On March 5, 2009, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions mainly on the ICC issuing an arrest warrant for Sudanese President and etc.
Qin Gang: We may start now, shall we?
Q: The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to ICC approving orders to arrest Sudanese President on its website, saying that China hopes the UN Security Council could urge the ICC to suspend the case. Could you explain why you think it’s necessary?
A: As for the ICC issuing an arrest warrant for Sudanese President, we have already made an official response, and I’d rather not repeat. I have to note that first, an early realization of peace and development in the Darfur region is the aspiration of people there and also the consensus of the international community. Second, as a peace-loving, justice-upholding and responsible country, China has devoted years of efforts to the realization of peace and stability in the Darfur region and proper settlement of the Darfur issue, where major progress has been scored and should be cherished. Third, at present, it is imperative to safeguard stability in the region and continue to promote the “dual-track” strategy of parallel progress in peacekeeping operation of UN/AU hybrid forces and the political process. China has exerted unremitting efforts in this regard. Based upon the above three points, the Chinese Government has reason to express regret and worries over the ICC decision. We hope relevant party could take full consideration of the possible repercussion on the peace process in Darfur, proper settlement of the Darfur issue as well as regional peace and stability. We suggest a second thought on this. We also hope the international community including the UN Security Council could listen to and respect the appeal of members of the African Union, Arab League and Non-Aligned Movement.
Q: You said that there could be repercussions, and hope the UN could take this into consideration. What kind of repercussions are you concerned about?
A: We consider this issue from the perspective of regional peace and stability. It will be frustrating if all the previous international efforts and positive progress made on the Darfur issue fall short of success because of this.
Q: A couple of follow-up questions. Firstly, since China hopes the UN Security Council could do something to make the ICC suspend the case, will you propose a new resolution on this? Secondly, now the warrant is already approved, if President Bashir visits China, will China execute this warrant?
A: On your first question, as one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council and a responsible contributer, China will keep close communication and consultation with relevant parties and play our due role.
On your second question, I’ve just stated China’s position on the issue, and I would not respond to hypothetical questions. With regard to China-Sudan relations, the two countries have developed relations and friendly cooperation of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit on the basis of the purpose and principles of the UN Charter. This is in the interest of the two peoples and also conducive to regional peace, stability and development. We will maintain our relations of friendly cooperation with Sudan.
Q: A Chinese diplomat was asked about whether China would be interested in providing support to the NATO war effort in Afghanistan. Can you reiterate what China’s position would be on that?
A: I answered this question at Tuesday’s press conference. I have no further information to provide.
Q: About Darfur, first can you tell us how many peace-keeping personnel China has in Darfur at this moment? Second, what is China’s general assessment of the situation there?
A: According to my knowledge, China has a multi-function contingent of 315 military engineers engaged in peace-keeping operation in Darfur, Sudan at present.
On the situation in Darfur, important progress has been made on the Darfur issue with the joint efforts of the international community. For example, the Sudanese Government and the anti-government forces have signed relevant agreement, and the humanitarian situation in Darfur has alleviated. Certainly I cannot say all the problems in Darfur have been properly solved, which needs further efforts of the international community. We stand for pushing forward the dual-track strategy, which has been proved conducive to the proper settlement of the Darfur issue. Now some unnecessary outside disruptive factors need to be avoided.
If there are no more questions, thank you. See you!