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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on September 15, 2011

On the afternoon of September 15, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference.

Jiang Yu started the press conference with the following announcement:

The 9th East Asia Forum will be held in Chengdu, Sichuan from September 15 to 17, attracting about 100 participants, including government, industrial and academic representatives from the ten ASEAN countries, China, Japan and the ROK as well as officials from the ASEAN Secretariat. CPPCC Vice Chairman Abdul'ahat Abdulrixit will attend and address the opening ceremony. Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin will lead the Chinese delegation to the meeting.

The theme of the forum is "to promote regional integration: the endogenous growth momentum in East Asia". China looks forward to conducting serious study and in-depth discussions with all participants on major, realistic issues concerning regional cooperation in East Asia and bringing forward new ideas on further developing East Asian cooperation. Policy proposals incubated in the meeting will be submitted to the ASEAN+3 Leaders' Meeting to be held this November in Bali, Indonesia.

Q: China helps the European countries tide over the debt crisis by purchasing bonds and expanding investment. Does China expect payback from the European side, for example, to lift the arms embargo or to recognize China's market economy status?

A: The Foreign Ministry is not the competent authority to answer questions about the European debt crisis or whether China will buy any European country's bonds. Please consult relevant economic and financial authorities.

Recently, Chinese leaders expressed some views on relevant issues on different occasions. We believe that the resolution of the European debt crisis calls for the consensus and coordinated actions of the EU, especially the eurozone countries on relevant bail-out measures. We support the economic and financial adjustments made by some European countries to stabilize the market, balance public finance and promote economic restructuring. We would like to enhance communication and coordination with all European countries on the formulation of macroeconomic policies, reform of the international financial system and global economic governance. China always upholds the principle of mutual benefit on an equal footing in trade and economic cooperation.

On lifting the arms embargo and recognizing China's market economy status as you have mentioned, we believe that it is important for China and the EU, the comprehensive strategic partners, to understand, respect and treat each other as equals. We deem that these two issues are, in essence, political discrimination against China, which should be removed as soon as possible so as to cast off the burdens for China-EU relationship and push for its better and faster development. We hope that leaders of the European countries will come to the correct judgement as soon as possible.

Q: It is reported that the Indian Government has rejected China's representations on an Indian company's joint oil exploration with Vietnam in the South China Sea. Please confirm. Does China's claim on the South China Sea violates the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea?

A: I have not heard about the situation that you mentioned. I would like to reiterate that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. China's claim on the South China Sea is grounded on sufficient historical and jurisprudential evidence. We are committed to peacefully resolving disputes over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea through negotiation and consultation between parties concerned on the basis of historical facts and international law. We have contributed to the peace, stability, security and order of the South China Sea.

We hope that relevant countries can respect China's stand, rights and interests and refrain from taking unilateral actions to complicate and magnify the issue. Countries outside the region should respect and support the efforts of countries within the region to resolve disputes through bilateral negotiation.

We oppose any other country's oil and gas exploration activity in the waters under China's jurisdiction and hope relevant foreign company do not involve itself in the South China Sea dispute.

I want to stress that it is in the common interests and should be the common goal of all countries within the region to address the dispute appropriately, bridge differences, enhance mutual trust, expand cooperation and maintain regional peace and stability of the South China Sea.

China's sovereignty, rights and relevant claims over the South China Sea have been formed in the long course of history and upheld by the Chinese government. Our sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea is based on discovery, preoccupation as well as long-term, sustained and effective management. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea does not entitle any country to extend its exclusive economic zone or continental shelf to the territory of another country, and it does not restrain or deny a country's right which is formed in history and abidingly upheld.

Q: It is learned that the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly will talk over the issue of letting the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) represent Libya in the UN. How does China look at it?

A: China supports the Libyan NTC representing Libya in the UN.

Q: Israeli Foreign Minister Liberman made some remarks on Palestine's appeal to the UN for statehood and claimed that Israel had deployed more troops along the border. What is your comment on Palestine-Israel conflict? Separately, how do you look at the current situation in Syria?

