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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 14, 2012


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on September 14, 2012.

Hong Lei starts the press conference with the following announcements:

As agreed by China and the EU and at the invitation of Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo of the Kingdom of Belgium, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council will attend the 15th China-EU Summit in Brussels and pay an official visit to Belgium from September 19 to 20.

Premier Wen Jiabao will co-chair the 15th China-EU Summit with President Van Rompuy of the European Council and President Barroso of the European Commission. The two sides will have in-depth discussions on upgrading China-EU practical cooperation and deepening China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership under the new circumstances. As the international financial crisis and the European debt issue are still unfolding, this Summit is not only of great importance to China-EU relations but will also send a positive signal to promoting strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the world economy.

During Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Belgium, he will have in-depth exchange of views with Belgian leaders on China-Belgium relations, China-EU relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest. This visit will enhance China-Belgium political mutual trust and deepen practical cooperation.

It is learned that at the invitation of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, General Coordinator Azim of the Syrian National Coordination Body for Democratic Change will lead a delegation to China from September 16 to 20. Relevant officials of the Foreign Ministry will meet with him during his visit.

In order to push for a political resolution of the Syrian issue, China has been working on all relevant parties in Syria in an active and balanced manner, urging them to earnestly implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions, Annan's "six-point proposal" and the communique of the Geneva foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group on Syria, immediately cease fire and stop violence, launch and carry forward the political transition process led by the Syrian people as soon as possible. We received Syrian President's Special Envoy and Political and Media Advisor Shaaban last month. To receive the delegation of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change is part of China's mediation efforts.

Q: First, several Japanese people were recently beaten and wounded in Shanghai. What is China's comment on that? Second, six Chinese maritime surveillance ships arrived at waters off the Diaoyu Islands today for patrol and law-enforcement. Isn't China worried that this action may trigger conflicts?

A: On your first question, the Chinese people are strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to the Japanese government's actions that infringe upon China's territorial sovereignty and Japanese right-wing forces' deliberate provocation. But it is not targeted at the Japanese people. China is a country ruled by law. The personal safety of Japanese citizens in China is protected in accordance with law. We stand for citizens' law-abiding and rational expression of relevant appeals.

On your second question, the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. Waters off the Diaoyu Islands are under China's jurisdiction. It is a normal performance of duty beyond dispute for Chinese maritime surveillance ships to patrol and conduct law-enforcement in relevant waters.

Q: It is reported that a devastating fire in Karachi, Pakistan engulfed nearly 300 lives. What is China's comment?

A: We lament the heavy casualties caused by the fire in a factory of Karachi, Pakistan. We express deep condolences over the victims and sincere sympathy to their families and the injured.

Q: It is reported that the US has officially announced its third round of quantitative easing policy. What is China's comment?

A: It is not a diplomatic issue. Please consult the competent authority.

I would like to point out in principle that China hopes the US government can adopt effective measures to improve its economic and financial situation and play a positive role in safeguarding the stability of the international financial market and promoting sound and stable growth of the world economy.

Q: The Philippine government released an administrative order signed by President Aquino, renaming South China Sea waters off the country's west coast the "West Philippine Sea". It also planned to register the new name with the United Nations. How does China respond?

A: The South China Sea is a geographic name universally recognized by the international community. The Philippines has all along recognized and used this name. Entering the 21st century, the Philippine side now attempts to rename this area. It violates international regulations concerning the standardization of geographic names, and the name will not be recognized by the international community. China has repeatedly urged the Philippine side to stop deliberately causing disputes and complicating the situation in the South China Sea.

Q: China always maintains that international disputes should be solved through dialogue and consultation. However, China has dispatched six maritime surveillance ships to waters off the Diaoyu Islands for patrol and law-enforcement. Aren't you worried that this action may escalate the situation? Why has China failed to keep calm and exercise restraint as usual on the Diaoyu Islands issue?

A: The grim situation in the current China-Japan relations is completely caused by Japan. Japan should rethink and reflect on what it has done, correct its wrong decisions and come back to the track of resolving the dispute through dialogue and negotiation. China's actions to uphold its sovereignty and justice are totally justified and reasonable.

Q: The IAEA Board of Governors' Meeting adopted a resolution on the Iranian nuclear issue, demanding Iran to abide by UN Security Council and IAEA resolutions and step up cooperation with the Agency. China is one of the sponsors of the resolution. How does China comment?

A: China always stands for a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation. The IAEA Board of Governors' Meeting has just adopted a resolution on the issue, urging Iran to honor relevant UN Security Council and IAEA resolutions, and at the same time supporting P5+1 countries' efforts to seek a comprehensive, long-term and negotiated settlement of the issue through dialogue. The resolution is a balanced one. We hope the resolution will help enhance the cooperation between the Agency and Iran, and help push forward the dialogue and negotiation process.

Going forward, we hope the P5+1 countries and Iran will intensify diplomatic efforts, launch a new round of dialogue at an early date and seek a realistic and reasonable settlement plan. China will continue to play a constructive role for the peaceful resolution of the issue through dialogue and negotiation.

Q: An official of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that China would steadily push forward its jurisdiction over the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands. When will such jurisdiction begin? How is China going to administer uninhabited islands?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. In accordance with Chinese laws and international law, China will exercise jurisdiction of the islands and their adjacent waters. For example, there will be daily weather forecast and marine environment broadcast, as well as a detailed chart of the waters off the islands in order to provide necessary convenience and service to ships passing that part of the sea.

Q: First, some foreign journalists claimed that their e-mails were attacked by hackers, which they suspected that China was involved. How does China comment? Second, the Japanese Foreign Ministry today summoned Chinese Ambassador to Japan, making representations over Chinese maritime surveillance ships' entering waters off the Diaoyu Islands. How does China respond?

A: On your first question, China administers the Internet according to law and has had Internet security cooperation with the international community. Internet security is a complex issue. China is also a victim of cyber attacks. The origins of Internet attacks are hard to pinpoint. It is unserious to rush to conclusions without in-depth investigation and full evidence.

On your second question, China does not accept Japan's so-called representations over Chinese maritime surveillance ships' normal law-enforcement in waters off the Diaoyu Islands.

Q: It is reported that China will help Pakistan to build a nuclear power plant. Have the two sides signed any agreement on it?

A: China has introduced relevant situation many times. China and Pakistan have had cooperation in civil nuclear energy for years. Such cooperation is in line with their respective international obligations, completely for peaceful purposes and subject to IAEA safeguards.

Hong Lei ends the press conference with an announcement: the Foreign Ministry will hold a press briefing at 10 a.m. on September 17 (Monday) at the Blue Room. Officials of relevant ministries including the Foreign Ministry will brief on Premier Wen Jiabao's attendance at the 15th China-EU Summit and his visit to Belgium. Journalists are welcome to the briefing.

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