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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on May 7, 2013

2013/05/08

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on May 7, 2013.

Hua Chunying started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Argentinian Vice President and Speaker of the Senate Amado Boudou and Venezuelan Vice President Jorge Arreaza, Vice President Li Yuanchao will pay official visits to the two countries from May 8 to 16.

Q: Syria reportedly said that it would choose the moment to respond to recent Israeli air strikes against targets on its territory. What is China's comment? What do you think of the current situation in Syria?

A: China is highly concerned about the latest developments in Syria.

China believes that political solution is the only right way out for the Syrian issue and calls on all parties concerned in Syria to bear in mind the fundamental interests of the Syrian people and launch the political dialogue and transition as soon as possible.

China also calls on parties concerned to respect Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity in real earnest, remain calm, exercise restraint, avoid the use of force and actions that may escalate tensions so as to play a responsible and constructive role for the political solution of the Syrian issue.

Q: The US Department of Defense released the other day an annual report titled "2013 Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China", claiming that China leverages cyber espionage to support military modernization. What is China's comment?

A: The US Department of Defense releases such reports year after year, pointing fingers at China's normal and legitimate development of national defense and hyping about the so-called "China military threat". This practice harms mutual trust and cooperation. We express firm opposition and have lodged representations with the US.

China is always committed to peaceful development and pursues a defense policy that is defensive in nature. China is a staunch force for peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific and the world at large. China's necessary and moderate national defense development, commensurate with its own needs, is entirely for the purpose of safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is also the legitimate rights and interests of any sovereign state.

China has stated its position on the issue of cyber attacks on many occasions. Cyber security involves government and commercial secrets and personal privacy. It is an issue taken seriously by governments, companies and citizens of not only the US but also China. We resolutely oppose hacking attacks of any form and stand ready to have calm and constructive dialogue with the US on the cyber security issue. Unwarranted accusations and hyping will do nothing but undermine our joint efforts for dialogue and poison the atmosphere.

Q: Will China express its concern over Israeli air strikes against Syria during the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

A: China and Israel have stayed in communication.

Q: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wraps up his visit to China today and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not yet arrived in Beijing, which makes them unable to meet in China. How will China advance the Middle East peace process?

A: China has been placing high importance on and committed to advancing the Middle East peace process and promoting talks for peace. Not long ago, Ambassador Wu Sike, China's Special Envoy on the Middle East Issue visited Palestine and Israel. And now we are hosting Palestinian and Israeli leaders in China. Yesterday, China laid out a four-point proposal for the settlement of the Palestinian issue. These are important efforts made by China to push for an early resumption and substantive progress of the Middle East peace talks. China will continue to play a positive and constructive role for the Middle East peace process in its own way.

Q: China laid out a four-point proposal on the settlement of the Palestinian issue, including a suggestion in particular that stoppage of settlement activities by Israel should be a necessary condition for the resumption of peace talks. What is China's consideration?

A: President Xi Jinping made a four-point proposal on the settlement of the Palestinian issue during his talks with Palestinian President Abbas. China believes that negotiation should be taken as the only way to peace between Palestine and Israel. 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. China's position on the suspension of settlement activities is consistent. We oppose Israel's construction of Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem and the West Bank, urge the Israeli side to take credible steps to remove barriers to the peace talks and create necessary conditions for rebuilding trust and restarting peace talks between Palestine and Israel at an early date.

Q: It is reported that the annual report titled "2013 Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China" presented by the US Department of Defense to the US Congress claimed that the baselines of the territorial sea of the Diaoyu Islands announced by China last September are inconsistent with international law. What is China's comment?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. China has indisputable sovereignty over them. The Chinese government established and announced base points and baselines of the territorial sea of the Diaoyu Islands according to relevant provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This is completely in line with relevant international law and practice. The US side repeatedly said that it would not take sides on the territorial dispute between China and Japan. We hope the US could honor its words with actions and do more for China-US mutual trust and cooperation as well as regional peace and stability rather than sending a wrong signal.

Q: It is reported that ROK President Park Geun-hye who was visiting the US would hold talks with President Barack Obama. How do you comment?

A: We have noted that President Park Geun-hye is visiting the US. We hope that the development of ROK-US relations would play a constructive role for peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region.

Q: US officials reportedly said that the DPRK had moved two Musudan missiles away from the launching position at the east coast to a non-operational location. What is China's comment?

A: Maintaining peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula serves the common interest and is the shared responsibility of all parties. The current situation on the Korean Peninsula remains complex and sensitive. We hope all parties concerned could do more things for peace and stability on the Peninsula as well as relaxation of the situation.

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