|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on March 21, 2012|
Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcements:
At the invitation of Vice President Xi Jinping, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will pay an official visit to China from March 27 to 29.
The Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2012 will be held in Boao, Hainan from April 1 to 3. Vice Premier Li Keqiang will attend the opening ceremony of the annual conference upon invitation and deliver a keynote speech.
The theme of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2012 is "Asia in the Changing World: Moving toward Sound and Sustainable Development". Representatives to the meeting will have extensive and in-depth discussions on how to realize sound and sustainable development in Asia under the current circumstances.
Q: When attending the commencement of the National Defence Academy of Japan, Japanese Prime Minister Noda reportedly said that Japan's neighbouring environment has taken on a grim and complex look, as the DPRK has made new moves in the nuclear and missile fields and China has become increasingly active on the sea, with constantly enhancing military strength. What is China's comment?
A: I am not sure what Prime Minister Noda's consideration is behind the remarks, but I remember clearly that during his visit to China last December, Prime Minister Noda stated explicitly that China's development means opportunity to both Japan and the world. China and Japan define each other, in the fourth political document, as cooperative partners that pose no threat to one another and supports each other's peaceful development. We hope that the important consensus above will be truly reflected in Japan's actual policies.
Q: US Ambassador to China Gary Locke was recently quoted as saying that the US would lift restrictions on 46 items of high-tech exports to China. What is China's comment? Separately, Russian Special Forces have arrived in Syria for possible evacuation mission. What is China's view on evacuating Chinese nationals from Syria?
A: Mutual benefit is the defining feature of China-US business ties. We always maintain that both China and the US should enhance mutual trade and investment in an effort to foster sound, sustainable and stable development of economic relations. We welcome the US' intention of relaxing restrictions on some hi-tech exports to China.
China pays continuous attention to the safety of Chinese nationals and institutions in Syria and requires the Syrian Government to guarantee the safety of Chinese nationals and institutions there. The Chinese Embassy in Syria is also in close communication with relevant Chinese nationals and institutions there.
Q: During Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed's visit to China, which Chinese leaders will meet and hold talks with him? What topics will be covered in their talks? The US Department of Commerce recently announced its plan of levying anti-dumping duties on solar panels from China. How do you respond?
A: During Crown Prince Mohammed's visit to China, Chairman Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao will meet with him respectively, and Vice President Xi Jinping will hold talks with him. Leaders of the two countries will explore ways to further consolidate China-UAE strategic partnership and deepen bilateral practical cooperation in all fields. They will also exchange views on international and regional issues of common interest.
China-UAE relations have developed rapidly on a full-scale over recent years, as evidenced by frequent exchange of high-level visits, ever-deepening political mutual trust and fruitful practical cooperation across the board. Premier Wen Jiabao paid a successful visit to the UAE last January, during which the two countries established strategic partnership, bringing China-UAE relations to a new stage of development. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to developing friendly and cooperative relations with the UAE and stands ready to make joint efforts with the UAE to develop our strategic partnership in an all-around way.
It is natural to see frictions in China-US economic relations. What matters is that the two countries should appropriately resolve relevant disputes through friendly consultation based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, instead of allowing the frictions or disputes to impede the sound, stable and sustainable development of China-US economic ties.
Q: The National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/ Coordination Center of China (CNCERT) reportedly released a report on March 19, saying that most of the external cyber attacks against China were from countries like Japan and the US. What is China's comment?
A: We have noted the report. China is a major user of the Internet. But the report shows that the situation faced by China in the field of cyber security is grim. What is worth noting is that the report only gives a technical overview of the external cyber attacks against China instead of making any wild guess on the source of attacks.
No country is immune from hacker attacks. As one of the main victims, China always calls for cooperation based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, instead of groundless speculation and accusation.
Q: President González of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recently proposed four possible mechanisms to replace the EU's "carbon tax" scheme, with a view to preventing the dispute over the EU aviation carbon tax from developing into a trade war. What is China's comment?
A: It is learned that the ICAO's recent researches on emission reduction mechanisms of internal aviation are done under the mandate of relevant resolution adopted by the Organization in 2010. The recently held council meeting called on all countries to continue with their research and coordination on emission reduction mechanisms. China always maintains that the international aviation emission issue, as one of the tasks of the international campaign against climate change, should be resolved through full consultation within multilateral frameworks and in accordance with the principles and regulations stipulated in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. China will continue to participate actively and constructively in the ICAO's aviation emission reduction campaign.
Q: US Secretary of State Clinton reportedly released a statement on March 20, exempting banks and financial institutions of 11 countries such as the UK, France, Germany and Japan from US' sanctions against Iran for 180 days, as they have cut their oil import from Iran by a large margin. It is reported that 12 countries, including China, India and the ROK should slash their oil import from Iran by the end of June, or there will be no exemption for them. What is China's comment? Does China consider reducing oil import from Iran in the near future?
A: Based on its need of economic development, China imports crude oil from Iran through normal channels. It is understandable, reasonable and lawful. It does not violate the UN Security Council resolutions, nor does it impair the interests of a third party or the international community. China always opposes unilateral sanctions imposed by one country on another based on its domestic law, not to mention the practice of forcing the unilateral sanctions on a third country.
Q: Please tell us which foreign political figures will be invited to the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2012?
A: We will release the information about foreign political figures' attendance at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference in due course.
Q: It is reported that France circulated a draft presidential statement in the Security Council on March 19 to support Annan's mediation efforts. What is China's position on the draft?
A: China supports the efforts made by Special Envoy Annan for the political resolution of the Syrian crisis. We hope that the Security Council will speak with one voice and support Annan's good offices. China will work together with the international community and make unremitting efforts for an early settlement of the Syrian issue through political means.
Q: There was a school shooting rampage in Toulouse, France on March 19, leaving four people dead. What is China's comment?
A: We condemn the violent act of shooting civilians, especially innocent students. We express condolences to the victims as well as consolation to the bereaved families.