On June 12, 2012, foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin held a regular press conference.
Q: Recently, the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf posted a summary of its recommendations on Japan's claim of outer continental shelf on its website, which was welcomed by both Japan and China. How does China comment? Are there any different interpretation of the recommendations by China and Japan?
A: The summary of recommendations by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf did not recognize Japan's claim of outer continental shelf based on the Okinotori Reef, and Japan is quite clear about that. After Japan submitted its claim to the Commission, China and the ROK delivered multiple notes to the UN Secretary-General, stressing that in light of international law, the Okinotori Reef shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf and requesting the Commission not to recognize Japan's claim of outer continental shelf based on the Okinotori Reef. Many other countries have also voiced disagreements over Japan's illegitimate claim. The Commission's handling is fair and reasonable, in compliance with international law, and has safeguarded the overall interest of the international community. China welcomes that decision.
Q: It is reported that the US announced that sanctions against Iran pursuant to relevant sections of the US National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 will not apply to India, South Africa, the ROK, Taiwan and other economic entities. The US has informed China of the scope and urgency of the sanctions and the two sides are in talks over the issue. What's China's response? Will China reduce crude oil imports from Iran? Are the two sides having discussions on that?
A: China is always against one country's imposing unilateral sanctions on a certain country according to its domestic law, even less will it accept such unilateral sanctions to be imposed on a third country. China, to meet the needs of its economic development, imports crude oil from Iran through normal channels. Being open and transparent, this does not violate any UN Security Council resolution or undermine the interests of a third party or the international community. Thus it is completely legitimate and reasonable. China has made this position clear to the US side.
Q: Shenzhou IX spacecraft will be launched sometime in mid-June. Some comment that China's space strength is on the way to surpassing that of the US. How does China comment?
A: Relevant information about the launch of Shenzhou IX will be released in a timely manner by competent authorities.
I'd like to stress that China's space program is an important component of the efforts to explore and use the outer space peacefully by the mankind. All of China's space activities are for peaceful purposes. China is willing to conduct international cooperation with other countries in space programs including manned space programs on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, so as to push the world space technology to a higher level and make positive contribution to the peaceful use of the outer space for the benefit of human being. We are willing to cooperate with the US in this area.
Q: The city of Wuhan was shrouded by fog yesterday and some local foreigners are expressing concern with Wuhan's air quality. How do you respond?
A: I'll leave the question of air quality to environmental protection authorities. The issue of air quality is indeed a severe challenge in China's economic and social development, and China is endeavoring to improve it. Given that China is in the preliminary stage of industrialization, resolving the air quality issue will not be done overnight and requires joint efforts of the whole society.
Q: Riots broke out in the Rakhine State of Myanmar and a state of emergency has been declared. Has China expressed concern to Myanmar over that?
A: We have noted such reports. China supports Myanmar's efforts to safeguard domestic stability and ethnic harmony.
The Chinese Embassy in Myanmar has issued a consular alert, requesting Chinese citizens not to go to relevant areas temporarily and urging Chinese enterprises and citizens in those areas to step up safety precautions. Chinese diplomatic missions in Myanmar will actively provide necessary assistance to Chinese citizens there.
At last, Liu Weimin said that this week is the energy-conservation campaign week of the Foreign Ministry. The theme of this year's campaign is "cherish the source of life, and water-conservation for everyone". It is known to all that there is limited fresh water resources worldwide, and China's per capita fresh water resources only account for 28% of the world average. It is the due responsibility and obligation of the whole society to save water. We hope that all people will pay more attention to water-conservation, take concrete steps to save water in their daily life, in a bid to contribute to improving the environment and ensuring a sustainable development of China and the world as a whole.