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Q&A at RSA
2007/12/19

       In the evening of November 16, H.E. Mme. Ambassador Fu Ying took an hour to answer questions of the audience after delivering a speech at RSA, details are as follows:

Question: You introduced the road and achievements of China's development, what's your opinion on the international responsibilities to be shouldered by China? As China grows stronger, will it get aggressive, trying to expand its influences in the world?

Answer: There is a big gap between opinions of the outsiders and those of the Chinese themselves with regard to the status and role of China. Foreign countries are continuously asking China to shoulder more international responsibilities, while Chinese can not understand why China should deal with this and that matter.

It is understandable that China should get involved in the mediation of DPRK Nuclear Issue since DPRK is a close neighbour of China. But many Chinese can not understand why China should be responsible for matters in such faraway countries as Sudan and Zimbabwe,

Of course, with the development and its interests extending beyond its border, China needs to and undoubtedly will further strengthen its participation in international affairs. But the participation shall be based on its own conditions and national strength. China can not do things beyond its capability. I hope that foreign countries can treat China with a balanced and fair attitude. They should figure out first what they want China to do. They can not ask China to fulfil its international obligation while blame China for getting aggressive, expanding its international influences and becoming a "threat' (laughs of the audience). Such conflicting information is harmful to mutual understandings.

Question: How will China deal with its huge foreign trade surplus and foreign exchange reserves? How will its foreign exchange reserves be used as national investment? The Doha round negotiation of WTO is getting into the corner, what is the role of China?

Answer: The increase of China's foreign trade surplus and foreign exchange reserves is a new phenomenon in recent years. China is gradually realizing, learning, and handling this new problem. I have heard from a principal of a competent department that Chinese have a good habit of hardworking and saving money but are not so good at spending money. It is time for Chinese to learn spending money (laughs of the audience). The Chinese government are continuously taking measures to expand import, encourage outward investment and ease unbalanced trade, which have achieved good results. The China Investment Corporations is established to make a more efficient use of foreign exchange reserves.

China has been a proactive participant in WTO negotiation and a firm supporter of free trade. In St. Petersburg Conference, Chinese leaders vigorously supported WTO negotiation, denoting that if the negotiation is successful, relevant countries might get more or less benefits, but if the negotiation fails, all countries will be losers. Of course. China is a late comer in WTO negotiation and needs to learn and receive more encouragement from the international communoty.

Question: UK students are keen to learn Chinese and many primary and secondary schools want to open Chinese lessons, will it be possible for China to send 1,000 Chinese teachers to UK?

Answer: The demand for Chinese teachers is increasing with "China fever" getting widespread abroad. The education departments of China have taken diversified measures to set up human resource pool, select and dispatch volunteers. For example, 79 volunteers came to UK this year. We will strengthen the input in the future and the Chinese Embassy in the UK will act as a bridge.

Question: At present, all countries, as well as NGOs, are attaching more and more importance to the quality of foreign aid, what is China's opinion on this issue and how about the effects of its aid to Africa? Does China intend to join OECD and adopt relevant standards to improve quality of its aid to Africa?

Answer: As far as I know, OECD consists of countries reaching certain standard; there is a big gap between OECD and China in terms of these standards.

Historically, China has a good relationship with Africa. When the People's Republic of China was newly founded, many western countries did not recognize it while African countries extended their friendly hands to China. Compared with European countries, the total volume of trade, investment and aid made by China to Africa is not so big; however, generally speaking, they have achieved good results and are welcomed by African people. The aid by China to Africa is mainly given through bilateral channels and China fully respects the willingness of recipients. China does not stand for attaching political conditions to aid. Sino-African trade develops quickly and Chinese commodities improve the living standard of African people. More than 5,000 foreign businessmen stations in Yiwu, China and many of them are from Africa (exclamation of the audience).

Question: The corruption of grassroots and senior officials in China is eye-catching. Many people advocate more political transparency, what's your opinion?

