important platform of the World Economic Forum to have in-depth discussions on how to draw lessons from the crisis, resolve the hidden problems of the world economy, overcome various forms of trade and investment protectionism and effectively respond to such issues as climate change, food security and energy security so as to provide practical and feasible proposals.
During the meeting, Vice Premier Li Keqiang will deliver a speech, expounding on China's position and views and have close exchanges with other participants, discussing how to further promote the recovery of world economy.
As for the relief efforts, I have briefed you on what I know in answering the earlier question. We will release information in due course on the specific assistance at the next stage. I can assure you that we will continue to actively participate in the relief efforts and reconstruction of Haiti.
Q: First question, do you have further information on China's discussion with Google to allow it to operate a search engine without censorship. Second question, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to make a speech on internet freedom and openness later today. How does China comment?
A: On the Google issue, I have made comprehensive and detailed remarks on Tuesday and have nothing more to add. We want to stress that China's internet is open and managed according to law. As for whether Google has contacted the Chinese side on this specific issue, I suggest you refer to competent Chinese authorities for more details.
As for the speech Secretary Clinton might deliver, I will not make comments on things that have not happened yet.
Q: Recently, the US and Russia had a new round of discussions on Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. How does China react?
A: The two countries have made progress in their recent consultation of the Treaty. We believe that as countries with the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, the US and Russia should have further and substantial reduction of nuclear arsenal in a verifiable and irreversible way so as to create necessary conditions for the ultimate, comprehensive and thorough nuclear disarmament. We hope the two countries could reach a new treaty at an early date and take concrete actions to substantially reduce nuclear weapons.
China always endorses and actively promotes the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. China is ready to work with other parties to continue to make contribution to the international nuclear disarmament process.
Q: You just mentioned China will send another four peacekeepers to Haiti, while the UN resolution asked for an additional 3500 peacekeepers there. Has the UN raised request to China for more peacekeepers?
A: The United Nations has adopted a resolution to send more peacekeepers to Haiti, and I believe all parties will decide how to implement the resolution through consultations in light of the rules of the resolution and their own conditions.
Q: Firstly, will the upcoming speech by Secretary of State Clinton add more diplomatic controversy to the Google incident? Secondly, the Zambian opposition presidential candidate recently voiced his opposition to China's investment in Zambia's mineral resources again. How do you comment?
A: I can see you are very interested in China's view of the possible speech, and I believe you are not alone to have such aspiration. However, we are not supposed to speculate on what has not happened yet. This is not what China will do under such circumstances, but also an international practice. I hope you can have more patience for that.
Regarding the remarks of Zambian presidential candidate, China always urges overseas Chinese enterprises to observe local laws and regulations, respect their custom and habits, honor their due social responsibilities and safeguard legitimate rights and interests of local employees so as to live in harmony with local people. Most of our enterprises have followed these principles, and our government will continue to request them to do so. It is undeniable that lots of Chinese enterprises have done tremendous contribution to the society and people's well-being of the resident countries in Africa and other places of the world.
Q: Last time, you touched upon the P5 plus 1 meeting in New York. Could you further brief us on China's position on sanctions against Iran?
A: I have expounded on China's view towards that meeting at our last briefing. China supports the "dual track" Strategy in settling the Iranian nuclear issue. We always believe that diplomatic negotiations are the best way to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. At present, parties still have room for diplomatic efforts. The pressing task is still, from the overall and long-term perspective, to enhance diplomatic endeavor, adopt more flexible and pragmatic policies to press ahead with dialogue and negotiations. This is the right track to follow.
Q: A Massachusetts Republican candidate was elected as US Senator recently. As the biggest holder of US debt, is China concerned that this result will bring some political troubles to the China-US relations?
A: The election inside the US is an internal affair of the US which we never interfere with. Thus it is inappropriate for me to make any comments.
Q: Five Hong Kong legislators resigned today and they want Hong Kong to hold universal suffrage including direct votes from citizens and to solicit opinions from the citizens on universal suffrage in 2012 and 2017. How do you view that?
A: You speak very fluent Chinese and you are really attentive to Hong Kong issues. But I am afraid this is not a question in the purview of the Foreign Ministry spokesman. I'll leave it to the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.
Q: The US today allowed a Taiwan military aircraft to stopover en route to Haiti. Do you have any comment?
A: I have not read relevant news. But I'd like to reiterate that we firmly adhere to the One China principle and resolutely oppose any official contact or exchanges between Taiwan and any foreign governments including the US.
If there are no more questions, thanks for coming! See you!