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Jiang Yu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Firstly, I have an announcement to make.
At the invitation of Assistant Foreign Minister He Yafei, Political Director-generals of Foreign Ministries from the US, Russia, Britain, France, Germany and the Director General of External Relations of the Council of the European Union will hold a meeting in Shanghai on April 16 to discuss plans to resume talks on the Iranian nuclear issue and push forward a resolution through diplomatic negotiations.
In the joint statement in early March, Foreign Ministers of the six nations reiterated resolving the Iran nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations and agreed to find a plan to resume talks at an early date. The six-nation meeting in Shanghai is to be held to implement the consensus.
China always believes that the Iranian nuclear issue should be resolved peacefully through diplomatic negotiation and dialogue. Given the current circumstances, relevant parties should display creativity and flexibility in proactively seeking a comprehensive, long-term and proper resolution of the issue. We hope to see positive achievements out of the meeting in Shanghai with the joint efforts of all relevant parties.
Now, the floor is open for questions.
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Q: Has China make representation to the US on the torch relay in San Francisco? What's your expectation for PM Kevin Rudd's visit? Will China put forward specific innitiatives at the Shanghai meeting, in particular, about Iran's uranium enrichment plan?
A: China and the US have kept close cooperation on the arrangement of the torch relay in San Francisco. We believe the torch will pass through the US safely. We'd also like to warn those groups and forces that their attempt to tarnish or pressure China for their despicable motives by disrupting and undermining the torch relay will surely get nowhere. In the end, they will only find their true face of danger and sabotage exposed to the world.
We hope that PM Kevin Rudd's visit will be an opportunity for China and Australia to view and handle the bilateral relations from a strategic perspective, enhance exchanges and cooperation, increase mutual understanding and trust so as to promote a long-term, sound and stable development of the relations. The bilateral relations have seen a sound momentum of development with frequent high-level exchanges, fruitful exchanges and cooperation in extensive fields including trade and economy, energy and other resources, science and education and environmental protection and close coordination and cooperation on major international and regional issues. Last year, the bilateral trade volume hit US$43.84bn, setting a historical record and making China the biggest trading partner of Australia. The China-Australia relations are in the best period in history with a bright future. We hope this visit will further enhance the existing sound cooperation between us.
As to the Director-Generals' meeting in Shanghai, the purpose of the meeting is to implement the joint statement issued by the six Foreign Ministers early this March, so as to peacefully resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiations and seek plans to resume the talks. China is willing to play a constructive role for that. We also believe that through the joint efforts of the six parties, the Shanghai meeting will make positive achievements.