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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on December 6, 2012


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on December 6, 2012

Q: Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said in a statement that Chinese fishing boats violated Vietnam's sovereignty by cutting the cable of Vietnamese survey vessels and the Chinese side must immediately end this wrongdoing and not allow similar acts to reoccur. What is China's response?

A: We cannot accept the Vietnamese side's statement. As preliminary information shows, the waters that the Vietnamese side referred to are situated between China's Hainan Island and the Vietnamese mainland outside the Beibu Gulf, an area where the two countries' claims overlap. The Chinese fishing boats were conducting normal fishing activities and unjustifiably expelled by Vietnamese naval vessels in the area. It needs to be pointed out that China and Vietnam are now negotiating the demarcation and joint development of waters outside the Beibu Gulf. The Vietnamese side must stop unilateral oil and gas activities in the above waters, stop disturbing Chinese fishing boats and create a conducive atmosphere for relevant negotiation.

Q: The DPRK has completed the installation of its rocket and is likely to launch a satellite next week. What is China's comment?

A: The Chinese side has made clear its position several times on the DPRK's plan to launch a satellite. As a sovereign country, the DPRK has the right of peaceful use of the outer space. However, given the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the restrictions of relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Chinese side hopes that the DPRK could act prudently with the larger interests of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula in mind. We also hope that other parties to the Six-Party Talks can take a long-term and calm approach and avoid taking actions that may further escalate the situation.

The Chinese side is ready to keep in close communication with all parties concerned and make active efforts to properly handle the current situation and uphold peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula.

Q: It is reported that Typhoon "Bopha" hit the Philippines and inflicted heavy casualties recently. How does China react?

A: We express sincere sympathy to the disaster-stricken people and bereaved families of the Philippines. We hope people of the disaster-hit areas can overcome difficulties and rebuild home at an early date.

Q: How does China see Israel's decision to build new settlements?

A: China is always firmly opposed to Israel's building of Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem and the West Bank. We urge the Islaeli side to take effective measures to remove barriers to the peace talks and create necessary conditions for rebuilding mutual trust and restarting peace talks between Palestine and Israel at an early date.

Q: The Phillipine President Aquino III reportedly announced the other day the appointment of Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Erlinda Basilio as Philippine Ambassador to China. He said the appointement signals the importance attached to Philippine-China relations. What is China's expectation of the new Ambassador and China-Philippines relations?

A: We have noticed relevant reports and will deal with the rotation of Philippine Ambassador to China in accordance with international practice and relevant procedures. The Chinese government attaches great importance to developing China-Philippines relations and is ready to work together with the Philippine side for the sound and stable development of bilateral ties.

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