|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on March 24, 2011|
On the afternoon of March 24, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference.
Jiang Yu started the press conference with two announcements:
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Federal Foreign Minister and Deputy Chancellor Guido Westerwelle of the Federal Republic of Germany will pay an official visit to China from March 31 to April 2.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Toga Mcintosh, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia will pay an official visit to China from March 29 to April 3.
Q: Could you give us more details about the agenda of German Foreign Minister Westerwelle's visit to China?
A: The two Foreign Ministers will co-host the first round of China-Germany Ministerial Strategic Dialogue, exchanging views on China-Germany relations, China-EU relations and international and regional issues of common interest. Chinese leaders will meet with Foreign Minister Westerwelle. In addition, he will also attend the opening ceremony of the exhibition "The Art of Enlightenment" under the joint auspices of the two heads of state. We hope that this visit will give a boost to China-Germany strategic cooperation and advance the all-round development of bilateral stategic partnership.
Follow up: When did China and Germany start the mechanism of strategic dialogue? How many rounds of dialogue have been held till now?
A: Since 2006, China and Germany have held four rounds of strategic dialogue at vice-ministerial level. Last year, the two sides decided to establish China-Germany strategic partnership and elevate the strategic dialogue to ministerial level.
Q: The central bus station of Jerusalem was hit by a bombing attack on March 23, causing dozens of casualties. What is China's comment?
A: China condemns the bombing in Jerusalem. It is our consistent position to oppose violent and terrorist acts against innocent civilians. Retaliation by violence will only ratchet up tensions and confrontation. We call on relevant parties to exercise restraint so as to avert escalation of the situation.
Q: What is China's latest position on the situation in Libya? Will China attend the meeting on the Libyan issue to be held by France and some other countries?
A: I haven't heard about the meeting. The Security Council will continue to hold unofficial consultations on the Libyan issue. As for what actions the Security Council will take, it should be decided by Security Council member states through consultation. As the rotating President of the Security Council, China will continue to uphold a fair, transparent and responsible principle in fulfilling its duties.
The implementation of the Security Council resolution is meant to offer humanitarian protection, rather than engender a greater humanitarian disaster. Libya's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity should be respected. Relevant countries should act in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and relevant norms of international law. We call on parties concerned to cease fire immediately and avoid escalation of the conflicts and regional tensions. We are ready to work with relevant parties to push for the settlement of the current crisis in Libya through dialogue and other diplomatic means.
Q: The Portuguese Prime Minister resigned days ago. How do you comment on the situation in Portugal? China has been buying government bonds of European countries including Portugal. Will it affect China's confidence in the Euro-zone and European economies?
A: China-Portugal relations have maintained a sound momentum over recent years. We appreciate the active efforts of Prime Minister Socrates to advance relations with China and enhance bilateral exchanges and cooperation. China is ready to continue to work with Portugal to further expand and deepen bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.
The sovereign debt crises that broke out in some European countries at the end of last year have exerted an impact on their social and economic development. The Chinese Government has paid great attention to it and adopted a number of positive measures such as buying euro bonds and promoting China-Europe economic, trade and investment cooperation to help Eurozone countries to overcome the difficulties. At present, risks of European sovereign debt crises still linger, without a solid foundation or clear prospect for the world economic recovery. As two major economies in their key development stages, China and Europe share common interests in enhancing cooperation, which is also conducive to the world economic recovery and growth.
Q: It is reported that a Philippine company has recently completed oil exploration of disputed waters between China and the Philippines and will start production. How do you respond? Separately, please brief us on the BRICS Leaders Meeting next month.
A: China owns indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. Oil and gas exploration activities by any country or company in the waters under China's jurisdiction without permission of the Chinese Government constitutes violation of China's sovereignty, rights and interests, and thus are illegal and invalid. China's position is consistent and clear-cut. We hope relevant country will earnestly follow the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and avoid taking any actions that can complicate the dispute.
About the BRICS Leaders Meeting, relevant information will be released shortly. Please keep an eye on our website for application notice.
Q: This year, China and Pakistan will celebrate the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties. How do you view China-Pakistan relations?
A: This year marks the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Pakistan. At the end of last year, leaders of the two countries declared this year as "Year of Friendship". The two sides will hold a series of commemorative activities in political, economic and cultural fields throughout the year. We expect these activities to promote exchanges and cooperation across the board, deepen traditional friendship and further advance our all-weather relations of friendly cooperation.
Q:There are reports of unrest in Yemen. Do you have any comment on the situation there?
A: China pays great attention to the developments of the situation in Yemen and appeal to parties in Yemen to resolve disputes through dialogue and other peaceful means to avoid conflicts and bloodshed. As a friendly country of Yemen, China believes the Yemeni side has the capability to properly handle the current problem and restore social stability and normality at an early date.
Q:There are increasing reports about food contamination due to nuclear radiation in Japan. Is China concerned about this? What measures will be taken?
A: Chinese quality supervision authorities will continue to test Japanese food imports for radiation exposure and take measures accordingly.
We are concerned about the impact of radiation and hope measures taken by the Japanese side will effectively alleviate the situation.
Q: China has suspended examination and approval of new nuclear power station projects in the country and raised safety inspection standards. Will China take similar inspection measures over the Chashma nuclear power plant? Will China apply for approval of the Nuclear Suppliers Group?
A: Competent authorities have recently outlined China's plan for nuclear power development. During the 12th Five-Year Plan Period, China will develop its nuclear power in an orderly and reasonable way under the prerequisite of ensuring safety. It's our view that nuclear safety is essential to the sustainable development of nuclear energy. Countries should take the issue seriously and strengthen international cooperation in this regard.
China and Pakistan have carried out some cooperation in peaceful utilization of nuclear energy. The cooperation is consistent with the two countries' respective international obligations, based on a peaceful purpose and subject to the IAEA safeguards and supervision.
As for issues within the NSG, decisions should be made through discussions based on consultation among parties in accordance with relevant rules. China has reported all its nuclear cooperation projects with Pakistan to the IAEA.