Press Conference with Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Kong Quan

January 17, 2006

. . .

Q: Does China support the referral of the Iranian nuclear issue to the Security Council? Ambassador Wang Guangya said in New York that referral to the Security Council would complicate the matter. Does that represent the position of China?

A: There are some difficulties in the process of negotiation on the Iranian nuclear issue, but China still thinks it is a good choice to solve the Iranian nuclear issue through peaceful negotiation and diplomatic channels, which serves the interest of all parties. We hope that all parties concerned can do their utmost to resume the negotiation, and China will make its own effort to help properly solve the Iranian nuclear issue, so as to bring this issue back to the track of negotiation as early as possible.

Q: It is reported that at the consultation in London, China stated Iran should give up its enriched uranium program. Please confirm. In addition, Russia proposed to set up a joint venture facility for uranium enriching in Russia. Iran welcomed the proposal. What position does China take on this?

A: On January 15, China attended the informal discussion on the current situation of Iranian nuclear issue in London upon invitation, together with the EU3-Germany, Britain and France, and the US and Russia. The parties to the meeting expressed concern over Iran's resumption of nuclear fuel research. All parties believe it crucial for Iran to return to diplomatic negotiation. And all the parties expressed willingness to continue their diplomatic effort to solve the Iranian nuclear issue. This is a clear message sent by the international community to Iran. We hope that Iran will be cooperative with the effort of international community and relaunch the diplomatic negotiation, so as to seek a proper solution to this issue.

Regarding the proposal by the Russian side, the crux for this stage is the restart of negotiation between Iran and the three EU countries. Different parties put forward suggestions and ideas to this end. We hope and believe that under the joint efforts of all parties, the Iranian nuclear issue can be brought back to the track of a peaceful solution through diplomatic negotiation. This is vitally important.

. . .

Q: Do Ambassador Wang Guangya's remarks indicate that China supports bringing the Iranian nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council?

A: I have noted Ambassador Wang Guangya's speech at the UN General Assembly. The international community is closely following the Iranian nuclear issue. There exist multiple choices on this issue. China believes that under the current circumstances it is a good option and in the interest of the relevant parties to peacefully resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations. We think that the pressing task for all parties is to maintain patience and resume the negotiation between the EU three and Iran with the utmost effort. Ambassador Wang Guangya's remarks are no different from the consistent position of the Chinese Government.

. . .

Q: Is there any contact between China and Iran recently for the solution of the Iranian nuclear issue crisis? If there is, what information and demand has China expressed?

A: About 10 days ago, Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran paid a visit to China. Besides bilateral trade, the main topic for the talks is the Iranian nuclear issue. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing of China and other officials of Foreign Ministry introduced him the position and proposal of the Chinese government on this issue. At the same time, we expressed our concern on the current situation.

Follow up: Will there be any further contact in the future?

A: There are many channels for contact between us, now I am not quite sure about the specific arrangement after Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister's visit.

If there are no more questions, let's call it a day. Thank you.