Answer: Every year, when the supervision and law enforcing departments make reports to National People's Congress, people notice the increase in corruption cases and corruptive officials. Some ask whether this means that corruption in China is getting worse. I don't think so. It just demonstrates that the measures against corruption are more powerful and effective. Furthermore, with the disclosure of major corruption cases, the Chinese government is continuously formulating new laws and rules to strengthen supervisions. With the development of market economy, China has formulated a lot of laws and regulations. It is rare in Chinese history to strengthen legal system in such a rapid speed within such a short time. It shows the determination of the Chinese government to rule the country by law. Though corruption can not be completely eliminated in short term, we are continuously making progress in strengthening legal, media and public supervision, hopefully it will get better.

Question: What's your opinion on high saving rate in China? Besides, you have just mentioned that China is a developing country and has a lot of poor people, why the Chinese government spends so much money on outer space exploration?

Answer: The high saving rate in China is an objective fact and has good reasons, on the one hand, the Chinese has a tradition of saving money, on the other hand, the social security system is not sound and people worry about housing, medical care and education. Besides, investment channel for ordinary people is limited.

There is no direct link between poverty-elimination and outer space exploration. Chinese input in outer space exploration is not as big as USA. China's outer space exploration activities are good to improve technological levels and promote development. In fact, the Chinese government has taken a series of measures beneficial to the mass, for example, established the minimum living allowance system in rural areas, and cancelled agriculture tax, which has existed for more than 2,000 years, implemented affordable housing policies and allocated more financial aids to poor regions. All these are welcomed by the ordinary people.

Question: What's your opinion on the case of YAHOO related to China? What's your opinion on human right conditions in China?

Answer: Human right conditions in China have been improved greatly in the past decades. The Chinese government has formulated a series of laws and regulations to ensure the protection of civil rights, including property right and personal dignity. I won't make comments on specific cases, but the judicial organs shall have reasons to get involved. If the UK side has concerns on certain cases, the Chinese Embassy will listen attentively to and forward them to relevant department in China.

Question: There are a lot of overseas Chinese students in UK; will they be able to play an important role in promoting mutual understandings between the two peoples?

Answer: At present, there are about 90,000 Chinese students in UK, they are "small ambassadors" for promoting mutual understandings between the two peoples. Since there are a lot of families and friends behind them, they can influence a large number of people.

Question: the Chinese enterprises are going abroad, but they pay little attention to their brands and their ideas are backward, how can foreign companies offer their help?

Answer: It is true that there are  few famous brands in China. Most Chinese enterprises have limited power and are hard to invest more funds in the establishment of their brands. And some enterprises pay little attention to their brands. However, Chinese policy encourages the development of brands and encourages foreign companies to play an active role in helping Chinese enterprises to improve their consciousness on brands and establish famous brands.

Question: There is a huge gap of mentalities and actions between westerners and Chinese, the westerners can not understand Chinese way of doing business and vice versa. How to eliminate the difference?

Answer: The most important thing in personal relations and transnational business is to establish trust.  It is advisable for foreigners to choose a good partner, get to know Chinese tradition of attaching importance to human relations, respect Chinese custom, take a candid and serious attitude and follow international practices and Chinese laws and regulations. Thus the difference shall be narrowed.

Question: the Iran Nuclear Issue is ongoing, what's your opinion of the possibility of military attack on Iran by the US?

Answer: I certainly do not want to see any more war (warm applause of the audience). The solution to this issue can be found through negotiations. In fact, if the US resort to military attack on Iran, it is not only a disaster to neighboring countries of Iran, but also harmful to the US and other countries in the world. Through there is a great divergence between the US and Iran, they shall not give up  hope of peaceful solutions and should try to solve problem of mutual distrust. I know little about Iran Nuclear Issue, but I have some experiences in DPRK Nuclear Issue. China has a clear position in DPRK Nuclear Issue that is firmly against the possession of nuclear power by one party and firmly against the military actions by the other party, the issue can only be solved in a peaceful way. (long-term applause)

 

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