|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu's Regular Press Conference on September 1, 2011|
On the afternoon of September 1, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu held a regular press conference.
Ma Zhaoxu shed light on the reform of the MFA regular press conferences at the outset. He said "As announced by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, in order to satisfy media demand and inform you in a better and faster manner, we upgrade the press release mechanism by holding press conferences every weekday in principle in the future. As you can imagine, more press conferences mean mounting workloads for Spokespersons and the Spokesperson's office. Everyone will be busier. In a bid to improve the efficiency and ensure the effect, the press conferences, in principle, shall last no more than 20 minutes and focus mainly on diplomatic issues. We hope that our friends from the press will as always support and work with our Spokespersons so as to make professional interactions and realize mutual benefit in a constructive atmosphere of mutual respect."
Ma Zhaoxu then made the following announcements:
Vice Premier Wang Qishan will pay a visit to the UK from September 7 to 10 and co-chair with Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne the Fourth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue. He will attend the Third China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and stop over in the Bahamas from September 11 to 13.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov of the Republic of Kazakhstan will pay an official visit to China from September 7 to 9.
Q: Did leaders of the two sides touch upon the August 23 hostage incident that happened last year, during the Philippine President's visit to China?
A: China has always been in touch with the Philippines on the Hong Kong hostage incident.
Q: The Iran Atomic Energy Organization chief was quoted as saying that Iran would not stop producing enriched uranium purified up to 20% and would never again seek nuclear fuel swap. What is China's comment?
A: We have noted relevant report. Iran, as a party of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, enjoys the right of peaceful use of nuclear energy and should implement relevant international obligations at the same time. Under the current circumstances, relevant parties should step up diplomatic efforts to engage in dialogue and negotiation and take new measures to enhance mutual trust, with a view to creating conditions for the appropriate resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue.
Q: China is the only permanent member of the UN Security Council that does not recognize the Libyan "National Transitional Council" (NTC). When will China do so? The situation in Syria has gone from bad to worse, drawing world-wide attention. What is China's comment on that?
A: China respects the choice of the Libyan people and values the important status and role of the Libyan NTC in resolving the Libya issue. China is willing to maintain close contact with the NTC and push China-Libya relations steadily ahead.
China follows closely the developments of the situation in Syria. China believes that the Syrian crisis should be dissolved through swiftly launching an inclusive political process led by Syria. What is pressing now is to ease the tension as soon as possible and encourage all relevant parties to address problems through dialogue and consultation. The international community should make more efforts in this regard by playing a constructive role for the appropriate resolution of the Syrian crisis. China will as always play its due part.
Q: What expectation does China hold towards the newly elected Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in improving and developing China-Japan relations? Voice inside China says that Prime Minister Noda is a "hardliner" on historical issues and the China policy. What is the Chinese Government's opinion in this regard?
A: We congratulate Mr. Noda on being elected as the Japanese Prime Minister, to whom Premier Wen Jiabao has sent a message of congratulations. I would like to emphasize that China attaches great importance to China-Japan relations and is willing to make joint efforts with Japan to enhance exchanges and cooperation in various fields and push for sound and stable development of China-Japan strategic relationship of mutual benefit in light of the spirit enshrined in the four political documents.
Q: First, China will attend the upcoming Friends of Libya international conference as an observer. What kind of expectation does China have of the conference? Second, what efforts have been made by China in the reconstruction of Libya?
A: At the invitation of France, Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun will attend the Friends of Libya international conference on behalf of the Chinese Government as an observer on September 1 in Paris. China supports the efforts made by all relevant parties for the restoration of stability and smooth power transition in Libya, and stands ready to work along with the international community to play a positive role in the reconstruction of Libya.
With regard to Libya's reconstruction, China believes that the restoration of stability and a smooth power transition are the top priority at the moment. China supports political and economic reconstruction in Libya and would like to play a positive role in this regard on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win outcome. We hope that stability will come back to Libya as soon as possible and also look forward to expanding economic cooperation and trade with Libya.
Q: Philippine President Aquino said that China supported the adoption of a binding code of conduct of parties in the South China Sea. Is it a correct interpretation of China's position?
A: The Chinese side has already released information on visiting President Aquino's talks with President Hu Jintao. On the South China Sea issue, President Hu pointed out that China's position is consistent and clear. China always holds that the South China Sea disputes should be peacefully resolved through bilateral consultation and negotiation by the directly concerned parties. Pending the settlement of the issue, relevant countries can shelve the disputes and positively discuss joint development in relevant waters, which serves the common interest of the countries concerned. China is ready to work with ASEAN countries including the Philippines to actively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and make the Sea a symbol of peace, friendship and cooperation through joint efforts.
Q: Although China has expressed its willingness to take part in Libya's reconstruction process, China remains the only permanent member of the UN Security Council that hasn't recognized the NTC. Are you concerned that it may affect China's involvement in Libya's reconstruction process?
A: As we expressed on many occasions, China values the NTC's important status and role in resolving the Libyan issue. We are ready to stay in close contact with it to promote the steady development of China-Libya relations.
Q: State Councillor Dai Bingguo is to visit Vietnam soon and chair the fifth meeting of the Guiding Committee for China-Vietnam Bilateral Cooperation. Can you shed some light on the visit?
A: At the invitation of Nguyen Thien Nhan, Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, State Councillor Dai Bingguo will pay a visit to Vietnam from September 5 to 9 and co-chair with him the fifth meeting of the Guiding Committee for China-Vietnam Bilateral Cooperation. During the meeting, State Councillor Dai will meet with new Vietnamese leaders. The two sides will fully review the development of bilateral relations since the fourth meeting and exchange views on the general concept and specific measures of cooperation across the board in the next stage. It is believed that the visit will positively promote the healthy and steady development of bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation.
The Guiding Committee for China-Vietnam Bilateral Cooperation is a high-level multi-department mechanism established in November 2006 based on the consensus reached by the General Secretaries of the two Parties. China and Vietnam play host to the annual meetings in turn in a coordinated effort to chart the course for bilateral cooperation across the board and address issues that arise in the process. Four meetings have been held so far.
Q: It was reported that the UK recently requested the Security Council Sanctions Committee to release part of the frozen Libyan government assets, but the move was held up by China as the latter needed to seek approval from its capital. Please confirm.
A: The UK recently requested the Security Council Sanctions Committee to release the Libyan government assets frozen within its borders. In the spirit of being responsible for the Libyan people, China and some other Security Council members believed the above request need to further clarify the usage and supervision mechanism of the funds. The request was approved in the Sanctions Committee after further information was submitted.