Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on December 7, 2011

Q: Please brief us on the consultation between the defence departments of China and the US.

A: I noted that the Ministry of Defence had released relevant information. Ma Xiaotian, Deputy Chief of Staff of the People's Liberation Army co-hosted the 12th China-US defence consultation with US Under Secretary of Defence Flournoy in Beijing this morning.

Q: Will Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda postpone his visit to China?

A: China and Japan are in close communication on the specific date of Prime Minister Noda's visit to China. We will release information in due course. I want to point out that China welcomes and attaches importance to Prime Minister Noda's visit to China. We will work together with the Japanese side to forge ahead with China-Japan strategic relationship of mutual benefit through this visit.

Q: Will the newly-appointed US Special Representative for DPRK Policy Davies visit China soon? What is China's expectation of the resumption of the Six-Party Talks?

A: US Special Representative for DPRK Policy Davies will visit China soon. The two sides will exchange views on issues such as the Six-Party Talks. Relevant agenda is under consultation.

China has been in contact with all relevant parties on the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks which serves the common interests of all. We hope that all relevant parties will keep the momentum of contact and dialogue and create conditions for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks in collaboration.

Q: It is reported that French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel met on December 5, determined to drive through an EU treaty amendment before March, 2012 so as to put in place a more closely-knitted European fiscal alliance, enforce more coercive discipline to eurozone governments that fail to keep down their budget deficits and build up all sides' confidence in the eurozone. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted that recently the EU has come up with a set of important proposals to counter the European debt crisis. The EU Summit to be held from December 8 to 9 may arrive at a new and crucial decision on how to deal with the crisis. We hope relevant measures will stabilize the market, boost confidence, curb the deterioration and spread of the crisis and advance the integration of Europe. China will continue to support the integration of Europe as well as its efforts to overcome the sovereign debt crisis. We will work together with the international community to stabilize the international financial markets and promote world economic recovery and growth.

Q: The Party Congress of People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy held yesterday called on the navy to make extended preparations for warfare. What is your comment?

A: China upholds the defence policy that is defensive in nature and sticks to the path of peaceful development. China's development has brought and will bring significant opportunities instead of threat to countries around the world.

Q: It is reported that blasts that took place in two Afghan Shiite mosques on December 6 killed and injured many people. What is China's comment? How does China view the current situation in Afghanistan?

A: Shocked at the incident, we lament the victims and convey our sympathy to the bereaved. As a friendly neighbour of Afghanistan, we sincerely hope to see an early realization of peace and stability there.

Despite positive progress in its reconstruction for peace, Afghanistan is still confronted with severe security challenges. Efforts should be made by both the Afghan Government and the international community to ensure that stability will prevail.

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