Press Conference with Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang on IAEA Vote (Excerpts)

September 27, 2005

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Q: Why didn't Hill show up in the press conference at the end of the fourth round of the Six-Party Talks? Why did China cast an abstention vote on the resolution of the IAEA Council on referring Iran's incompliance with NPT to the Security Council? When will China ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty? Is China willing to hold talks with the parties to the Iranian nuclear issue in a form similar to the Six-Party Talks?

A: I noticed that you had been absent from our press conference for quite some days. You must have pondered a lot and then come up with a number of questions today, covering a wide range of issues, even including such a question on episode. In my opinion, there is a misunderstanding regarding the question why Head of Delegation Hill did not show up at the beginning of the press conference of heads of Delegations to the Six-Party Talks. Please note that he did show up at last, and the press shot pictures and photos. A recent People's Daily has put up news in this regard. I recommend you to take a look and find your answer there.

On the Iranian nuclear issue, I have repeatedly said on this occasion that China has always stood for a solution of the issue through diplomatic negotiation within the IAEA framework at an early date. We support the effort of Iran and the three EU countries to seek a long term solution through negotiation. This will benefit peace and stability of the region, help maintain the international non-proliferation regime and serve the fundamental interest of all parties.

The resolution on the Iranian nuclear issue passed by the IAEA Council on 24th may exceed the framework of IAEA and did not reflect the progress of IAEA's inspection in Iran in a balanced way. In addition, the way of voting did not help enhance the unity of the council. On the other hand, the resolution still focused on urging Iran to take more transparent measures to fully cooperate with IAEA, clarify the outstanding issues related to Iran's nuclear activities and return to the negotiation table. Given the above facts, China cast an abstention vote.

Now, there is still room for the solution of the Iranian nuclear issue within the framework of IAEA. China hopes that Iran, the EU and other parties concerned will keep patience, demonstrate flexibility and take concrete steps to break the impasse and restore talks as soon as possible. China is willing to play a positive role in the peaceful solution of the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue.

China supports the CTBT and believes that the treaty will help prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons and promote the process of nuclear disarmament. We hope the treaty will take effect at an early date. The Chinese Government has submitted the treaty to the National People's Congress and is actively promoting the early ratification of the treaty by the NPC.

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