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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on June 14, 2011

On the afternoon of June 14, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a regular press conference.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni of the People's Republic of Bangladesh will pay an official visit to China from June 15 to 23.

Q: It is reported that the UN Security Council will hold a conference on the Libyan issue recently. Will China send representatives to the meeting? Please give us more details.

A: Initiated by the African Union (AU), the UN Security Council will convene a conference on the Libyan issue in New York on June 15. The AU will send a high-level delegation to New York and discuss the Libyan issue with the UN Security Council members.

In order to support the AU's efforts to resolve the Libyan issue politically, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun will attend the conference. China hopes that the conference will pool international consensus and push for ceasefire of relevant parties as well as the political resolution of the Libyan issue at an early date.

Q: Leaders of North and South Sudan reportedly held talks in Addis Ababa, which produced positive outcomes. Both sides agreed to withdraw troops from the Abyei region before July 9. What is China's comment?

A: China follows closely the recent development of the situation in the Abyei region and stays in contact with both sides to ease the tension. We appreciate the peaceful choice made by leaders of North and South Sudan and welcome all measures conducive to relaxation of the tension in the Abyei region. We hope that both sides exert calmness and restraint and continue to dissolve differences through negotiation.

Q: Vietnam carried out live ammunition military drill yesterday in the South China Sea. What is China's comment? Besides, according to Indian media, India is concerned about China's plan of water transfer from the Yarlung Zangbo River, worrying that the plan may reduce water supply of the Brahmaputra River in India. How does China respond?

A: On your first question, China's stance on the South China Sea issue is consistent and clear. We hope relevant countries do more for peace and stability of the region.

On your second question, China always adopts a responsible attitude when it comes to the development of cross-border water resources. We have the policy of placing equal importance on development and protection and also fully bear in mind the interests of downstream countries.

Q: Both China and Vietnam pledge to abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), however, the Declaration is not legally binding. What is China's attitude towards promoting a legally binding code of conduct?

A: China always upholds and has been committed to a proper resolution of differences and disputes over the South China Sea in a peaceful manner through bilateral direct negotiation and friendly consultation with relevant countries. China stands ready to make concerted efforts with all relevant parties to implement the DOC and safeguard peace and stability of the South China Sea in real earnest.

Q: US Secretary of State Clinton reportedly made remarks concerning China-Africa cooperation when attending a conference in Zambia recently. What is China's response?

A: We have noted relevant remarks. Both China and African countries suffered from colonial invasion and oppression in history. We know for the best what is colonialism as well as the significance of respect and equality. China fully respects the rights of African countries to choose their development paths independently and never imposes its own will on them. Our assistance to Africa is not attached with any political strings and we conduct cooperation with African countries on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and common development. Over the past years, with joint efforts of both sides, China-Africa cooperation has yielded notable results and won extensive commendation from African countries and beyond. We hope relevant parties regard China-Africa cooperation in an objective and just manner.

At present, the peace and development causes in Africa still face numerous challenges. The international community should pay attention to and accomodate Africa's desire of developing and resolving regional issues on its own, and take effective actions to support African countries' efforts to derive strength from unity.

Q: Last week, the Turkish Justice and Development Party led by Erdogan won the parliamentary election for the third time in a row. It is reported that he will visit China after establishing the new government. What is China's comment?

A: We congratulate Prime Minister Erdogan's Justice and Development Party on its victory in the Turkish Parliamentary election once again. China-Turkey friendly cooperative relations have made major headways over the years, including the establishment of China-Turkey strategic relations of cooperation in 2010. Both sides have witnessed frequent high-level exchanges, new breakthrough in economic cooperation and trade, dynamic cultural and people-to-people exchange as well as close coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs. We look forward to jointly securing further advancement of China-Turkey relations after the establishment of the new Turkish Government.

Q: How do you comment on recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan which caused heavy casualties?

A: China has noted relevant report. We condemn recent attacks in Pakistan and express condolence to the victims, the bereaved families and the injured.

China opposes terrorism in all menifestations and will continue to give strong backing to the Pakistani Government and its people for their unremitting efforts to maintain national stability.

Q: Would you please brief us on the situation of the Chinese nationals abducted in Columbia?

A: The Chinese Government values highly the safety as well as the legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese nationals. We have learned relevant situation and are exerting our utmost to rescue them.

Q: It is reported that the majority of Italian people voted against the resumption of nuclear energy development plan in the recent referendum. What is China's comment? Will it affect China's nuclear power policy?

A: The Fukushima nuclear leakage accident this March aroused world-wide attention. After the accident, China joined the international community to step up on monitoring and analysing and released authoritative information to the public. Meanwhile, China also immediately conducted comprehensive security inspection of nuclear facilities over the country, intensified security management of operating nuclear facilities, carried out overall reviews of nuclear power plants under construction, reviewed and formulated nuclear safety plan, adjusted and improved medium and long-term nuclear power development plans and strictly examined and approved new nuclear power projects. These measures play an important role in building up transparency of the government and the public's confidence in nuclear energy.

Nuclear energy remains one of the major choices for most countries in tackling global energy shortage and climate change. However, the development of nuclear energy should be based on safety. The influence of nuclear accident is boundless, therefore, it takes the synergy of the international community to improve nuclear safety.

Q: Reports say the website of IMF was recently attacked by government-backed hackers. What is China's comment?

A: I have expressed many times that China has explicit laws and regulations against hacking, which ban the netizens from disrupting cyber security and punish relevant criminal activities severely. China also falls victim to hacker attacks. Large amounts of statistics show that China suffers gravely in this regard. China has reiterated on many occasions that it is willing to conduct active exchange and cooperation with the international community in the field of cyber security on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, in a bid to safeguard the security of international cyper space.

We believe that it is groundless and of ulterior motive to link some ordinary cases with China or even with the Chinese Government.

Q: The Philippines plans to rename the South China Sea as "West Philippine Sea". What is China's comment?

A: South China Sea is a name well recognised by the international community.

Q: What is China's position on the UN Security Council's draft resolution on Syria?

A: Syria is a major country in the Middle East region. We hope to see an early restoration of national stability and normal order of Syria. Under current circumstances, the pressing task is to call on all relevant parties in Syria to resolve the issue politically through peaceful means, including dialogue and negotiation.

Q: Jim Webb, head of the US Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on East Asia, said the US Government should denounce China's position on the South China Sea and seek resolution of relevant issues through multilateral negotiation. What is your comment?

A: Recently, some countries took unilateral actions which impaired China's sovereignty as well as maritime rights and interests and released untrue and irresponsible remarks with the attempt to expand and complicate disputes over the South China Sea. This is where the root-cause lies. China is trying to safeguard its own justified rights and interests instead of infringing other countries' rights and interests. Justice lies in people's hearts.

China always maintains to resolve territorial and jurisdictional disputes peacefully through friendly consultation and negotiation between directly-concerned sovereign states rather than resort to force or threat of force. This is also the consensus reached in the DOC by relevant countries of the region. We hope non-parties respect the directly-concerned parties' efforts to resolve disputes through direct negotiation.

Q: French Finance Minister Lagarde and Mexican Central Bank Governor Carstens have been short-listed for the position of IMF chief. What is China's position?

A: At present, the global economy is gradually recovering from international financial crisis, and the European sovereign debt crisis is still lingering on, thus requiring support from a strong IMF to help overcome current difficulties facing Europe and ensure strong, sustainable and balanced growth of global economy.

The G20 has decided that the selection of IMF chief and senior management staff should follow the principle of openess, transparency and merit. Meanwhile, the composition of the senior management staff should also better reflect the change of the global economic landscape and the representativeness of the emerging market.

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