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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on November 30, 2012


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on November 30, 2012.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcements:

At the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets of the government of the Russian Federation, Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and the governments of New Zealand and Australia, State Councilor Liu Yandong will attend the 13th Meeting of China-Russia People-to-People Cooperation Committee in Russia and pay official visits to the Kingdom of Cambodia, New Zealand and Australia from December 4 to 14.

Hong Lei remarked that the 67th UN General Assembly adopted the resolution to grant Palestine the status of UN observer state on November 29, which represents another positive progress of Palestine in its efforts to seek independent statehood and shows that the Palestinian people's rightful cause of restoring their lawful national rights has won even wider support from the international community. We extend warm congratulations on that. The Chinese side voted for the resolution together with most of other member states. We always maintain that independent statehood is the Palestinian people's lawful right and serves as the basis and precondition of the peaceful coexistence between Palestine and Israel. The Chinese side will continue to play a positive and constructive role for the comprehensive and fair settlement of the Palestinian issue.

Q: It is reported that the Singaporean police recently arrested four Chinese bus drivers who went on strike in Singapore. They may face charges of "illegal strike". How does China react?

A: The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Embassy in Singapore pay great attention to the case and have been in close communication with the Singaporean Foreign Ministry, Human Resources Ministry and police, requiring the Singaporean side to give full consideration to the specific conditions and reasonable appeal of the Chinese workers concerned, prudently and appropriately handle the case and effectively protect the lawful rights and interests of the detained Chinese workers. Diplomats from the Chinese Embassy attended the first trial of the case on November 29.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Embassy in Singapore will continue to follow closely the developments and maintain communication with the Singaporean side for a proper settlement of the case.

Q: It is reported that Hainan's new regulation concerning the jurisdiction of its waters has attracted the attention of Southeast Asian countries. What are the implications of the regulation? How is "illegal entry" defined? Will it escalate tension in the South China Sea?

A: China carries out maritime management according to international and domestic laws. On the issue of the South China Sea, it is China's clear and consistent position to safeguard national territorial sovereignty and rights and interests. We are also committed to solving disputes with our neighbors through friendly consultation and negotiation. The navigation freedom countries enjoy in the South China Sea according to international law should be protected. China attaches importance to maintaining navigation freedom in the South China Sea. There is no problem with it.

Q: It is reported that a ROK court recently had the first trial of the case involving the Chinese citizen Liu Qiang. Reports say that the Chinese Embassy had an active hand in finding good defending lawyers for Liu. Please confirm. What is China's attitude to the progress of the case?

A: The Chinese Foreign Ministry has been following closely the case of Liu Qiang. Consular officials from the Chinese Embassy attended the trial and provided necessary assistance to Liu Qiang such as recommending lawyers to him. China's position on the case is clear and consistent. China hopes and believes that the ROK side will handle the case in a fair and proper manner.

Q: It is reported that South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal ruled recently that the South African government's delay of granting visa to Dalai last year was illegal. What is China's comment?

A: We have noticed relevant reports. I would like to reiterate that Dalai is a political exile who has long been engaged in splitting China in the name of religion. He has never stopped "Tibet independence" separatist activities. The Chinese government is firmly opposed to Dalai's trip to any country for activities aimed at splitting China in any capacity or name.

Q: Indian National Security Advisor Menon will visit China next week and co-chair with State Councilor Dai Bingguo the informal meeting between the Chinese and Indian Special Representatives for the Boundary Question. Please brief us on relevant information. Does China expect fresh progress of the negotiation on China-India boundary question?

A: We will release information in a timely fashion on the informal meeting between the Special Representatives.

The border areas between China and India have maintained peace and stability in general for many years. The two countries have reached a lot of common ground on settling the boundary question through consultation in a peaceful and friendly manner and achieved positive progress in the meeting of Special Representatives for the Boundary Question. China is ready to press ahead with the negotiation on China-India boundary question in the spirit of peace, friendship, equal consultation, mutual respect and mutual understanding and seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution. Pending the final settlement, China is willing to work with India to jointly uphold peace and stability in the border areas between China and India.

Q: How does China see its current relations with India?

A: At present, China-India strategic partnership of cooperation has maintained a good momentum of sound and stable development, with frequent high-level exchanges, major breakthroughs in economic cooperation and active people-to-people and cultural exchanges. As leaders of China and India said, the world is big enough for their cooperation and common development.

As the two major developing countries with the world's largest populations, both China and India face important opportunities for development and share a lot of common interests. The two countries should take a long-term perspective and further explore their potential to deepen cooperation across the board for common development and the well-being of the two peoples.

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