|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin's Regular Press Conference on November 17, 2011|
Q: Please brief us on the itinerary of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's visit to China.
A: The Chinese side welcomes Prime Minister Noda's visit to China within this year. The two foreign ministries are in communication on relevant arrangements. We will release information in due course.
Q: It is reported that demonstrations broke out in the Yemeni capital and the opposition called for the suspension of Yemen's membership in the Arab League. How does China view the current Yemeni situation?
A: China has been following the developments in Yemen and supports the efforts and the constructive role of the international community including the UN, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to peacefully resolve the Yemeni crisis. We call on all parties of Yemen to keep calm and exercise restraint, avoid violence and bloodshed, continue to settle disputes through peaceful means such as dialogue and restore social stability and order as soon as possible.
Q: President Obama delivered a speech to the Australian Parliament, saying that the US would strengthen its military presence in the Asia Pacific and stay in the region. How does China comment?
A: China does not object to the development of normal bilateral relations between countries. We also hope that while developing relations with each other, countries will take into consideration the interests of others as well as regional peace and stability.
Q: Japan's Self-Defence Forces staged a land military exercise on Kyushu, Japan from November 10 to 18 in accordance with Japan's new National Defense Program Guidelines set last year. How does China comment?
A: China and Japan are close neighbours, and bilateral relations are important to each other and the whole region. Since taking office, the new Japanese administration has expressed the will to further relations with China. China is ready to work with Japan to push for the sustained and in-depth development of China-Japan strategic relations of mutual benefit based on the various principles set in the four China-Japan political documents. We hope Japan's actions are conducive to pushing China-Japan relations in this direction.
Q: It is reported that the Arab League recently made a statement suspending Syria's membership. Meanwhile, France and the Arab League will submit a Syria-related draft resolution to the UN General Assembly. How does China comment?
A: Highly concerned over the developments in Syria, China calls on all parties concerned to halt violence immediately and restore national stability and order as soon as possible. We hope the parties concerned will make joint efforts to rapidly implement the settlement plan reached between the Arab League and Syria earlier and stick to the political settlement of the Syrian crisis through dialogue.
Whether the UN and its Security Council will take further actions or not depends on whether such actions are conducive to easing the tension in Syria, dissolving disputes through political dialogue and upholding Middle East peace and stability.
Q: Australian Prime Minister said she would lift the embargo of uranium export to India. How does China comment?
A: China believes that all countries are entitled to the peaceful use of nuclear energy and relevant international cooperation. At the same time, they should also observe the international obligations of nuclear non-proliferation.
Q: Will the signing of a permanent troops deployment agreement between the US and Australia affect China-US or China-Australia relations?
A: China has its own thinking in foreign policy which is to unswervingly take the path of peaceful development and pursue peaceful co-existence and mutual benefits with all countries.
Both as permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and the US play important roles in international affairs. Australia is a major country in the South Pacific region and China has become Australia's largest trading partner. It is in the interests of China, the US and Australia as well as countries in the region and the international community to further deepen and strengthen China's equality-based mutually beneficial relations with both the US and Australia.
Q: The US has stated that it does not seek to contain China after signing a permanent troops deployment deal with Australia. How does China comment?
A: It is the consensus of both China and the US to continue to unswervingly develop China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. China-US relationship has gone beyond bilateral sphere with its influence taking on increasing global significance. China and the US have maintained close high-level exchanges as well as dialogue and consultation at all levels and in all fields, deepened exchanges and cooperation in a broad range of areas including economy, trade, culture and others and worked together to address global challenges. All this sends the message to the outside that the two countries are ready to further develop bilateral relations. In a nutshell, safeguarding the long-term, healthy and stable development of China-US relations serves both countries and the world at large.
Q: According to a report issued by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission yesterday, China's assistance to the DPRK and Iran has undermined the international efforts to urge these two countries to give up their nuclear programs. How does China respond?
A: China is willing to listen to constructive views of the international community. However, the agency you referred to is prejudiced against China and its report is not constructive at all.
As for the Iranian and Korean nuclear issues the report touched upon, I wish to point out that China develops relations with all countries in the world, including Iran and the DPRK, on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. As a permanent member of the Security Council and a responsible major country, China earnestly carries out its international obligations on the Korean and Iranian nuclear issues and is firmly committed to a peaceful settlement through diplomatic means, thus safeguarding the international non-proliferation regime and regional security. China's constructive role in this regard is universally recognized.
Q: US Secretary of State Clinton reportedly referred to the South China Sea as the "West Philippine Sea", a designation unilaterally used by the Philippines to claim sovereignty over disputed waters. How do you comment?
A: The South China Sea is the name universally used by the international community.
China's position on the South China Sea issue is clear and consistent. China and the Philippines have all along maintained communication and exchanges on relevant issue and are ready to further enhance consultation.
We believe that the South China Sea dispute should be settled by directly concerned parties through negotiation and consultation. Introducing outside forces is not conducive to this goal, but will complicate the issue instead. China does not accept any practice that impairs China's sovereignty and rights and interests.
Q: There were calls for discussing the South China Sea issue at the East Asia Summit which opened today. What is China's comment?
A: China always holds that the South China Sea dispute should be resolved by parties concerned through direct negotiation and consultation. The ASEAN, as a whole, is not a party to the dispute. We wish not to discuss the South China Sea issue on a multilateral occasion.