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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on October 9, 2012


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on October 9, 2012.

Q: It is reported that on October 8, Turkey and Syria exchanged fire for the sixth consecutive day in their border areas, and a bomb fired from Syria landed in the Northern part of Lebanon, which triggered firefight between Syria and Lebanon. What is China's comment? Is China worried that the Syrian crisis will spill over into neighbouring countries?

A: China is highly concerned about the current situation in Syria and its impact on neighbouring countries. We call on relevant parties to act in the overall interest of regional peace and stability, respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, exercise restraint, refrain from taking any action that may escalate tension and make concerted efforts to safeguard regional peace and stability.

Q: The IMF Annual Conference will be held this week in Tokyo. Who will China send to the meeting?

A: Please consult the competent authority.

Q: It is learned that the Foreign Ministry has set up the Department of International Economic Affairs, and the inaugural meeting was held today. Please brief us on that.

A: The inaugural meeting of the Foreign Ministry's Department of International Economic Affairs was held on October 9. State Councillor Dai Bingguo attended and addressed the meeting. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and other ministerial officials attended the meeting.

The establishment of the Department of International Economic Affairs is an important step taken by the Foreign Ministry under the new circumstances so that diplomacy can better serve national scientific development. It is conducive to promoting international economic cooperation and governance, implementing the win-win strategy of opening-up, safeguarding national development interests and economic security and making more contributions to world economic growth and common development.

The Department of International Economic Affairs is in charge of the preparations and follow-ups of Chinese leaders' attendance at major summits, such as the G20, BRICS, APEC and the Greater Mekong Sub-region Economic Cooperation Mechanism. From political and diplomatic perspectives, it will cooperate with relevant domestic departments to coordinate, study and participate in economic and development cooperation as well as other related affairs within the UN and other international and regional cooperation frameworks. It will study issues like global economic governance, regional economic cooperation and the international economic and financial situation, systems and rule-making.

Q: First, it is reported that the governors of China's four largest state-owned banks will not attend the IMF Annual Conference in Tokyo. Is it because of the dispute between China and Japan over the Diaoyu Islands? Second, Shinzo Abe, President of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan said that if he was elected as Prime Minister, he would push for the increase of national defence and maritime defence budget. Comments say it is directed against China. What is China's comment? Third, the DPRK said that its missiles could reach the homeland of the US. What is China's comment?

A: On your first question, please consult the competent authority.

On your second question, I want to point out that China-Japan relationship is facing an unprecedentedly grim situation. Japan should face up to the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands, stop infringing upon China's territorial sovereignty and come back to the track of a negotiated settlement of the dispute.

On your third question, I want to point out that peace and stability on the Peninsula serves the common interests of all parties. We hope that relevant parties will exercise restraint, make more contributions to peace and stability on the Peninsula and work towards that end in real earnest.

Q: The US House Intelligence Committee reportedly said that US companies should avoid doing business with Huawei and ZTE. How will China respond if this decision is adopted as the policy of the US government. Will China take trade retaliation measures or lodge a complaint at the WTO?

A: We made clear our position on relevant issue yesterday.

Q: It is reported that the first Board of Governors Meeting of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) was held in Luxembourg on October 8, marking the full launch of the ESM. What is China's comment?

A: China has noted the first Board of Governors Meeting of the ESM and regards it as a positive progress. China stands ready to enhance cooperation with the EU in finance and other fields.

Q: The US Republican presidential candidate Romney reportedly said that if he won the election, he would provide the Syrian opposition with heavy weapons to help them overturn the Bashar regime. What is China's comment?

A: Our proposition on the Syrian issue is that the international community should play a constructive role in resolving the current Syrian crisis, and actions taken by parties concerned should be conducive to curbing violence in Syria and pushing for the political settlement of the Syrian issue. We oppose armed interference in Syria.

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