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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on May 21, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on May 21, 2013.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang, Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama of Fiji will pay a working visit to China and attend the Second China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) and the Global Services Forum-Bejing Summit from May 27 to 30.

Q: At the invitation of US President Barack Obama, President Xi Jinping will hold a meeting with him in California in early June. What is China's expectation for the meeting?

A: It will be the first meeting between the top leaders of China and the US after the leadership change in the two countries. It is of great significance to China and the US in enhancing strategic communication, building up strategic mutual trust, deepening mutually beneficial cooperation, effectively managing differences, pushing forward China-US cooperative partnership and exploring ways to build a new type of major-country relations. The two presidents will have an extensive and in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest.

Q: According to the statement released by the White House, President Obama and President Xi Jinping "will review progress and challenges in US-China relations over the past four years and discuss ways to enhance cooperation, while constructively managing our differences, in the years ahead". How does China view its differences with the US?

A: China-US relations have maintained a good momentum of positive development on the whole in the past four years. The two sides have enhanced dialogue and cooperation in a wide range of areas such as business, energy, environmental protection, people-to-people and culture exchanges as well as local collaboration and maintained close communication and coordination on tackling global challenges such as the international financial crisis and climate change and on handling the Korean Peninsula issue as well as the Iranian nuclear issue. There are also differences and problems in China-US relations, which need to be properly handled and actively managed.

China-US relations has got off to a good start since this year, with important opportunities for further development. China stands ready to work with the US to follow through on the consensus reached by the two heads of state, enhance mutual understanding and trust, deepen dialogue and cooperation, properly handle differences and frictions and maintain and reinforce the growth momentum of China-US relations in a bid to ensure their sound and steady development. It serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and contributes to world peace and development.

Q: Why did China and the US decide to hold the presidential meeting at this time?

A: China-US relations are facing important opportunities for development in a new historical period. Both sides hope to hold the presidential meeting as soon as possible for strategic communication and planning on China-US relations. To hold the meeting in early June is also convenient for the two leaders.

Q: What will the two presidents discuss during their meeting? Will the Korean and Iranian nuclear issue be discussed?

A: Leaders of the two countries will have a comprehensive and in-depth exchange of views on their respective internal and external policies, major strategic issues concerning the development of bilateral relations as well as global and regional issues of common interest from a strategic and long-term perspective.

Q: Why did President Xi Jinping choose Mexico, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago as the destinations of his first visit to Latin America? What is China's expectation for the visits?

A: Trinidad and Tobago is a major country and China's important cooperative partner in the English-speaking Caribbean region. Costa Rica is the only Central American country that has established diplomatic ties with China. It maintains friendly cooperation with China. Mexico is a major emerging market and China's strategic and cooperative partner. It will be President Xi Jinping's first state visit to Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Chinese President's first visit to Trinidad and Tobago and the English-speaking Caribbean region.

China hopes to use the visits to further enhance political mutual trust with the above three countries, boost mutually beneficial cooperation, cement traditional friendship and strengthen China's friendly cooperation with Latin America and Caribbean.

Q: It is reported that the fishing boat "Liaopuyu No. 25222" detained by the DPRK was set free. Please confirm and brief us on what China has done?

A: The owner of the detained fishing boat said that the fishing boat and the crew were released by the DPRK on the early morning of May 21. The crew were safe. The boat has resumed fishing operations on the sea together with other Chinese fishing boats. It is learned that the owner did not pay the so-called "fine" or "ransom" to the DPRK side.

Since the detention of the boat on May 5, the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Embassy in the DPRK as well as public security and border defence authorities have repeatedly made representations with the DPRK side through relevant channels to express the concern of the Chinese government, public, shipowner and families of the detained crew on this incident, asking the DPRK side to earnestly protect the detained Chinese crew, safeguard their legitimate rights and interests and release the boat and the crew as soon as possible. Thanks to the efforts of relevant parties, the boat was finally released.

We urge the DPRK side to carry out full investigation into this incident, give the Chinese side an explanation and take effective measures to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

Q: What is China's position on Iran's participation in the international conference on Syria?

A: China is positive to all the efforts that are conducive to the political settlement of the Syrian issue and welcomes relevant countries' proposal of holding an international conference on Syria. Relevant parties are in communication on matters relating to the conference. China believes that the Syrian issue cannot be solved without the participation and support of countries in the region, especially those with major influence over the situation in Syria. China is open to the participation of Iran and Saudi Arabia in relevant conference. China stands ready to make joint efforts with the international community to work for a just, peaceful and proper settlement of the Syrian issue.

Q: Both US and Chinese leaders recently visited Latin American countries. Is that a coincidence or a reflection of competition between the two countries in this region?

A: China enjoys sound bilateral relations with Latin American countries. We believe that China and the US can carry out cooperation in Latin America by giving play to their respective advantages so as to make joint contributions to the development of Latin American countries.

Q: It is reported that a tornado swept Oklahoma, the US on May 20 and caused heavy casualties and property losses. What is China's response?

A: The tornado disaster in Oklahoma, the US caused heavy casualties and property losses. China expresses deep condolences to the victims and sincere sympathy to the injured and people in the disaster-stricken region. We hope that they could overcome difficulties and rebuild their homeland at an early date.

Q: US officials said that cyber attacks from the Chinese military against the US government, companies and other entities recently resumed. What is China's comment?

A: We have repeatedly expounded our position on the cyber attack issue. Cyber security is a global issue for not only the US but also China. A lot of cyber attacks against China come from the US. However, China has never blamed the US government, companies or individuals for that. The US has not yet been able to present hard evidence on the so-called attacks by Chinese individuals, companies or groups targeted at the US. It is not a professional, scientific or responsible way to make such reports.

In the age of Internet, China calls for closer cooperation with the US to make cyber security a new highlight of China-US cooperation. We would like to have an even-tempered discussion with the US and work out a new set of international rules in a bid to jointly safeguard a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyber space.

Q: How does China comment on the outcomes of Premier Li Keqiang's visit to India?

A: Premier Li Keqiang has paid a successful visit to India. He held small and large-scale talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and they jointly met the press. He also met with other Indian leaders. The two sides issued a joint statement, agreeing to seize the current historical opportunity to further enhance political mutual trust, push forward practical cooperation, broaden people-to-people and culture exchanges and strengthen coordination and cooperation in international and regional issues. This visit will bring China-India strategic partnership for peace and prosperity to a new and higher level.

Q: What is China's expectation for Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Germany?

A: At the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Premier Li Keqiang will pay an official visit to Germany, which underscores the high importance the Chinese government attaches to developing its relations with Germany and the EU. During his visit, Premier Li will hold talks with Chancellor Merkel and meet with President Joachim Gauck. He will also reach out extensively to the political and business community of Germany and bear witness to the signing of a host of cooperation agreements. We expect this visit to deepen China-Germany political mutual trust, promote bilateral practical cooperation in various fields and boost the relationship between China and European countries as a whole.

Q: Will Chinese and US presidents discuss cyber security during their meeting?

A: As I mentioned just now, the two presidents will have a comprehensive and in-depth discussion on their respective internal and external policies, major strategic issues concerning the development of bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest from a strategic and long-term perspective.

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