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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on October 12, 2012


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on October 12, 2012

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

As agreed by both China and the US, US Deputy Secretary of State Burns will visit China from October 16 to 17. The two sides will exchange views on China-US relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest.

Q: How does China comment on Chinese writer Mo Yan's winning of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature?

A: We congratulate Mr. Mo Yan on his winning of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature. Mr. Mo Yan is the winner of the latest Mao Dun Literary Prize. His literary attainment is well-known to all. The Chinese nation has a time-honored history and a splendid culture, which is the common heritage of all mankind. We welcome friends from around the world to get a better understanding of the Chinese culture and experience the charm of the fine Chinese literature.

Q: It has been almost two years since Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Is it possible for China-Norway relations to get improved in recent terms? Has China contacted the Norwegian Nobel Committee for this year's Nobel Peace Prize candidate?

A: The Norwegian Nobel Committee's decision two years ago grossly interfered in China's internal affairs and judicial sovereignty. China has every right to express firm opposition. As for China-Norway relations, the difficulty is caused by the Norwegian government's support of the Nobel Committee's wrong decision. It is up to the country who ties the knot to untie it. The Norwegian side should make concrete efforts for the restoration and development of bilateral relations.

Q: The Chinese government criticized the Norwegian Nobel Committee for interfering in China's internal affairs after Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. Why does China hold a different attitude when Mo Yan is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature?

A: As I have said, Mr. Mo Yan is the winner of the latest Mao Dun Literary Prize, the highest literary prize in China. His literary attainment is well-known to all. The Norwegian Nobel Committee's decision two years ago grossly interfered in China's internal affairs and judicial sovereignty. China has every right to express firm opposition.

Q: Director-General Luo Zhaohui of the Foreign Ministry's Department of Asian Affairs visited Japan upon invitation on October 11, exchanging views with Director-General Shinsuka Sugiyama of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry on dispute over the Diaoyu Islands. What is the two sides' specific plan for the following consultation?

A: China always maintains that territorial disputes should be resolved through dialogue and consultation. Since Japan's illegal "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands, China has taken a series of practical measures which forcefully defended China's territorial sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands. Meanwhile, we have been urging Japan to face squarely the reality, recognize the dispute, correct mistakes and come back to the track of a negotiated settlement of the dispute. China and Japan officially launched the consultation on the Diaoyu Islands issue at the level of deputy foreign ministers on September 25, during which, China solemnly reiterated its sovereignty position on the Diaoyu Islands, requiring Japan to admit its mistakes and reverse course. A new round of consultation will be held soon. The two director-generals' exchange of views on the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands this time in Japan is to make preparations for the new round of consultation between the two deputy foreign ministers. We hope that Japan will show sincerity and take concrete actions to correct mistakes and strive for positive progress in the consultation.

After the conference, the Spokesperson was asked about China-India boundary issue and China-India relations.

Hong Lei said that the border area between China and India has been generally peaceful and stable over the years. The two countries have reached a lot of consensus on resolving the boundary issue through consultation in a peaceful and friendly manner. Special representatives' meetings have also made positive progress. We hope that both sides will do more to maintain peace and tranquility in the border area and create a favorable environment for the negotiation on the boundary issue and the development of bilateral relations.

China wholeheartedly follows the path of peaceful development, develops its friendly relations and cooperation with India in real earnest and sincerely hopes to resolve the boundary issue through friendly consultations. This year is the "Year of China-India Friendship and Cooperation". Bilateral relations have maintained the momentum of sound and stable development. We hope that the two sides will work together to enhance China-India mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and usher in a better future for China-India relations.

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