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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on October 17, 2012


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on October 17, 2012.

Q: Yesterday, a Chinese fisherman was shot dead by the ROK coast guard with a rubber bullet during the latter's law-enforcement. How does China comment?

A: On October 16, during its law-enforcement over two Chinese fishing boats, the ROK coast guard fired rubber bullets at Chinese fishermen, causing the death of one Chinese fisherman.

Upon learning the incident, the Foreign Ministry attached great importance to it. Leading officials of the Department of Consular Affairs of the Ministry, the Chinese Embassy in the ROK and Consulate-General in Gwangju have made stern representations with the ROK side respectively, expressing grave concerns over the ROK's violent law-enforcement that led to the death of a Chinese fisherman. They demanded the ROK side to immediately and thoroughly investigate the issue in a fair and responsible manner and bring the perpetrator to justice. China also demanded the ROK to take concrete measures to put an end to violent law-enforcement, ensure that similar incidents will not happen again and earnestly protect the safety and lawful rights and interests of Chinese fishermen.

The Foreign Ministry and Chinese diplomatic missions in the ROK will continue to follow the case closely.

Q: Recent years has witnessed frequent fishery disputes between China and the ROK. People in China criticized the ROK's violent law-enforcement, while the ROK believed that the top priority should be to end the Chinese fishermen's illegal fishing. How does China think such issues should be addressed?

A: The Chinese government always stresses the need and takes concrete measures to enhance education and management on the Chinese fishermen, requiring them to operate legally. We hope the ROK will take credible measures to end violent law-enforcement and effectively protect the safety and lawful rights and interests of Chinese fishermen.

Q: During the second round of presidential debate in the US, Republican candidate Romney reaffirmed that he would label China a "currency manipulator" if elected while President Obama claimed that the yuan had appreciated during his time in office. How does China comment?

A: In recent years, the ratio of China's current account surplus to GDP has been steadily declining with basic balance of supply and demand in the foreign exchange market as well as the RMB exchange rate close to an equilibrium. There is no such thing as "currency manipulation". China will continue to push forward the reform of the RMB exchange rate regime according to the principle of independent decision-making, gradual progress and controlability. We hope the US Republican and Democratic candidates can do more for China-US mutual trust and cooperation without being influenced by the electoral politics, which is also in the US' interest.

Q: It is reported that the UN-AL Joint Special Representative for the Syrian crisis Brahimi proposed to implement a ceasefire in Syria during Eid al-Adha, the Syrian government was positive toward the proposal but demanded the joint participation of the opposition. The Syrian National Council also expressed support but asked the Syrian authorities to cease fire first. How does China comment?

A: China has noticed relevant reports. We hope all parties in Syria, out of a sense of responsibility for the country and the people, can actively respond to and support Joint Special Representative Brahimi's mediation and relevant proposal, seize the opportunity and realize ceasefire so as to create conditions for the launch and promotion of the political transition process led by the Syrian people.

Q: China-related issues have become hot topics during the US presidential debate, such as the RMB exchange rate, IPR protection, Chinese companies' investment in the US. How does China view the impact of China's development and rise on the US politician's perception of China?

A: China's development is an important opportunity for the US. As important countries in the world, China and the US share extensive common interests as well as important responsibilities. We hope some US politicians will view China in an objective and fair light, and actively support the growth of China-US relations.

China-US economic ties and trade are mutually beneficial in nature. The two sides should handle relevant issues based on the principle of equality and mutual benefit.

China and the US should constantly enhance mutual trust and cooperation, and push forward the sound and steady development of bilateral relations. This is in the common interest of both peoples and conducive to world peace, stability and development.

Q: It is reported that the Spanish police recently arrested some Chinese suspected of crimes. How does China comment?

A: China has noticed relevant reports and is further verifying the situation. The Chinese government has all along demanded Chinese citizens overseas to abide by local laws and regulations. At the same time, we hope foreign governments will act according to law and concretely protect the lawful rights and interests of the Chinese nationals.

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