|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on January 4, 2011|
On the afternoon of January 4, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a regular press conference.
Q: The DPRK daily Rodong Sinmun said in its editorial that the two sides on the Peninsula should put an end to the confrontation at an early date to safeguard peace. ROK President Lee Myung-bak also said in his New Year remarks that the door for dialogue remained open. How do you comment on the current situation on the Peninsula?
A: At present, the situation on the Peninsula remains complicated and sensitive. We call on relevant parties to adopt a responsible attitude, make active interactions and meet each other halfway so as to bring the situation back on the track of dialogue and consultation. China will, as always, play a constructive role to this end.
The Six-Party Talks is the effective approach to realize denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and safeguard regional peace and stability. We are ready to exert joint efforts with other parties to achieve the goals set in the September 19 Joint Statement through the Six-Party Talks.
Q: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu recently proposed nonstop, face-to-face talks with Palestinian National Authority President Abbas to discuss core issues including final borders between the two sides until a peace agreement is reached. Could you comment?
A: Standing for the Middle East peace process, China supports every effort conducive to political settlement of the Palestinian issue. We hope relevant party display sincerity and respond to international concerns with concrete actions so as to create necessary and favorable conditions for advancing the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
Q: Has China received the invitation to observe the Southern Sudan Referendum to be held in early January?
A: The Southern Sudan Referendum will be held on January 9 according to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the North and South. China hopes to see the referendum be held in a just, free, transparent and peaceful atmosphere, which requires joint efforts by parties to safeguard peace and stability in the country.
At the invitation of both the North and South, China will send an observation mission to Sudan. Together with the international community, China will continue to play a positive and constructive role for peace, stability and development of Sudan and the region.
Q: It's reported that Iran has invited officials from China, Russia and the EU to visit its nuclear facilities from January 15 to 16. Please confirm. How will China respond to the invitation?
A: China has received the invitation and will keep communication with the Iranian side.
We hope relevant parties cherish the positive momentum of the Geneva Dialogue and make good preparation for the Istanbul Dialogue. Joint efforts should be made to seek for a proper approach to settle the Iranian nuclear issue by keeping the process of dialogue, building mutual trust and expanding consensus with a flexible and practical attitude.
Q: China and Pakistan have named the year 2011 a year of friendship between the two. What is China's plan for celebration?
A: Being good neighbors, friends, partners and brothers, China and Pakistan enjoy all-weather friendship and all-dimensional cooperation. At present, China-Pakistan strategic partnership of cooperation enjoys sound development momentum with frequent high-level exchanges, as reflected in Premier Wen Jiabao's recent successful visit to Pakistan, and practical cooperation with fruitful results. China is satisfied with the development of its relations with Pakistan, and confident about the future friendly cooperation. It is one of the priorities of China's diplomacy to consolidate and develop China-Pakistan friendly cooperation. Always handling and advancing China-Pakistan relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, China is committed to strengthening traditional friendship, deepening practical cooperation in various fields and jointly safeguarding regional peace, stability and development. The year 2011 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Pakistan. The two countries will jointly hold celebration activities to bring bilateral relations to a new high.
Q: Could you comment on the current China-US relationship, one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world?
A: Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, China-US relations maintain a stable development momentum with several successful meetings between the two heads of state and effective communication and cooperation in a broad range of bilateral areas as well as on international and regional issues. Meanwhile, there are also some sensitive issues in bilateral relations that need to be properly dealt with.
As two countries of major influence, China and the US share broad common interest and major responsibilities in safeguarding world peace and development and addressing global challenges. A sound China-US relationship is not only in the interest of the two countries and two peoples, but also conducive to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific and the world as a whole. China will work with the US to earnestly implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen dialogue, increase mutual trust and expand cooperation in a bid to push forward the positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relations for the 21st century.
Q: Vice Premier Li Keqiang has started his trip to three European countries. Please brief us on China's relations with the three countries. And about the upcoming visit to China by US Special Representative for DPRK Policy Bosworth, could you brief us on his meeting arrangements and topics for discussion?
A: Vice Premier Li Keqiang is on a visit to three European countries.
Bilateral relations have been developing smoothly since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Spain. With a comprehensive strategic partnership forged in 2005, the two countries have enjoyed frequent high-level visits and fruitful cooperation in economic relations, trade, human resources and culture in recent years. We have made positive progress in joining hands to tackle the challenge of the international financial crisis. China is ready to work with Spain to tap potential for cooperation across the board, with a view to promoting all-dimensional and mutually beneficial cooperation.
At present China and Germany enjoy a sound relationship, with close contact between leaders of the two countries, expanding and deepening cooperation in economic and trade fields, active exchanges in science, technology, education and culture, smooth operation of various dialogue mechanisms, and close communication and coordination in major international and regional affairs. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to relations with Germany. Under the current complicated and volatile international circumstances, it is of greater importance for China and Germany to strengthen contact and deepen practical and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields. We are ready to work with Germany to improve mutual understanding and trust and promote the comprehensive and in-depth development of China-Germany strategic partnership.
China values relations with the UK. Bilateral relations are on a sound track at present. With the new UK Government formed in May, China and the UK have enjoyed frequent high-level contact and smooth cooperation across the board, offering a sound fresh start for bilateral relations. The international financial crisis has brought complicated and deep changes to the global architecture. Under current circumstances, enhanced cooperation between China and the UK serves the common interest of the two countries and peoples and contributes to world peace, stability and prosperity. China is willing to work with the UK to promote bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.
US Special Representative for DPRK Policy Bosworth will visit China from January 5 to 6. The two sides will exchange views on the situation on the Peninsula and the Six-Party Talks.
Q: New Brazilian President Rousseff said lately that China-Brazil trade and the RMB exchange rate issue would top the agenda for the new government. How does China view its current relations with Brazil?
A: First of all, I would like to congratulate Madame Rousseff on taking office as new Brazilian President. Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei attended President Rousseff's inauguration ceremony as Special Envoy of President Hu Jintao, conveying China's warm congratulations and cordial greetings.
Both as major emerging and developing countries, China and Brazil have achieved tremendous progress in bilateral strategic cooperative relations, with consolidated political mutual trust, improved economic and trade cooperation, more frequent exchanges in human resources and culture, close communication and coordination in international and regional affairs, and sound cooperation in maintaining and promoting the interests of the vast number of developing countries. With President Rousseff in office, China is ready to, in light of the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, strengthen communication and exchanges with Brazil and promote bilateral practical cooperation in various fields, with a view to further advancing bilateral strategic partnership.
Q: The ROK hoped the DPRK would take actions to push for peace on the Peninsula in the new year. What role will China play in promoting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula?
A: As a close neighbor of the Peninsula and common friend of both the ROK and the DPRK, China always holds that the two sides should solve issues through dialogue and consultation, gradually improve relations and realize reconciliation and cooperation. China has been working towards the end in its own way and played a responsible and constructive role, which is witnessed by all. We will continue to do so and hope the parties concerned work with China towards that goal.
Q: Please brief us on the agenda of President Hu Jintao's visit to the US.
A: We will release information on President Hu Jintao's state visit to the US in due course.