Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei’s Regular Press Conference on September 27, 2011

On the afternoon of September 27, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a regular press conference.

Q: Newly elected Zambian President Sata’s first meeting with a foreign envoy was with Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yuxiao on September 26. Sata welcomed Chinese companies’ investment in Zambia and also expressed the hope that they would abide by Zambian laws and help boost local employment. How does China respond?

A: China and Zambia enjoy traditional friendship. China has assisted Zambia with a lot of infrastructure and livelihood projects over the years. Chinese companies invest in and cooperate with Zambia on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, creating tens of thousands of jobs and vigorously promoting the economic and social development in Zambia. Major Chinese enterprises in Zambia have adhered to the principle of “no withdrawal of investment, no shutdown and no downsizing” and have made prominent contributions to Zambia’s fight against the international financial crisis in recent years.

The Chinese Government supports competent and well-established Chinese enterprises in conducting investment and cooperation in Zambia and requires them to abide by local laws and regulations and fulfill their due social obligations. We would like to work with the new Zambian Government to promote sustained and sound development of China-Zambia economic cooperation and trade so as to deliver more tangible benefits to the two peoples.

Q: State Councillor Meng Jianzhu is now visiting Pakistan. Please brief us on the visit as well as China-Pakistan relations.

A: At the invitation of the Pakistani Government, State Councillor Meng Jianzhu is on a visit to Pakistan from September 26 to 27, which is one of the important high-level exchanges in the midst of the 60th anniversary of China-Pakistan diplomatic ties as well as the “Year of China-Pakistan Friendship”. During his visit, State Councillor Meng Jianzhu exchanged views with the Pakistani leaders on bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest.

Pakistan is an important neighbor and strategic cooperative partner of China. China attaches great importance to China-Pakistan relations. At present, China-Pakistan strategic partnership of cooperation enjoys a sound momentum of development with frequent exchange of high-level visits, steady progress of economic cooperation and trade as well as smooth advancement of mutually beneficial cooperation across the board. China is taking an active part in Pakistan’s post-disaster reconstruction.

The development of China-Pakistan friendly and cooperative relations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit not only serves the interests of the two countries and two peoples, but is also conducive to regional peace, stability and development. We will work with the international community to play a constructive role in safeguarding and promoting the stability and development of Pakistan.

Q: According to US media, an American official indicated that China was going to reduce military exchanges with the US due to US arms sales to Taiwan. Please confirm. Philippine President Aquino is now on a visit to Japan and will discuss with Japanese leaders issues such as freedom and safety of navigation in the South China Sea. How does China comment?

A: The wrong act of US arms sales to Taiwan will inevitably harm China-US relations and their exchanges and cooperation in the military and security fields. The responsibility rests completely with the US.

On your second question, China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha islands and their adjacent seas. China has ample historical and jurisprudential evidences on that. We hope relevant countries can implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in real earnest and work together with China to uphold peace and stability in the region. There has never been a problem with freedom and safety of navigation in the South China Sea and countries in and outside the region have all benefited from it.

Q: Russian President Medvedev recently said that he would not run for next year’s presidential election and would instead endorse current Prime Minister Putin to be the candidate for the 2012 election. Putin said that if he is elected, Medvedev will be the Prime Minister. How does China comment?

A: China has noted relevant reports and believes that China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination will maintain the momentum of sustained, sound and steady development.

Q: Is the Chinese Government in contact with the South African Government over the visa application of the Dalai Lama to visit South Africa.

A: China firmly opposes the Dalai Lama’s visit to any country and this position is clear and consistent.

Q: Recent US-Pakistan relations have been tense. Chinese State Councillor Meng Jianzhu who is on a visit to Pakistan expressed China’s support to Pakistan on counter-terrorism. How does China view the current tension between the US and Pakistan?

A: Pakistan is an important country in South Asia at the forefront of international fight against terrorism, making great contributions to the cause. We believe the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan should be fully respected. China understands and supports Pakistan in working out and implementing its counter-terrorism policies based on its national conditions and appreciates its active participation in international counter-terrorism cooperation.

We hope to see the improvement and development of US-Pakistan relations, which is conducive to regional peace, stability and development.

Q: The Security Council recently issued a statement on the situation in Yemen to call on all parties to discard violence and move toward an inclusive, orderly and Yemenis-led process of political transition. How does China view the current Yemeni situation?

A: Recently, the Security Council issued a president’s press statement upon consultation. China follows closely the developments in the Yemeni situation and calls on all parties in Yemen to uphold the larger interests of the country and its people, remain level-headed and exercise restraint, avoid new bloodshed and conflicts, push for an inclusive, peaceful, orderly and Yemen-led process of political transition and solve the dispute through dialogue and other peaceful means. China supports the mediation efforts of the Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on the Yemen Issue and the Gulf Cooperation Council and hopes that the international community plays a constructive role so that social stability and normal order can be restored in Yemen at an early date.

Q: It is reported that the Japanese side voiced dissatisfaction over the presence of Chinese marine research ships near the Diaoyu Islands. How does China comment?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its adjacent islands have been China’s inherent territory since ancient times and China has indisputable sovereignty over them. China is exercising its lawful sovereign rights by conducting marine research near the islands.

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