Q: How do you comment on the current situation in Syria?
A: China is greatly concerned over the developments in Syria, opposes the resort to violence and does not want to see more bloodshed and casualties. We believe that the Syrian Government should step up its efforts to deliver the reform pledge, launch and promote the inclusive political process which involves all parties in Syria as soon as possible and respond to the reasonable expectation and appeal of the Syrian people so as to resolve problems appropriately through dialogue and consultation. Meanwhile, all relevant parties in Syria should take an active part in the process of political solution. China supports all efforts conducive to the above goals and the early restoration of stability in Syria.
The draft resolution submitted by relevant countries to the UN Security Council recently wilfully pressures Syria and threatens to impose sanctions, which is not conducive to easing the situation in Syria. We hope that relevant actions by the Security Council will help ease tension in Syria, facilitate political dialogue so as to dissolve disputes and safeguard the peace and stability of the Middle East region.
Q: An official from the Libyan Finance Ministry was recently quoted as saying that although the international community had unfrozen some of the Libyan assets, the Central Bank of Libya looked forward to more assets being released. What is China’s attitude on further lifting sanctions on Libya?
A: China supports the post-war reconstruction by the Libyan people under the leadership of the National Transitional Council (NTC) so as to restore national stability, economic development and normal social order. China understands the NTC’s request that the international community should release the Libyan assets for post-war reconstruction and would like to maintain contact with all parties in this regard.
Q: US Assistance Secretary of State Campbell said in Bangkok yesterday that the US paid close attention to the developments in Myanmar and believed that US-Myanmar relations would open a new page. Does China welcome the contact between the US and Myanmar?
A: We would like to see the US and Myanmar strengthening contacts and hope US-Myanmar relations be constantly improved.
Q: Would you please update on the incident of two cargo ships being attacked in the waters of the Mekong River in Thailand?
A: After arriving in Chiang Saen County, Thailand on October 10, the task force sent by Yunnan Province works with the Chinese Embassy in Thailand and the Chinese Consulate-General in Chiang Mai in handling the aftermath. China and Thailand have stayed in close communication and cooperation, and relevant work is well underway.
As instructed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese Embassy in Thailand and Consulate-General in Chiang Mai have fully assisted the bereaved families in traveling to Thailand to handle the aftermath. Relevant departments of Thailand have also pledged to facilitate their entry and so on.
Both China and Thailand attach great importance to the incident. The Chinese Ambassador to Thailand and other officials have expressed China’s concern to the Thai Foreign Ministry many times. They urge the Thai side to pay high attention to the case, exert its utmost to find out the truth and notify China with the results as soon as possible; to provide convenience and necessary assistance to the joint task force sent by Yunnan Province to Thailand; to properly settle the Chinese cargo ships and crewmen stranded in Chiang Saen and take concrete measures to ensure their safety.
The Thai side expressed their willingness to fully cooperate with the Chinese side to find out the truth as soon as possible and take concrete and effective measures with no efforts spared to ensure the safety of Chinese vessels and crew on the Mekong River so as to avoid similar incidents.
Q: It is said that drug rings may be behind the attack against the cargo ships. Can China confirm? Does the Chinese police consider sending a working group to participate in the investigation?
A: Chinese Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Public Security and Transport, the local government of Yunnan Province as well as the Chinese Embassy in Thailand pool their efforts together to handle the incident appropriately through coordination and cooperation. The incident is still under investigation. As far as I know, the two cargo ships were possibly hijacked and attacked. China has asked Thailand, Myanmar and the Laos to assist in verifying the case.
Q: Russian Prime Minister Putin arrived in Beijing this noon and started his visit to China. What expectation does China have for the visit? How do you comment on the current China-Russia relations?
A: Premier Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Putin will hold talks and meet the press together this afternoon. After that, President Hu Jintao and other leaders will meet with him.
We believe that the regular meeting mechanism between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers has become an important platform to guide and coordinate bilateral practical cooperation in various fields. The upcoming meeting is to fully summarize the cooperation achievements obtained by both sides across the board since the last meeting, map out the goals of bilateral practical cooperation in the next stage and push for in-depth China-Russia cooperation in business, culture and other fields.
Yesterday, Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Deputy Prime Minister Zhukov jointly attended the opening ceremony of the sixth China-Russia Business Summit Forum, during which enterprises from the two countries signed a series of projects of economic cooperation and trade. China and Russia will also sign the Joint Communique of the 16th Regular Meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers, the Minute of the 15th Meeting of the Committee of China-Russia Prime Ministers’ Regular Meeting, the Minute of the 12th Meeting of the Committee of China-Russia Cultural Cooperation and other bilateral cooperative documents.
China and Russia are friendly neighbours and partners of strategic coordination. In recent years, China-Russia relations have maintained good momentum of development and made prominent achievements. The visit will push China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination to a new high and deepen bilateral cooperation across the board.
Q: Please update us on the consultation between Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai and Assistant Secretary of State Campbell. What topics did they discuss and what are the outcomes?
A:The consultation between Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai and US Assistant Secretary of State Campbell started this morning and is still underway. We believe that the two sides will have in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations, Asia-Pacific affairs and other major issues of common interest. Yesterday, Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai took an interview with Chinese and foreign media on the second round of China-US consultation on Asia-Pacific affairs. We will release the information of consultation today in a timely fashion.
Q: Please update us on General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to China.
A: General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong arrived in China today. This afternoon, General Secretary Hu Jintao will have talks with him and NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo will meet with him. Please follow our information release.
This is the first visit of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to China since his taking office. As an important high-level exchange between the two parties and two countries, the visit is of great significance to promoting mutual understanding, mutual trust and the sound and steady development of state-to-state and party-to-party relations.