A: China always supports the Palestinian and Arab people's just cause of striving for the restoration of lawful national rights, and respects and supports Palestine submitting the issue of establishing an independent state to the UN. We are of the view that it is a lawful appeal for the Palestinian people to found a capital on the occupied Arab territory. We hope that all relevant parties will discard violence, exercise restraint and resolve the dispute through peace talks. This is the only way to realize the two-state solution.

On the situation in Syria, we hope that all relevant parties there will discard violence, exercise maximum restraint, dissolve current tensions as soon as possible and resolve the dispute through dialogue and consultation. We hope to see an early launch of the inclusive political process in Syria which will lead to substantive and practical outcomes.

Q: The most popular Japanese band will hold a concert in Beijing tomorrow. How will this kind of cultural exchanges help to improve and develop China-Japan relations?

A: We support friendly people-to-people interactions and exchanges between our two countries. We hope that the friendship between the two peoples will be constantly improved through various kinds of exchanges and interactions.

Q: It is reported that four suspects of violence and terrorism were sentenced to death today in Xinjiang. What is your comment on the security situation in Xinjiang? Separately, Malaysia has recently extradited several Uygur suspects to China. What is China's position on its cooperation with neighbouring countries in repatriating suspects?

A: The local People's Court in Xinjiang announced publicly its first-instance judgement on two severe incidents of violence and terrorism. Detailed facts were also made known to the public. These two cases seriously impaired the safety of the local people's life and property as well as the overall interests of development and stability. I believe that the Government of the Autonomous Region will take powerful measures to crack down on violent and terrorist crimes in accordance with law. We unswervingly safeguard the stability and rule of law of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, the fundamental interests of people of all ethnicities as well as national solidarity. To maintain stability, national solidarity and promote local economic and social development is the common aspiration of people of all ethnicities in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region.

On the case you mentioned, I can tell you that the Malaysian police has recently assisted the Chinese police in the capture of several Chinese illegal immigrants and key figures that organized human smuggling. Police of the two countries cooperate in light of the judicial assistance procedure. Competent Chinese authorities will handle relevant cases in accordance with law. We maintain that the international community should work together resolutely and take concerted actions to crack down on cross-border crimes, including human smuggling.

Q: It is reported that the African Union High-Level Ad Hoc Committee on Libya recently held a meeting in South Africa, discussing the situation in Libya. The joint communiqué released by the meeting calls for an early establishment of an inclusive coalition government in Libya. What is China's comment?

A: China appreciates the positive role played by the African Union on the Libyan issue. The early restoration of stability in Libya is in the common interests of the Libyan people as well as the international community. We hope that all parties in Libya launch an inclusive political transitional process, realize national reconciliation and start reconstruction. The future development path of Libya should be independently decided by the Libyan people.

Q: The Indian Cabinet Committee on Security reportedly approved the new China-India border management mechanism recently. What is China's comment?

A: On the sidelines of the Third BRICS Leaders Meeting this April, leaders of China and India reached principled consensus on the establishment of a consultation and coordination mechanism on border issues, which would handle major border affairs bearing on peace and tranquility of the border area from the diplomatic dimension. At present, both sides are discussing the content, operation and other specific issues of the mechanism at the working level.

Q: The recent Arab League Foreign Ministers' Meeting called on Syria to cease violence and launch national dialogue. The EU attempts to impose more sanctions on Syria while some countries push for the discussion of the Syrian issue in the UN Security Council. Is China of the view that the international community should take further actions against Syria?

A: The Syrian issue should be resolved by all relevant parties in Syria through consultation. We hope to see an early launch of Syria-led political process so as to dissolve the crisis through dialogue. We maintain that the international community should abide by the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter as well as the norms governing international relations and fully respect Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. Whether the international community should take further action on the Syrian issue mainly depends on whether it is conducive to easing the tensions in Syria, promoting the resolution of disputes through political dialogue and safeguarding peace and stability in the Middle East region.

Q: What is China's comment on Chinese military chopper's trespass over India's line of actual control?

A: China's position on the border issue between China and India is to seek a fair and equitable solution acceptable to both sides through friendly consultation on an equal footing. Pending a final settlement, both sides should safeguard peace and tranquility of the border area and ensure that the border issue will not stand in the way of the normal development of bilateral relations. This is the consensus of both leaders. China strictly follows the spirit of relevant bilateral agreements and consensus and has never done anything that impairs border peace, stability and tranquility.

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