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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on March 25, 2010

On the afternoon of March 25, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.

Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have no announcement to make. The floor is open.

Q: Yesterday, the US Justice Department announced the transfer of two Chinese Uyghur suspects from Guantanamo to Switzerland. Do you have any response? Secondly, is China getting any closer to support UN Security Council sanctions against Iran?

A: Regarding Chinese terrorist suspects detained in Guantanamo, China has made its position very clear. We firmly oppose the US transferring the suspects to any third country, or any country receiving the suspects in whatever name. We have lodged solemn representations to relevant countries.

On the Iranian nuclear issue, China's position is unequivocal. We uphold a peaceful settlement through diplomatic means of dialogue and negotiation. This is the best option in the interest of all parties and conducive to regional peace and stability. Considering the input-output ratio, we believe this would be the most effective. Proceeding from the overall interest of safeguarding the international non-proliferation regime as well as regional peace and stability, parties involved should continue to build up mutual trust, display flexibility and move towards a long-term, comprehensive and proper settlement. China will maintain communication and consultation with other parties to promote peace and dialogue.

Q: We are told that many Chinese believe Google is acting as a tool of the US Government. Does the Chinese Government share this view? Secondly, did Google violate Chinese laws or its written commitment to the Chinese Government with its latest move?

A: On your first question, we have taken note of recent media reports. I'll leave your question to the US side and see what they have to say.

On your second question, competent Chinese authorities will continue to handle relevant issues according to law.

Q: During his visit to Sweden, will Vice President Xi Jinping chair or attend any ceremonies of the Geely-Volvo merger?

A: I'm not aware of such an arrangement in Vice President Xi Jinping's itinerary.

Q: Could you confirm whether Premier Wen Jiabao will attend the ASEAN Summit in Hanoi this April? Is he also going to visit Indonesia and Brunei?

A: Attaching great importance to our good-neighborly and friendly cooperation with Southeast Asian countries, we are ready to maintain regular exchange of high-level visits with these countries. As for whether Premier Wen Jiabao will visit relevant countries, I have no information right now but we will keep you updated.

Q: Afghan President Karzai is now visiting China. Please brief us on the details of the three agreements signed between China and Afghanistan. What pledges did President Karzai make to guarantee the safety of Chinese institutions and investment projects in Afghanistan?

A: On President Karzai's visit in China, President Hu Jintao and President Karzai attended the signing ceremony of documents on bilateral cooperation after their talks. The two sides signed the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Governments of China and Afghanistan, the Letter of Exchange between the Governments of China and Afghanistan on Training Program, and the Letter of Exchange on " the Government of China Granting Special Preferential Tariff Treatment to Certain Goods Originated in Afghanistan and Exported to China". The signing of these documents once again demonstrates the Chinese Government's will to support Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction and strength mutually-beneficial cooperation in trade and other fields with Afghanistan. We hope to see these agreements fully implemented so as to further upgrade bilateral cooperation for the well-being of the Afghan people.

On the security issue, President Hu Jintao said during the talks with President Karzai that China attaches great importance to the safety of Chinese institutions, companies and staff in Afghanistan and hopes Afghanistan take effective measures to step up security work with a view to creating a favorable security environment for bilateral exchanges and cooperation. President Karzai responded positively, saying that Chinese companies are welcome to invest and do business in Afghanistan and measures will be adopted to guarantee the safety of Chinese companies and staff there.

Q: NATO chief is calling for China to join in the international efforts to resolve Afghanistan's internal conflict and crack down on Taliban. How do you respond?

A: As a neighbor and friend, China hopes to see Afghanistan achieve peace, stability and development. Being active supporter and participant in Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction, China calls for international efforts to provide support and assistance to the country. In its partaking, the international community should fully respect Afghanistan's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity as well as the independent choices of the Afghan people. In regard of security, China is ready to have close cooperation with Afghanistan to safeguard its peace, stability and tranquility as well as those of the whole region. We believe the Afghan people have the will and competence to move towards ethnic reconciliation, national stability, economic growth and social progress. China will continue to work with the international community and provide its due support and assistance.

Q: Please give us more details about Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai's talks with US officials during his stopover visit to the US. Separately, Vice Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan is also visiting the US, while the US Treasury Secretary has recently softened his tone on RMB exchange rate. Are these signs of improvement of China-US relations?

A: Regarding Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai's stopover visit to the US, relevant information has already been released. I'd like to reiterate that respecting each other's core interests and major concerns is key to ensuring the sound and stable development of China-US relations. A sound bilateral relationship is not only in the fundamental interest of the two peoples but also conducive to world peace, stability and development. We'd like to see the two countries making joint efforts to promote a positive, cooperative and comprehensive development of bilateral relations in compliance with the major consensus between our leaders on the basis of the three Sino-US Joint Communiqu├ęs and the China-US Joint Statement.

On the RMB exchange rate, we have elaborated on our position and proposition on various occasions. We see that there are some problems and frictions in the China-US trade ties. But we believe more attention should be paid to seeking a right approach of solution. We uphold a proper settlement of mutual benefit and win-win outcome through dialogue, communications and consultation on an equal footing, and we are willing to strengthen communication and exchanges with the US to this end.

Apart from Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai's stopover visit, Vice Commerce Minister Zhong Shan is also in Washington to exchange views with people from various sectors on some major trade and economic issues. While outlining China's positions and policies, he is there also to heed opinions from the US side. We believe these efforts will enhance our mutual understanding and trust towards a proper resolution of relevant issues so as not to disrupt the overall development of our bilateral relations, thus making contribution to the recovery and sustainable growth of the world economy.

At this point, I can't help thinking of Premier Wen Jiabao's words that a peaceful China-US relationship makes both countries winners while a confrontational one both losers. It is always better to have dialogue than confrontation, cooperation than containment, and partnership than rivalry. And this has proved to be an irrefutable truth in the development of China-US relations over the past decades.

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

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