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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on May 27, 2013

2013/05/28

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on May 27, 2013.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcements.

Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Kunsheng and Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang will brief the press on President Xi Jinping's state visits to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, Mexico and attendance at the China-US presidential meeting in the US in the blue room of the Chinese Foreign Ministry at 15:00 on May 29. The regular press conference on the day will be suspended.

Ambassador Wu Sike, China's Special Envoy on the Middle East issue, will pay visits to Jordan, Egypt and the Arab League Headquarters from May 28 to June 6. He will discuss issues like the Middle East peace process with parties concerned.

Ambassador Wu Sike pays the visits to exchange views with all parties on the latest developments of the Middle East issue at a time when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had paid successful visits to China successively and China had come up with a "four-point proposal" on the Middle East issue. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China is ready to work with the international community to play a positive and constructive role for fresh progress in the Middle East peace process.

Q: There have been frequent interactions by the international community regarding the international conference on Syria proposed by Russia and the US. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said on May 26 that the Syrian government agreed "in principle" to attend the conference. Prior to that, a member of Syria's opposition party, the Syrian National Coalition, also hinted at takeing part in the conference. What is China's attitude toward the conference? Will China attend it?

A: China supports all efforts that are conducive to the political resolution of the Syrian issue, welcomes the proposal of holding an international conference on Syria and is willing to take an active part in the conference. China stands ready to make joint efforts with parties concerned for a just, peaceful and proper settlement of the Syrian issue at an early date.

Q: It is reported that the African Union's Special Summit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was held in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia on May 25. Vice Premier Wang Yang of the State Council attended the summit as President Xi Jinping's representative. Please give us some details. How does China view the summit? What is China's outlook on developing its relations with Africa?

A: At the invitation of Rotating Chairman of the African Union (AU) and Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Dessalegn as well as Chairman of the AU Commission Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma, Vice Premier Wang Yang of the State Council attended the AU's special summit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the OAU as President Xi Jinping's special representative in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia on May 25 and read out President Xi's message of congratulation as the representative of Asian countries at the summit. Vice Premier Wang Yang also met with Prime Minster Hailemariam and President Zuma on the sidelines of the summit, having an exchange of views and reaching broad consensus on China's relations with Africa, the AU and Ethiopia. He also witnessed the signing of a host of cooperation agreements between China and the AU as well as Ethiopia.

The special summit, a highlight of the events staged by the AU celebrating the 50th anniversary of the OAU, has been a full success. China believes that African countries could use the summit to promote the spirit of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance, strengthen their solidarity and cooperation and make greater success on their road to self-improvement through unity and African integration.

China always attaches great importance to growing ties with Africa. Chinese President Xi Jinping chose Africa as the destination of his first overseas visit in last March since taking office and sent Vice Premier Wang Yang as his special representative, along with his message of congratulation, to the AU's special summit. Chairman Zhang Dejiang of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress attended the reception held by the African Diplomatic Corps celebrating the 50th anniversary of the OAU in Beijing. It fully demonstrates China's consistent policy of attaching high importance to the development of China-Africa relations as well as a close and friendly relationship between the two sides. China is ready to work with Africa to follow through on the achievements of President Xi Jinping's visit to Africa, keep deepening China-Africa strategic mutual trust, promote their friendly cooperation across the board and push for fresh progress of the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership with a view to making greater contribution to Africa's development and revival.

Q: Choe Ryong Hae, special envoy of the DPRK leader Kim Jong-un visited China last week. Had he reached agreement with China on the Korean Peninsula issue and the resumption of the Six-Party Talks?

A: During Choe Ryong Hae's visit to China, President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders stressed to the DPRK side that no matter how the situation changes, parties concerned should stand up for denuclearization, peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula as well as dialogue and consultation for the settlement of the issue. The DPRK side expressed willingness to work with all parties concerned to properly solve relevant issues through dialogue and consultation in various forms including the Six-Party Talks, uphold peace and stability of the Peninsula and take active measures to this end.

Q: China and Switzerland signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on concluding China-Switzerland FTA negotiations during Premier Li Keqiang's visit there. What is China's comment?

A: The signing of the MOU on concluding China-Switzerland FTA negotiations underscores the two sides' commitment to deepening trade liberalization and investment facilitation as well as their will to open up to each other and advance bilateral business cooperation. It will exert important and positive influence on China-Switzerland economic cooperation and China-EU relations.

Q: US National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon arrived in China yesterday. Please brief us on his agenda in China and talks with Chinese leaders.

A: State Councillor Yang Jiechi held talks with visiting US National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon this morning.

The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on the upcoming meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama in early June. The two sides agreed that China-US relations are at a critical juncture to build on past successes and open up new dimensions for the future. The presidential meeting is of great and positive significance to the long-term, healthy and steady development of bilateral relations with far-reaching implications for peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and beyond. The two sides will make an all-out effort to prepare for the meeting and ensure its success. They also discussed international and regional issues of common interest.

We will release relevant information on Donilon's meetings with other Chinese leaders in due course.

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