|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on May 24, 2012|
On May 24, 2012, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference.
Q: It is reported that the Philippine Foreign Department Spokesperson Hernandez claimed that the Philippine Foreign Department had sent the seventh diplomatic protest to China since the occurrence of the Huangyan Island incident, demanding Chinese ships to withdraw from the sea area immediately. How does China comment?
A: The Huangyan Island is China's inherent territory. There has been no dispute over it. This incident was completely caused by the Philippine warships' harassment of Chinese fishermen. China immediately made stern representations with the Philippines after the incident. Later, repeated representations were made to demand the Philippines to withdraw boats from waters off the Huangyan Island. China has been making efforts for the bilateral diplomatic resolution of the current situation. However, the Philippines is still taking provocative acts on the sea, which obliges China to put on higher alert at the scene. Given the moves of the Philippine, china cannot help doubting about the Philippine's sincerity in the proper settlement of the current situation. We once again urge the Philippines to earnestly respect China's territorial sovereignty, stop all provocation, show true sincerity and engage in serious and earnest diplomatic dialogues with China.
Q: What kind of ships has China sent to waters off the Huangyan Island. What role are they playing?
A: The public service ships sent to the area by China provide service and management to Chinese fishing boats and at the same time maintain alert and control over the area.
Q: It is reported that power shortage in some parts of Myanmar has triggered public protests. Some Myanmese people accused their government of causing the power shortage by selling energy to China. How does China comment?
A: The Chinese Government has always required Chinese enterprises to engage in business cooperation with Myanmar based on the principle of mutual benefit and win-win outcome for the well-being of both peoples. The contract signed between Chinese enterprises and Myanmar on electricity cooperation is in line with local laws and regulations. To our knowledge, the power shortage in some parts of Myanmar is mainly due to the backward local power grid. China will encourage relevant Chinese companies to actively explore cooperation on power grid renovation with Myanmar so as to help the Myanmese people improve power supply.
Q: The 65th World Health Assembly recently approved the nomination of Margaret Chan as the next Director General. How does China comment? What expectation does China have of her?
A: China congratulates Madame Chan on her successful reelection and thanks the WHO and its member states for their trust in and support to the Chinese candidate.
Since Madame Chan's taking office more than five years ago, she has made significant achievements in areas such as disease prevention and control as well as public health, successfully dealt with contingency public health issues such as the spread of the H1N1 influenza, effectively enhanced the leadership and managerial level of the WHO and made active efforts for the realization of health-related Millennium Development Goals. All this has won acclaim from the international community. We believe Madame Chan will continue her close cooperation with all countries in her new term and lead the WHO to play a more important and active role in global health affairs.
Q: It is reported that many Chinese nationals were detained in Nigeria recently. Please update us on the developments and what China has done.
A: On May 22, nearly 100 Chinese nationals were detained amid the Nigerian immigration authorities' investigation of foreigners illegally staying and working in the country. The Chinese Embassy in Nigeria and Consulate-General in Lagos attached great importance to the case. They immediately verified information with Nigeria, conducted consular visits, and demanded Nigeria to handle the issue in a fair and proper manner according to law. Currently, about 70 Chinese nationals have been released. The Chinese diplomatic missions in Nigeria will continue to provide active consular assistance to those who have indeed illegally stayed and worked in Nigeria and might face repatriation according to law in order to ensure their safety, humanitarian treatment and other lawful rights and interests.
China will stay in close communication with Nigeria to push for a proper settlement of relevant issue.
Q: The European Parliament recently adopted a resolution, claiming that Chinese enterprises have engaged in unfair competition in Europe and demanding the European Commission to take actions. How does China comment?
A: China hopes to maintain healthy and steady economic and investment cooperation with Europe. Relevant cooperation is in essence mutually beneficial and win-win. Chinese enterprises' investment in Europe has helped Europe overcome the current economic difficulties and played a positive role in pushing for the restoration and growth of the world economy.
The Chinese Government requires Chinese companies to abide by market principles and observe local laws and regulations in their overseas economic cooperation. We hope the European side will correctly and rationally look at China-EU economic cooperation and trade, and refrain from resorting to protectionism.
Q: Recently, western media reported on the tendency of "xenophobia" in China. How do you comment?
A: China is committed to opening up. The Chinese society is inclusive and harmonious. The Chinese Government welcomes foreigners to China and is ready to provide to them all kinds of convenience for their working, living and stay in China as well as protect their legitimate rights and interests. At the same time, we hope foreigners will abide by Chinese laws and regulations, and respect the civility and customs of the Chinese people.
Q: It is reported that the US State Department claimed that the US would not renew visas for Chinese teachers working in Confucius Institutes in the US. How does China comment?
A: Competent Chinese authorities have been in contact with the US. We hope this issue will be properly handled, and relevant projects will not be affected.
Q: It is reported that an Indian national is missing in Yiwu. How does China comment?
A: China protects the lawful rights and interests of foreigners in China according to law. As far as we know, local authorities in Yiwu have been investigating the situation you mentioned.