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


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

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia, ASEAN's rotating president and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of the Kingdom of Thailand, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council will attend the 15th China-ASEAN (10+1) Leaders' Meeting, the Commemorative Summit for the 15th Anniversary of ASEAN plus China, Japan and the ROK (10+3) cooperation as well as the 7th East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and pay official visits to Cambodia and Thailand from November 18 to 21.

Q: Is China of the view that the UN Security Council should intervene in the conflict between Palestine and Israel in the Gaza Strip?

A: I stated our stance on relevant issue yesterday. We believe that given the current situation in the region, it has become even more important and urgent to solve the Palestinian issue. We hope that the international community will pay more attention and make more efforts towards that end.

Q: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius reportedly said that France was considering urging the EU to relax its arms embargo against Syria and provide defensive weapons to the Syrian opposition. What is China's comment?

A: The current situation in Syria is extremely complex and grave. Actions taken by all parties concerned should be conducive to halting all the violence in Syria, pushing forward the process of resolving the Syrian issue politically and safeguarding peace and stability in the Middle East region.

Q: New Japanese Ambassador to China Masato Kitera will soon take office. What expectations does China have of the prospects of China-Japan relations?

A: China is dealing with the rotation of Japanese Ambassador to China in accordance with international practice and relevant procedures. The current China-Japan relations are caught in a very grave situation, due to the reason well-known to all, which was completely caused by the Japanese side single-handedly. The pressing task now is that the Japanese side should show sincerity, take concrete actions to solve the current problem and improve bilateral relations together with the Chinese side. We hope to see the Japanese side's concrete efforts to this end.

Q: The Japanese government dismissed the House of Representatives today and will hold the general election next month. What is China's expectation of the next Japanese government in terms of restoring China-Japan relations?

A: The domestic election in Japan is Japan's internal affair. We have no comment on that. As for how to improve China-Japan relations, I have already expounded on the position of the Chinese side.

Q: Is China ready to start the consultation on the "Code of Conduct in the South China Sea" (COC)? Does China agree that shelving the COC has soured China's relations with ASEAN countries?

A: China stays in communication with ASEAN countries on the formulation of the COC. Both sides agree that in the current situation, we should comprehensively and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), maintain the momentum of dialogue, actively create conditions and work towards finally reaching the COC based on consensus through consultation.

At the end of the press conference, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson and Director-General of the Department of Information Qin Gang introduced the new Spokesperson and Deputy Director-General of the Department of Information Hua Chunying to the journalists present.

Qin Gang said that working as a diplomat for 20 years, Hua Chunying used to serve in the Department of European Affairs as well as China's diplomatic missions in Europe and Asia. Experienced in diplomacy and good at communication, she is the right fit for the post of Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman. It is believed that she will get along well and develop a cordial working relationship with the press.

Hua Chunying said the following:" China's relations with the world are at a period of profound changes. China needs to learn more about the world, and the world needs to learn more about China. I will try my best to help journalists get a timely, accurate and comprehensive understanding of China's foreign policy. I am also looking forward to enhancing mutual understanding, trust and cooperation between China and the rest of the world by having sincere communication, equal exchanges and sound cooperation with you all."

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