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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on February 1, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on February 1, 2013.

Q: First, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will leave office today. She said in her farewell speech that the Pacific is big enough for both the United States and China. John Kerry will succeed her in charge of the US diplomacy. What is China's expectation of its relations with the US? Second, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today expressed hope to repair Japan-China relations. What is China's comment?

A: On your first question, China-US relations have scored important and positive progress while maintaining stability in the past four years thanks to the push and efforts by leaders of the two countries and people from the government and all walks of life. China congratulates Mr. Kerry on taking up the post of US Secretary of State. We stand ready to work with the US to push forward China-US cooperative partnership and explore the new type of relations between major countries in accordance with the consensus reached and direction set by the heads of state of the two countries.

On your second question, we have noted relevant remarks made by the Japanese leader. China and Japan are important neighbours to each other. The Chinese government remains committed to developing relations with Japan. Under the new circumstances, the two sides should overcome the current difficulties and push forward China-Japan strategic relationship of mutual benefit on the basis of the four political documents between the two countries. We hope Japan would work together with China and take concrete actions to this end.

Q: It is reported that UN-AL Joint Special Representative on the Syrian issue Lakhdar Brahimi presented six points to the Security Council on the political resolution of the Syrian issue on January 31. What is China's position?

A: The current situation in Syria is complex and sensitive. China believes that political resolution is the only practical way out for the Syrian crisis and has been firmly supporting Joint Special Representative Brahimi's mediation. Under the current situation, the international community should stick to the spirit of the communiqué of Geneva foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group on Syria, urge the Syrian government and opposition to immediately cease fire and stop violence, launch a political dialogue as soon as possible and seek a practical and widely accepted solution to issues such as drawing a roadmap of political transition and setting up a transitional governing body.

China supports a bigger role of the UN Security Council in political resolution of the Syrian issue and stands ready to keep close communication with parties concerned on relevant issues so as to jointly push for a fair, peaceful and proper resolution of the Syrian issue.

Q: Iran reportedly sent a note to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently, saying that Iran would introduce new centrifuges to its enrichment plant but did not tell the specific number. The IAEA has asked Iran to provide technical and other detailed information about the plan. What is China's comment?

A: China has noted relevant reports. As a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran is entitled to peaceful use of nuclear energy and should also fulfill its due international obligations. China always believes that promoting dialogue and cooperation is the only correct way to properly solve the Iranian nuclear issue and encourages Iran to step up cooperation with the IAEA.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly expressed hope to make Japan-China relations return to "the starting point of developing a strategic relationship of mutual benefit" at the plenary session of the House of Councillors today. He also said that stationing public servants on the Diaoyu Islands could be an option to be considered. What is China's comment?

A: China's position on the Diaoyu Islands issue is clear and consistent. We urge the Japanese side to refrain from taking actions that may escalate the situation or even make it get out of control and make due efforts to solve the problem through dialogue.

Q: It is reported that the UN Security Council will discuss deployment of peacekeeping forces in Mali. What is China's attitude on this? Will China consider joining international peacekeeping mission in Mali?

A: China always supports the efforts by Mali, relevant countries and regional organizations to safeguard unity and territorial integrity of Mali as well as regional peace. China has constructively participated in relevant discussions at the UN Security Council, and calls on parities concerned to fully respect Mali's sovereignty and territorial integrity, implement the Security Council Resolution 2085 and help Mali restore national unity, peace and tranquility at an early date. China will continue to make unremitting efforts to this end.

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