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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on March 25, 2015

Q: Who will represent China at the funeral of former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew?

A: We will release the information about the Chinese leadership's attendance at the funeral of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore in due course.

Q: Could you give us any details about the agenda of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena in China? Will the Colombo Port City project be discussed during the visit?

A: Sri Lankan President Sirisena will pay a state visit to China and attend the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2015 from March 25 to 29 at the invitation of President Xi Jinping. During his stay in China, President Xi Jinping will hold talks with him, and Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman Zhang Dejiang will meet with him on separate occasions. Leaders of the two countries will exchange views on China-Sri Lanka relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest. Both sides decide to seize the important opportunity to fully implement the outcomes of President Xi Jinping's visit to Sri Lanka last year, cement the traditional friendship between China and Sri Lanka, deepen practical cooperation and work for common development and prosperity.

The Chinese side is engaged in cooperation with Sri Lanka on an equal footing for mutually beneficial and win-win outcomes. All the cooperation agreements were signed based on consensus through consultation. The goal of relevant cooperation is to build up the momentum of growth in Sri Lanka and improve people's livelihood there. That serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples. As for the Colombo Port City project you mentioned, the Chinese government supports relevant companies and sectors in carrying out mutually beneficial cooperation. We believe that the government of Sri Lanka will act in its long-term interests, advance the practical cooperation with China, properly handle relevant issues, keep Chinese companies interested in investing in Sri Lanka and protect their lawful rights and interests.

Q: It is reported that China tried to earn the support of more European countries by promising not to hold any power of veto in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Can you confirm that?

A: I believe that the Ministry of Finance will give an authoritative answer to the question, since it is the competent authorities in charge of the AIIB issue. I understand that all parties are consulting with each other on the charter of the AIIB which covers the decision-making mechanism and allocation of shares. The AIIB initiative is made to promote mutual benefits and complement the current international economic order. A brand-new multilateral development institution will be established in an open, transparent and effective manner. Members of the AIIB will be categorized into those in the region and outside the region. With the gradual increase of its members, the ratio of shares held by each and every member will decrease as a result. The notion of China seeking for or giving up the veto power in the AIIB does not make sense.

Q: Indonesian President Joko Widodo reportedly said yesterday that instead of siding with any country on the issue of the South China Sea, the Indonesian government only hopes to speed up the consultation on a code of conduct in the South China Sea (COC). If necessary, Indonesia is ready to be a good mediator. What is China's response to that?

A: China is a staunch force safeguarding peace and stability of the South China Sea. We welcome contributions made by countries in the region to promote peace, stability, prosperity and development. China and ASEAN countries have important consensus on fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and drawing up a COC through negotiation in a step by step manner. We are ready to work with relevant countries to properly resolve relevant disputes through negotiation and consultation, and maintain peace and stability of the South China Sea.

Indonesia is a country of great influence in ASEAN. We have witnessed the sound development of China-Indonesia relations over recent years. Indonesian President Joko will pay a state visit to China and attend the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2015. During his stay in China, President Xi Jinping will hold talks and jointly meet the press with him. They will bear witness to the signing of bilateral cooperation documents. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. Both sides are hoping that President Joko's visit will give a boost to the practical cooperation between the two countries in various fields. President Joko, when giving an interview with the Chinese press the other day, made such kind of positive remarks as well. We are looking forward to advancing China-Indonesia comprehensive strategic partnership together with Indonesia and contributing our efforts to the sound growth of China-ASEAN relations as well as peace and development of the region.

Q: Indian media reported that State Councilor Yang Jiechi met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the 18th Special Representatives' Meeting on the China-India Boundary Question. Reports also say that India is seriously considering granting visas on arrival to Chinese travelers. The announcement is expected to be made during Prime Minister Modi's visit to China. How would China react to this? Will there be any reciprocal gesture from the Chinese side?

A: During State Councilor Yang Jiechi's recent visit to India, he co-hosted the 18th Special Representatives' Meeting on the China-India Boundary Question with Indian National Security Adviser Doval. Indian Prime Minister Modi met with State Councilor Yang Jiechi on March 24 in New Delhi. Prime Minister Modi said that the Indian people can still vividly remember the successful visit by President Xi Jinping to India last year. He is looking forward to visiting China to exchange views with the Chinese leadership on the in-depth growth of India-China relations and send a positive signal to the international community that India and China are committed to promoting friendly cooperation. Prime Minister Modi said that India-China relations are on a fast track of development as designated by the two leaders. It will not only bring benefits to the two countries and two peoples, but also have a positive impact on Asia and the world at large.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi sated that China and India are working hard to implement the outcomes of President Xi Jinping's visit to India and will actively prepare for the visit by Prime Minister Modi. As the two largest developing countries in the world, China and India should join hands in cooperation and build a more close-knit partnership for development, as it will inject impetus to their respective growth and help maintain peace, stability and development of the region and the world. The Chinese side will work with the Indian side to deepen mutual trust, expand cooperation and bring China-India strategic partnership of cooperation to a new high.

We have noted the report about India considering issuing visas on arrival to Chinese citizens. That is believed to be a positive signal. China welcomes other countries' efforts to make it easier for Chinese citizens to get visas. The Chinese side will make joint efforts with the Indian side to constantly facilitate personnel exchanges between the two countries, in a bid to encourage personnel exchanges, enhance mutual understanding and trust and underpin bilateral cooperation with stronger popular support and cultural foundation.

Q: The US House of Representatives approved a resolution on March 23 urging President Barack Obama to send lethal weapons to Ukraine. US State Department officials say the Obama administration is in discussion on this but is also waiting to see whether the Minsk ceasefire agreement is implemented. What is China's comment?

A: Since the signing of the new Minsk agreement, a ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons have been basically realized in the conflicting zone in eastern Ukraine, and the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis has gained momentum. The Chinese side calls on all relevant parties to cherish this hard-won outcome, avoid escalating the tension in the region and forge ahead with the process of political settlement, so as to realize peace and tranquility of Ukraine and the entire European continent at an early date.

Q: The Internet monitoring organization GreatFire.org said today that the Chinese government was involved in attacks on major Internet companies including Google, and called on these firms to step up their defence. How does China respond?

A: The Chinese side has made clear its principled position on the issue of cyber security on many occasions. Instead of making accusations without solid evidence, all relevant parties should take a more constructive attitude, explore ways to set up international rules through dialogue based on equality and mutual respect and jointly uphold peace, security, openness and cooperation of the cyber space.

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