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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on March 30, 2012

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of the Bo'ao Forum for Asia, Italian Prime Minister Monti, Kazakh Prime Minister Massimov, Pakistani Prime Minister Gillani, Iranian Vice President Mohammadizadeh, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai will come to China for the 2012 annual conference of the Forum.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister of New Zealand Murray McCully will pay an official visit to China from April 4 to 6.

Q: The Arab League Summit has just concluded with a request for the Syrian Government to fully and immediately implement the six-point proposal of Annan. Syrian President Bashar said the armed opposition should also be required to halt their "terrorist acts" targeted at the Syrian Government. He said that foreign countries should also stop funding and arming the opposition. How does China comment?

A: China appreciates the content in the Baghdad Declaration out of the Arab League Summit which expresses support to the political settlement of the Syrian issue, opposition to external interference and support to the mediation of the UN-AL Special Envoy Annan.

China welcomes the positive response of the Syrian Government to the six-point proposal of Annan and hopes that the Syrian side will implement it as soon as possible. At the same time, China calls on the Syrian opposition to immediately and concretely respond to the mediation proposal of Annan as well in order to create conditions for a full stop of violence and the launch of a political dialogue. We hope all parties concerned in the international community will support the good offices of Annan so as to push for the fair, peaceful and proper resolution of the Syrian issue.

Q: How does China comment on the outcome of the BRICS Leaders Meeting? President Hu Jintao met with Prime Minister Singh yesterday. Please brief us on the specifics.

A: The BRICS Leaders Meeting was successfully concluded in New Delhi on March 29. This Meeting again demonstrates the spirit of solidarity and partnership among the BRICS countries and sends out a positive signal of unity, cooperation and mutual benefit from the BRICS countries. The Meeting was a success, making important progress in promoting BRICS cooperation. First, the Meeting reached consensus on moving forward global economic governance. Second, the Meeting yielded significant results in pushing for the settlement of the global development issue. Third, the Meeting made new headway in deepening practical cooperation among BRICS countries across the board. Fourth, the Meeting attained important consensus on major international and regional hotspot issues of common interest.

The Meeting once again shows that BRICS cooperation is in line with the trend of the times featuring peace, development and cooperation, and helps build a more balanced world economy, more equitable international relations, more effective global governance and more durable world peace. China believes that BRICS cooperation will continue to move to higher levels and play a constructive role in promoting world economic growth, improving global economic governance, strengthening multi-lateralism and enhancing democracy in international relations. We have full faith in the development of and cooperation among the BRICS countries.

President Hu Jintao met with Prime Minister Singh in New Delhi on March 29. The two leaders exchanged views on China-India relations and major international and regional issues of common interest and reached important new consensus. The two leaders jointly announced 2012 to be the "Year of China-India Friendly Cooperation" and expressed the will to take it as an opportunity to elevate China-India strategic partnership of cooperation to a new level.

President Hu Jintao said that as the two largest developing countries and major Asian countries, China and India face important opportunities of development. China-India relations enjoy great cooperation potential and broad development space. It is China's unswerving policy to uphold China-India friendship, deepen their strategic cooperation and boost common development. What China expects of China-India relations is lasting and true friendship. China hopes to see a peaceful, advancing and prosperous India and is committed to more dynamic China-India relations. China is ready to work with India to seize the opportunity, step up development, jointly respond to challenges and share development results for the benefit of the two peoples as well as making greater contribution to peace, stability and prosperity of Asia and beyond.

Prime Minister Singh remarked that India-China relations are among the most important bilateral relations in the 21 century. Since both countries are committed to rapid development, they can learn from each other in a joint endeavour for development. India is ready to maintain high-level exchanges with China, deepen strategic mutual trust, expand mutually-beneficial cooperation, host successful strategic and economic dialogues between them, enhance bilateral trade and mutual investment, and realize the goal of reaching US$100 billion worth of bilateral trade in 2015. India has no intention and will not take part in any strategy aimed at containing China. India recognizes the Tibet Autonomous Region as part of the Chinese territory and does not allow anti-China activities by Tibetants in India.

The two leaders expressed the will to maintain peace and stability of their border areas and properly settle the boundary issue through friendly negotiation.

Q: The BRICS Leaders Meeting discussed the building of a new development bank and demanded the finance ministers of its member states to study the feasibility of such a proposal and come back with a report within a year. Is China happy with the pace of building the development bank?

A: The BRICS Leaders Meeting discussed the possibility of setting up a new development bank to mobilize capital for the infrastructure and sustainable development projects of the BRICS countries and other developing countries and demanded the finance ministers of its member states to study the feasibility of such a proposal by setting up a joint working group. This is an important trial of the BRICS countries to work in the interest of developing countries and contribute to global development. We support relevant efforts. Such an achievement is vital to pushing forward the economic development, trade promotion and investment facilitation of the BRICS countries. China is ready to play an active role in this process.

Q: It is reported that the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS) recently demanded the military of Mali to hand over power as soon as possible or face sanctions such as closure of borders and a freeze on central bank accounts. How does China comment?

A: China supports the ECOWAS-led peaceful mediation for the Malian crisis. We hope parties concerned in Mali will establish a dialogue channel with the ECOWAS as soon as possible to seek an end to the crisis through negotiation, and avoid confrontation as well as serious impact on people's life.

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