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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on May 6, 2013

2013/05/07

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on May 6, 2013.

Hua Chunying started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council, Prime Minister Antonios Samaras of the Republic of Greece will pay an official visit to China and attend the Second Annual Conference of the World Cultural Forum (Taihu, China) from May 15 to 19.

At the invitation of the Mongolian government, State Councilor Yang Jiechi will visit Mongolia from May 8 to 9.

Q: It is reported that Israel recently launched air strikes against targets inside Syria. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant report. The current situation in the region is very complex and sensitive and China is highly concerned about that. We oppose the use of force and believe that any state's sovereignty should be respected. China calls on all parties concerned to bear in mind regional peace and stability, exercise restraint and avoid taking any actions that may escalate tensions.

Q: Are there arrangements for a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in China?

A: China places high importance on advancing the Middle East peace process and stands ready to play a positive and constructive role for an early resumption of peace talks between Palestine and Israel. If leaders of Palestine and Israel are willing to meet in China, we will provide necessary assistance. I have no information to release at the moment.

Q: Indian media quoted Indian officials as saying that China and India had decided to withdraw troops from the area of standoff. Please confirm and give us more details.

A: Since the occurrence of the standoff incident in the western section of the China-India boundary, with the larger interest of bilateral relations in mind, both sides have taken a constructive and cooperative attitude, exercised restraint and maintained close communication and consultation through the border-related mechanism, border defense meetings and diplomatic channels. As far as I know, the friendly consultation between the two sides has made positive progress. Maintaining peace and tranquility in the China-India border areas serves the common interests of both sides. China is ready to work with India to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the boundary question at an early date.

Q: Please brief us on the visits by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to China. Does China believe that the issue of Jewish settlements stands in the way of peace talks between Palestine and Israel?

A: We will release information about Palestinian and Israeli leaders' visits to China in due course.

President Xi Jinping held talks with Palestinian President Abbas at the Great Hall of the People this morning. Relevant information about the talks has been released.

President Xi Jinping made a four-point proposal for the settlement of the Palestinian issue during the talks. First, the right direction to follow should be an independent Palestinian State and peaceful co-existence of Palestine and Israel. To establish an independent state enjoying full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital is an inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the key to the settlement of the Palestinian issue. At the same time, Israel's right to exist and its legitimate security concerns should also be fully respected.

Second, negotiation should be taken as the only way to peace between Palestine and Israel. The two sides should follow the trend of the times, pursue peace talks, show mutual understanding and accommodation, and meet each other half way. The immediate priority is to take credible steps to stop settlement activities, end violence against innocent civilians, lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip and properly handle the issue of Palestinian prisoners in order to create the necessary conditions for the resumption of peace talks. Comprehensive internal reconciliation on the part of Palestine will help restart and advance the Palestine-Israel peace talks.

Third, principles such as "land for peace" should be firmly upheld. The parties concerned ought to build on the existing achievements including the principle of "land for peace," the relevant UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative to advance the Middle East peace process across the board.

Fourth, the international community should provide important guarantee for progress in the peace process. Relevant parties of the international community should have a greater sense of responsibility and urgency, take an objective and fair position, make vigorous efforts to encourage talks for peace, and increase assistance to Palestine in such fields as human resources training and economic development.

President Xi Jinping said that the Chinese people are sincere and earnest in supporting the Palestinian people. China will continue to support the Palestinian people's just cause. Despite all the twists and turns of the Palestine-Israel peace talks, we are convinced that the Palestinian people will fulfill the dream of statehood as long as the general direction of peace is adhered to and unremitting efforts are made.

President Abbas briefed on Palestine-Israel relations and peace talks, stressing that political resolution is the best and only way out. Palestine is committed to the peace option and seeks for peaceful coexistence with Israel through peace talks based on the two-state solution.

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