On the afternoon of July 12, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a regular press conference.
Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcements:
At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki of the Republic of Iraq will pay an official visit to China from July 17 to 21.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird will pay an official visit to China from July 17 to 21.
Q: Southern Sudan recently became an independent state and applied for accession to the UN. What is China's comment?
A: China welcomes the founding of Southern Sudan and supports its accession to the UN. China is willing to develop friendly and cooperative relations with Southern Sudan on the basis of peaceful co-existence and other principles and maintain communication and cooperation with it within the UN framework.
Q: Please brief us on the arrangement and major topics of Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki's visit to China. What is China's expectation of this visit? How do you comment on the current China-Iraq relations?
A: This is Prime Minister Maliki's first visit to China, during which President Hu Jintao will meet with him and Premier Wen Jiabao will hold talks with him. Leaders of the two countries will discuss futher consolidating China-Iraq friendship and cooperation as well as expanding and deepening bilateral practical cooperation across the board. They will also exchange views on international and regional issues of common interest.
China and Iraq enjoy traditional friendship. Recent years have witnessed a sound momentum of bilateral political interaction, steady progress of economic relations and trade as well as increasing cutural and people-to-people exchanges. Both sides have strong aspirations for the further advancement of bilateral relations. The Chinese Government values its friendship and cooperation with Iraq, supports the latter's reconstruction process and stands ready to join the international community's efforts in providing assistance to the Iraqi people for their well-being as our capacity allows.
Q: Philippine Foreign Secretary del Rosario said that he had proposed the submission of the South China Sea dispute between the Phlippines and China to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea during his recent visit to China. How does China respond?
A: China's position on the South China Sea is clear and consistent. China always upholds that the South China Sea dispute should be resolved in accordance with universally-recognized international law through direct negotiation between directly concerned parties.
Q: Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff is visiting China. During his meeting with Chinese military leaders yesterday, they touched upon issues including US arms sale to Taiwan and the South China Sea. Would you please brief us on that?
A: Vice President and Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xi Jinping, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Guo Boxiong as well as State Councillor and Defence Minister Liang Guanglie met with visiting Chairman Mullen of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff respectively. Chief of the General Staff Chen Bingde held talks with him. The two sides exchanged views on bilateral and military-to-military relations. Competent authorities have released detailed information about relevant meetings, to which you may refer.
Q: The US has reportedly announced its holding back of part of its military assistance to Pakistan. It is said that China may fill up the void. What is China's comment?
A: Pakistan is a major country in South Asia, whose stability and development has a close bearing on peace and stability of South Asia.
As a friendly neighbour, China has all along been providing assistance to Pakistan within its capacity, helping Pakistan improve people's well-being and realize sustainable economic and social development. China will continue doing so in the future.
Q: China's ever-developing satellite technologies have recently raised some countries' concerns, as these technologies may be directly used for military purposes. How do you comment? Separately, could you shed some light on the recent exchange of visits between the Chinese and DPRK delegations?
A: Chinese holds that the outer space should be completely used for peaceful purposes to benefit the whole mankind. China is committed to peaceful utilization of the outer space, opposes militarization of and arms race in the outer space and stands for international cooperation in this regard. China is ready to make joint efforts with relevant parties to promote peaceful utilization and safeguard security of the outer space.
On your second question, in order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between China and the DPRK, China and the DPRK have recently sent goodwill delegations to each other. President Hu Jintao met the DPRK delegation led by Yang Hyung Sop, Vice President of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly in Beijing yesterday.
President Hu Jintao pointed out that on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between China and the DPRK, the two countries exchanged visits to jointly commemorate the day of great historical importance, which would further deepen bilateral good-neighborly friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation. Over the past five decades, under the guidance of the spirit of the Treaty, China and the DPRK respect, support and closely cooperate with each other in a joint effort to advance bilateral relations.
President Hu said that the Chinese Party and Government attach great importance to developing China-DPRK friendship and cooperation. Following the spirit of carrying on traditions, facing the future, upholding good-neighborly friendship and strengthening cooperation, we are ready to promote high-level visits, deepen strategic communication, expand mutually beneficial cooperation and enhance exchanges of experience in governing the party and the country, with a view to promoting sustained and in-depth development of bilateral friendship and cooperation.
Vice President Yang Hyung Sop extended congratulations on the 90th birthday of the Communist Party of China. He said that the traditional friendship between the DPRK and China, forged and nurtured by the older generation of leaders of both countries, is a precious treasure cherished by the two sides. Thanks to the keen attention of the top leaders and concerted efforts of the two countries, DPRK-China relations have entered a new stage of development with expanding exchanges and cooperation across the board. The DPRK attaches great importance to bilateral friendly cooperative ties and stands ready to make positive efforts with China to consolidate and develop bilateral relations and safeguard regional peace and stability.
Chairman Wu Bangguo met with Vice President Yang Hyung Sop as well. State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Vice President Yang Hyung Sop attended the commemorative banquet hosted by the DPRK Ambassador to China in the Embassy. The Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and China-DPRK Friendship Association also hosted a commemorative reception.