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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's Press Conference on March 11

Liu: Good afternoon, everybody! I've an announcement here: at the invitation of President Hu Jintao, H.E. Joseph Urusemal, President of the Federated States of Micronesia is going to pay a state visit to China from March 19 to 25.

Now the floor is open.

Q: Could you please introduce to us Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo's visit to the US? He passed on a letter of President Hu Jintao to President Bush, and then the US reiterated the "One China" policy. Is Taiwan question mentioned in the letter? It's reported that the mainland China is bringing pressure to the US, hoping that the US could stop the "referendum" in Taiwan. Can you confirm that? If it is true, what the mainland China is expecting from the US on this matter?

A: With regard to your first question, Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo visited the US from March 8 to 9 as Special Envoy of the Chinese Government. During the visit, he had extensive and in-depth exchanges of views with the US leaders on Sino-US relations, and international and regional questions of common interest. He also passed on a letter of President Hu Jintao to President Bush. Both China and the US spoke positively of the development momentum of the bilateral relations, and expressed the willingness to make joint efforts to push forward the Sino-US constructive and cooperative relations. Special Envoy Dai Bingguo also expounded on China's principled position on Taiwan question. The US side reiterated that the US government would adhere to the "One China" policy and stick to the position on Taiwan question that President Bush had made clear on December 9 of last year. The two sides also discussed the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue. They indicated that the consultation and coordination would be strengthened for the successful convocation of the third round of six-party talks in Beijing.

About the letter, I don't have the specific content of it. With regard to whether China has asked the US to stop the "referendum" in Taiwan, the two sides have maintained communication on the Taiwan question. We hope the US could play a constructive role in the reunification of China.

Q: Yesterday Afghan Foreign Ministry said that China was considering increasing its police force in Afghanistan. Could you confirm that and give us some details?

A: During the visit of Afghan Foreign Minister, the Chinese side and the Afghan Foreign Minister exchanged views on the China-Afghanistan relations and regional and international questions of common interest. About whether China would send more police to Afghanistan, the Chinese side has always supported and actively participated in the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan. China is willing to strengthen its cooperation with Afghanistan in various fields, including the police affairs. Competent departments of the two sides are right now discussing about the cooperation.

Q: From March 1, the Nanjing Massacre Memorial has been open for free, with the number of visitors increasing dramatically to over ten times that of the last year. What's your comment? Is there a connection between the decision for free visit and the homage paid by Prime Minister Koizumi to the Yasukuni Shrine?

A: In handling China-Japan relations, China and Japan have an important consensus. Both sides maintain that we should draw lessons from history and be forward-looking, and handle the friendly cooperative relations between China and Japan based on this principle. One of the contents of drawing lessons from history is helping the people to have a clear and right understanding about the past history. Whether the Nanjing Massacre Memorial is open to the public free of charge or not, the fundamental aim is to enhance the education of the people about the historical facts. I think the education should not be confined to China only. There should also be this kind of education in Japan, so as to help the Japanese people to know more about history and to view the history objectively. This will help the two peoples and the bilateral relations to face the future on the basis of drawing lessons from history. It will also help cast off the burden and help the bilateral relations to move forward healthily, steadily and smoothly.

Q: It's reported that an US Under Secretary of State almost denied the possibility for the six-party talks working groups to meet in March. What is your comment? Would you introduce to us the progress of the working groups' preparation?

A: The agreement to set up working groups is one of the achievements of this round of the six-party talks. As host of the talks, China will come up with a plan on the composition, function and agenda of the working groups in due course. At present, my colleagues are studying carefully about this. The working groups' mission is to prepare for the next round of six-party talks, and its establishment won't be far away. After the Chinese side has come up with a plan, it will hold consultations with the other five parties about relevant matters. We are looking forward to hearing opinions and receiving support from the parties concerned.

Q: The Nanjing Massacre Memorial hadn't been open for free until March. Is that connected to the Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi's insistence that he pay homage to the Yasukuni Shrine? The Chinese people who had visited the memorial all indicated that their opinions about Japan changed after the visit. Could you tell us whether the phenomenon will influence the Foreign Ministry's policy towards Japan in the future?

A: There is nothing strange about whether a memorial is open for free or not. As a matter of fact, there are quite a lot of memorials in the world that open for free. Just now you mentioned some Chinese visitors changed their opinions about Japan after visiting the Nanjing Massacre Memorial. Personally I think it's more accurate to say they now have a clearer understanding about the disaster the Japanese militarism brought to the Chinese people, about the history of Japan's aggression of China and the crimes the Japanese militarism committed in China. I think, through the visit, they would value more the existing good-neighborly, friendly and cooperative relations between China and Japan. They would value more the idea of carrying on the friendship from generation to generation. And they will hate to fight another war. This will have the China-Japan relations benefit the two peoples and the generations to come. Meanwhile we also hope the Japanese side could adopt a right attitude towards history.

Q: Secretary General of the Council of the European Union and High Representative for the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy will come to China next week. Is there anything that China will be very pleased to see on the agenda of his visit?

A: The visit is his first official visit to China since Mr. Solana took office as Secretary General of the Council of the European Union and High Representative for the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy. Both sides have attached great importance to this visit. During Mr. Solana's visit in China, Premier Wen Jiabao will meet with him and Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will hold talks with him. During the meeting and the talks, the two sides will exchange views on China-Europe relations, current international situation, Korean Peninsular nuclear issue and other questions of common interest. Then, Mr. Solana will also pay a visit to the Secretariat of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and deliver a speech at Tsinghua University. As we can see that his schedule is rather rich and varied.

Q: During Mr. Solana's visit to China, will the two sides talk about the EU's participation in the six-party talks? What's China's position about this? Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo is now in the US discussing with the US officials ways to resolve DPRK nuclear issue, whereas the US side said recently there was no hurry in resolving the issue. What's your comment?

A: As far as I know, the EU hasn't expressed its intention to participate in the six-party talks yet. The question you raised just now is just an assumption. However we appreciate the EU's positive efforts for the second round of six-party talks and for pushing forward the peaceful solution process of the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue. As we all know that an EU delegation has also visited DPRK.

In the US Special Envoy Dai Bingguo exchanged views with the US side on the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue. I haven't got the specifics. Just now you mentioned the remarks of the US side. About this issue, the Chinese side's position is that we hope the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue could be properly settled through peaceful dialogues and diplomatic channels at an early date. We hope the concerns of relevant parties, including the security concern of DPRK, could be addressed. However necessary patience is needed during the process of resolving the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue, because the issue is too complicated. The process of resolving Korean Peninsular nuclear issue through dialogues started last year has made some tangible positive progress up to now. For example the tension over the Korean Peninsular at the beginning of the nuclear issue has been relaxed, the parties concerned have pledged to live side by side peacefully, the nuclear issue has embarked on a track of peaceful solution, and the parties concerned have decided upon the way to resolve the nuclear issue, namely, adopting coordinated and synchronized measures in resolving the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue. Of course the aim of the relevant parties' efforts is to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsular. We hope the parties concerned could continue to display sincerity and push forward effectively the dialogue process with a pragmatic and flexible attitude.

Q: During his visit to China, will Mr. Solana talk about lifting the arms sales ban on China? Will you make some progress on this question?

A: The visit hasn't taken place yet. As to what kind of specific topics the two sides will pick up, I will release the information during his visit. Lifting the arms sales ban on China is a topic both sides are very much concerned about, and is now listed on the agenda of the EU. It would be natural if the two sides exchange views about this question.

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