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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 10, 2013

2013/10/10

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on October 10, 2013.

Q: It is reported that the Egyptian Minister of Social Solidarity signed a decision and announced on October 9 that the Ministry officially dissolved a non-governmental organisation linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. In the meantime, an Egyptian court has set November 4 for the trial of former President Morsi on charges of inciting violence and murdering demonstrators. What is China's comment?

A: China believes that Egyptian affairs should be decided by the Egyptian people independently and hopes that Egypt can smoothly advance its inclusive political transition and realize social reconciliation and national stability at an early date.

Q: The ROK National Intelligence Service reportedly confirmed that the DPRK has reactivated a Nyongbyon nuclear reactor. What is China's comment? Does China regard the move by the DPRK as a violation of its denuclearization commitments?

A: China has been following relevant reports. China always stands for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and maintains that peace and stability of the Peninsula should be upheld and the Korean nuclear issue should be solved through dialogue and consultation. This position is clear-cut and resolute. Under the current circumstances, we call on all relevant parties to do more to reduce tension and contribute to the denuclearization of the Peninsula rather than the other way around.

Q: Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson reportedly rejected on October 8 any conditions for Iran's taking part in diplomatic negotiations on Syria, saying that excluding Iran from the talks would deprive the negotiations of Tehran's constructive role. What is China's comment?

A: Political solution is the only way out for the Syrian issue. China hopes that relevant parties could seize the current opportunities and make joint efforts for an early convening of the Geneva II meeting so as to start the dialogue and political solution process and properly settle the Syrian issue. China maintains that the proper settlement of the Syrian issue cannot be achieved without the participation and support of regional countries, especially countries that have influence on relevant parties in Syria.

Q: It is reported that during Premier Li Keqiang's meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Brunei, they talked about the issue of US debt. Please give us more details.

A: Premier Li Keqiang met with US Secretary of State Kerry yesterday in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. Premier Li said that the important consensus reached between leaders of the two countries on building a new model of major-country relationship will help engage the two sides in a joint endeavour of promoting the sound and steady development of bilateral relations. China and the US enjoy broad common interests. The Chinese economy and the American economy have long been highly complementary. China pays high attention to the issue of US debt ceiling and hopes that the US could relax restrictions on high-tech export to China. China is ready to enhance strategic communication and coordination with the US to jointly play a positive role in promoting the steady growth of global economy and safeguarding world peace.

Secretary of State Kerry said that the US welcomes a rising China and sees China as an important cooperative partner. President Obama puts high premium on elevating bilateral relations. The US would like to strengthen strategic communication and cooperation with China to jointly tackle challenges and further enrich the new model of major-country relationship between the US and China.

Q: Premier Li Keqiang proposed the 2+7 cooperation framework while attending the 16th China-ASEAN Summit on October 9. Can you brief us on that? Does this mean China will continue to take ASEAN as a priority on China's diplomatic agenda regarding the neighborhood?

A: Premier Li Keqiang attended the 16th China-ASEAN Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei on October 9. Participants of the summit had an in-depth discussion on deepening China-ASEAN relationship, outlined a framework for cooperation and reached broad consensus.

Premier Li Keqiang said that over the past decade since the establishment of China-ASEAN strategic partnership, political mutual trust between the two sides has been constantly deepened, practical cooperation has been advanced rapidly and people-to-people and cultural exchanges have become increasingly closer. China and ASEAN also extended mutual assistance in tackling the international financial crisis and major natural disasters. China-ASEAN relationship is becoming increasingly mature with the cooperation expedited. China and ASEAN should further deepen two political consensus: first, the foundation of advancing cooperation lies in deepening political mutual trust and enhancing good-neighbourly friendship; second, the key of deepening cooperation is focusing on economic growth and expanding mutual benefit. The two sides should seize opportunities to carry out deep, high-level and all-round cooperation in a wide range of areas.

Premier Li Keqiang made a seven-point proposal on the framework of China-ASEAN cooperation in the next ten years:

First, we need to actively discuss the signing of a treaty on good-neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation to provide legal and institutional safeguards to China-ASEAN strategic cooperation and guide the development of bilateral relationship.

Second, we need to strengthen exchange and cooperation in the security field. We need to improve the mechanism of ASEAN-China defense ministers' meeting and deepen cooperation in disaster prevention and relief, cyber security, combating transnational crimes, joint law enforcement and other non-traditional security fields.

Third, we should start the negotiations on upgrading the China-ASEAN FTA and strive to realize the goal of one trillion US dollars of two-way trade by 2020 so that ASEAN countries can benefit more from regional integration and China's economic growth.

Fourth, we need to push forward connectivity. We should make good use of such mechanisms as the China-ASEAN Connectivity Cooperation Committee, advance the building of such projects as Trans-Asian Railway and prepare to establish an Asian infrastructure investment bank to provide a financing platform for connectivity of ASEAN and this region.

Fifth, we need to strengthen financial cooperation of this region to guard against risks. We need to increase the size and scope of bilateral currency swap, expand the pilot program of settling cross-border trade with local currencies, lower the interest rate risk and settlement cost of intra-region trade and investment and fully harness the role of China-ASEAN Banking Consortium.

Sixth, we need to steadily advance maritime cooperation. We should work together to build the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century, and intensify cooperation on marine economy, maritime connectivity, marine environment protection and scientific research, maritime search and rescue and fishery.

Seventh, we need to boost exchanges in people-to-people and cultural fields, science and technology and environmental protection so as to enhance the foundation of friendly cooperation.

The two political consensus and seven-point proposal on cooperation represent the new Chinese government's policy towards China-ASEAN relationship in the next decade. ASEAN will remain a priority on China's diplomatic agenda regarding the neighborhood. China is ready to enhance strategic mutual trust and deepen all-dimensional cooperation with ASEAN for common development, and open up a new chapter for China-ASEAN relationship.

ASEAN leaders expressed appreciation and welcome to Premier Li Keqiang's proposals and said that ASEAN attaches great importance to growing ties with China from a strategic height. They cherish the cooperation outcomes achieved over the past years and stand ready to, in the spirit of mutual trust and mutual benefit, work with China to map out the future development of bilateral relationship, deepen practical cooperation across the board and create favorable conditions for the development of China-ASEAN relationship in the next decade.

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