Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on June 27, 2012

On June 27, 2012, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Paulo Portas, Minister of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Portugal will pay an official visit to China from June 30 to July 8.

Q: It is reported that during his visit to Chile, Premier Wen Jiabao proposed the establishment of a China-Latin America cooperation forum to build a high-level platform for China-Latin America relations. Please brief us on China's specific plan?

A: Recently, relations between China and Latin America have shown sound momentum of all-dimensional, wide-ranging and multi-tiered growth. Under the current circumstances, China and Latin America can make joint efforts to meet global challenges and achieve common development by boosting China-Latin America overall cooperation, setting up a higher-level mechanism for overall bilateral cooperation and pushing for the comprehensive development of China-Latin America relations. While visiting Chile on June 26, Premier Wen delivered a speech titled "Trusted Friends Forever" at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, proposing the establishment of a China-Latin America cooperation forum to build a higher-level platform for overall bilateral cooperation. China is ready to work with Latin American countries to fulfill the goal at an early date and usher in a new era of China-Latin America relations.

Q: It is reported that Syrian President Bashar recently said that Syria was "in a real state of war from all angles". How does China comment?

A: China always regards it imperative to adhere to the right direction of seeking political resolution of the Syrian issue. Under the current circumstances, the international community should focus on supporting Special Envoy Annan's mediation efforts and urging all parties concerned in Syria to cease fire and end violence, fully implement relevant Security Council resolutions and Annan's "six-point proposal", and launch a political dialogue with no preconditions attached or results predetermined at an early date. China is ready to work with the international community to jointly push for a peaceful, fair and proper resolution of the Syrian issue as soon as possible.

Q: Please brief us on the visit by Portuguese Foreign Minister Portas to China.

A: China and Portugal enjoy traditional friendship. Bilateral relations have entered a new stage since the two sides established comprehensive strategic partnership in 2005. In recent years, the two countries have made joint efforts in tackling the international financial crisis, enhanced friendship and mutual trust and made fresh progress in practical cooperation with closer friendship between the two peoples. China stands ready to join the Portuguese side to engage in closer political consultations and expand mutually beneficial cooperation and people-to-people exchanges with a view to constantly enriching their comprehensive strategic partnership.

During Foreign Minister Portas' visit to China, Vice Premier Li Keqiang will meet with him and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will have talks with him.

Q: Vietnam said yesterday that China National Offshore Oil Corporation's plan for exploration and development cooperation in the South China Sea is "illegal" and relevant blocks are located in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone. How does China comment?

A: Publicizing by Chinese companies relevant bidding of oil and gas blocks is a normal business activity which complies with relevant Chinese laws and international practices. China and Vietnam share a lot of consensus regarding the proper settlement of maritime disputes between them. We hope Vietnam can observe the consensus, refrain from taking actions that may complicate or magnify the disputes and immediately stop its activities in relevant sea areas that infringe upon China's oil and gas rights and interests.

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