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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on December 14, 2012


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on December 14, 2012.

Q: China sent a maritime surveillance plane to fly into the airspace of the Diaoyu Islands on December 13. The Japanese side said that they had lodged representations with the Chinese side. What is China's comment?

A: The sovereignty of the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands, as well as its territorial waters and airspace, belongs to China. We are firmly opposed to the repeated illegal entries of Japan's ships and aircrafts to the waters and airspace of China's Diaoyu Islands since September. The Foreign Ministry has repeatedly made representations with the Japanese side, demanding Japan to stop illegal activities in the waters and airspace of China's Diaoyu Islands, including to withdraw its aircrafts, but the Japanese side has not responded. The Chinese maritime surveillance aircraft's act of safeguarding territorial sovereignty is justified and necessary.

Q: Finance ministers from 27 EU countries reached an agreement on December 13, making the European Central Bank the bloc's top banking supervisor and be entrusted with managing the supervisory system. What is China's comment?

A: China noted that the European side has recently adopted a series of measures to ease the European debt issue, including the agreement reached by the euro zone finance ministers' meeting to establish the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) for the banking sector, which has a positive effect on stabilizing the market and boosting confidence. We believe the European side will be able to continue building consensus and further push for stability of the situation.

The European Union is the world's largest economy. Stable and healthy economic growth of the EU and the euro zone is essential to maintaining the momentum of global economic recovery. We support the EU's active measures to deal with the current challenge, and are ready to work with the international community to contribute to stabilizing the international financial market and promoting world economic recovery and growth.

Q: Some in the West believe that China is likely to prevent the UN Security Council from strengthening sanctions against the DPRK. How does China respond?

A: We have stated China's position many times. As a sovereign state, the DPRK has the right of peaceful use of the outer space, but the right is subject to restrictions of relevant UN Security Council resolutions. As a UN member state, the DPRK has the obligation to abide by relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council. China believes that the Security Council's reaction should be prudent, moderate and conducive to maintaining peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula so as to avoid further escalation of situation.

Q: The DPRK's top leader Kim Jong-un said yesterday that the DPRK will continue to launch satellites in the future. What is China's comment? Will China ask the DPRK to stop launching satellites?

A: China's relevant position is consistent and clear. I have elaborated on it many times and have nothing new to add.

Q: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov reportedly said on December 13 that "there is a trend for the Syrian government to progressively lose control over an increasing part of the territory, and the opposition victory can't be excluded", adding that Russia would evacuate its citizens from Syria if necessary. What is China's comment? Will China consider adjusting its attitude toward the Bashar regime and evacuate its citizens from Syria when necessary?

A: China is deeply concerned over the continuous violence and conflicts in Syria, and always maintains that political resolution best serves the fundamental interests of the Syrian people and the common interests of the international community. China once again urges relevant parties in Syria to immediately cease fire and stop violence, and launch and press ahead with the political transition process led by the Syrian people on the basis of the communiqué of the Geneva foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group on Syria at an early date so as to restore national security and stability. The Chinese side always follows closely the situation in Syria, and will continue to adopt necessary measures to ensure Chinese citizens' safety in Syria.

Q: Iran's ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh reportedly said on December 13 that progress had been made in Iran's talks with the IAEA that day, and the two sides agreed to hold the next round of talks on Jan 16 next year. What is China's comment?

A: China has noted relevant reports. We always maintain that dialogue and cooperation is the only right way to properly resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. We encourage Iran to step up cooperation with the IAEA, and hopes that the new round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries would be held as soon as possible for early progress and comprehensive, long-term and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue. China will stay in communication with relevant parties on this issue.

Q: Japan yesterday reportedly scrambled F-15 fighter jets to intercept the Chinese maritime surveillance plane that flew into the airspace of the Diaoyu Islands. Please brief us on relevant situation. Does China worry that this will lead to a war between China and Japan?

A: The flight into the airspace of the Diaoyu Islands yesterday by the Chinese maritime surveillance plane to safeguard China's territorial sovereignty and exercise the inherent power of China is completely justified and necessary.

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