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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 8, 2015

At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović will pay a state visit to China from October 13 to 18, and attend the China 2015 Poverty Reduction and Development Forum.

At the invitation of Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security of the Republic of Singapore, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of the State Council will visit Singapore from October 12 to 14 and chair the 12th meeting of the China-Singapore Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation, the 17th meeting of the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park Joint Steering Committee, and the 8th meeting of the China-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Joint Steering Committee.

Q: Palestine and Israel have recently engaged in several conflicts in the West Bank and Jerusalem's Old City, causing heavy casualties and worsening the security situation. What is China's comment on that?

A: The Chinese side follows with concern conflicts between Palestine and Israel which have worsened the security situation. We urge Israel and Palestine to exercise maximum restraint, take concrete actions to avoid the flareup of conflicts and more casualties. The Chinese side also believes that peace talks remain the only way out of conflicts and calls on Israel and Palestine to rebuild mutual trust and restart peace talks at an early date.

Q: Reports say that the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan where incumbent President Almazbek Atambayev is from won 27 percent of the vote at the parliamentary election on October 4 and would form a coalition government. What is China's comment on that?

A: China and Kyrgyzstan are friendly neighbors. The parliamentary election in Kyrgyzstan runs smoothly. We hereby express our congratulations. The Chinese side respects the choice made by people of Kyrgyzstan, and stands ready to firm up traditional friendship between the two countries, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation across the board, strengthen bilateral coordination and cooperation on international and regional affairs and strive for the in-depth growth of China-Kyrgyzstan strategic partnership.

Q: Does China support Russia's air raids in Syria?

A: We have noted that the relevant military action, as the Russian side put it, is taken at the request of the Syrian government with the purpose of combating terrorist and extremist forces inside Syria.

The protracted Syrian issue has led to the rapid spread of terrorist and extremist forces in Syria and made the humanitarian crisis there worse. The Chinese side, in support of the international counter-terrorism efforts, hopes to see all relevant parties work as one through enhanced communication and coordination.

The Chinese side always believes that a political resolution is the fundamental way out of the Syrian crisis. An equal-footed, inclusive and open political dialogue should be launched as soon as possible to work out a solution accommodating each other's concerns. The Chinese side stands ready to push for an early and proper settlement of the Syrian issue together with all relevant parties.

Q: The international community's attention was once again drawn to the situation in Syria. Some countries maintain that the political settlement of the Syrian issue should advance in parallel with the counter-terrorism campaign. What is China's comment on that?

A: With the resurgence of terrorism in the Middle-East and the increasing refugee flow, the international community should be fully aware of the importance, necessity and urgency of resolving the Syrian issue through political means. It is the view shared by the international community that while counter-terrorism is the pressing task, political settlement is the fundamental approach. We call on all parties to seize the opportunity as the aspiration for a political resolution is becoming stronger, think about convening the third Geneva conference on the Syrian issue, push for the resumption of an inclusive political transition process that draws together all conflicting parties with no preconditions attached and no outcomes prejudged, and enable the Syrian people to decide the future of the country based on their own will with the help of the international community and the support of the UN Security Council. We also call for the international community's unanimous support to the mediation efforts by the UN.

Q: You just mentioned that all parties should think about convening the third Geneva conference on the Syrian issue. What measures will the Chinese side take to help bring about the conference?

A: All parties should put thought into holding the third Geneva conference on the Syrian issue. The key is to push for the resumption of an inclusive political transition process that draws together all conflicting parties with no preconditions attached and no outcomes prejudged. We would like to stay in close communication with all parties concerned and create conditions to that end.

Q: Leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine met again in Paris the other day, coming to agreement on extending the Minsk accord till 2016. They reaffirmed their commitment to the accord and pledged to continue with dialogues. What is China's comment on that?

A: The Chinese side supports and commends constructive efforts made by and consensus reached among leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine on political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, which are believed to be conducive to implementing the new Minsk agreement. It is hoped that all parties will summon up confidence, work toward the shared goal, take concrete actions to implement the new Minsk agreement, build on the momentum of resolving the Ukrainian crisis through political means and realize peace and tranquility in Ukraine at an early date.

Q: On October 5, trade ministers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) nations announced a successful conclusion to the TPP negotiation, and said that the TPP agreement would "set the standards for the 21st century for trade". What is China's comment on that?

A: The Chinese side is open to regional trade arrangements that are conducive to economic integration in the Asia-Pacific. It is believed that relevant trade arrangements should fall in line with WTO rules, reinforce multilateral trade regimes, promote the Doha round of negotiations and serve the global development agenda.

The Asia-Pacific economies are at different stages and levels of development. It is imperative that development disparities be taken into account, special requests from developing economies be respected and all parties take part in equal-footed and thorough discussions in an open and inclusive manner so as to forge a synergy in building regional free trade areas and ensure that different free trade arrangements reinforce each other. Following the principle of mutual trust, inclusiveness, cooperation and mutual benefit, the Chinese side stays committed to pressing ahead with the building of the Asia-Pacific free trade area with others from the region so as to create an open economic landscape for the Asia-Pacific and inject new impetus to the sound growth of global economy.

Q: Diplomatic and defense officials from China and India are going to attend the meeting under the China-India Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on Border Affairs. There have been confrontations along the Line of Actual Control between China and India. Will the two sides talk about that in the meeting?

A: As agreed by the two sides, the China-India Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on Border Affairs will hold a meeting in early October in Beijing. Representatives from diplomatic, defense and other sectors of the two countries will attend.

We hope to have a thorough discussion on better implementing important consensus reached by leaders of the two countries and better safeguarding peace and stability at the border areas during the meeting. Thanks to the concerted efforts by China and India, the border areas are generally peaceful and tranquil. It is of great significance to the advancement of China-India relations. We hope to work alongside the Indian side to consolidate and maintain peace and tranquility at the border areas.

Q: What impact does the signing of the TPP agreement sponsored by the US and Japan have on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that China takes part in? Some analysts say that China will have to work harder to promote the RCEP. What is your comment on that?

A: The economies in the Asia-Pacific enjoy salient features of variety and diversity, and all kinds of bilateral and multilateral free trade arrangements are working actively in the region. We are positive and open towards any regional trade arrangement as long as it is conducive to the economic prosperity and development and economic integration of the Asia-Pacific region. China will continue to work with countries in the region, follow the spirits of mutual trust, inclusiveness, and win-win cooperation, and move forward all forms of free trade arrangements within the region. Be it the TPP or the RCEP, we hope they can complement and reinforce each other to strengthen multilateral trade regimes and contribute to the long-term prosperity and development of the Asia-Pacific region.

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