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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on October 24, 2012


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on October 24, 2012.

Q: Sources from the Japanese government said that Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Chikao Kawai held talks with Chinese officials on the Diaoyu Islands issue in Shanghai last weekend. Please brief us on that.

A: The foreign ministries of China and Japan have stayed in contact and consultations on bilateral relations, especially on the Diaoyu Islands issue.

Q: Commemorative activities for the 50th anniversary of the China-India border conflict were held by the Indian authorities the other day. Indian academics and media also made quite some comments and remarks on it. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports and comments.

The world has gone through major and profound changes. As the two most populous developing countries and emerging economies in the world, both China and India are blessed with important opportunities for development. We are cooperative partners instead of rivals. We have far more consensus than differences, and far more common interests than conflicts. As was pointed out by leaders of the two countries many times, there is enough room in the world for the common development of China and India and enough areas for China-India cooperation.

In the spirit of looking forward, we are ready to work with the Indian side to strengthen mutual trust, enhance communication, expand cooperation and continuously further China-India strategic partnership of cooperation for the benefit of both countries and peoples.

Q: Please brief us on the recent visit to Israel and Palestine by Ambassador Wu Sike, the Chinese Special Envoy on the Middle East issue.

A: Ambassador Wu Sike, the Chinese Special Envoy on the Middle East issue visited Israel and Palestine from October 19 to 22. In Israel, he met with Dan Meridor, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy as well as Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon respectively. In Palestine, he met with Palestinian President and President of the Palestinian National Authority Abbas and chief negotiator Erekat respectively. Special Envoy Wu Sike had in-depth exchange of views with them on the Middle East peace process, the current regional situation and other issues, and mediated for peace talks.

Special Envoy Wu Sike stated that China always believes that the Palestinian issue is at the core of the Middle East issue. It is conducive to peace and stability in the Middle East region and the world at large to constantly push for the political settlement of the Palestinian issue. China supports any effort that contributes to Palestine-Israel peace talks and the political settlement of the Palestinian issue. For the peace process, no progress means regression. Palestine and Israel should restore mutual trust from a long-term perspective and strive for an early resumption and substantial progress of peace talks. We hope relevant parties can make concrete efforts to this end, and in particular, the Israeli side can take active measures to halt the construction of Jewish settlements and improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza so as to create a favorable environment for the resumption of Palestine-Israel talks at an early date.

Special Envoy Wu Sike said that as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China stands ready to join the international community to enhance communication and coordination, push for a fair and reasonable solution to the Palestinian issue and play an active and constructive role in advancing the Middle East peace process.

Both the Israeli and Palestinian sides showed their appreciation to and the high value they put on China's important role in promoting peace and stability in the Middle East region. They expressed willingness to solve their outstanding problems through negotiations.

Q: UN Secretary-General's spokesperson reportedly said on October 23 that Joint Special Representative Brahimi held candid and substantive talks with Syrian President Bashar, who responded positively to Brahimi's proposal for an Eid al-Adha ceasefire. According to the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister, Brahimi's visit was a success, and the Syrian government would soon reach an agreement with him. What is China's comment?

A: We commend and support Joint Special Representative Brahimi's mediation efforts and proposal for an Eid al-Adha ceasefire in Syria. We are glad of the positive response made by relevant parties in Syria. We hope that parties concerned in Syria will support and cooperate with Joint Special Representative Brahimi's mediation efforts with utmost sincerity and concrete actions, seize the opportunity to deliver on their ceasefire commitment and take this as a start for an endurable ceasefire. It will ease the plight of the Syrian people and create conditions for the launch of political dialogue and political transition process at an early date.

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