Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on June 21, 2011
On the afternoon of June 21, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a regular press conference.
Q: How do you view Syrian President Bashar's recent national speech and the current situation in Syria?
A: China supports relevant parties in Syria properly resolving internal differences through dialogue and negotiation and independently choosing a development path suited with its own national conditions so as to realize long-term stability and prosperous development of the country. The international community should continue to play a constructive role towards that end.
Q: Please brief us on the ongoing visit to China by the special envoy of the Libyan National Transitional Council. Will China play a mediatory role in the current crisis in Libya?
A: Chairman Jibril of the Executive Board of the Libyan National Transitional Council is visiting China from June 21 to 22. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will meet and exchange views with him on the situation in Libya.
As a permanent member of the Security Council, China is committed to safeguarding world peace and stability. With the Libyan crisis ongoing for four months, the people has suffered a lot and infrastructure been damaged. Deeply concerned and worried, China believes that the current situation shall not continue and a political resolution must be found immediately. Based on the above consideration, China actively supports the peace-making efforts by the international community, the AU and the UN in particular, engages in direct contact with the conflicting parties in Libya and persuades them to set store by the fundamental interests of the country and people, proceed from safeguarding regional peace and stability, cease fire immediately and start negotiations so as to politically resolve the crisis in Libya.
Q: It is reported that an Asiana aircraft flying from Chengdu, China was mistakenly fired at by ROK marines lately when it was crossing the DPRK-ROK border for landing. How do you comment?
A: We have noted relevant report and expressed concern to the ROK through diplomatic channels. It is hoped that the ROK will take effective measures to avoid recurrence of similar incidents and protect in real earnest the safety of civil aviation aircraft and passengers that fly over the ROK territory.
Q: How do you comment on the Agreement on Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area signed between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement? What role has China played in this regard?
A: We are happy to see that the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement reached an agreement on the settlement of the Abyei issue. China appreciates the unremitting efforts made by the parties including the North and South of Sudan and the AU. We hope the North and South of Sudan stick to the choice of peace, continue to resolve relevant differences through negotiation and push for the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, with a view to safeguarding overall peace and stability of Sudan.
China has closely followed the situation since the outbreak of conflict in the Abyei area last month. Special Representative Liu Guijin for African Affairs of the Chinese Government made a special trip to Sudan not long ago and undertook great efforts to work on the North and South so as to encourage and promote talks for peace. China has also made extensive efforts to work on various parties in the UN Security Council and on other multilateral occasions, contributing positively to promoting peace talks and easing the situation in the Abyei area, which has been welcomed and applauded by relevant parties. China is ready to work with the international community to continue to play a positive and constructive role in the North-South peace process of Sudan.
Q: China has engaged in frequent contact with Libya's opposition lately. Are you preparing for the post-Gaddafi era? Has China changed its long-term principle of non-interference in others' internal affairs?
A: What China has been doing mainly is to encourage and facilitate talks for peace. Paying great attention to the development of the Libyan situation, China has upheld an objective and fair position and called for a political settlement of the Libyan issue. We are in contact with both parties in conflict and urge them to take measures conducive to the fundamental interests of the country and people and easing the situation as soon as possible. We believe the future of Libya should be decided by the Libyan people and China respects their independent choice.
Q: How does China view the Libyan opposition? Do you consider it as a legitimate representative of the Libyan people?
A: China believes that the National Transitional Council has become an important political force in Libya. We are ready to stay in contact with all parties including the Libyan National Transitional Council to push for an early political settlement of the Libyan crisis.
Q: Afghan President Karzai reportedly said days ago that the Afghan Government had a smooth dialogue with the Taliban. US Secretary of Defense Gates also confirmed that US representatives were holding peace talks with Taliban forces in Afghanistan. How do you comment?
A: China supports Afghanistan's national reconciliation efforts, hopes it achieves peace and stability at an early date and is ready to see progress in the Afghan reconciliation process. At the same time, we believe when it comes to peace talks, the outside world should fully respect the choice of the Afghan Government and people and create an environment conducive to making progress in reconciliation.
Q: Please brief us on the agenda and meeting arrangements of the visiting Indian border defense delegation?
A: Military exchanges are an important part of China-India relations. China is ready to work with India to continue to strengthen bilateral defense exchanges and cooperation.
Please refer to competent authorities for specifics of the visit.
Q: How do you view the debt crisis in Greece? Has China urged Europe to speed up its efforts to solve the crisis?
A: The Chinese Government has taken a series of positive measures such as increasing its holdings of Euro bonds and promoting China-Europe economic, trade and investment cooperation to support Euro zone countries in overcoming the crisis. China is ready to continue to help European countries achieve a stable economic growth through cooperation with relevant countries.
Q: First, How do you comment on the recent statement by the Singaporean Foreign Ministry that expressed concern over China's position on the South China Sea issue? Second, how does China implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea?
A: China's position on the South China Sea is clear and consistent. China safeguards its sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea, which does not affect freedom of navigation in the South China Sea enjoyed by countries according to international law. In fact, freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is out of question.
On your second question, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea is an important political document signed between China and ASEAN countries. China attaches great importance to its implementation. China always stands for and is committed to properly resolving the South China Sea disputes by peaceful means including direct negotiation, dialogue and consultation with relevant countries. China's position is well carried out by its action. China has always been an important constructive force in safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea, which is widely recognized by the international community.
Q: Some human rights organizations criticize China's inviting Sudanese President Bashir to visit who was prosecuted by the International Criminal Court. How do you comment?
A: China is not a party to the Rome Statute and has reservations about the International Criminal Court's prosecution of President Bashir. Over recent years, President Bashir has been accorded warm and friendly reception by relevant countries on his many trips overseas. It is above criticism that we invite the head of state of a country having normal diplomatic relations with China.