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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on August 28, 2008

On the afternoon of August 28, 2008, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions on the six-party talks, the SCO Dushanbe Summit, situation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the so-called "Taiwan's participation in activities of UN specialized agencies" proposal submitted by a handful of countries and etc.

Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Now, the floor is open.

Q: Since the DPRK announced to halt its nuclear disablement in Yongbyon, has China sent any message to the DPRK? If so, what is the message?

A: To implement the consensus of the meeting of the heads of the Six-Party Talks in July, carry out the remaining second-phase actions in a comprehensive and balanced way and push forward the talks, parties concerned have been maintaining close contact and consultation on issues including verification of the DPRK's nuclear program and economic and energy aid to the DPRK through bilateral and multilateral channels. The work is still going on.

The Six-Party Talks are facing both the opportunity of moving forward and difficulties that need the joint efforts of all parties involved to overcome. We hope that relevant parties maintain patience, exert wisdom, display flexibility and meet half way with each other in order to solve the relevant problems at an early date, and push forward the process of the Talks.

China, as chair of the talks, will continue to play a constructive role in achieving the above goals.

Q: Recently, a handful of countries having diplomatic ties with Taiwan, including Nauru and Gambia, submitted a proposal to the Secretary-General on Taiwan's participation in the activities of UN specialized agencies. How do you comment?

A: It is known to all that the UN and its specialized agencies are intergovernmental organizations whose membership is open only for sovereign states. There's only one China in the world with Taiwan part of it. The so-called proposal on "Taiwan's participation in the United Nations specialized agencies" submitted by a handful of countries including Nauru and Gambia is an attempt to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan". It infringes upon China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and intervenes in China's domestic affairs, which will be firmly opposed by the Chinese Government and people.

Currently, sound momentum of improvement and development is witnessed in Cross-Strait relations. Any action to stage "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan" in the world will exert negative impact on it. China urges a handful of countries including Nauru and Gambia to abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and stop making obstacles for the peaceful development of Cross-Strait relations. The Chinese Government calls upon all countries to continue to follow the One China principle, understand and support the efforts of the Chinese Government to maintain and promote the peaceful development of Cross-Strait relations.

The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the wellbeing of the 23 million Taiwan compatriots. The issue of their participation in international activities should be solved by all the Chinese on both sides of the Strait through consultation. We firmly believe that so long as the two sides make joint efforts to establish mutual trust, shelve disputes, seek common ground while reserving differences, and achieve win-win outcomes, they can create conditions for a proper resolution through dialogue and consultation.

Q: Does China believe that Russia's recognition of independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia will set a damaging precedence for future resolution of territorial disputes?

A: I answered this question yesterday, but I'd like to reiterate here. China has expressed concern over the latest developments of the situation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. We understand the complicated history and reality of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia issue. In the meantime, in light of our consistent principle and position on issues alike, we hope to see relevant parties resolve the issue properly through dialogue and consultation.

Q: The SCO Dushanbe Summit opens today. Will the SCO adopt a common position on the South Ossetia and Abkhazia issues? The US requested the IOC to disqualify Russia from hosting the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Since China resisted the Moscow Olympics in 1980, will China do the same to boycott the 2014 Sochi Games?

A: The SCO Summit is now being held in Tajikistan. At the Summit, heads of state will discuss regional and international issues of common interest. Since the Summit is still ongoing, let's wait and see what results will be achieved.

As to your second question, China firmly supports Russia to host the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Q: Last night, we learnt that China National Petroleum Corporation signed a cooperative agreement with an Iraqi oil company, which the US Government is unhappy to see. Is China concerned that this accord will complicate the Sino-US relations? A clash took place in Xinjiang just now, causing two deaths of the police. Could you give us more details?

A: For your first question, China's relevant oil companies always follow the principle of mutual benefit and win-win outcome to discuss cooperation in this field with the Iraqi side. To my knowledge, the Chinese companies are negotiating with their Iraqi counterparts over relevant oil field projects. The cooperation between China and Iraq in this regard is mutually beneficial, not only helpful to meet China's demands of energy, but also conducive to the economic development of Iraq. Following the market rules, the cooperation does not undermine the interest of any third party.

As to the incident in Xijiang you mentioned, I don't have any information. I believe if that is the case, relevant authorities will handle that according to law.

Q: The World Uighur Congress, with its headquarter in Germany, claimed that over 1000 uighurs have been arrested for the recent attacks against the police in Xinjiang. Could you confirm?

A: People of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang live together in harmony on an equal footing. On the whole, the situation there is stable. There is indeed a handful of East Turkistan forces who attempt to undermine national unification and create separation by violence. The Chinese Government and relevant authorities will strike these attempts according to law, which is completely different from the so-called oppression or persecution against the uighurs.

Q: A journalist with the Deutsche Welle was suspended from her position for making pro-China remarks. Do you have any comment?

A: I've taken note of relevant news and read some reports on Ms. Zhang Danhong you just mentioned. We believe that the press should observe the principle of objective and fair reporting.

If there are no more questions, thanks for coming. See you next time.

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