|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on April 21, 2011|
On the afternoon of April 21, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a regular press conference.
Q: It is reported that Russian oil pipeline company Transneft may file a lawsuit against China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) over a payment dispute in the London arbitration court. What is China's comment?
A: China and Russia attach great importance to energy cooperation as an important part of bilateral strategic partnership of coordination. Put into operation on January 1 this year, China-Russia crude oil pipeline is performing well with a stable supply of oil. As for the specific matters arising in the process of cooperation, I believe that both sides will address them positively under the principle of friendly consultation and win-win cooperation.
Q: Some environmentalists said recently that Chinese enterprises met with opposition due to lack of information transparency and indifference to local residents' desire of environmental protection while taking part in dam projects overseas. What is China's comment?
A: Water conservancy and hydropower are infrastructure projects of wide concern to developing countries, bearing on long-term development of their national economies. When cooperating with relevant countries on water conservancy and hydropower projects at their request, paying high attention to local residents' welfare as well as possible environmental impact, China adopts strict environmental protection standards and requires that the Chinese enterprises abide by local laws and regulations. Relevant projects have played an important and positive role in promoting local economic development and improving people's well-being. China will strengthen cooperation and exchanges with relevant countries in the field of environmental protection and play a positive role in facilitating sustainable development of local economy and society.
Q: An article in the Financial Times says that China fails to honour its pledge to invest in Spanish government bonds and concludes that money will flow to where it can earn a good return while the rest is empty politics. What is China's comment?
A: Relevant remarks are groundless.
On April 12, Premier Wen Jiabao met with visiting Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2011, expressing China's willingness to continue to buy Spanish government bonds and play a part in supporting Spanish savings banks restructuring funds. As a long-term and responsible investor in the European fanancial market, China supports the bailout measures adopted by the EU and the IMF and is convinced that Europe will surely overcome the impact of the current financial crisis.
Relevant Chinese investment institutions have already conducted a certain amount of portfolio investment in the financial products of Spain and is in contact with the Spanish side to discuss about taking part in the restructuring of Spanish savings banks and other investment opportunities.
Q: According to a recent report by the EU Chamber of Commerce in China, the Chinese Government helps Chinese companies get an edge in bids for government procurement programs through nontransparent bidding and favoritism. How do you comment?
A: As is learned from competent authorities, China's government procurement system is still in its initial stage and currently limited to government offices at all levels, institutions and organizations using fiscal funds. Though relatively narrow in management scope and small in scale compared with developed countries in Europe and North America, China's government procurement always follows the principles of fairness, impartiality and openness. Since the implementation of the Government Procurement Law, procurement has been conducted with relatively high transparency and standard. China has entered negotiations to join the WTO's Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA). After joining it, China's government procurement system will be consistent with GPA rules.
Q: When will be the next round of China-US human rights dialogue?
A: As regards the China-US human rights dialogue and exchanges between legal experts, the two sides are having consultation on specific arrangements.
Q: It is reported that US President Obama recently banned imports of goods, services and technology from the DPRK in an Executive Order. The US Department of Treasury also announced financial sanctions against a DPRK bank. How do you comment? Is China worried that the US moves will affect the resumption of the Six-Party Talks?
A: China always stands for settlement of relevant issues through dialogue and consultation. Under current circumstances, we hope the parties show flexibility and contribute more to easing the tensions so as to create conditions for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.
Q: Please brief us on the ongoing visit by US Senate Majority Leader Reid. Will the two sides talk about economic and human rights issues?
A: US Senate Majority Leader Reid and his congressional delegation are visiting Beijing right now. Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with him respectively yesterday.
Vice Premier Wang Qishan pointed out in the meeting that President Hu Jintao's successful visit to the US in January opened a new chapter for China and the US in building a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. The economies of China and the US are highly complementary and cannot do without each other. Relations have gone far beyond the bilateral scope and are increasingly wielding global influence. The two sides should bear in mind differences in histories, cultures and economic development stages, increase communication and understanding and avoid politicizing economic issues. We should give full play to the role of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue as a platform, deepen economic, trade, investment and financial cooperation and promote the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations.
Chairman Wu Bangguo of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and Vice President Xi Jinping will meet with Reid separately this afternoon.