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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on October 16, 2012


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on October 16, 2012.

Q: Japanese Defense Ministry released information that today several Chinese naval ships passed the contiguous waters of Japan, heading towards the Diaoyu Islands. Please confirm. What's the purpose of the operation?

A: Please refer to relevant department.

Q: It is reported that Japan and the US will hold a joint military drill in Okinawa which may include the simulation of retaking a remote island. How does China comment?

A: It serves the common interests of all parties to uphold peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific. Intentionally highlighting the military security agenda which escalates regional tension does not help enhance regional security mutual trust and is inconsistent with the trend of peace, deveopment and cooperation.

We follow the developments closely and reserve the right for further response. We hope Japan will show sincerity and take concrete actions to correct mistakes, and make efforts for progress in the China-Japan consultation on the Diaoyu Islands issue.

Q: First, Iran proposed a new plan to resolve the Syrian issue during Joint Special Representative for Syria Brahimi's recent visit to Iran. How does China comment? Second, the EU yesterday put forward new sanctions against Iran. How does China comment?

A: On your first question, I am not aware of the specific content of the plan. China always believes that political dialogue is the only correct way to resolve the Syrian crisis. In light of the grave Syrian situation at present, we hold that the political resolution should be adhered to. We urge all parties in Syria to immediately cease fire and end violence, implement relevant Security Council resolutions, Annan's "six-point proposal" and the communique of the foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group on Syria, as well as launch and promote the political transition led by the Syrian people at an early date. China is open towards any proposal that is consistent with the above goals and acceptable to all parties in Syria, and hope that the international community can play a constructive role towards this end.

On your second question, we oppose unilateral sanctions against Iran since we believe that pressuring and sanctions can not fundamentally settle the Iranian issue, but will only complicate and compound it, exacerbate confrontation and undermine regional peace and stability.

At present, a hard-won positive momentum of dialogue and cooperation has been formed on the Iranian nuclear issue. There is still room for diplomatic efforts. China always maintains that dialogue and cooperation is the only correct way to properly settle the Iranian nuclear issue. Relevant parties should step up dialogue and cooperation, show flexibility, seek a pragmatic resolution plan and hold a new round of dialogue at an early date.

Q: First, US Deputy Secretary of State Burns will arrive at Beijing this evening. Please brief us on his meeting arrangements with the Chinese side. Second, please brief us on the latest development of the case involving a Chinese national who threw articles into the Japanese Embassy in the ROK.

A: On your first question, we will timely release the information regarding Deputy Secretary Burns' visit to China.

On your second question, the Chinese government pays great attention to the case. We hope the ROK side will fairly and properly handle the issue and protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese national.

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