Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on March 19, 2012
Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcements:
At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny will pay an official visit to China from March 25 to 29.
At the invitation of the Chinese Government, Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Yuryevich Surkov of the Russian Federation will visit China and attend the opening ceremony of the "Year of Russian Tourism" in China from March 23 to 25.
Q: It is reported that Joachim Gauck was recently elected as German President. What is China's comment? What is China's expectation of China-Germany relations?
A: China congratulates Mr. Gauck on his election as President of the Federal Republic of Germany. China-Germany relationship is in good shape. Bilateral cooperation in all fields is growing both in depth and breadth. China is ready to work together with the German side to strive for further development of China-Germany strategic partnership.
Q: Damascus, the capital city of Syria, was reportedly hit by two bomb attacks on March 17, leaving more than 100 people dead or injured, most of whom were civilians. What is China's comment?
A: China is opposed to all forms of terrorism as well as civilian-targeted violence and killing. We strongly condemn the above bomb attacks. The current situation in Syria highlights the urgency of resolving the Syrian crisis through political means as soon as possible. We hope that all parties concerned will make joint efforts to alleviate the situation there at an early date.
Q: It is reported that the China Three Gorges International Corp. claimed it might pull out of the project of building a hydroelectric power plant in Nepal, since the Nepalese Government is considering investigating the bidding for the project. What is China's comment?
A: I am not aware of the situation you mentioned. We always encourage capable and reputable Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in Nepal in an effort to achieve win-win outcomes.
Q: Please brief us on the itinerary of Russian Deputy Prime Minister's visit to China as well as relevant arrangement for the "Year of Russian Tourism" in China.
A: As agreed by heads of state of China and Russia, the "Year of Russian Tourism" in China and the "Year of Chinese Tourism" in Russia will be held in 2012 and 2013 respectively. During Deputy Prime Minister Surkov's visit to China, Vice President Xi Jinping will meet with him, and Vice Premier Wang Qishan will hold talks with him. The two sides will exchange views on bilateral relations, the years of Chinese and Russian tourism as well as practical cooperation between the two countries in other fields. Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Deputy Prime Minister Surkov will jointly attend the opening ceremony of the "Year of Russian Tourism" and China-Russia forum on tourism cooperation.
The years of tourism held by China and Russia is another national-level large scale activity following the years of China and Russia, and the years of the Chinese and the Russian languages. It is of great significance to promoting personnel exchanges, enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, expanding economic and cultural cooperation and deepening China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination.
The two sides plan to host over 200 activities during the "Year of Russian Tourism" in a bid to carry out in-depth exchanges and cooperation in stepping up tourism promotion and investment and enhancing tourism security measures. Both sides endeavour to turn tourism cooperation into a new highlight of China-Russia practical cooperation.
We believe that years of Chinese and Russian tourism will be a full success with the concerted efforts of China and Russia.
Q: How will China react if the DPRK insists on launching the satellite? Does China believe that in doing so, the DPRK violates relevant resolution of the UN Security Council?
A: Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun met with DPRK Ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong on March 16. They exchanged views on China-DPRK relations and relevant issues concerning the situation on the Korean Peninsula. China voiced its concerns and worries over the DPRK's announcement of launching a satellite in mid-April.
China has noted relevant plan of the DPRK as well as the international community's reaction. China believes that all parties shoulder common responsibilities and share common interests in safeguarding peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. We hope that all parties concerned will keep level-headed and exercise restraint so as to avoid escalating and complicating the situation.
Q: On March 15, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea gave a ruling on the dispute of territorial waters between Myanmar and Bangladesh over the Bay of Bengal, according to which, the demarcation should be drawn in light of the "midline" principle. Is China of the view that the principle is also applicable to the East China Sea dispute between China and Japan?
A: China's position on the East China Sea issue is consistent and clear. It remains unchanged.
Q: On March 19, 2011, western countries mounted military attacks against Libya and toppled the Gaddafi regime by force. Commentaries recently released by some Chinese media say that western countries are pursuing " new interventionism" in Syria with the "ultimate goal" of overthrowing the Bashar regime. Does China share the view?
A: China always maintains that the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of every country should be respected, so it is with its people's independent choice of the political system and development path. The international community should draw lessons from the Libyan issue, uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the basic norms governing international relations, safeguard the fundamental and long-term interests of people in this region, maintain peace and stability in the Middle East and stay committed to an appropriate and peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis through political means.