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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on November 2, 2010

On the afternoon of November 2, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a regular press conference.

Hong Lei started the conference with an announcement:

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will pay an official visit to China from November 9 to 10.

This will be Prime Minister Cameron's first visit to China since he took office this May and will be of great importance to the long-term development of China-UK relations. Attaching great importance to Prime Minister Cameron's visit, China is ready to work with the UK side to make the visit a success and inject new impetus into the bilateral relations. As Prime Minister Cameron's visit coincides with the eve of the G20 Summit, China will strengthen communication and coordination with the UK side to jointly strive for positive results at the Summit.

Q: Please brief us on Prime Minister Cameron's itinerary in China. Which Chinese leaders will meet with him? How do you comment on the current China-UK relations?

A: Prime Minister Cameron is going to head a largest-ever delegation to China in the UK history, including four cabinet ministers of finance, energy, education and commerce and about 50 senior business leaders. During the visit, President Hu Jintao will meet with him and Premier Wen Jiabao will hold talks with him. Prime Minister Cameron will also join Chinese leaders to attend the China-UK Business Summit.

China values developing relations with the UK. At present, China-UK relations enjoy sound development. Since the UK's new government took office this May, China and UK have kept frequent high-level contacts and smooth cooperation in various fields, which is a good beginning of the bilateral relations. In the context that the international financial crisis has brought complicated and profound changes to the world landscape, stronger cooperation between China and the UK is not only in the common interest of both countries and peoples but also conducive to world peace, stability and prosperity. China will make joint efforts with the UK to continuously advance the China-UK comprehensive strategic partnership.

Q: What is China's position on Russian President Medvedev setting foot on the "four northern islands"?

A: The "four northern islands" issue is between Russia and Japan. China hopes the two sides properly handle it through friendly consultations.

Q: Dilma Rousseff has been declared winner of Brazil's presidential election. Could you comment? Has China sent congratulations? What is your expectation of future China-Brazil relations? Second, the Shanghai Expo has recently concluded. Could you comment on China's diplomatic achievements during the Expo?

A: We express congratulations to Madame Rousseff on her election as Brazil's President. President Hu Jintao has sent a message of congratulations to Madame Rousseff. At present, China-Brazil relations enjoy a sound development momentum. China is ready to continue joint efforts with the Brazilian Government and society to promote sustained and in-depth development of China-Brazil strategic partnership.

The Shanghai Expo is another international event that China hosts after the Beijing Olympic Games. It is also the first registered exposition held in a developing country. Altogether 246 countries and international organizations participated in the Shanghai Expo, exceeding all previous Expos. Since the opening ceremony on May 1, Shanghai Expo received over 70 million visitors, a new record in Expo history. The Shanghai Expo has truly achieved the great solidarity of people around the world through most extensive participation.

The Expo diplomacy is a systematic program featured by intensive activities, rich content with distinctive characteristics and sparkling highlights. A combination of summit diplomacy, civil diplomacy, green diplomacy and people's diplomacy, the Expo diplomacy has expanded the channel of cooperation between China and other major countries, strengthened the bond of friendship with neighboring countries, consolidated the basis for cooperation with other developing countries, promoted cooperation with all countries in fields of economy, science and technology, environmental protection, culture, and enriched the connotation of China's diplomacy in the new era.

The success of the Shanghai Expo has enhanced China's confidence and determination to continue its reform and opening up. China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development as well as openness and inclusiveness, draw strength from other civilizations, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries and make greater contribution to human progress.

Q: The Japanese Foreign Ministry said that Prime Minister Naoto Kan had a conversation with Premier Wen Jiabao in Hanoi on October 30. Please brief us on the details.

A: Premier Wen Jiabao exchanged greetings with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in a lounge before attending the East Asia Summit.

On China-Japan relations, I would like to point out that China attaches importance to developing relations with Japan. It is in the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples to stick to the direction of China-Japan strategic relations of mutual benefit. We hold that the two sides should solve their problems through dialogue and consultation in accordance with the principles of the four political documents between China and Japan. China's position remains unchanged. We hope Japan meet China halfway and make positive efforts to improve bilateral relations.

Q: Iran recently sent a letter to EU High Representative Ashton for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, expressing its will to resume talks with the six countries within this month. How do you comment?

A: China always upholds a proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiations. We hope relevant parties step up diplomatic efforts, reach agreement on exact time and venue of the talks as soon as possible so as to resume the talks at an early date and achieve positive results in bringing the Iranian nuclear issue back to the track of resolution through dialogue.

Q: Tsai Ing-wen, Chairperson of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party said in her recent meeting with former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands belonged to Taiwan. How do you comment? Besides, China once said that issues such as Taiwan and Tibet bear on China's core interest. Is the Diaoyu island issue also part of China's core interest?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times.

Q: Will President Hu Jintao visit Japan while attending the APEC Leaders' Meeting? Will he hold talks with Prime Minister Kan?

A: It is hoped that Japan make concrete efforts to create suitable conditions and atmosphere for the improvement and development of bilateral relations.

Q: Leaders of China, Japan and the ROK said lately in Hanoi that they would strengthen communication and cooperation within multilateral frameworks such as G20 and APEC. What specific measures will the three take to improve cooperation in this regard?

A: The Chinese side has released information on the meeting, to which you may refer.

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