|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on September 4, 2008|
On September 4, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference and answered questions on the Chinese Government's submission of its 2007military expenditure report to the UN, the South Ossetia issue, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsular and etc.
Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. The floor is open for your questions.
Q: Please brief us on the casualties of foreigners in Sichuan Earthquake. Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday that the highway from Dujiangyan to Wenchuan is now accessible. Is it also open to foreign journalists? And how do you comment on Georgia's cutting diplomatic ties with Russia?
A: I think you mean the Panzhihua-Huili earthquake in your first question. So far, we have not received any casualty report about foreigners there.
After the quake, both central and local governments took active and effective measures to provide emergency assistance to the affected area. In fact, a large number of daily necessities have already been delivered to ensure local people's essential need. We also feel grateful to the international community for its attention to the people affected.
As for your second question, please refer it to the local government.
About Georgia severing diplomatic relations with Russia, we hope relevant parties will solve their disputes peacefully through dialogue and consultation. Meanwhile, we hope the international community could create sound conditions in this regard.
Q: It's reported that a Chinese company have signed a 3-billion-dollar worth of oil contract with Iraq. Please feed us with details.
A: I have read the relevant report. It's understood that the Chinese oil company is having discussion with Iraq on the relevant oil program. The Chinese Government supports its domestic companies to conduct oil and energy cooperation with Iraq on the basis of mutual benefit.
Q: The US assistant Secretary of State Hill is coming to Beijing for discussion on the DPRK nuclear issue because the latter plans to restart its Yongbyon nuclear facilities. Could you confirm whether the DPRK is actually reversing its nuclear disabling process? How is the discussion going on between China and the US and other parties?
A: It's true that Mr. Hill is coming to Beijing, and arrangement of his itinerary is underway.
It is the consensus and shared interest of all parties to realize the goals set in the September 19 Joint Statement. Despite the recent problem, we believe all parties should step up communication and contact, display flexibility and make jointly commitment to an early settlement, so as to further promote the Six-party Talks.
As the host country of the Six-party Talks, China has kept close communication and coordination with all other parties.
Q: It's reported that Iranian President Ahmadinejad will pay a visit to China on Saturday. Will President Hu Jintao meet with him?
A: We welcome political dignitaries from other countries to attend the opening ceremony of Beijing Paralympics as its international VIP. Accurate information will be release in due course. Chinese leaders will meet with them.
Q: Media from the ROK quoted a human rights organization named the "North Korean Human Rights Campaign Organizing Committee" as saying that thousands of North Korean orphans are seeking refuge in northeast China, but living miserably with some of them being forced to prostitution or begging. Please confirm.
A: This question should be referred to competent authorities. I would like to point out that illegal migration is an infringement on relevant Chinese administration law, and a disturbance to entry-exit order. Some illegal immigrants commit criminal activities in China, severely undermining our social security. When it comes to illegal migrants from the DPRK and their children, China always deals with them according to its domestic law, the international law and the humanitarian principle.
If there are no more questions, I have an announcement to make. The Chinese Government has recently submitted to the United Nations its military expenditure report of 2007. This is China's second report of this kind since it joined the UN Military Budget Transparency Mechanism last year. Apart from the basic data of China's military expenditure in 2007, the report also explains where the expenditure goes. So it's more informative than that of last year. This proves once again that the Chinese Government attaches great importance to military transparency, and is committed to promoting military mutual trust with all other countries in the world.
Q: Can we get this report or some figures?
A: I think the UN will release the report in light of its regulations and practice. We need to follow the UN rules here.
As you know, China has been actively engaged in improving military transparency in recent years. For instance, we have military exchanges with many countries to build mutual trust; we release the white paper China's National Defense every other year laying out our policies on various aspects of national defense building; last year, we participated for the first time in the UN Military Budget Transparency and resumed registration with the UN Register of Conventional Arms.
Q: Does China prefer to discuss Russia-Georgia conflict at the UN or OSCE?
A: We have stated our positions on many occasions. We hope that the parties concerned can ease the tension and settle the dispute peacefully through dialogue and consultation. Action on the part of the UN, if any, should be conducive to a negotiated settlement through dialogue and consultation, in the interest of peace and stability in South Ossetia, and based on the consensus among the major parties concerned.
If no other questions, thank you and see you next week.