Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on November 18, 2010

On the afternoon of November 18, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a regular press conference.

Hong Lei started the conference with the following announcements:

At the invitation of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Zhukov and Deputy Prime Minister Sechin, Vice Premier Wang Qishan will pay a visit to Russia from November 21 to 24, during which he will hold the 14th meeting of the committee of China-Russia Prime Ministers' regular meeting and China-Russia Energy Negotiators' Meeting and accompany Premier Wen Jiabao to attend the 15th Regular Meeting of Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers. At the invitation of Turkmenian Deputy Prime Minister Hojamuhammedow, Vice Premier Wang Qishan will visit Turkmenistan from November 24 to 25 and hold the first meeting of China-Turkmenistan Cooperation Committee.

At the invitation of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Zhukov, State Councilor Liu Yandong will pay a visit to Russia from November 20 to 24, during which she will hold the 11th meeting of Committee on China-Russia Cultural Cooperation, attend the closing ceremony of the "Year of Chinese Language" in Russia and accompany Premier Wen Jiabao to attend the 15th Regular Meeting of Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers.

Q: French President Sarkozy reportedly said that China influenced the Myanmar Government in its freeing of Madam Aung San Suu Kyi. Could you confirm whether the Chinese side had worked on the Myanmar Government for her release?

A: China respects other countries' choice of development path according to their national conditions and develops friendly relations with other countries including Myanmar on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. This is China's consistent policy and position that can be reflected in its actions.

Q: Voter registration for the upcoming South Sudan referendum has officially started. How do you comment?

A: The official start of the voter registration for South Sudan referendum is a positive step towards a smooth referendum process. China is ready to join the international community to support and encourage the North and the South to materialize the peace agreement in a comprehensive manner through dialogue and consultation so as to move Sudan towards long-term stability and development.

Q: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the rise and fall of Mekong River water level was caused by irregular rainfall in the context of climate change, and that it was erroneous to blame it on China building hydropower dams. How do you comment on that?

A: China and Mekong River countries are friendly neighbors that are connected by mountains and rivers. It is in the integral interest of all Mekong River countries to make reasonable development of Lancang -Mekong River water resources. As a responsible upstream country, China always attaches great importance to eco-environmental protection in the development of Lancang River water resources, fully accommodating the concern of downstream countries.

Q: Can we get a fixed date of Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India?

A: I don't have any information to share.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said that in his meeting with President Hu Jintao, both sides agreed to restore China-Japan relationship to where it was this June, when Mr. Kan took office so that the bilateral relations could start afresh. How do you comment? What is to be done in this direction?

A: It is a correct choice in the fundamental interest of two countries and two peoples that China and Japan follow the path of peace, friendship and cooperation. From a strategic and long-term perspective, the two sides should adhere to the principles set in the four political documents between China and Japan and firmly steer China-Japan relations in the right direction so that China-Japan strategic relations of mutual benefit could move on the track of sound and stable development.

We believe the two sides should exert joint efforts to maintain people-to-people exchanges in an effort to improve mutual understanding and friendliness, continue to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation as major trade partners and strengthen dialogue and coordination in international affairs to jointly contribute to Asia's revitalization and address global challenges.

Q: The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said in its recent report that a Chinese telecommunications firm rerouted internet traffic to and from US websites for 18 minutes this April. Is the Chinese Government aware of this? Do you have any comment?

A: We take note that relevant Chinese company has already made response to that.

Q: How do you respond to the claim that the hydropower dam which China plans to build on the Yarlung Zangbo River could bring environmental impact on downstream countries?

A: Taking a responsible attitude towards developing cross-border water resources, China places equal emphasis on development and protection and takes full consideration of potential impact on downstream areas.

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