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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on March 18, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on March 18, 2013.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation, President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania, President Jacob Zuma of the Republic of South Africa and President Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, President Xi Jinping will pay state visits to the above four countries from March 22 to 30 and attend the fifth BRICS Leaders Meeting in Durban, South Africa.

Q: First, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reportedly said on March 15 that the US military would deploy an additional 14 anti-missile interceptors at the West Coast in response to the missile threat from the DPRK. What is China's comment? Second, the Swedish Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in its report that from 2008 to 2012, the volume of Chinese weapons exports rose by 162 percent and China had become the fifth largest arms exporter in the world. What is China's comment?

A: On your first question, the anti-missile issue has a direct bearing on global and regional strategic balance and stability as well as strategic mutual trust between countries. China always maintains that all countries should achieve common security through mutual benefit and solve the issue of missile proliferation by political and diplomatic means. Strengthening anti-missile deployment and military alliance will only aggravate confrontation and does not help solve the issue. China hopes relevant country could bear in mind regional peace and stability, take a responsible attitude and act prudently on the anti-missile issue.

On your second question, the Chinese government has always been prudent and responsible on arms exports. On the premise of abiding by international law obligations including resolutions of the Security Council, we have rigorously managed arms exports in accordance with domestic laws and regulations and observed the following three principles: first, it should be conducive to the recipient country's proper self-defence ability; second, it does not impair regional and global peace, security and stability; third, it does not interfere in recipient country' internal affairs.

Q: Director General Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reportedly said at a joint press conference with Indian Foreign Secretary in New Delhi on March 14 that "Iran has a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) with the IAEA and is subject to UN Security Council resolutions", adding that in light of this standard, the declared nuclear material and activities of Iran to the IAEA "are staying in peaceful purposes". What is China's comment?

A: IAEA reports have repeatedly showed that Iran's declared nuclear material and activities have not been used for other purposes. We hope with Iran's strengthening cooperation with the IAEA and enhancement of dialogue with the P5 plus one countries, a comprehensive, long-term and proper resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue could be achieved step by step.

Q: A senior eurozone official reportedly said on March 16 that finance ministers from the currency bloc and Chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde had agreed to hand Cyprus a bailout package worth 10 billion euros. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted the reports and that relevant parties are seeking consensus with the government of Cyprus on solving the current problems. We believe the European side can overcome the difficulties, properly deal with the sovereign debt issues and gradually promote the economic recovery.

Q: The Yemeni National Dialogue will be held today. What is China's comment?

A: China welcomes the Yemeni National Dialogue which is the result of joint efforts of all parties concerned in Yemen and signifies another step forward in the Yemeni political transitional process. We hope relevant parties in Yemen will continue to resolve differences through dialogue and negotiation and lay a solid foundation for the success of the next stage in political transitional process so as to realize national stability and development at an early date.

Q: Japan's Kyodo News reported that a number of senior Chinese military officials had admitted in interviews that a Chinese naval vessel had locked its fire-control radar on a frigate of the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Forces. What is China's comment?

A: The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Ministry of National Defense have long made clear our position on relevant issue. Today, the Ministry of National Defense once again reiterated China's solemn position.

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