|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on April 1, 2008|
On the afternoon of April 1, 2008, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on the recent highly violent crimes in Lhasa involving beating, smashing, looting and arson, the Beijing Olympics, the China-US strategic economic dialogue and other issues.
Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have one announcement to make.
At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council, Prime Minister Clark of New Zealand will pay an official visit to China from April 6 to 8.
Now, the floor is open.
Q: On March 28, Dalai released a so-called appeal to the Chinese people. How do you respond to that?
A: Over the past five decades, the Dalai Clique has been distorting the history, provoking ethnic conflicts and undermining social stability in pursuit of "Tibet Independence". Recently, the Dalai Clique plotted and instigated the incidents involving beating, smashing up properties, looting and arson in Lhasa and other Tibetan-inhabited areas. They endangered the safety of people's lives and properties, aroused strong indignation of the Chinese people of various ethnic groups and drew international condemnation. This incident is another exposure of the hypocrisy of the non-violence propaganda of Dalai in front of people around the world. Solid evidence has proven the connection between Dalai and the Lhasa incident. His attempt to clear himself of the link through the "Appeal" is futile. On one hand, Dalai claims that he hopes to have contact and talks with the Central Government. But on the other hand, he is creating social disturbances and disrupting the Beijing Olympics anticipated by peoples and athletes worldwide, which has severely undermined the basis for the talks. If Dalai really wants to have talks and contact with the Central Government and become a member of the big family of our motherland, he should immediately stop all his activities of inciting violent act of beating, smashing up properties, looting and arson, disrupting the Beijing Olympics and separating Tibet from the motherland.
Q: According to Chinese official media, the situation in Lhasa is back to normal. However, it is reported that new demonstrations took place there last weekend. Could you confirm that and give us the number of casualties? Besides, foreign journalists are still banned from reporting in Lhasa freely. Chinese authorities said that a 10-day ban would be exercised in Lhasa for the safety of foreign journalists. But the ban should expire last week, why are the journalists still prevented from visiting Tibet? Did the Chinese Government extend the ban? Why?
A: Tibet used to be open and you could visit and travel there after going through certain formalities. The current measures are taken as a result of the violence involving beating, smashing, looting and arson. The Chinese competent authorities and local government took righteous measures according to law while exercising restraint. We hope the situation in Lhasa become calm and stable at an early date.
This afternoon, the Ministry of Public Security will hold a briefing on the situation in Tibet and the developments of the investigation. Your presence will be welcome.
Q: Last week, President Hu Jintao, while having a phone conversation with President Bush, said that it is the consistent position of the mainland to resume consultation across the Straits on the basis of the 1992 consensus. However different English versions of the reports send unclear message as to whether the mainland and Taiwan could have different interpretations over what constitutes "One China". So what exact information has President Hu conveyed to President Bush?
A: We have released the information on the phone conversation between President Hu Jintao and President Bush. I could doublecheck the English version for you. But I'd like to stress that the One China principle is the important political basis for China to handle and develop its relations with other countries and we will adhere to this principle. As to the relations across the Straits, President Hu Jintao has fully expounded on that in his important speech on March 4.
Q:What is your response to the Dalai Lama's brief stopover in Japan on his way to the United States next week? Will this affect President Hu Jintao's planned visit to Japan in May? The second question is, the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that President Bush should keep the boycott of the Beijing Olympics' opening ceremony on the table. And to my knowledge, she is not the only one thinking about the boycotting, do you have any response?
A: Our policy to Dalai is consistent and clear-cut. We oppose his engagement in separatist activities in any countries under any name or identity. We oppose governmental officials of any countries in encouraging or supporting his separatist activities under any name or in any form. Our position is resolute.
As for those crying for boycotting the Beijing Olympics, I would like to say that the Olympic Games is a big event for people worldwide. The foreign political figures are not attending the Olympics to please China, but to cheer up their own athletes in the capacity as members of the big family of the Olympics. So don't even think of isolating China by not attending the Olympics. Some foreign dignitaries showed up in the past, many others did not, which is nothing abnormal. So there's nothing to make a sensation about. I would like to point out that if some people attempt to use this world event as a stage to put on their own political show, then they are looking for a wrong place, and they are humiliating themselves. It is their image and interest that will be undermined when they choose to leave the big family of the Olympics. So don't bother making up political excuses.
Q: The Xinhua News Agency issued a lengthy article yesterday, releasing some evidence to prove that the Dalai Clique is behind the Lhasa incident. Is that all the evidence you have? Or will there be more evidence in the future? Also, will the source of the evidence be released?
A: The authoritative information on investigating, evidence-collecting and handling of the relevant case would be from the Chinese police and local government. So you can refer your questions to the Ministry of Public Security at its press conference later this afternoon.
But I would like to emphasize that the nature of this incident cannot be clearer. We hope that the international community can distinguish between the right and wrong, uphold justice, understand and support the Chinese Government's actions of justice.
Q: The Japanese media says that President Hu Jintao will start his visit to Japan on May 6, can you confirm? Is the ROK also in his visiting plan?
A: The arrangement for President Hu's visit to Japan is under active consultation between the two countries. We will release relevant news in due course as usual. We take seriously President Hu's visit to Japan, through which we hope to work with Japan in mapping out the direction for our future development and bring our relations on the track of long-term and stable development.
China and the ROK are good neighbors. We highly value our relations with the ROK, and we would like to maintain the tradition of high-level exchanges with the new government of the ROK to further promote our communication and cooperation in a wide range of fields. You will be informed in time if there is any news on China-ROK high level visits.
Q: In its report to be issued tomorrow, the Amnesty International will accuse the Chinese Government of suppressing dissidents, and demand China to stop stifling radical human rights activists and Tibetan protestors. What is China's position?
