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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on May 15, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on May 15, 2013.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

The Foreign Ministry will hold a press briefing in the Blue Room at 10 a.m. on May 16. Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao and Vice Commerce Minister Jiang Yaoping will brief the press on Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming visits to India, Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany. You are all welcome.

Q: The Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting to be held today in Sweden will deliberate on China's application for observer status. What is China's expectation?

A: China will send a delegation to the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting as an ad hoc observer. China places high importance on scientific research and environmental protection of the Arctic, supports the principles and purposes of the Council and takes an active part in its relevant activities. We hope that the Council will accept China as an official observer as soon as possible.

Q: Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao recently paid an official visit to Venezuela. Please brief us on that.

A: During his visit, Vice President Li Yuanchao met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and President of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello and held talks with Vice President Jorge Arreaza. Vice President Li Yuanchao said that since China and Venezuela established diplomatic ties 39 years ago, especially since 2001 when the two sides became strategic partners for common development, bilateral relations have been developing in an all-round and rapid way and cooperation in various fields have yielded fruitful results. China and Venezuela have become good friends who trust each other and good partners of mutually beneficial cooperation.

Vice President Li Yuanchao pointed out that China and Venezuela are highly complementary in economy. The two sides should give full play to the leading role of financial cooperation, vigorously promote energy cooperation, jointly create new highlights of agricultural cooperation and earnestly implement cooperation projects in infrastructure and people's livelihood, in a bid to push practical cooperation between the two countries to a higher level.

President Maduro and other Venezuelan leaders said that the strategic cooperative partnership between Venezuela and China was brought into reality by President Chavez and Chinese leaders. The Venezuelan government stands ready to constantly deepen this partnership and hopes that the two sides could constantly enrich, broaden and speed up cooperation and enhance exchanges of experience so as to push forward the all-round development of Venezuela-China strategic partnership. Venezuela would like to play an active part in promoting China's relationship with Latin American countries and supports the establishment of China-Latin America Cooperation Forum at an early date.

Q: First, will China attend the "Friends of Syria" meeting to be held next week in Jordan? Second, the European Commission is about to impose punitive duties on Huawei and ZTE for their alleged acceptance of so-called "unfair government subsidies". What is China's comment?

A: On your first question, China follows closely the situation in Syria and has been actively participating in and promoting the political settlement of the Syrian issue. There have been positive signs in the political settlement of the Syrian issue. We hope that the international community could seize the opportunity and actively promote the political settlement of the Syrian issue. China will play a constructive role in the process.

On your second question, China's telecommunication companies have been carrying out international operation in accordance with principles of the market economy. Cooperation between China and the EU in telecommunication has promoted the development of their business ties, boosted the development and use of wireless communication devices around the world and achieved mutually beneficial results. We hope that the EU would uphold the steady development of China-EU economic ties, honor its commitment of not taking trade protectionist measures, refrain from adopting restrictive measures and create a level playing field for Chinese companies in Europe.

Q: What is China's expectation for Greek Prime Minister Antonios Samaras' visit to China? What cooperation agreements will be signed between China and Greece?

A: We hope Prime Minister Samaras' visit to China could further enhance China's political mutual trust, practical cooperation as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges with Greece so as to boost bilateral relations.

We will release information about the signing of relevant agreements in due course.

Q: Taiwan military is considering a military drill in the Bashi Channel, since the Philippine side failed to make a proper response to Taiwan's requirement regarding the fatal shooting of a Taiwan fisherman. Is it possible for the mainland and Taiwan to carry out joint fishery protection or military drill in the future?

A: We have repeatedly expounded our solemn position on relevant issue. We have been committed to protecting the safety and legitimate rights and interests of Taiwan compatriots. We strongly condemn the Philippines' fatal shooting of a Taiwan fisherman and require the Philippine side to investigate and deal with the incident in real earnest and take effective measures to prevent recurrence of similar incidents. It is the joint responsibility of both the mainland and Taiwan to safeguard the rights and interests of fishermen on both sides of the Strait.

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