|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on May 9, 2012|
On May 9, 2012, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference.
Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement.
Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council will chair the fifth China-Japan-ROK Leaders' Meeting to be held from May 13 to 14 in Beijing. President Lee Myung-bak of the ROK and Prime Minister Noda of Japan will attend the meeting. China-Japan-ROK cooperation has been developing rapidly with significant results. We believe that with the joint efforts of the three parties, this meeting will move tripartite cooperation onto a new level.
Q: Recently, Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying called a meeting again with the Philippine Charge D'affaires over the Huangyan Island issue and said that China was not optimistic about the situation, and had made all kinds of preparations for the Philippines' attempt to escalate the situation. Does China believe that the Huangyan Island issue will further escalate?
A: On the Huangyan Island issue, Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying fully expounded on China's position and demands to the Philippines during her representations on May 7. We noticed that the Philippines have kept making strong-worded remarks on the issue to play up public feelings, which seriously undermines the atmosphere of China-Philippines relations. The Philippines has also incited domestic public and overseas nationals to stage anti-China protests. Such behaviours have triggered strong reaction and concerns from the Chinese people at home and abroad. We hope the Philippines will not do further damage to bilateral relations.
I want to reiterate that China remains committed to the diplomatic resolution of the current situation. We once again urge the Philippines to seriously respond to China's concerns and come back to the right track as soon as possible.
Q: President Ghalioun of the Syrian National Council, an opposition group in Syria, will soon wrap up his visit to China. Could you tell us what topics were discussed during the meeting between him and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. What message did China send to him? What outcome was achieved out of this visit?
A: On May 8, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with the delegation led by President Ghalioun of the Syrian National Council who visited China at the invitation of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs.
During the meeting, Foreign Minister Yang pointed out that the UN-AL Joint Special Envoy on the Syrian Crisis Annan's mediation has provided a realistic way out and an important opportunity for the political resolution of the current crisis. All parties concerned in Syria should honor their cease-fire commitment, support and cooperate with the work of the UN monitors and create conditions for the early launch of an inclusive political process. China supports a resolution plan that is in the fundamental interest of the Syrian people and acceptable to all parties in Syria. China is ready to continue to play a positive and constructive role for the fair, peaceful and proper resolution of the Syrian issue.
President Ghalioun said that the Syrian National Council stands for the political resolution of the Syrian issue and supports Annan's six-point proposal. It opposes foreign intervention, values China's important role in pushing for the resolution of the issue and thanks China for its humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people.
Q: It is reported that a Philippine mining company is negotiating with China National Offshore Oil Corporation to pursue joint development of oil and gas off the Liyue Bank near the Nansha Islands. Please confirm. How does China comment?
A: We support more exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and Philippine companies. On the oil and gas development in waters off the Liyue Bank, China's attitude is clear. The Liyue Bank is part of China's Nansha Islands. It will harm China's rights and interests if the Philippines engages in unilateral development in this area. China is firmly opposed to that. At the same time, China is ready to discuss joint development with the Philippines. But the key is that they should show sincerity.
Q: Since the Palestinian "Prisoner Day" on April 17, more than 1500 Palestinians detained by Israel have gone on hunger strikes, demanding Israel to stop arbitrary arrest and detention of Palestinians and improve the living conditions in prisons. On May 6, the Arab League held an emergency meeting and decided to submit this issue to the UN. How does China comment?
A: China is concerned over Israel's long-term detention of many Palestinians. We urge Israel to take concrete measures to improve the living and medical conditions of Palestinians in custody out of humanitarianism so as to create favorable conditions for enhanced mutual trust between Palestine and Israel, resumption of peace talks and proper resolution of relevant issues through political means.