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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on July 15, 2010

On the afternoon of July 15, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.

Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have an announcement to start with.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Rassoul of Afghanistan and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem of Vietnam, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will attend the International Conference on Afghanistan to be held in Kabul on July 20 as well as the Foreign Ministers' Meeting of ASEAN-China (10+1), the Foreign Ministers' Meeting of ASEAN-China, Japan and ROK (10+3), the Foreign Ministers' unofficial consultation of the East Asia Summit and Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum to be held in Hanoi from July 21 to 23.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: About the series of meetings to be held in Hanoi, will there be any bilateral meetings between Foreign Minister Yang and officials from other countries including the DPRK?

A: China is still in consultation with relevant sides on Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's bilateral meetings. When finalized, information will be released in due course.

Q: The ROK and the US are planing to hold joint military exercises both in the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan, with the US aircraft carrier participating in the drill to be held in the Sea of Japan. How do you comment? Second, US government officials said that US aircraft carrier George Washington took part in the military exercise in the Yellow Sea last October, which did not draw open objections from China. What is the difference between the situations now and then?

A: On the two questions, our position is consistent and clear. We firmly oppose any foreign military vessel or plane conducting activities in the Yellow Sea and China's coastal waters undermining China's security interests. Under the current circumstances, we hope relevant parties exercise calmness and restraint and refrain from activities that would escalate tension in the region.

Q: Indian Foreign Minister Krishna is now visiting Pakistan, which is his first visit there after the Bombay attack. As a major country in the region, what's China's attitude towards the two countries' improving their relations?

A: Both India and Pakistan are neighbors of China and countries of major impact in South Asia. The improvement and development of their bilateral relations is conducive not only to peace, stability and development of South Asia but also that of the whole Asia. We welcome and support the two sides to advance mutual trust, narrow their differences and achieve common development through dialogue and cooperation.

Q:According to reports, US Defense Secretary Gates will visit Seoul to have consultations with the ROK on July 21, and the joint exercise will be held shortly after. The US Defense Department Spokesman also said that the US decision to hold the exercise both in the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan is out of consideration for China's position. Do you have any comment?

A: I have repeatedly stressed China's stance on this issue. We hope relevant parties do things beneficial to security mutual-trust, good-neighborliness and friendship among regional countries as well as peace and stability of the region.

Q: If the US and the ROK carry out such joint exercises, what reaction will China take? For example, suspending military exchanges or something else?

A: We have expressed grave concern to relevant parties over the issue and made China's principled position clear on many occasions. The Chinese public has also voiced their strong feelings. We will closely follow the developments of the situation.

Q: Early this year, the US Government discovered a batch of electronic products imported from China with malicious software. Some critics say this is intentionally arranged by Chinese companies or security authorities. How do you comment? What steps will China take to boost foreign consumers' confidence in Chinese software?

A: I'm unaware of the specifics. However, I believe Chinese enterprises provide good yet inexpensive goods to world consumers rather than viruses. As for the details, I suggest you refer to competent authorities including the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Industry and Information to see if they can give you a satisfying answer.

Q: If the US and the ROK forge ahead with the exercise in July, will China and the DPRK hold exercises in the western coast of the Korean Peninsula in response?

A: I wonder whether this question represent your own opinion or some media's view which I have already read. This is a typical Cold-War thinking, dividing Northeast Asia and Asia-Pacific into different military blocs and viewing regional security from a confrontational even antagonistic perspective. Now, the situation has changed so much that no single country or military bloc can resolve regional security issues alone which ask for joint efforts of regional countries. Countries should enhance mutual-trust and strengthen cooperation through dialogue and negotiation so as to jointly safeguard peace and stability of the region.

Q: The Foreign Ministry recently organized foreign journalists for a trip to Tibet, but some wrote reports saying local Tibetans are "under oppression". How do you respond to these reports? Yesterday, UK Foreign Secretary said that the UK Government is concerned about the human rights situation in Tibet. Do you have any comment?

A: I have a brief answer for you, that is what happens there speaks louder than mere arguments. No matter you like it or not, Tibet has seen continuous developments in economic and social undertakings, fully guaranteed human rights for Tibetan people, unity among various ethnic groups and people leading happy lives. This is undeniable truth.

On the human rights situation there, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Foreign Secretary Hague met the press yesterday after their meeting, during which Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi answered relevant questions in a comprehensive and eloquent manner.

Q: Since foreign media can go visit Xinjiang anytime now, when will the Chinese Government allow us visiting Tibet freely? Why are all the restrictions in place?

A: For both the situations in Tibet and Xinjiang, I have a few words for some journalists that I hope you do your stories based on reality rather than your imagination.

As to foreign journalists' going to Tibet, you are now living and working in China and the basic rule is to abide by China's laws and regulations.

Q: With the forthcoming summer vacation, many foreign visitors will come to China. Are there any suggestions or restrictions from the Chinese Government for the visitors going to flood-affected areas?

A: Recently, some southern provinces have been hit by severe floods with over 60 million people affected. The Chinese Government, relevant authorities and local people are dedicated to the struggle against flood as well as disaster relief. At present, I haven't heard of any restrictions over foreign guests visiting those areas, I just want to remind them of their own safety.

If there are no more questions, thanks for coming! See you!

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