Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on June 25, 2012

On June 25, 2012, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement.

At the invitation of the ROK Government and the Organizing Committee of the Yeosu World Expo, Vice Premier Wang Qishan of the State Council will attend the China Pavilion Day activities of the Yeosu World Expo in the ROK on June 28.

Cai Wu, Special Envoy of President Hu Jintao and Minister of Culture, will go to Bujumbura to attend the ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Burundi's independence upon invitation on July 2.

Q: It is reported that the Presidential Election Commission of Egypt announced on June 24 that Muslim Brotherhood candidate Morsi was elected President of Egypt. How does China comment? What is China's expectation of China-Egypt relations?

A: China congratulates Mr. Morsi on his election as new Egyptian President. China respects the independent choice of the Egyptian people and believes that Egypt, led by President Morsi, will make greater achievements in its national development. Enjoying long-term friendship with Egypt, China stands ready to work with Egypt to continue to deepen the traditional friendship between the two peoples and push forward China-Egypt friendly and cooperative relations.

Q: It is reported that recently a Philippine fishing boat was suspected of being rammed by a Chinese ship and sank off the Huangyan Island, leaving four missing. What is China's response?

A: According to competent Chinese authorities, they have so far not received any report of ships colliding or calling for help in the above waters during that time.

Q: The Ministry of Civil Affairs of China recently announced the establishment of Sansha city with jurisdiction over some contested sea areas. Does China plan to send immigrants to the islands in the area?

A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea including the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha Islands as well as their adjacent waters. Setting up Sansha city is the Chinese Government's adjustment of the current administrative agencies, which is completely within China's sovereignty.

Q: Pakistan's new Prime Minister Ashraf was reported to have said recently that Pakistan will continue to maintain good relations with China. What is China's comment?

A: China congratulates Mr. Ashraf on his election as Pakistani Prime Minister. As a close and friendly neighbour, China will continue to firmly support Pakistan's efforts to realize national stability and social and economic development. We are ready to continue to develop all-weather friendship and strategic partnership of cooperation with Pakistan.

Q: It is reported that the Philippines recently opened a kindergarten on the Zhongye Island. How does China respond?

A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. China is against the illegal activities by any country that infringe upon China's sovereignty. Relevant countries should abide by the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and refrain from taking any action that may complicate and magnify the dispute and affect peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Q: Philippine Foreign Secretary Del Rosario recently said that Chinese government vessels had withdrawn from waters off the Huangyan Island. Please confirm. Did China do so to ease the current situation over the Huangyan Island?

A: The current situation off the Huangyan Island tends to be relaxed in general. Chinese government vessels have maintained jurisdiction and vigilance over waters off the Huangyan Island.

Q: It is reported that Syria recently shot down a Turkish military plane. What is China's comment?

A: China has noticed relevant report and follows closely the developments. The current situation in the region is quite complex and sensitive. It is hoped that all parties concerned can stay calm and excise restraint, stay committed to properly handling relevant issues through diplomatic channels and avoid escalation of the situation.

Q: Egypt is now focusing on maintaining stability and promoting economic development. The Chinese Ambassador to Egypt said recently that China will increase investment in Egypt. What is China's comment? How does China see the prospect of China-Egypt relations?

A: China and Egypt enjoy long-term friendship, immense political mutual trust and flourishing business cooperation in recent years. With deep friendship between the their peoples, the two countries have a sound foundation for further developing bilateral relations. We hope that after President Morsi takes office, China and Egypt can jointly push forward their friendly and cooperative relations, enhance political mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges to the benefit of the two peoples.

Q: Special Envoy Annan recently said that major powers had been invited to the international conference on the Syrian issue to be held in Geneva on June 30. Was China invited? What is China's expectation of the meeting?

A: China is positive and open to the international conference on the Syrian issue to be held in Geneva on June 30. We hope the convocation of the meeting can help build international consensus, support Special Envoy Annan's mediation, push all parties concerned on the Syria issue to earnestly implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions and Annan's "six-point proposal" so as to create conditions for easing the current tensions and launching a political dialogue. China believes that the proper resolution of the Syrian issue can not do without the participation and support of regional countries, particularly countries with influence on relevant parties in Syria. China has sent people to attend the preparation meeting of the conference and is now in communication with other parties concerned over relevant matters concerning the conference.

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