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


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

Q: The Syrian National Coalition reportedly held a meeting in Istanbul on March 18 and elected prime minister of the "interim government". What is China's comment?

A: China always believes that political solution is the only practical way out for the Syrian issue. All parties concerned in Syria should, out of a high sense of responsibility towards the future of the country, launch the political dialogue as soon as possible and reach a solution plan on political transition that is acceptable to all parties in accordance with the spirit of the communiqué of the Geneva foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group so as to lay a foundation for the fair, peaceful and proper settlement of the Syrian issue.

Q: US Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly called on the international community to build the world's largest marine sanctuary in the Antarctica. What is China's comment?

A: The Chinese government attaches great importance to the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources. The Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources have clear provisions on conservation and management of Antarctic marine living resources. The establishment of sanctuaries should observe the provisions and relevant practices of the Convention, maintain the balance between protection and rational use of resources and formulate targeted and reasonable management measures and evaluation mechanisms to ensure their effectiveness. China stands ready to carry out active cooperation with relevant parties to jointly conserve Antarctic marine living resources.

Q: It is reported that the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), attended by representatives from 135 countries, is being held from March 18 to 28. The draft treaty requires relevant countries to formulate regulations on conventional weapons trade and supervise arms brokers. What is China's comment?

A: China takes seriously the problems caused by illegal conventional weapons trade and supports reasonable and appropriate regulation of weapons trade to effectively solve these problems. China has always been actively participating in ATT negotiations with a serious, responsible and constructive attitude. We pay high attention to this Conference and look forward to working with all parties concerned to reach a viable and widely acceptable treaty through negotiations.

After the press conference, a journalist asked the following question: Economists at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland recently published a study, saying that "trade with China, which is pinning future economic growth on the development of its own consumer market, could be a tonic for Europe's economy", but China's "murky protectionism" had been effective in slowing EU exports to China, adding that the European Union should adopt a "Jekyll and Hyde" trade policy towards China. What is China's comment?

Hong lei said that China-EU economic and trade relations are mutually beneficial in essence. The continuous and stable development of China-EU economic cooperation and trade in recent years has not only promoted each other's development, but also brought tangible benefits to the two peoples. This is a self-evident and indisputable fact.

As each other's main trade partner, the two sides should, on the basis of equality and mutual respect and in a constructive spirit, enhance dialogue and solve existing problems through negotiations. Under the current situation, both sides should fight protectionism more firmly, be open to each other and cooperate, which not only serves the fundamental interests of China and the EU, but is also conducive to world economic recovery.

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