Q: Recently, the US Department of State
issued the 2001 Report on International Religious Freedom.
It criticized China's religious policy. What is China's
A: The 2001 Report on
International Religious Freedom by the US Department of
State, in its chapter on China, distorted facts and made
groundless allegations upon China's religious policy and the
banning of the Falungong cult by the Chinese Government
according to law. The U.S. action is an outright violation
of the norms of international relations and a gross
interference in China's internal affairs. China wishes to
express its strong indignation and resolute opposition.
The Chinese Government protects the freedom of
religious belief according to law. At the same time, it
prohibits any organization or individual to engage in
criminal activities under the pretext of religion. Since the
founding of the PRC, especially since the adoption of the
policies of reform and opening-up more than two decades ago,
there has been marked progress in China's religious
undertaking. The United States is not in a position to issue
its so-called report on international religious freedom.
Further more, it has no right to invent a story and make
irresponsible allegations upon and point fingers at the
religious situation in other countries.
call on the United States to abide by the norms of
international relations, including that of mutual respect
and non-interference in other countries' internal affairs.
The United States should stop interfering in China's
internal affairs under the pretext of religion, so as to
free Sino-US ties from further damage.
Q: Did Vice President Hu Jintao talk about
the NMD issue during his visit to Russia? What agreement was
A: Anti-terrorism and NMD
are both major international issues of common concern. China
and Russia have maintained close consultations on these
questions. It is no exception this time. China and Russia
share similar or identical positions on these issues. We
will increase our cooperation. This is also part of the
concrete cooperation under the Sino-Russian strategic
partnership of coordination.
Q: During his visit to London,
Vice President Hu Jintao was confronted by some Tibetan
protesters. What is your reaction?
I myself have also come across such incidents when I
accompanied Chinese leaders on overseas visits. In my view,
some of the protesters really have anti-China political
motives. They engage in such protest under the support of
splittist forces. However, the majority of the protesters do
not have adequate knowledge of China. They are cheated by
the organizers. I once asked some of the protesters if they
had been to Tibet and if they knew the situation there. Most
of them answered that they had not been to Tibet. In my
view, most of them do not know the truth. They engage in
such activities at the connivance of some individual. This
is not what we wish to see.
Last week, Pope John Paul II apologized to China for the
canonization incident. Has China's relations with the
Vatican improved? Has the Vatican sent anyone to China in
recent days to discuss about the establishment of bilateral
ties? Is there any progress in removing the two obstacles in
A: We have noticed that
Pope John Paul II delivered a message to an international
conference in Rome honouring Matteo Ricci. In the message,
the Pope expressed his regret and grievances over the past
errors by the foreign missionaries in China. He asked for
forgiveness and understanding by the injured Chinese people.
We view this as a positive indication. However, in his
message, the Pope has not made a clear-cut apology
for the canonization incident, which seriously hurt the
feelings of the Chinese people. We wish to express our
The Chinese Government is willing to
improve our ties with the Vatican. Our two principles on the
issue are clear and consistent. We hope the Vatican adopt
real measures to remove the obstacles to the improvement of
On the contacts between the two, I
wish to point out that China used to have contacts with the
Vatican. However, the Vatican bent on canonizing the
missionaries in disregard of China's strong opposition. The
event created new obstacles to the improvement of bilateral
ties. Our principled position on this question is consistent
and clear. We hope to see real measures by the Vatican to
remove the obstacles so as to create positive conditions for
the restoration of talks.
The United States used clustered bombs in its military
attacks upon Afghanistan. This led to massive civilian
casualties. Does China support the use of such
A: We regret over the
civilian casualties. From the very start, we have stressed
that the attacks upon terrorists should have clear and
specific targets. Efforts should be made to avoid as far as
possible hurting the civilians. We still hold these
principles of vital importance.
Q: Yesterday, Japan's upper
house approved the law on special measures against
terrorism. It has decided to send its self-defence troops
overseas. What is your reaction?
On this issue, I wish to point it out that the fight against
terrorism is a common task confronting the international
community. We hope the relevant parties make their efforts
to this end in light of their actual conditions and in
accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN
Charter. Due to historical reasons, the question of Japan's
military role is a very sensitive one. We hope that Japan
would act in a prudent manner.
Q: It is reported that the UN
Special Rapporteur on Torture will visit China before the
end of the year. Please confirm. What is the term for his
visit? Will he be allowed to visit China's
A: China attaches importance
to our cooperation with the UN human rights mechanism. We
welcome the friendly visit to China by the UN Special
Rapporteur on Torture. On the specific programme of the
visit, we will, as permitted by China's laws, make
arrangement through friendly consultations according to his
specific request and mutual understanding.
Q: Does China have plans for
hosting the World Cup?
A: So far, I
have not heard of any concrete suggestion on this matter.
But I understand that it is an ardent aspiration of the
Chinese football fans.