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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on June 5, 2013

2013/06/06

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on June 5, 2013.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the request of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Chinese government will host the UN International Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace in Beijing from June 18 to 19. The theme of the meeting is reviving the collective international engagement towards a two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Representatives of relevant governments, the UN and other international organizations as well as academics will be invited to the meeting.

China has long been promoting the Middle East peace process and supporting the Palestinian people's just cause of restoring legitimate national rights. China hopes that the meeting can draw greater attention from the international community and public to the Palestinian issue and build up international efforts to promote peace. China will continue to play a positive and constructive role for an early, comprehensive and just settlement of the Palestinian issue.

Q: The ROK National Defence Ministry reportedly said that Chinese and ROK militaries reached agreement on more military exchanges and cooperation to push for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula during chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the ROK Armed Forces Jeong Seung-jo's visit to China. Please brief us on that.

A: We have been stressing that China is committed to denuclearization, peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula as well as the settlement of the issue through dialogue and consultation. Please consult the competent authorities about the specifics of the talks.

Q: The European Commission decided on June 4 to impose provisional anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese photovoltaic products from June 6 to August 6. What is your comment?

A: The Chinese government and relevant industry have shown utmost sincerity and made tremendous efforts to solve relevant issue through dialogue and consultation. The EU insisted on levying the unfair provisional anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese photovoltaic products. We firmly oppose it.

However, we also noticed that the EU has lowered the rate of the provisional anti-dumping duties from 47.6% to 11.8%. We hope that the EU could show more sincerity and solve relevant issue through dialogue and consultation with China.

China values its comprehensive strategic partnership with the EU and works hard to ensure the sound and steady development of China-EU economic relations and trade. We hope that the EU would meet China halfway and refrain from taking trade protectionist measures which will only make the situation worse for both sides.

According to the announcement by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the Chinese government has started anti-dumping and countervailing investigation into wine from the EU.

Q: Is the anti-dumping and countervailing investigation a countermeasure of China?

A: As I pointed out, China values its comprehensive strategic partnership with the EU and attaches importance to the sound and steady development of China-EU business ties. China is committed to solving the issue of exporting photovoltaic products through dialogue and consultation. We hope that the EU would show sincerity and start the negotiation on price undertaking with the Chinese government at an early date so as to maintain the overall interests of China-EU business relations.

Q: Why does China single out wine from the EU as the target of anti-dumping and countervailing investigation? Will that lead up to a trade war between China and the EU?

A: China is committed to addressing trade frictions between China and the EU through dialogue and consultation. This longstanding position is very clear and firm. Please consult the competent authorities for the specifics.

Q: It is learned that China and the US are going to hold a vice-ministerial level consultation on strategic security and multilateral arms control. Please give us more details.

A: Assistant Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu will co-chair the sixth China-US vice-ministerial level consultation on strategic security and multilateral arms control with Rose Gottemoeller, Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security of the US State Department on June 6 in Beijing. The two sides will exchange views on building the new-type of relations between major countries, regional hotspots and multilateral arms control.

After the press conference, a journalist asked: Over 200 people were seized during recent raids by the Ghanaian government against illegal gold mining by Chinese workers. Is China aware of the situation and what efforts has China made?

Hong Lei said that since October, 2012, the Ghanaian government has taken an array of clean-up actions against foreigners' illegal mining activities in Ghana, which involved some Chinese citizens. Being highly concerned, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Embassy in Ghana have maintained close communication with the Ghanaian side and asked them to properly handle relevant issue and safeguard the safety and lawful rights of Chinese citizens in Ghana. The Ghanaian government set up a law-enforcement team to crack down on illegal gold mining last May. It is targeted at those natives and foreigners engaged in illegal mining in Ghana and those behind the sale and transfer of mining permits and land to foreigners. The Chinese Embassy has notified Chinese citizens in Ghana of the situation through various channels and reminded them to abide by local laws and regulations in their work so as to avoid damage to their own security rights and interests.

Information from the Chinese Embassy shows that 116 Chinese citizens suspected of illegal mining were arrested in Ghana's recent clean-up action and will be repatriated to China. Officials from the Embassy have paid consular visits to them and asked the Ghanaian side to enforce laws in a civilized way, grant humanitarian treatment to Chinese detainees and guarantee their safety and lawful rights and interests.

The Foreign Ministry reminds Chinese citizens in Ghana to strictly follow local laws and regulations and stay away from illegal activities. The Foreign Ministry and Embassy in Ghana will continue to provide assistance to Chinese citizens in Ghana to ensure their safety and lawful rights and interests.

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