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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on February 19, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on February 19, 2013.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

Liu Yandong, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and State Councilor, will be in the ROK for the inauguration ceremony of the ROK's new President Park Geun-hye from February 23 to 26 as the Special Representative of President Hu Jintao and General Secretary Xi Jinping.

Q: It is reported that the agreement of transferring the management of Pakistan's Gwadar port to a Chinese company was officially signed in Pakistan on February 18. Comments say that the Gwadar port is an important fulcrum for China to secure energy and develop maritime routes and is of profound strategic significance. What is China's comment?

A: China and Pakistan are friendly neighbours. Chinese companies have long been actively participating in Pakistan's constructions in all fields. As a commercial project in China-Pakistan economic and trade cooperation, the Chinese company's takeover of the management of the Gwadar port is part of the mutually beneficial and friendly cooperation between the two countries. China-Pakistan cooperation not only serves the interests of the two countries and peoples, but is also conducive to regional stability and development.

Q: It is learnt that China has returned the Philippines' note regarding bringing the South China Sea dispute between the two countries to international arbitration. Please confirm.

A: China's position on the South China Sea issue is clear and consistent. China's sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters is based on sufficient historical and jurisprudential evidence. Meanwhile, bearing in mind the larger interests of China-Philippines relations and regional peace and stability, China has always been committed to solving disputes through bilateral negotiations and has made unremitting efforts to safeguard stability in the South China Sea and promote regional cooperation. It is also the consensus reached by ASEAN countries and China in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) to resolve disputes through negotiations between directly concerned sovereign states. The Philippines' note and its attached notice not only violate the consensus, but also contain serious errors in fact and law as well as false accusations against China, which we firmly oppose.

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Ma Keqing called a meeting with officials of the Philippine Foreign Ministry today, made clear that China refused to accept the note and its attached notice and returned them.

China hopes that the Philippines would honor its commitments, refrain from taking actions that may complicate and aggravate the issue, and make positive response to China's proposals of establishing a consultation mechanism on bilateral maritime issues and resuming the mechanism on confidence-building measures so as to return to the right track of resolving disputes through bilateral negotiations.

Q: The US cyber security company MANDIANT yesterday released a report saying that Chinese military-backed hackers repeatedly attacked US websites. What is China's comment?

A: Cyber attack is a global problem that should be resolved through constructive international cooperation based on mutual trust and respect. It is neither professional nor responsible to make groundless speculations and accusations on hacker attacks for various purposes, which does not help solve the problem.

The Chinese government has always firmly opposed to and combatted cyber attacks in accordance with the law. In fact, China is one of the main victims of cyber attacks. Cyber attacks and crimes against China are on the fast rise year by year. According to a report by the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center of China (CNCERT), in 2012, 73,000 overseas IP addresses were involved in the control of more than 14 million hosts in China as Trojan or Botnet command and control servers while 32,000 IP addresses conducted remote control over nearly 38,000 websites in China through backdoor implantation. The US ranked the first among the origins of the above cyber attacks,

To promote the settlement of the cyber security problem, China, Russia and some other countries jointly submitted a draft of International Code of Conduct for Information Security to the UN in September 2011. China calls on the international community to formulate a code of conduct of responsible countries for cyber security on the basis of the draft and jointly build a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace to safeguard the common interests of the international community.

Q: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay recently said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should be investigated for crimes against humanity and war crimes. What is China's comment?

A: We believe that political resolution is the only practical way out for the Syrian issue. Relevant parties should build up consensus on the basis of the communiqué of the Geneva foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group and push for an early, fair, peaceful and appropriate settlement of the Syrian issue. Words and deeds of relevant international organizations and personnel should be conducive to the realization of this goal instead of further complicating the issue.

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