|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on June 18, 2012|
On June 18, 2012, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference.
Q: Philippine Foreign Secretary Del Rosario reportedly said on June 16 that Philippine President Aquino had ordered in the evening of June 15 two Philippine government vessels to return to port from waters off the Huangyan Island due to inclement weather. Does it mean that the conflict between China and the Philippines over the Huangyan Island is calming down? The Philippine Foreign Secretary also accused China of failing to meet its commitment of "withdrawing ships" from waters off the Huangyan Island. What is China's comment?
A: The Huangyan Island is Chinese territory. Since the Philippine side provoked the Huangyan Island incident, China has been demanding the Philippines to pull out its ships. We have noted that two Philippine government vessels left the Huangyan Island in the early morning of June 16. We hope the situation will be eased further and bilateral cooperative relations will be restored and safeguarded.
We wonder where the so-called China's commitment of "withdrawing ship" comes from. We hope the Philippine side can restrain its words and deeds and do more things conducive to the development of bilateral relations.
As far as I know, Chinese fishing boats are heading back to port for shelter due to the rough seas off the Huangyan Island. In order to ensure the safety of Chinese fishermen and fishing boats, the China Maritime Research and Rescue Center, upon the request of China's Fishery Administration Command Center and Chinese fishermen, has sent the "Nanhaijiu 115" ship to the area and provide necessary assistance. Meanwhile, we will continue to maintain jurisdiction and vigilance over waters off the Huangyan Island.
Q: It is reported that head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) Mood said recently that the Mission decided to suspend its activities in Syria due to the significantly high risks posed by the escalation of violence and lack of willingness by parties in Syria to seek a peaceful resolution. What is China's comment?
A: China has noticed relevant reports. We urge all parties in Syria to earnestly implement their commitment of ceasefire and cessation of violence, cooperate with and support the work of the UNSMIS, ensure the safety of the monitors and fully implement the six-point proposal of the UN-AL Joint Special Envoy Annan on the Syrian Crisis.
Q: The International Conference on the Afghanistan Issue will be held in Tokyo next month. What is China's expectation of the meeting?
A: Afghanistan is now at an important transitional momment. China sincerely hopes that Afghanistan can realize peace, stability, independence and development at an early date and is ready to provide assistance within its capability to Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction. Meanwhile, we hope the international community continues to play a constructive role, promote the reconciliation process in Afghanistan, increase support and aid to Afghanistan and help to lay the groundwork for the full transition to "an Afghanistan run by the Afghan people". While transferring the security power to Afghanistan, relevant parties should continue to shoulder the responsibility of maintaining security and stability in Afghanistan.
Q: The P5+1 countries, the European Union and Iran are now having talks in Moscow. It is commented that the US' double standard on the nuclear programs of Iran and Israel is an obstacle to progress at the Dialogue. What is China's comment? Iran is a party to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Does China believe that the Dialogue should recognize Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear energy?
A: The Dialogue between the P5+1 countries, the EU and Iran starts in Moscow today. Assistant Foreign Minister Le Yucheng heads a delegation to the meeting. China believes that dialogue and negotiation is the sole correct and effective way to properly resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. We hope all sides can step up diplomatic efforts, properly handle disputes, push for progress in the Moscow talks, consolidate the positive momentum of dialogue and cooperation so as to play a positive part for the comprehensive, long-term and proper resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue.
As a party to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Iran is entitled to peaceful use of nuclear energy. At the same time, Iran should also fulfill its due international obligations.
Q: What is China's comment on the initial results of Greek parliamentary election and the current situation in the eurozone? How will China support the European side?
A: We respect the Greek people's choice and hope that the election results can help stabilize the economic situation in the eurozone. China always supports the EU and the eurozone's efforts to tackle the sovereign debt issue and has confidence in the economy of the EU and the euro-zone. China-Greece relations enjoy sound development. We are ready to work with Greece to continue to deepen practical cooperation across the board and jointly meet challenges.