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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 14, 2013

2013/10/14

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on October 14, 2013.

Hua Chunying started the press conference with the following announcements:

At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, Governor General of Canada David Johnston will pay a state visit to China from October 18 to 24.

At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council, Prime Minister Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev of the Russian Federation will pay an official visit to China from October 22 to 23 and co-host with Premier Li Keqiang the 18th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers.

Q: Please give us more details on Russian Prime Minister Medvedev's visit to China as well as the regular meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers. What is China's expectation for his visit?

A: At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang, Russian Prime Minister Medvedev will pay an official visit to China from October 22 to 23 and co-host with Premier Li Keqiang the 18th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers in Beijing. President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders will meet with him. Apart from Beijing, Prime Minister Medvedev will also go to Anhui Province for a visit.

Since its establishment in 1996, the mechanism of regular meetings between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers has become an important platform for top design, overall planning and guidance on the development of bilateral relations as well as cooperation in various fields. The upcoming meeting will be the first of its kind after the formation of the new Chinese government, which will be of great significance in further deepening bilateral relations under the new circumstances.

China and Russia are each other's most important strategic partners of coordination. President Xi Jinping paid a successful state visit to Russia last March during which he reached a considerable amount of important consensus with his Russian counterpart on upgrading bilateral strategic coordination. At the moment, China and Russia are actively implementing the consensus reached by the two Presidents. China-Russia relationship is at a new starting point. China hopes the upcoming meeting will further tap the enormous potential of bilateral cooperation and focus on fostering more achievements in cooperation in trade, investment, energy, high-tech, aviation and space, cultural and people-to-people exchanges and other fields, so as to make new contributions to the respective social and economic development of the two countries.

Q: What is China's position on the possible default of US debt?

A: Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao has made clear China's position on the current economic problem faced by the US. I also noticed the statements recently made by heads of the IMF and the World Bank in this regard. I want to point out in principle that we hope the US, the world's largest economy, could shoulder its responsibility and properly deal with relevant issue.

Q: First, Two Indian athletes from the "Arunachal Pradesh" with stapled visas issued by the Chinese side could not come to China for a sports meeting. What is China's comment? Second, China and Vietnam announced to carry out joint exploration in the South China Sea. What implication will this move have?

A: On your first question, I have noted relevant report. It is regrettable that the two Indian athletes were not in China for the sports meeting. China's position on the eastern section of the China-India boundary is consistent and clear. China's practice with regard to the visa is a flexible measure pending the final settlement of the boundary question, which is to facilitate personnel exchanges between the two sides and fully shows China's sincerity and flexibility. We hope that the Indian side could work together with the Chinese side to maintain the sound momentum of personnel exchanges and cooperation in various fields.

On your second question, Premier Li Keqiang who is on an official visit to Vietnam held talks with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday afternoon. They had an in-depth exchange of views on deepening China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic partnership for cooperation and reached important consensus. They agreed that the sound and steady growth of China-Vietnam relations is in the interests of the two peoples as well as regional peace, development and prosperity. The two sides should hold on to the strategic direction of bilateral relations, stick to the path of mutually beneficial cooperation and use innovative thinking to solve the South China Sea question, the only question left over from history in bilateral relations. The two sides agreed to establish maritime, land and financial working teams, which will be put in place within this year, to enhance cooperation in the aforementioned three sectors. It marks a major breakthrough in China-Vietnam relations facing the future. The establishment of the working team on the consultation of joint maritime development, in particular, is a positive signal sent by the two sides for cooperation in solving difficult problems.

Premier Li Keqiang said, when jointly meeting the press with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, that the two sides share the view that political mutual trust between the two countries should be further enhanced, so as to enlarge common ground, manage and narrow differences to the utmost and jointly maintain peace and stability of the South China Sea. The official inception of working teams on the consultation of joint maritime development, infrastructure cooperation and financial cooperation is the most important outcome of the talks between the two Prime Ministers and represents a new breakthrough in China-Vietnam cooperation. What is more, the two sides are endeavouring to make substantial progress within this year on the joint maritime development in waters out of the mouth of the Beibu Bay and carry out joint development in a greater range of waters based on consultation and deliberation. This will show to the world that China and Vietnam have the capacity and wisdom to safeguard peace of the South China Sea, expand common interests, narrow and manage differences. We hope and expect to work with the Vietnamese side to achieve sustained, sound and long-term development of China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic partnership for cooperation.

Q: British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is visiting China. The fifth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue will be held in Beijing. Does that mean that the China-UK relationship has returned to the track of normal development? Separately, Chancellor Osborne announced that the UK would further streamline the visa application process for Chinese visitors. What is China's comment?

A: As agreed by the two sides, the fifth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue will be held in Beijing on October 15. The dialogue will be co-hosted by Chinese Vice Premier of the State Council Ma Kai and the British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and attended by senior officials of the economic and financial authorities of the two sides.

Both China and the UK are countries of major influence. The development of China-UK relations is in the interests of both sides as well as world peace and development. We are ready to work together with the UK for more sound and steady growth of bilateral relations based on mutual respect and accommodation of each other's core interests and major concerns.

With regard to Chinese citizens' application for British visas, the Chinese side welcomes the simplification move taken by the UK, as it will facilitate personnel exchanges between the two countries.

Q: The US Congressional-Executive Commission on China released the other day its 2013 Annual Report on human rights and rule of law developments in China, accusing China of lack of progress on human rights and rule of law developments. What is China's comment?

A: The Chinese government is committed to protecting and promoting citizens' rights and interests in accordance with law and energetically advancing rule of law. We have made universally recognized achievements. The commission releases this kind of report year after year in disregard of facts. Relevant remarks are not worth refuting.

Q: Is China planning to import more crude oil from Iran this year?

A: As a spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, it is not within my portfolio to answer questions concerning China's import of crude oil. You may consult the competent authorities of China. I want to stress that China's relevant principled position is clear-cut. Our normal cooperation with relevant countries in trade, energy and other fields serves the interests of both sides and does no harm to any third party.

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