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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on May 2, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on May 2, 2013.

Q: China has released the information of Israeli and Palestinian leaders' visits to China. Currently, whether Israel and Palestine could resume peace talks attracts attention. Why does China invite the two leaders for visits at this moment? Does it mean that China will step up efforts on the Palestinian issue? What are the specific arrangements for President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visits to China?

A: At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, President Mahmoud Abbas of the State of Palestine will pay a state visit to China from May 5 to 7. During the visit, Chinese leaders will hold talks and meet with him. The two sides will exchange views on bilateral relations, the Palestinian issue and other international and regional issues of common interest.

At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the State of Israel will pay an official visit to China from May 6 to 10. During his visit, Chinese leaders will meet and hold talks with him. He will visit Shanghai besides Beijing.

The Palestinian issue is at the core of the Middle East issue. China has long been actively promoting peace talks and making unremitting efforts to advance the Middle East peace process. Under the current situation, China stands ready to work with all relevant parties of the international community to continue to play an active and constructive role for an early, comprehensive and fair settlement of the Palestinian issue.

China maintains friendly exchanges with both Israel and Palestine, supports the Middle East peace process and encourages Palestine and Israel to solve differences and disputes through peace talks. China's host of the two leaders' visits is part of the above efforts.

Q: Has China received evidence from other countries on the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons? If it is confirmed that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons, the UK, the US, France and other countries may resort to military intervention. What is China's position?

A: China's position on this issue is very clear. The use of chemical weapons violates the universally-accepted norms of international law. We are firmly opposed to whoever uses chemical weapons. Meanwhile, we are opposed to military interventions in any country.

We believe that the pressing task is for the Syrian government and opposition to cease fire, stop violence, launch the political dialogue and implement the political transition as soon as possible. China calls on all relevant parties of the international community to make unremitting efforts for the political settlement of the Syrian issue in a responsible manner.

Q: Indian media reported that the failure of the third round of consultation held recently between Chinese and Indian troops on the "confrontation incident" along the border area may affect bilateral relations. What is China's comment?

A: China has repeatedly expounded its relevant position. As for the incident in the western section of the China-India border, the two sides are in close communication and consultation through the working mechanism for consultation and coordination on boundary affairs and border meetings. These contacts not only enhance the two sides' understanding of each other's concerns and positions, but are also conducive to the proper settlement of the issue at an early date. China-India boundary issue is an issue left over by history. It is an important consensus between the two sides that this issue should not affect the overall development of bilateral relations. We believe that China and India have the wisdom and ability to manage differences and problems between the two countries while constantly developing bilateral friendly and cooperative relations.

Q: Please brief us on Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs of the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and top ROK nuclear negotiator Lim Sung-nam's visit to China.

A: China has been in close communication and coordination with all parties concerned including the ROK. On May 2, Special Representative of the Chinese government on the Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei held talks with his ROK counterpart Lim Sung-nam in Beijing. The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on the situation of the Korean Peninsula and the Korean nuclear issue.

Q: The US Commission on International Religious Freedom released its annual report on April 30, saying that China's freedom of religious belief "marked deterioration" in the past year and once again recommended the US government to list China as a "country of particular concern''. What is China's comment?

A: The Chinese Government protects citizens' freedom of religious belief according to law. Chinese people are entitled to full religious freedom in accordance with law. We urge the so-called "US Commission on International Religious Freedom" to respect facts, discard prejudice and stop using religious affairs to interfere in China's internal affairs. Meanwhile, we suggest the US side have a thorough reading of the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2012 recently released by the Information Office of China's State Council and repent more on its own problems rather than point fingers at or make irresponsible remarks on other countries.

Q: Recently, Japanese leaders repeatedly defended themselves on historical issues and said that there was no need for Japan to explain constitutional revision to its Asian neighbours. What is China's comment on Japan's negative movements?

A: History is like a mirror. Only by honestly facing the past can one truly embrace the future. History will not be changed by certain individuals' words and deeds. We hope Japan could take a responsible attitude, deeply repent on history and take concrete actions to win the trust of its Asian neighbours and the international community.

Due to historical reasons, Japan's movements always draw high attention from its Asian neighbours. We hope that Japan could follow the path of peaceful development, learn from history, respect regional countries' concerns and do more that is conducive to regional peace and stability.

Q: China expressed its willingness to promote the Middle East peace process. What specific measures will China take?

A: During Palestinian and Israeli leaders' visits to China, China will exchange views with them on promoting the Middle East peace process. Relevant information will be released in due course.

China has been committed to promoting the Middle East peace process. Ambassador Wu Sike, China's Special Envoy on the Middle East issue, visited Israel and Palestine recently. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords. The Middle East peace process has been stagnant for a long time, and there have been major changes to the situation in the Middle East. China supports the settlement of the Palestinian issue through negotiation and is highly concerned over the long-term standstill of the peace process. We are ready to promote early resumption of Israel-Palestine peace talks, and in contacts with the two sides, we will encourage both sides to take concrete actions to create favorable conditions for resuming peace talks.

China supports the advancement of the Middle East peace process through negotiation on the basis of land for peace, UN resolutions and the Arab peace initiative. We stand ready to work with all relevant parties of the international community to make unremitting efforts to this end.

Q: Japanese media said that the China-Japan Ministerial Meeting on the Environment has been canceled in light of the current situation of bilateral relations. Please confirm.

A: Please consult competent authorities for your specific question. China is always open to cooperation in environmental protection and stands ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with relevant country in this field so as to learn from each other.

Q: Please brief us on the preparations for the China-Japan-ROK Leaders' Meeting.

A: China attaches importance to China-Japan-ROK cooperation, supports the ROK in hosting this year's China-Japan-ROK Leaders' Meeting and stands ready to work with relevant parties to make full preparations for the success of the meeting.

As for the date of the meeting, as far as I know, relevant parties are in close communication and consultation.

Q: According to Indian media, Indian Foreign Minister will visit China on May 9. please confirm.

A: We will release information about Indian Foreign Minister's visit to China in due course.

Q: Following a meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the US recognizes Japan's administration of the Diaoyu Islands and "opposes any unilateral course of action that seeks to undermine Japan's administrative control." In response to that, Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai told the media that he hoped relevant parties would not "pick up the stone made by Japan and drop it on their own feet". Do you have anything to add or comment?

A: Ambassador Cui Tiankai has been very clear on this issue and I believe relevant parties have well received the message. I have nothing to add.

Q: The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a report, saying that entities related with the Chinese government and military stole a large amount of network information from US enterprises. What is China's comment?

A: We have repeatedly expounded our position on relevant issue. Cyber security issue is a worldwide challenge and problem, which calls for constructive dialogue and cooperation of all parties in the spirit of equality and mutual respect. Criticism does not help solve the problem. We hope relevant parties could make less groundless speculations and accusations, be more constructive and sit down for calm and sensible talks. Only by doing so can it help to build the atmosphere of mutual trust and cooperation and jointly safeguard peace, security, openness and cooperation of the cyberspace.

Q: What messages does China hope to convey to the people who are worried that the confrontation along the China-India border may affect bilateral relations?

A: China and India are neighbours yet to complete border demarcation, thus problems inevitably arise one way or another in the border area. When problems emerge, it is imperative that the two sides adhere to friendly consultation for a solution through relevant mechanism and channel. China and India have consensus on maintaining peace and tranquility along the border area. Both agreed that the boundary issue should not affect the overall development of China-India relations. The two sides should follow the spirit of the above consensus, step up communication and consultation and try to properly solve the problem as soon as possible so as to safeguard the healthy and stable development of China-India relations. This serves the common interests of both sides.

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