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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin's Regular Press Conference on July 13, 2012

2012/07/14

On July 13, 2012, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin held a press conference.

Liu Weimin started the press conference with the following announcement.

At the invitation of the Chinese Government, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will pay an official visit to China and attend the opening ceremony of the Fifth Ministerial Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation from July 17 to 19.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Vuk Jeremic, President of the upcoming 67th UN General Assembly and Serbian Foreign Minister will visit China from July 16 to 18.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn Gryshchenko will pay an official visit to China from July 17 to 22.

Q: Annan briefed the UN Security Council on his visit to Syria and discussions with Bashar on July 11. What is China's comment on Annan's briefing? Russia and some western countries circulated draft resolutions on Syria at the Security Council. What is China's stance on the drafts? What is China's position on the extension of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) and the adjustment of its mandate and size?

A: On the first question, the foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group on Syria was successfully held recently and a communique was issued by the meeting. Some positive progress has been made in the political resolution of the Syrian issue. China applauds the efforts made by Special Envoy Annan to this end. Going forward, all parties concerned should continue to support Special Envoy Annan's mediation and earnestly implement Annan's "six-point proposal", relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the communique of the foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group on Syria with a view to easing tensions in Syria as soon as possible and pushing forward the political resolution of the Syrian issue.

On the second question, the Security Council members recently had an initial exchange of views on what actions to take next regarding the Syrian issue. China is now seriously studying the draft resolutions circulated by relevant members. So far, parties are still divided. A consensus should be reached through patient consultation in order to uphold the unity of the Security Council and push forward the political resolution of the Syrian issue.

On the third question, China in principle supports the extension of the UNSMIS. The adjustment of the mandate and size of the mission depends mainly on whether it is conducive to implementing relevant Security Council resolutions, supporting Special Envoy Annan's mediation efforts, implementing his "six-point proposal" and pushing for the political resolution of the Syrian issue. The opinions of the country concerned should also be listened to.

Q: Undersecretary of Energy Layug of the Philippines was reported to have said that the Philippines would invite bids for three oil and gas blocks west of Palawan province on July 31 and that relevant oil and gas fields are within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines and all the oil and gas reserves in the area belong to the Philippines. Layug also claimed that the bidding plan was not objected to by the Chinese side. How does China respond?

A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. China has made repeated representations with the Philippines over its bid opening for some oil and gas blocks which infringes on China's rights and interests. It is illegal for any country or company to engage in oil and gas activities in waters under Chinese jurisdiction without the consent of the Chinese Government. We urge the Philippine side to follow the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), refrain from taking actions that may complicate or magnify the South China Sea dispute, and make its due efforts to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Q: It is reported that another Chinese fishery administration vessel entered waters off the Diaoyu Islands on July 12. Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura of Japan said at a press briefing that Japan had lodged protests with China over Chinese fishery administration vessel's entering again waters off the Huangwei Islet of the Diaoyu Islands. How does China respond?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. The Chinese fishery administration vessels went to waters under Chinese jurisdiction for the performance of normal duty. China rejects the Japanese side's representations and expresses strong dissatisfaction with Japanese ships' acts of disrupting the performance of duty by the Chinese government ships.

Q: Syrian opposition activists said that over 200 Syrians were "massacred" in Hama city. How does China respond?

A: China always strongly condemns any acts of inflicting harm on innocent civilians. It is hoped that all parties concerned in Syria can take concrete actions to honor their commitments and stop violence as soon as possible.

Q: Special Envoy Annan insisted that Iran should play a greater role in resolving the Syrian crisis. How does China comment? Separately, Palestinian National Authority called for the set-up of an international committee to investigate the death of its former President Arafat. Is China willing to join such a committee?

A: On your first question, China believes that the proper resolution of the Syrian issue cannot be achieved without the participation or support of regional countries, especially those with influence on relevant parties in Syria.

On your second question, China has noted relevant press reports.

Q: It is reported that the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting failed to issue a joint communique because of China's tough position on the South China Sea issue. How does China comment?

A: China believes that all parties concerned had full exchange of views on East Asia regional cooperation and major regional and international issues at the series of foreign ministers' meetings of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), enhancing their mutual understanding with significant results. China's views and positions on many issues won the appreciation and support of many participating countries.

At a time of raging international financial crisis and sluggish world economic recovery, Asia-Pacific countries should all the more step up unity and cooperation, expand cooperation areas, upgrade cooperation levels and boost endogenous driving force for economic growth so as to create a more favorable environment for the stability and development of this region. Over the years, important progress has been made in East Asia regional cooperation, contributing to regional peace, stability, development and prosperity. China has made huge efforts to this end, which earn it worldwide praise.

China values and is committed to developing strategic partnership with ASEAN and supports ASEAN community building. On the South China Sea issue, it is imperative for all parties concerned to earnestly respect and abide by the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). The South China Sea issue is a bilateral dispute between China and relevant countries that should be solved through friendly consultation and negotiation. In this process, all parties should exercise self-restraint, do not take actions that may complicate and magnify the issue or undermine regional peace and stability.

Q: India is intensifying its military deployment along the border with China. Is China concerned that tensions may escalate in these areas?

A: China and India have consensus on the boundary issue. Both sides are committed to safeguarding regional peace and stability. We believe that as long as the two sides work in concert and meet each other half way, their negotiations on the boundary issue will ultimately bear fruits.

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