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Foreign Ministry Press Conference by Spokesman Sun Yuxi(16/10/2001)

Q: Why has China closed the Guanghua Road near the US Embassy in Beijing in recent days?  Has the Chinese Government arrested, detained or investigated any terrorist suspects?

A: China has always adhered to the relevant provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The Chinese police has taken necessary measures to ensure the safety of foreign embassies, consulate generals and their staff in China. We also wish that the embassies and consulate generals strengthen their own safety measures. In case of any contingencies, please timely inform the relevant departments.

Our opposition against terrorism is consistent. China's public security departments have taken various measures to prevent and combat terrorist activities. The terrorists will be severely punished according to law.

Q: This is the second week of US attack on Afghanistan. In China's opinion, how long should it last? What kind of impact will it have on the economy?

A: On US military action against Afghanistan, we have stressed again and again that we are opposed to all sorts of terrorism. The relevant military actions should have specific targets. We hope to see an early restoration of peace. We also support acts against terrorism in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN and its Security Council.

On the economic impact of the military strike, we hope that maximum efforts should be made to avoid property damage of civilians, so as to minimize as far as possible the adverse impact on economy. We hold that, under the current situation, we should strive for a balanced development of the world economy in the globalization process and work to narrow the north-south gap. This is a measure to eradicate the social-economic cause of terrorism. The international community should actively consider this question.

Q: Given the international anxiety of the threat of anthrax, has the Chinese Government taken any measures to investigate, control and handle this issue and the attacks by chemical weapons? Could you please rate the danger level of such an attack on China? Is it all likely? Is the Chinese Government prepared?

A: We have taken notice of the relevant reports. We are deeply concerned over the development. The Chinese Government opposes all sorts of terrorism, including biological terrorism. We are always against the use of biological weapons and stand for its complete prohibition and thorough destruction. Terrorism constitutes a serious threat to the international community. The world should enhance their cooperation in the common fight to stop terrorist activities.

China has not discovered any similar incidents. However, our relevant departments have stepped up their preventive measures. According to China's Law on the Quarantine of Animals and Plants, the anthrax virus is strictly prohibited from entering China. Our entrance and exit inspection and quarantine departments will, in accordance with relevant legal provisions, conduct strict examination on imported goods, mails, EMS and luggage. Once infected goods are discovered, they will be denied from entrance according to our legal provisions. Domestically, we have also taken some preventive measures against possible incidents.

Q: What is the purpose of Hu Jintao's forthcoming visit? What will he touch upon in his talks with the leaders of the various countries?

A: Vice President Hu Jintao's forthcoming visit to Russia is a working visit. His visit to Britain, France, Spain and Germany is an official visit. The visit aims to enhance our friendship and cooperation with the above countries. During the visit and the talks, the two sides will exchange views with each other on terrorism and other regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Q: Who will Vice President Hu Jintao meet in Russia? What is your comment on the current Sino-Russian relations?

A: The program of Vice President Hu Jintao's visit to Russia has just been fixed. The meetings with the Russian leaders will be further arranged between the two sides through diplomatic channels. On Sino-Russian relations, I wish to stress that China and Russia have established strategic partnership of coordination. During his visit to Russia last July, President Jiang signed with President Putin the Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship and Good-neighbourliness. The Treaty consolidated the various aspects of the bilateral friendship and cooperation through legal means. Last September, Prime Minister Zhu Rongji paid another visit to Russia and held the 6th bilateral prime ministerial meeting. The visit was a further implementation in concrete terms of the strategic partnership of coordination and the consensus reached by the two presidents. It pushed the bilateral relations forward to yet another stage. We believe  that the forthcoming visit to Russia by Vice President Hu will further consolidate our friendly relations of cooperation with Russia.

Q: China has given the United States intelligence help in the fight against terrorism. It has also given the United States political help. What does China expect the United States to give in return?

A: I wish to stress that terrorism is a common scourge to the international community. All countries of the world bear the common obligation and responsibility to avoid their people from the hurt of terrorism. On the fight against terrorism. All countries share common interests and aspirations. There is no need to bargain for it diplomatically. There are differences between China and the United States. However, what is more important is that we share wide-ranging common interests. We should proceed from the fundamental interests of the two peoples to handle some problems between the two.

Q: The US war against terrorism is longer than what President Bush has promised. What will be China's position if this war expands to an Arab countries?

A: On this point, we have indicated explicitly that we hope to see an early restoration of peace in Afghanistan, so as to start the rebuilding of the nation. We have also make it clear that the relevant military actions should not spread to other regions and countries.

Q:Coalition government in Afghanistan is being discussed. It is reported that China supports such a government. Does it conflict with China's policy of non-interference? What will China's role be?

A: On the future government in Afghanistan, we hold that the war bears upon international peace and security. Thus the UN can have a role to play in the settlement of the question. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a neighbouring country of Afghanistan, China has all along closely followed the development of the situation in Afghanistan. We have been in touch with the various parties in Afghanistan with the aim of urging for peace in Afghanistan. We always stand for the establishment of a widely based and acceptable coalition government that can live in friendship with other countries, especially its neighbours. The early settlement of the Afghan issue not only serves the fundamental interest of the Afghans, but also serves regional peace and stability.

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