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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin's Regular Press Conference on July 9, 2012

2012/07/10

On July 9, 2012, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin held a press conference.

Q: Annan in a recent interview said that his "six-point proposal" failed and it was hard to guarantee its success in the future. How does China comment? How do you view the prospects of Annan's "six-point proposal"?

A: At present, it is still the consensus of all parties concerned to peacefully resolve the Syrian crisis through political means as agreed at the foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group on the Syrian issue. Special Envoy Annan is now in Syria for diplomatic mediation. The pressing task now is for all parties concerned to continue to support and cooperate with Annan's mediation, urge the Syrian government and opposition to implement relevant Security Council resolutions and Annan's "six-point" proposal at an early date, and push for the enforcement of the communique of the foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group on the Syrian issue.

Q: The Japanese leader indicated on July 7 the intention to "purchase" the Diaoyu Islands. Has China made clear its position to Japan?

A: Relevant officials of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese Embassy in Japan made stern representations with Japan over its recent moves both in Beijing and Tokyo on July 7, making clear the Chinese government's firm position to defend its territorial sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and stressing that China will never allow any of Japan's unilateral moves over the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands.

On the same day, Spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry once again expressed China's position on the Diaoyu Islands, pointing out that the Islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times, for which China has indisputable historical and legal basis, and that nobody is ever allowed to trade in China's territory. The Chinese government will continue to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty over the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands with necessary measures.

Q: During French Foreign Minister Fabius's visit to China, will he discuss the Syrian situation with China? The French side proposed to set up a "no-fly zone" in Syria in order to implement Annan's "six-point proposal". How does China respond?

A: Foreign Minster Yang Jiechi already held talks with Foreign Minister Fabius this afternoon. We will release information soon. During his visit, the Chinese side will discuss with him international issues of common interest. The Syrian issue is an important international issue now. It is believed that the two sides' exchange of views on this issue will promote their understanding of each other's position and the political resolution of the Syrian issue.

As for setting up a "no-fly" zone, China's position is clear. China is opposed to external armed intervention or forced regime change. We hope the international community will actively work on all parties in Syria, stop violence as soon as possible and launch the political dialogue process. China is positive and open toward any resolution plan for the Syrian issue as long as it is reached though political negotiations and widely accepted by all parties in Syria and the international community.

Q: Recently, members of the Taiwan Alliance to Protect the Diaoyu Islands waved the five-star national flag of China as they went near the Islands. How do you comment?

A: It is the common wish and responsibility of compatriots across the Straits to defend the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands.

Q: Libya's General National Assembly election was held on July 7. What is China's comment?

A: China welcomes the election of Libya's General National Assembly which marks an important step forward in the political transition of Libya. We wish Libya lasting peace and stability, prosperity and development at an early date. We are also willing to join the new Libyan authority to push forward China-Libya friendly and cooperative relations.

Q: China and the ASEAN recently held an informal meeting on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) in Cambodia. There are media reports that the two sides confirmed to hold a formal meeting in September. Please brief us on the specifics.

A: Senior officials of China and ASEAN countries had informal discussions on the formulation of the COC in Phnom Penh on July 8. All parties agreed to comprehensively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and carry out practical cooperation within the framework with a view to enhancing mutual trust and cooperation.

Regarding the issue of the COC, China has stated many times that it is willing to work with ASEAN countries to discuss formulating the COC when the conditions are ripe. I would like to emphasize that the COC aims not at resolving the South China Sea disputes but boosting mutual trust and cooperation between the parties concerned in a joint bid to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Q: According to Iranian media reports, China has invested US$20 billion in the development of Iranian oil resources. Please confirm.

A: I am not aware of the specifics. China and Iran have always maintained legitimate, open and transparent business cooperation.

Q: How does China comment the recently held International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan?

A: China applauds the positive outcomes produced at the Tokyo Conference on the Afghanistan issue. As a friendly neighbour of Afghanistan and a responsible member of the international community, China has always been actively supporting and participating in Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction and has provided assistance within its capacity. China is ready to join the international community to help Afghanistan realize lasting peace, prosperity and development at an early date.

Q: Will China and the EU sign any economic agreements during EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Ashton's visit to China?

A: As for as I know, Lady Ashton arrived in China yesterday for the third round of China-EU High-Level Strategic Dialogue.

China always attaches great importance to China-EU High-Level Strategic Dialogue which we believe has played an important and positive role in boosting political understanding and mutual trust and deepening mutually beneficial cooperation. We hope the two sides continue to have in-depth discussions at the Dialogue on some overarching and strategic issues in China-EU relations and the international situation.

To my latest knowledge, the two sides have no plan to sign economic cooperation agreements.

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