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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on November 23, 2012


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on November 23, 2012.

Hua Chunying started the press conference with the following announcements:

At the invitation of the government of the United Mexican States, President Hu Jintao's special envoy and Vice Chairman Lu Yongxiang of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress will go to Mexico for the power transfer ceremony of the Mexican President to be held on December 1.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Winston Lackin of the Republic of Surinam will pay an official visit to China from November 26 to 29.

Q: Please brief us on the meetings of Special Envoy of President of the State of Palestine and General Secretary of the Palestinian People's Party Bassam Al Salehi during his visit to China.

A: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held talks with Special Envoy of President of the State of Palestine and General Secretary of the Palestinian People's Party Bassam Al Salehi in the Chinese Foreign Ministry on the morning. The two sides exchanged views on the situation in Gaza and Palestine's bid for the UN observer state.

Foreign Minister Yang remarked that China welcomed the announcement of ceasefire between Israel and relevant faction of Palestine and hoped that relevant parties could earnestly implement their ceasefire commitment to avoid more conflict. In order to show the Chinese people's friendship to the Palestinian people and help ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the Chinese government has decided to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Palestine. Foreign Minister Yang stressed that the Gaza conflict once again speaks to the importance and urgency to resolve the Palestinian issue. The international community should attach full importance to it and make greater mediation efforts so as to push for the early resumption and substantive progress of Palestine-Israel talks.

Foreign Minister Yang said that China firmly supports the Palestinian people's just cause of restoring their lawful national rights and interests and Palestine's accession to the UN and other international organizations. China understands, respects and supports Palestine's bid for the UN observer state, and will work with the international community to continue to play a positive and constructive role for an early, comprehensive and fair settlement of the Palestinian issue.

Salehi informed the Chinese side of the latest development of the Palestine-Israel issue and thanked the Chinese side for contributing to the ceasefire in Gaza and supporting Palestine's bid for the UN observer state. He also highly praised China's longstanding firm support to the just cause of the Palestinian people and the statehood of Palestine.

Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun also met with Salehi today.

Q: Four Chinese workers abducted in Columbia were released on November 21. Could you give us some details?

A: On the night of November 21 local time, four Chinese workers abducted in the Caqueta province of Columbia in June last year were released and arrived in the capital city of Bogota by chartered plane. The Chinese Ambassador to Columbia and chief of the company concerned went to receive them. The Chinese side is arranging their early return to China and wants to thank all those involved in the rescue operation.

After the abduction, leaders of the Party and the country attached great importance to it and made important instructions on the rescue operation. The Foreign Ministry, the Chinese Embassy in Columbia and the company concerned immediately started the emergency response. The Chinese Embassy maintained close communication and cooperation with the competent authority of Columbia and the Chinese company concerned for an early release of the abducted workers. The Columbian government also gave high priority to the case and took many active measures in collaboration with the Chinese side. The International Committee of the Red Cross also provided important assistance. China thanks them all for their efforts.

Q: President of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan Shinzo Abe said that China's growing military spending and attitude on the Diaoyu Islands issue is the reason for regional tension and strained China-Japan relations. How does China comment?

A: Japan's illegal "purchase of the Diaoyu Islands" infringed upon China's territorial sovereignty and caused the current difficulty in China-Japan relations. It is completely justified and necessary for China to take action to defend its national territorial sovereignty.

I want to stess that China is always committed to the path of peaceful development and is an important force for regional peace and stability. Bearing in mind the larger interests of regional peace, stability and development, China has exercised great restraint and actively sought to resolve relevant issue through negotiation and consultation. I want to emphasize once again that China pursues a defense policy that is defensive in nature. Not targeted at any other country, China's defense enhancement and military modernization are completely aimed at safeguarding national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

On the contrary, Japan in recent years has used every excuse and means for arms expansion and stronger military alliance. It has tried to sow discord on regional security issues, which has drawn wide attention of regional countries and the international community. Japan should earnestly think about whether its behaviour is conducive to regional peace and stability.

Q: The European debt issue has been troubling Europe and the EU is in the middle of tense discussions on its budget. Does China believe that the EU can reach agreement on its budget?

A: China has been actively supporting the EU's efforts to tackle its sovereign debt crisis. We hope and believe that the European side will continue to build consensus and settle the sovereign debt issue so as to push for gradual economic recovery and growth.

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