|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin's Regular Press Conference on November 21, 2011|
Q: Recent clashes between the police and demonstrators in Cairo led to heavy casualties. What is China's comment?
A: We have noted relevant reports and hope relevant parties in Egypt resolve differences through consultation and avoid casualties in a joint effort to maintain social solidarity and national stability. We also hope to see a smooth election and transition of power in Egypt.
Q: The Arab League recently warned that the domestic unrest in Syria is evolving into a large-scale civil war and the measures taken by the Bashar Administration are too late. What is China's comment?
A: Highly concerned over the situation in Syria, China calls on relevant parties there to halt violence, launch an inclusive and balanced political process at an early date so as to restore national stability and order as soon as possible. China supports the Arab League's efforts to this end.
Q: Spain unveiled its election results yesterday. Some countries in Southern Europe also changed governments two weeks ago. What is China's comment?
A: China has noted recent changes in the political scene of European countries and has no comments as they are European countries' internal affairs. We hope relevant countries continue with their implementation of relevant measures set out at the EU Summit in a bid to boost market confidence. China hopes and believes that Spain, Italy, Greece and other European countries will soon tide over current difficulties and gradually realize economic recovery and growth.
Q: It is reported that China's objection to discussion of the South China Sea issue at the East Asia Summit makes China isolated as many participating countries want to discuss this issue on a multilateral occasion. What is China's comment?
A: I do not agree with you. Some countries were worried recently that the South China Sea issue would dominate the East Asian leaders' meetings. However, a majority of ASEAN countries realized the complexity and sensitivity of the issue prior to the meetings and decided to avoid discussing specific political and security issues during the meetings. The East Asian leaders' meetings have by and large focused on the theme of solidarity, cooperation and development and achieved practical results. All parties held thorough discussions on cooperation in relevant fields and reached broad consensus during the 10+1, 10+3 and China, Japan and ROK Leaders' Meeting as well as the East Asia Summit.
China believes that the East Asia Summit is not a proper venue to talk about the South China Sea issue. China's position on the South China Sea issue is clear and consistent that the dispute should be resolved through friendly consultation between directly concerned sovereign states. The interference of outside forces or a multilateral discussion of this issue will complicate it instead of facilitating its resolution. Many ASEAN countries express their agreement. We hope all parties bear in mind the larger picture of regional peace and stability and contribute more to mutual trust and cooperation.
Q: The US recently tracked down a large amount of counterfeit electronic chips which allegedly came from China. What measures has China taken to crack down on counterfeit products.
A: China attaches great importance to and actively promotes cooperation with countries around the world, including the US, in combating counterfeit products. Having established a full-fledged legal system as well as a unified and efficient law enforcement mechanism, China severely fights against illegal acts of producing and selling counterfeit goods that infringe intellectual property rights through domestic and international cooperation, with a view to maintaining the order of import and export and safeguarding the sustained and sound development of China's foreign trade. China would like to conduct judicial assistance and law enforcement cooperation with other countries on the basis of mutual respect for judicial sovereignty and equal rights.
Q: It is reported that Chinese and US leaders talked about the South China Sea issue on the sidelines of the East Asian leaders' meetings, and the US side released a very positive message. Please brief us on how the Chinese side touched upon the issue during the meeting.
A: Premier Wen Jiabao and President Obama held a meeting on the sidelines of the East Asian leaders' meetings, exchanging views on issues of common interest in China-US economic ties. China's position on the South China Sea issue is consistent and clear. Premier Wen fully expounded on China's relevant position.
Q: ROK Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik has kicked off his visit to China. What is China's expectation of this visit? Last September, DPRK and ROK negotiators held a meeting in Beijing to discuss the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. Please update us on relevant progress.
A: ROK Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik will be in China from November 21 to 23 as a guest of the ROK Embassy in China. As far as I know, specific arrangements are being coordinated.
Relevant parties have engaged in beneficial contact over a recent period of time. We hope all parties seize the opportunity, maintain the momentum of dialogue and push for the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks so as to resolve relevant issues through discussion within the framework of the Talks. We always believe that the Six-Party Talks is an effective mechanism to push forward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and safeguard peace and stability of the Peninsula as well as Northeast Asia. Bilateral contact and the Six-Party Talks can complement and reinforce each other.
Q: China insists on holding bilateral consultation on the South China Sea dispute. What is China's specific arrangement in this regard?
