|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on April 26, 2011|
On the afternoon of April 26, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a regular press conference.
Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates which holds the current rotating presidency of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby of Egypt, Foreign Minister Jeremic of the Republic of Serbia, President and Foreign Minister of the Swiss Confederation Calmy-Rey and Foreign Minister Lavrov of Russia, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will chair the Second China-GCC Strategic Dialogue in the UAE and pay official visits to Egypt, Serbia, Switzerland and Russia.
Q: In order to ease the tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the group led by former US President Carter arrived today in the DPRK for a visit. What do you expect from the visit? Did President Carter and his delegation meet with Chinese officials during his stopover in Beijing?
A: China appreciates the positive and helpful contact and dialogue between relevant parties including the DPRK and the US and hopes it is conducive to regional peace and stability and an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks. During the delegation's stopover in Beijing, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with them, exchanging views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula and other issues of common interest.
Q: ROK Unification Minister said recently that the other five parties to the Six-Party Talks agreed to hold DPRK-ROK and DPRK-US dialogue ahead of the resumption of the Talks and the DPRK should show a responsible attitude on the Cheonan incident and the Yeonpyeong Island shelling incident. How do you comment?
A: It is in the fundamental interests of the parties concerned in the region to maintain peace and stability on the Peninsula, realize denuclearization on the Peninsula and normalize relations between relevant countries, which is also China's position and objective in handling the Peninsula issue. We believe that a peaceful settlement of the dispute through dialogue and consultation is the only effective way in handling the Peninsula issue. Under current circumstances, we hope all parties show flexibility, interact positively and resume dialogue and consultation as soon as possible in a joint effort to lead the situation in a good direction. China is ready to work with relevant parties to continue to play a positive and constructive role in achieving peace and stability on the Peninsula and in the region.
Q: How do you comment on the continued tension in Syria lately?
A: China follows the developments in the Syrian situation. Syria is an important country in the Middle East and we hope Syria maintains national stability and normal order.
Q: Premier Wen Jiabao and visiting Australian Prime Minister Gillard held talks this morning. Prime Minister Gillard said she mentioned China's human rights situation and other issues in the talks. Please confirm and brief us on the exchange of views. Separately, the China-US human rights dialogue will be held in Beijing tomorrow. Which Chinese official will attend? Which issues will be discussed?
A: we have already released information on your first question.
The Chinese Government puts people first and earnestly implements the constitutional principle that "the State respects and preserves human rights". China's progress in the human rights field is witnessed by all, over which the Chinese people have the best say. China is ready to engage in human rights dialogue, exchanges and cooperation with relevant countries on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment so as to seek common progress and development.
On your second question, China and the US have agreed to hold the next round of human rights dialogue in Beijing from April 27 to 28. Director-General Chen Xu of the Department of International Organizations and Conferences of the Foreign Ministry and US Assistant Secretary of State Posner will jointly host the dialogue and have exchanges on the principles of human rights dialogue, new progress in the human rights field of the two countries, human rights cooperation in the UN and other issues of common interest.
Q: How do you comment on the exchange of fire between Cambodian and Thai armies in their border area for four days in a row?
A: Both Cambodia and Thailand are ASEAN member states and China's friendly neighbors. We hope both sides stay calm, exercise restraint and resolve disputes through consultation.
Q: Please brief us on the arrangements of the second China-GCC Strategic Dialogue and the China-GCC relations. Moreover, how does China comment on its relations with Egypt?
A: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will chair the second China-GCC Strategic Dialogue together with Foreign Minister Abdullah, a senior official of the foreign ministry of Saudi Arabia which holds the next presidency of the GCC and GCC Secretary General Zayani to have an in-depth exchange of views on China-GCC relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest. China hopes the dialogue will further deepen political mutual trust and promote practical cooperation to benefit the two peoples.
The Gulf Cooperation Council, as an important organization in the Gulf region, has played a significant role in promoting regional economic development and safeguarding regional peace and stability for a long stretch of time. China enjoys good relations with the GCC and its member states, as bilateral cooperation in political, economic, energy and other fields has developed both in scale and scope and GCC member states become important trading and energy partners of China. After the China-Arab Cooperation Forum, the China-GCC Strategic Dialogue serves as another major platform for the collective cooperation between China and the Gulf Arab states, contributing to the advancement of friendly cooperation between China and GCC member states in various fields.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's visit to Egypt is an important one under the current circumstances. China supports Egypt's efforts in maintaining domestic stability, promoting economic growth and realizing a smooth transition of power. China has provided and will continue to provide assistance to Egypt as its capacity allows. China believes that China-Egypt strategic and cooperative relations will keep advancing along the path of sound and stable development.
Q: A report released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China today questions China's investment environment and complains that foreign enterprises in China are at a disadvantage in market competition. What is your response?
A: China sticks to reform and opening up as well as the win-win strategy of opening up, expands market access in line with international economic norms and promotes trade liberalization and investment facilitation. With the development of China's open economy, foreign businessmen in China are sure to be rewarded with broader space of investment and more profitable returns.
China is committed to creating a more open and optimized investment environment for foreign-funded enterprises. First, China is dedicated to creating an open and transparent legal environment. The socialist market economy of China is operating under the rule of law, and the investment environment in China is subject to open and transparent legal guarantee. Second, China continues to ensure a level playing field. The Chinese Government's policy to encourage indigenous innovation applies to all the enterprises in China, including the legally-registered foreign-funded enterprises. Third, China is committed to fostering a stable and orderly business environment. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and has set up a fairly full-fledged IPR protection system over the past two decades. In the future, we will further step up law enforcement efforts to protect IPR.
In short, China is committed to optimizing the investment environment, improving the performance of foreign capital and building an all-demensional, multi-tiered and wide-ranging pattern of opening up. China will exert its utmost to maintain its position as the world's leading investment destination.
Q: The US has announced that the third round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues will be held from May 9 to 10. Who will represent the Chinese side and what topics will be discussed?
A: President Hu Jintao's successful state visit to the US early this year opened a new chapter in China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues mechanism is an important step to promote China-US relations in the new era, focusing on strategic, comprehensive and long-lasting issues bearing on the long-term development of China-US relations. In the previous two rounds of Dialogues, the two sides have reached many concensus and achieved positive outcome. We will release relevant information about the third round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues in due course.