A: The organization you mentioned is biased and hostile towards China, I can expect what kind of report it will issue. Here, I would like to underscore that any attempt to blackmail or exert pressure on China by taking advantage of the Olympics will lead to nowhere. China is a country under the rule of law, and we will not abandon law because of the Olympics. All people are equal before the law. No one has the privilege to overstep the law. And any one's right should be exercised within the framework of law.
Q: The US Treasury Secretary Paulson will visit China tomorrow. Can you share with us more information on that?
A: Mr. Paulson will visit China from April 2 to 3. As the special representative of President Bush, he will have a meeting with Vice Premier Wang Qishan, the special representative of President Hu Jintao. They will exchange views on China-US SED and other issues related to bilateral relations.
China and the US have agreed to hold the 4th SED in the US this June. Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Secretary Paulson will co-chair the dialogue. At present, the two countries are having active consultation on related questions at the working level. We hope they will have in-depth explorations on issues concerning general interests of long-term and strategic significance with a view to achieving mutual and win-win benefit and promoting the healthy development of bilateral trade and economic ties.
Q: Has China deployed troops in Tibet out of security consideration since March 14? Second, when will the restriction on foreigners and foreign reporters travelling to Tibet be lifted? Do you have a plan to organize another reporting trip to Tibet?
A: On your first question, I am not in a position to speak for the military. I would like to stress that when dealing with those violent crimes, the competent authorities of China have fulfilled their duty according to law and exerted maximum restraint. In dealing with the Lhasa incident, China did not dispatch troops or use lethal weapons, which you are all aware of.
On your second question, recently we have helped arranging trips to Tibet for foreign reporters and diplomats and hope the visits will help them know the truth. As for the demand for further trips, we will take it into consideration and see if the local situation allows. We will keep in touch with you once the relevant arrangement is fixed.
There are special measures in place in Tibet and some other places under the special circumstances. We are not the cause of it, nor do we like to see that. We hope the situation will return to normal as soon as possible.
Q: The USS Kitty Hawk has filed its application for a port call to HK. Do you have any information on that and when will it arrive in HK?
A: China has received the application of Kitty Hawk Strike Group for a port call to HK. Application of its kind will be dealt with case-by-case in line with the sovereignty principle. I can share with you that China has approved the application of USS Nimitz to visit HK in early April.
Q: IOC officials say Internet in China must be fully open during the Olympic Games and the censorship should be lifted. Will China do so during the Games?
A: The Chinese government has been proactively supporting and promoting the sound development of Internet. We have also borrowed the helpful experiences and practices of some western countries on Internet management. At present, our measures are in line with the general international practice. During the Games, we will honor our commitment in bidding for the Games and follow the general practice of Olympics so as to provide better service for the athletes and reporters.
Q: The Olympic torch has arrived in Kazakhstan. Is China worried about possible protests during the torch relay? One analyst with the US Department Defense has pleaded guilty of offering some classified US-Taiwan military information to China. Please confirm.
A: The Beijing Olympic Games torch will be relayed in the global arena. It delivers the notion of peace, friendship and harmony and carries forth the Olympic spirit. Any action to disturb and sabotage the relay of the Olympic torch is defiance to the Charter of Olympic Games and the Olympic spirit, as well as to the people all around the world who cherish peace and the Olympic Games. We are confident in ensuring the smooth relay of the Olympic torch, which belongs to the people of the world, by working with the governments of all the other countries.
On your second question, the noise in this regard has been popping up from time to time. This is groundless and out of ulterior motives. The purpose is to hype up the "China threat", which is baseless.
Q: How will China deal with the death of two Chinese workers in the strike incident in Equatorial Guinea? The police of Equatorial Guinea said that the condition was not like what China described. What's China's response to that?
A: Recently, around a hundred of workers with a corporation from Dalian for a project in Equatorial Guinea, went on strike in disregard of the local law. They clashed with police in charge, causing one death and four injuries of Chinese citizens. The Chinese Embassy in Equatorial Guinea and the Foreign Ministry has made solemn representations to Equatorial Guinea, strongly urging them to investigate the case as soon as possible and properly handle the aftermath. The Government of Equatorial Guinea expressed deep regret and apologized to China, committing itself to a properly handling of the aftermath. The situation is stable now. Those injured are recovering. China has also sent a working group to Equatorial Guinea to deal with this incident.
Q: Some foreign news portals are blocked in China. Will the websites be accessible during the Beijing Olympic games?
A: China's policies on the Internet are clear. The main reason for the inaccessibility of some foreign websites in China is that they spread information prohibited by Chinese law. It is common practice in other countries.
Q: What kind of information is illegal and prohibited according to Chinese law?
A: Chinese laws have clearly stipulated which on-line activities are prohibited. Countries all regulate on the Internet management. Measures taken by China are not that different from the international practices.
Q: Vice President of the United Arab Emirates is visiting China. Can you give us more details about the agreements signed? Is there a petroleum contract?
A: Vice President, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Mohammed is still in China for a visit. Yesterday afternoon, Chinese President Hu Jintao met with him. On April 3, Premier Wen Jiabao will hold talks and Vice President Xi Jinping will meet with him respectively. As to whether the two countries will sign any agreement, we will keep you updated. China and the UAE, as friendly countries, have conducted fruitful cooperation in various fields with rapid progress in trade and economic cooperation. The United Arab Emirates is the second largest trading partner and the largest export market of China in the Arab world. The two countries cooperate closely in fields such as project contract, labor service, investment and telecommunication.
Q: I think China has changed its position on the issue of boycotting the Olympics. Now China opposes boycotting Olympics for political reasons, then why didn't China take part in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow?
A: The Olympic Games is a major event for people worldwide. We are firmly against boycotting the Olympics.
If there are no more questions, thanks for your attendance.