Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on November 2, 2011

Q: The 17th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit will be held in the Maldives from November 10 to 11. Which Chinese official will attend? What is China's expectation of the summit? Please brief us on the cooperation between China and SAARC.

A: China places high importance on developing friendly and cooperative relations with SAARC. Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun will lead a delegation to the 17th SAARC Summit. As the most important organization for regional cooperation in South Asia, SAARC plays a positive role in promoting cooperation among member countries and economic and social development of the region. China wishes the summit a success and expects SAARC to make new progress and greater contribution to peace, stability and development in South Asia.

Since becoming the member state of the organization in 2005, China has been sending high-level delegations to SAARC summits and enjoyed increasingly broadened cooperation with the organization in all fields. China will continue friendly exchanges and practical cooperation with SAARC in the spirit of mutual benefit, cooperation and win-win, in a bid to play a constructive role in promoting peace, stability and development of the region.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda recently said in an interview that China should abide by international rules and expressed concern over China's military development and transparency. How does China react?

A: China is committed to the path of peaceful development and pursues the good-neigborly policy of friendship and partnership with surrounding countries. As a responsible country, we have played a positive and constructive role for regional prosperity and stability, which is widely recognized. China pursues a defense policy which is defensive in nature and its strategic intention and military strength are always transparent.

Q: South African President Zuma recently said that his country would work for the launching of the Green Climate Fund at the Durban Conference on Climate Change. What is China's position?

A: Providing financial support to developing countries to tackle climate change is an obligation developed countries should undertake under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. China hopes the developed countries earnestly fulfill their financial obligation to provide new and extra financial support to developing countries. We also hope the Durban Conference will reach consensus over the launching of the Green Climate Fund and call upon developed countries to contribute actively to the Fund.

Q: Greece announced the decision to hold a referendum on the EU plan to address the sovereign debt crisis. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant report. We hope the EU take active measures to solve the sovereign debt problems and join the internatioanl community to overcome current economic difficulties, stabilize international financial markets and promote world economic recovery and growth.

Q: Palestine became a full member of the UNESCO recently. The United States said it would consider halting its dues to the Organization. The Israeli Prime Minister said his country would speed up settlement building in east Jeruselam and the West Bank in response. How do you comment?

A: The 36th Session of the General Conference of the UNESCO held in Paris on October 31 adopted the resolution of admitting Palestine as the organization's member. China voted for it.

China supports the Palestinian people's just cause of restoring lawful national rights and regards the founding of an independent state as an inalienable lawful right of the Palestinian people as well as the precondition and foundation for the peaceful co-existence between Palestine and Israel, which is conducive to the lasting peace and stability of the Middle East.

China is always opposed to Israel's building of Jewish settlement on occupied Palestinian territory.

China supports greater international mediation efforts for an early restart of negotiations between Palestine and Israel. We hope parties concerned bear in mind the larger interests of the Middle East peace, continue to promote peace talks between Palestine and Israel and support the important role of the UNESCO.

Q: Please brief us on China's position on attending the Istanbul Conference on Afghanistan?

A: The Istanbul Conference on Afghanistan will be held on November 2 and assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin will attend the meeting.

China respects the development path chosen by the Afghan people in light of their national conditions and supports Afghanistan in launching comprehensive economic and social reconstruction. We hope the international community fully respects the Afghan government and people's choice, creates enabling conditions for reconciliation, and follow through on the assistance commitments to Afghanistan in real earnest. We are ready to work with the rest of the international community to fully respect Afghanistan's sovereignty and autonomy, help Afghanistan strengthen its development capacity so as to lay the groundwork for a full transition to governance of Afghanistan by the Afghan people.

Q: It is reported the preliminary counting of votes of the presidential election in Kyrgyzstan showed that incumbent Prime Minister and presidential candidate Atambayev won the election. How does China comment?

A: China and Kyrgyzstan are friendly neighbors. China is happy to see that the presidential election in Kyrgyzstan was held smoothly. China respects the choice of the Kyrgyz people and welcomes politicial stability, economic development and improvement of livelihood in Kyrgyzstan. China is ready to work together with Kyrgyzstan on the basis of mutual respect, mutual benefit and equality to enhance traditional friendship, mutually beneficial cooperation across the board and bilateral coordination within the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other multilateral frameworks, with a view to pushing for the development of China-Kyrgyzstan good-neighborly, friendly and cooperative relations.

Q: Please brief us on China's attendance of and position in the International Conference on Cyberspace held in London from November 1 to 2. The UK Prime Minister's advisor on cyber security hinted before the conference that China and Russia were involved in some cyber attacks. How does China respond?

A: The London Conference on Cyberspace was held from November 1 to 2. At the invitation of the UK Foreign Secretary Hague, a joint Chinese delegation composing Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Information Office of the State Council and other departments attended the conference and took an active part in discussions on related topics. China hopes the London Conference and discussions at related forums will be useful supplement to the international process of discussing and formulating international rules on cyberspace within the UN.

China has the largest number of internet users and is one of the major victims of cyber attacks and crimes. The Chinese Government always pays attention to and actively participates in international exchanges and cooperation in cyberspace. We are ready to work with other countries to build a peaceful, secure and open cyberspace order.

On the remarks made by certain individual, I want to point out that cyber attacks are transnational and anonymous. Prejudging the origin of attacks without investigation is neither professional nor responsible. China sincerely hopes that the international community can discard prejudice and cooperate to effectively address all kinds of threats in cyberspace.

Q: President Obama is calling on many Asia-Pacific countries to join the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP) and pushing for the establishment of a free trade area. What is China's attitude towards the TPP?

A: We are open-minded towards cooperation initiatives that are conducive to the economic integration and common development in the Asia-Pacific including the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership. Under the current circumstances, parties concerned should take into full account the differences and diversity in the economic development of the region, pursue an open policy of regional cooperation and make full use of existing mechanisms and platforms to advance regional integration in the Asia-Pacific in a step-by-step manner.

Q: There is opinion that China can help the EU relieve the debt crisis through conbributing to the IMF. How does China comment?

A: China supports the efforts made by the EU, eurozone and IMF in addressing the European sovereign debt problems. We hope the European countries will unite and take active measures to solve the sovereign debt problems, stabilize financial order and promote economic recovery and growth. As the EU's important strategic partner of cooperation, China always pays attention to the development of the euro and eurozone and believes that the EU and the eurozone have the capacity to overcome current difficulties. European financial markets have been and will continue to be China's major investment markets. China is ready to explore and discuss with the EU active and effective ways of enhancing bilateral cooperation and addressing the crisis.

Q: The Shenzhou 8 spacecraft was launched successfully into the space yesterday. What plans does China have for future international space cooperation?

A: The successful launching of Shenzhou 8 marks fresh and important progress China has made in its space program. China always upholds the peaceful utilization of outer space and stands ready for international cooperation in this regard.

Q: It is reported that an international anti-corruption organization released a report claiming that Chinese and Russian companies are most likely to get involved in corruption while investing overseas. How does China comment?

A: The Chinese Government always requires its enterprises to observe local laws and regulations in cooperation and business in foreign countries and prohibits winning projects through bribery and other illegal means. Chinese enterprises have carried out a large number of cooperation projects in Africa for a long time, playing an important role in promoting the economic and social development of Africa and bringing tangible benefits to the African people. Their efforts have been widely applauded by all circles of Africa.

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