A: China's bilateral communication channels with the Philippines, Vietnam and other relevant countries on the South China Sea issue have been smooth and open. This year has witnessed visits to China by Philippine President Aquino III and General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong of the Vietnamese Communist Party. China had full exchange of views with the two countries on this issue and would like to keep communication with relevant parties.
Q: Please brief us on the specifics of Premier Wen Jiabao's meeting with Indian Prime Minister Singh on the sidelines of the East Asian leaders' meetings. Did the two sides touch upon the South China Sea issue?
A: Premier Wen Jiabao exchanged views with Prime Minister Singh on China-India relations and other issues of common interest during their meeting. China will work together with the Indian side to advance bilateral relations for new progress along the path of friendship, mutual trust and cooperation.
China and India enjoy great potential in economic cooperation and trade. The two sides should create enabling conditions to further facilitate the free flow of goods, technology, capital and services and encourage mutual investment and project contracting cooperation so as to deliver more tangible benefits to the enterprises and peoples of the two countries.
Prime Minister Singh stated that the enhancement of India-China strategic partnership of cooperation will bring benefits to both countries and peoples. There is no force in the world that can hold back the common development of India and China. Highly valuing India-China relations, the Indian side will work together with China to implement various consensus, further enhance mutual trust, deepen exchanges and cooperation in the fields of trade, investment and culture and intensify communication and coordination on major global issues.
We have explicated China's position on the South China Sea issue many times. China hopes that countries outside the region will not get involved in the South China Sea dispute and foreign companies will not take any action that undermines China's sovereignty as well as maritime rights and interests.
Q: At the meeting of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) between China and the US that opened today in Chengdu, the US side asked China to observe international rules, strictly protect intellectual property rights (IPR) and create a level playing field for US companies entering the Chinese market. How does China comment?
A: The 22nd session of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) between China and the US opened this morning in Chengdu. Vice Premier Wang Qishan stated that the current meeting should earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the two presidents and resolve economic and trade issues of mutual concern in the spirit of being candid and practical so as to strive for concrete outcomes for the better benefit of the two peoples.
Economic and trade cooperation is the important foundation for China-US relations. The two sides enjoy fruitful cooperation in economy and trade, investment, finance, science and technology, tourism, clean energy, infrastructure and other fields. China is ready to engage in closer and broader economic cooperation with the US.
On the issue of market access, China has been making active efforts to provide convenience for foreign companies' investment in China. China has formulated a full-fledged legal system on IPR protection and stepped up law enforcement efforts.
We hope the US will make substantive progress in relaxing controls on high-tech exports to China, exercising caution in using trade remedies, recognizing China's market economy status and granting equal treatment to Chinese enterprises investing in the US.
As two major economies in the world, China and the US should stand together to fully implement the consensus of the G20 Cannes Summit, oppose trade protectionism with concrete action and avoid politicizing economic issues in a bid to promote strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the two countries and the world economy.
As far as I know, the two sides signed five cooperation agreements on IPR, high-tech trade, strategic emerging industries and other fields this afternoon.
Q: Why does China believe multilateral talks will complicate the South China Sea dispute? China holds that the dispute should be resolved by directly concerned parties through bilateral negotiation. Does that mean only claimants are entitled to discuss? Can China and the US negotiate in this regard?
A: The South China Sea dispute is complex and sensitive. In light of international experience, this type of issue can only be resolved by directly concerned sovereign states through negotiation and consultation. It is believed that as long as they follow this general direction, the countries concerned have the capacity and the wisdom to solve the South China Sea issue and there is no need for involvement of countries outside the region. Certainly it takes time. According to the actual situation, involvement of countries outside the region does not help solve the issue, but will complicate it instead, and therefore is not conducive to a negotiated settlement by the countries directly concerned.
Q: The Arab League rejected the Syrian Government's proposed changes to the observer mission on November 20. Syrian President Bashar reaffirmed on the same day that the Syrian Government would not bow to outside pressure and he was prepared to fight and die. How does China view the current situation in Syria?
A: Highly concerned over the current Syrian situation, China calls on all parties in Syria to immediately stop violence and the international community to play a constructive role so as to create conditions for easing the situation there.
Liu Weimin ended the press conference with the following announcement.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will host the launching ceremony of China's consular service website and other events tomorrow afternoon in this hall. Tomorrow's press conference will be canceled.