Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on July 7, 2011
On the afternoon of July 7, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a regular press conference.
Q: Japanese media reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto expressed concern over the current situation in the South China Sea during his recent visit to China. What kind of position did the Chinese side convey?
A: During the recent talks between Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi reaffirmed China's principled position on the South China Sea issue, emphasizing that the shipping routes in waters neighboring China and Japan as well as surrounding Asia are smooth, with freedom of navigation guaranteed. Japan has long been one of the main beneficiaries of free navigation in surrounding waters including the South China Sea, and therefore knows clearly about the actual situation in relevant waters.
Q: Pyeongchang, the ROK won the bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. How do you comment?
A: We congratulate the ROK on winning the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and believe the ROK, as a good host, will stage successful Winter Olympic Games.
Q: It was reported that a senior official from the Chinese Foreign Ministry visited Benghazi, Libya recently. Please brief us on the visit.
A: Chen Xiaodong, Director-General of the Department of West Asian and North African Affairs of the Foreign Ministry visited Benghazi, Libya on July 6, meeting respectively with Vice Chairman Isawi and Salah, head of the foreign affairs office of the Executive Board of the National Transition Council (NTC).
Chen Xiaodong said the four-month long Libyan crisis has brought a lot of sufferings to the Libyan people and exacerbated the regional unrest, over which China is deeply concerned. We believe the current situation shall not continue and a political solution must be found as soon as possible.
China calls on the conflicting parties in Libya to proceed from the fundamental interests of the country and people as well as regional peace and stability, start concrete negotiations immediately on end of conflict, future political arrangement and other matters, and positively respond to the mediation efforts of the African Union and other parties.
China attaches importance to the role of the NTC, considers it "an important dialogue partner", and stands ready to continue bilateral contact so as to push for an early political settlement of the Libyan crisis.
The NTC officials appreciated China's efforts in promoting a peaceful resolution to the Libyan crisis, agreed that political negotiation is the final solution of the Libyan issue, and expressed no rejection to the AU plan. They also voiced willingness to enhance interaction with China and reiterated their commitment to safeguard life and property safety of Chinese personnel in the NTC-controlled region.
Q: Please brief us on the specific arrangement and major agenda of Philippine Foreign Secretary's visit to China.
A: At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario will pay an official visit to China from July 7 to 9. He arrived in Beijing this moring. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will hold talks with him tomorrow morning, and Chinese leaders will meet with him tomorrow afternoon.
The two sides will exchange views on enhancing high-level exchanges, promoting mutually beneficial cooperation, appropriately handling specific issues in bilateral relations and jointly advancing regional cooperation in East Asia. Relevant information will be released in due course.
Q: Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister Aranda visited China recently. Please brief us on the arrangement and agenda of her visit.
A: Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister Aranda visited China recently. Vice Foreign Minister Li Jinzhang held the second China-Mexico Strategic Dialogue with her, exchanging in-depth views on deepening China-Mexico strategic partnership as well as major international and regional issues of common interest. Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Kunsheng held the 11th political consultation between the two Foreign Ministries with her. Relevant information has been released.
Q: It is reported that the IMF is planning to appoint Zhu Min as deputy managing director. What is China's comment?
A: China always maintains that the IMF should push ahead with governance restructuring, increase the representativeness and voice of emerging markets and developing countries and select senior management staff under the principle of openness, transparency and merit.
Q: Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang will attend commemorative activities of the 50th anniversary of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between China and the DPRK. It is stated in the Treaty that if one party is under armed attacks from other countries, the other party should provide timely military and other assistance. Is this article still valid?
A: It serves the common interests of all parties to solve problems through dialogue and consultation, safeguard peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and realize denuclearization and enduring peace on the Peninsula. It is also China's starting point and goal in handling the Peninsula issue. We will continue to be committed to developing China-DPRK friendly cooperative relations and playing a constructive role in safeguarding regional peace and stability.
Q: Dalai, visiting the US, has met with US Government officials and will also meet with US lawmakers. What is China's comment?
A: China resolutely opposes the Dalai Lama's activities aimed at splitting the motherland through overseas visits as well as foreign governments' and political figures' assistance and instigation in this regard. This position is consistent and clear. We hope that the US adheres to its commitment on the Tibet-related issue and deals with relevant issues in a prudent and appropriate manner with the larger picture of China-US relations in mind.