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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on January 4, 2013

2013/01/05

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on January 4, 2013.

Hua Chunying started the press conference with the following announcement:

From January 9 to 11, Chinese government's Special Envoy and Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun will visit the ROK to exchange views on bilateral relations and issues of common interest under new circumstances.

Q: The ROK's Court turned down Japan's extradition request for Liu Qiang. What is China's comment? It is reported that Liu Qiang has left the ROK and returned to Shanghai. Please confirm.

A: On January 3, the ROK's Seoul High Court made the decision to reject Japan's request of extraditing Liu Qiang to Japan. China welcomes the result of the case. Liu Qiang has been properly arranged and returned to China on January 4.

The Chinese government attaches great importance to protecting the safety and legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese nationals. The Chinese Embassy in the ROK has sent staff to visit Liu Qiang several times and offered him necessary assistance within its mandate.

Q: Why was Chris Buckley, the New York Times' journalist, denied visa extension? Is it due to the newspaper's China-related reports?

A: China always deals with issues concerning foreign media and journalists in accordance with laws and regulations.

The New York Times claims that Chris Buckley is its Beijing-based journalist. However, as is known to all, Mr. Buckley has been working for another foreign news agency in the past years. According to the Regulation of the People's Republic of China on News Coverage by Permanent Offices of Foreign News Agencies and Foreign Journalists, if Mr. Buckley is to leave the news agency that he works with, the agency should complete relevant paperwork with the Foreign Ministry before his departure. But up till now, the news agency has not informed us of Mr. Buckley's departure or filed visa-extension application for him, nor has Mr. Buckley himself returned his press card issued by the Department of Information of the Foreign Ministry. We do not know which agency Mr. Buckley is now working for. Therefore, his application as the New York Times' Beijing-based journalist is not in conformity with China's regulations. Hence there is no denial of his visa extension, still less is he being forced out of China.

I have noted some media's recent reports, which show that they are still looking at China through colored lenses and reporting on China with a fixed mindset. We hope that they will keep pace with the times, look at and report on China in an objective and fair manner.

Q: The Myanmar military reportedly staged military actions including air strikes against Kachin. What is China's comment? Please confirm reports that Myanmar military's bombs dropped on the Chinese side of the border.

A: During the armed clashes between Myanmar government forces and the Kachin Independence Army on the night of December 30, 2012, three bombs landed on the Chinese side of the border without causing casualties. China has already lodged representations with Myanmar, requiring the latter to take immediate and effective measures to avoid repetition of similar incidents.

The issue in northern Myanmar is Myanmar's internal affair. China hopes that the Myanmar government and relevant parties could properly solve the issue through peaceful negotiation, so as to maintain tranquility and stability of the China-Myanmar border.

Q: US President Barack Obama yesterday signed the bill submitted by the Congress which calls for a new round of sanctions against Iran. What is China's comment?

A: China has all along been opposed to unilateral sanctions against Iran. We believe that sanctions and pressuring can not fundamentally solve the Iranian nuclear issue. We maintain that dialogue and cooperation is the only right approach to the proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue. We encourage the enhancement of cooperation between Iran and the IAEA and hope that Iran and P5 plus one countries will hold a new round of dialogue as soon as possible so as to score progress at an early date and solve the Iranian nuclear issue in a comprehensive, appropriate and long-lasting manner.

Q: First, the Sudanese side reportedly said that it has sealed a big investment cooperation deal with the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). Please confirm. Second, is China a mediator in the clashes between Myanmar government forces and the Kachin army?

A: On your first question, I am not aware of the specifics. Sudan is one of Chinese enterprises' important investment markets in Africa. Chinese enterprises' investment cooperation with Sudan is conducive to local economic development and improvement of people's livelihood.

On your second question, I have elaborated on China's position. The issue in northern Myanmar is Myanmar's internal affair. China hopes for and supports the Myanmar government's proper settlement of relevant issue through peaceful negotiation with relevant parties.

Q: DPRK leader Kim Jong-un delivered a New Year address recently, pledging to boost economic development and improve people's living standard. What is China's comment?

A: As a friendly neighbour of the DPRK, China will continue to support the DPRK's active efforts for economic development and improvement of people's livelihood. We wish the DPRK even greater achievements in its socialist undertaking.

Q: Some Chinese military personnel and media recently made hard-line statements regarding China's territorial disputes with neighbouring countries in the East and South China Seas. Will these comments inflame tensions in the region?

A: China's position and proposition on relevant issues are clear and consistent. China is firm and resolute in defending national territorial sovereignty. At the same time, we always maintain that relevant territorial disputes should be properly solved through bilateral negotiations and friendly consultations.

Q: Newly elected Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly said that he would reconsider Tomiichi Murayama's statement. What is China's comment?

A: As a solemn declaration and commitment made by the Japanese government to people in the Asian countries victimized by its past aggression and colonialism, Tomiichi Murayama's statement has been taken seriously and valued by many countries. We hope that the Japanese side would properly deal with relevant issues in the spirit of "taking history as a mirror and looking into the future".

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