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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu's Regular Press Conference on October 27, 2009

On October 27, 2009, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu held a regular press conference and answered questions.

Ma Zhaoxu: Good Afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. First of all, I'd like to welcome friends from Hong Kong Civil Servants Seminar. I have two announcements to start with:

At the invitation of Prime Minister Nazif of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council will pay an official visit to Egypt from November 6 to November 7. On November 8, Premier Wen Jiabao will attend the opening ceremony of the 4th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

The 4th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from November 8 to November 9. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Minister of Commerce Chen Deming will head the Chinese delegation to the conference.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb will pay an official visit to China from November 2 to November 3.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: I have two questions on the APEC meeting to be held next month. Many people are concerned over China's growing influence in regional and international affairs, and some people criticize China for ambitiously seeking dominance in these affairs. How do you respond to the criticism? What kind of world leader will China become? The second question bears on the principle of non-interference in others' internal affairs upheld by China all along. There is a growing chorus of voices calling for China to play an even more positive role in the international arena. To what extent can China adhere to the principle of non-interference in others' internal affairs?

A: You have raised a very thought-provoking question which is also of common interest of all. It is even a strategic question from a broader perspective. I appreciate that. The question deserves in-depth discussion at academic seminars, and I am afraid that it would be difficult for me to answer your question in one or two words on this occasion. However, I am still willing to share with you my opinions. First, concerning China's role in international affairs, China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace, remains committed to a path of peaceful development and plays a positive and constructive role in international affairs. It is our goal to work with other countries towards a harmonious world.

The principle of non-interference in others' internal affairs is universally recognized by the international community. It is also one of the basic ingredients of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the very foundation of China's foreign policy. China unswervingly upholds the principle of non-interference in others' internal affairs. In the meantime, given the rapid development of globalization and multi-polarization as well as increasingly complicated international situation, China, as a responsible country, will continue to play its due role as a positive and constructive party in the international arena.

Q: Premier Wen will visit Egypt and attend the ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. What is China's expectation towards the meeting? Specifically, will China provide fresh assistance and loans to the African countries this time?

A: Your question is about the upcoming meeting of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum and the scheduled visit of Premier Wen's to Egypt. I would like to answer that in detail. Egypt is the first African and Arab country to establish diplomatic relations with the New China. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the strategic cooperative relations established between the two countries. During his visit to Egypt, Premier Wen will meet with Egyptian President Mubarak and have talks with Prime Minister Nazif. The two sides will exchange views on further deepening China-Egypt strategic cooperative relations, pushing forward bilateral pragmatic cooperation and promoting China-Africa, China-Arab collective cooperation as well as other international and regional issues of common interest. In addition, they will sign relevant cooperation documents.

The 4th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, another big event for China-Africa friendship and cooperation following the 2006 Beijing Summit, is of great significance for further promoting China-Africa relations under the new circumstances. Both sides attach great importance to the meeting as evidenced by the presence of Premier Wen and other leaders from African countries in a series of major activities including the opening ceremony. The meeting will give an overall review of the implementation of various cooperative agreements since the Beijing Summit and issue the Sharm el-Sheikh Declaration of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation -Sharm el-Sheikh Action Plan for 2010-2012 which will chart the course for the development of China-Africa relations and work out a blueprint for bilateral cooperation in various areas in three years to come. As for specific arrangements of relevant meetings, we will hold a briefing for Chinese and foreign media. Officials from the Foreign Ministry and other ministries will give an introduction of the meeting then. Your presence is welcome.

Your question touched upon the assistance and loans in particular. China's assistance to African countries is long-term, generous and sustainable. It is expected that during the meeting when the two sides talk about the implementation of the Action Plan, they will also exchange views on further boosting economic and trade cooperation based on the 2006 summit and reach new consensus thereon.

Q: Recently, Beijing Automobile Works employee Yu Xiangdong and Shenzhen Chitron Electronics board chairman Wu Zhenzhou were arrested by the U.S. judicial authorities when returning to America. It is reported that many returnees from overseas studies have the "fear of being suspected as a spy". How do you respond to that?

A: On the specific case you just mentioned, I am not aware of the specifics. However, we are closely following whether the lawful rights and interests of those involved are guaranteed. I can tell you that China's Consulate-General in Chicago has already sent officials to visit Yu Xiangdong according to relevant provisions of the China-US Consular Treaty.

Q: According to Iranian media yesterday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki said that besides Russia and France, Iran will also discuss nuclear fuel supply with China. If China agrees, the two sides can launch cooperation in this regard. How do you comment?

A: You may have noticed that the International Atomic Energy Agency Director General ElBaradei has proposed a draft agreement on the nuclear fuel supply of Tehran's research reactor. We hope that relevant parties reach an agreement through negotiations at an early date.

Q: The United Nations General Assembly will vote on a draft resolution which urges America to lift its blockade against Cuba. What is China's reaction to that?

A: The Chinese Government always upholds that all countries follow the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the norms of international law, develop state-to-state relations on the basis of equality and mutual respect, and conduct dialogue instead of confrontation, engage in contact and communication rather than blockade and sanction. China believes that the blockade against Cuba should be lifted as soon as possible.

Q: Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of Ahn Joong-keun's death. Former Premier Zhou Enlai highly appreciated him. Yet the Harbin local authorities prohibited large-scale commemorations recently, so the Korean people had to hold a simple ceremony. What is the Chinese Government's official position on Ahn Joong-keun?

A: I don't have the information you mentioned concerning the local authorities, and I'd like to reply to you after verification.

Q: Is there any update on the rescue of the hijacked Chinese cargo ship "De Xin Hai"?

A: I have nothing more to release about the "De Xin Hai" cargo ship.

Q: It is reported by Chinese media that Chinese military personnel are searching for the remains of a U.S. bomber crashed in Guangdong during the Korean War. Is there any progress? Is the operation carried out jointly by the U.S. and China or by China alone?

A: On that specific case, I will give you an answer when more information is available.

Q: It is reported by ROK media that an 81-year-old Korean veteran was arrested by Chinese public security in China in mid-August. He had gone through 57 years of forced labor in the DPRK since becoming a prisoner of war in 1952, and was then detained by Chinese public security when he left there. We've learnt that he is willing to return to the ROK and the ROK government has urged the Chinese Government to let him return safely. What is China's reaction to that? Another report said that in mid-September, two family members of ROK soldiers were held in custody by Chinese public security in Shenyang after leaving the DPRK. The Chinese Government has repatriated them to the DPRK. Do you think this act of the Chinese Government is against the humanitarian spirit?

A: You have told us a lot in very fluent Chinese. Regrettably I do not have any details on the two specific cases.

But I think as a ROK journalist, you must be very clear that the Chinese Government has always handled the cases of illegal DPRK border-crossers according to domestic and international laws as well as humanitarian principles. We will continue to do so in the future.

If there are no more questions, thanks for coming!

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