Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on December 3, 2012

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on December 3, 2012.

Q: It is reported that Peña Nieto swore in as President of Mexico on December 1. What is China's comment?

A: China congratulates Mr. Peña on taking office as President of Mexico. President Hu Jintao's special envoy and Vice Chairman Lu Yongxiang of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress attended the power transfer ceremony of Mexican President and met with President Peña. China always attaches great importance to the development of China-Mexico friendly and cooperative relations, and is willing to work with Mexico to promote the comprehensive and in-depth development of strategic partnership to the benefit of the two countries and peoples.

Q: The Singaporean Ministry of Manpower reportedly said in a statement on December 1 that the work permits of 29 Chinese bus drivers who went on strike a few days ago had been revoked and they would be repatriated, and another five people were arrested. Please brief us on the Chinese side's response to the latest development and the work it has done.

A: The Chinese Foreign Ministry pays great attention to the case. Consular officials from the Chinese Embassy in Singapore visited the Chinese citizens who were arrested or to be repatriated on November 30 and December 1. The 29 repatriated Chinese citizens already returned to China on December 2.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Embassy in Singapore will continue to follow closely the developments and maintain communication with the Singaporean side for a proper settlement of the case.

Q: Israeli officials reportedly said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had decided to build 3,000 new settlement units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank as a response to Palestine's observer state status in the UN. What is China's comment?

A: China is always opposed to Israel's building of Jewish settlement on occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem and the West Bank. We urge the Islaeli side to take effective measures to remove barriers to the peace talks and create necessary conditions for rebuilding mutual trust and restarting peace talks between Palestine and Israel at an early date.

Q: The French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said in Côte d'Ivoire the other day that with China's growing presence in Africa, French companies must compete with Chinese companies for larger presence there. What is China's comment?

A: China-Africa economic cooperation is mutually beneficial which has boosted their common development. Their cooperation is also open and inclusive, without prejudice to any third party's cooperation with Africa, and largely contributing to the international community's increasing interest and input in Africa. China welcomes France's greater input in Africa which we believe can benefit both Chinese and French businesses in Africa and the sustainable development of Africa.

Q: The top Republicans and Democrats on the US House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee reportedly wrote to senior officials of the Obama administration on November 30 to express concern over China-US economic and trade issues prior to the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade to be held in December. The letter said that China continues to move away from market-based reforms and is more deeply embracing an economic model dominated by state-owned enterprises, World Trade Organization-inconsistent subsidies, and economic protectionism. What is China's response?

A: China-US economic and trade relations is essentially mutually beneficial. The two sides should properly handle differences in the principle of mutual accommodation, mutual benefit, and equal consultation. Blaming China can not solve the US' own problems. The US side should do more that is conducive to China-US mutual trust and cooperation, which is in line with the US' own interests. We hope both sides will make the most of such platforms as the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade to deepen cooperation and resolve frictions for the sound and stable development of China-US economic and trade relations based on mutual benefit.

Q: The New Zealand Environment and Climate Change Affairs Minister recently said that New Zealand would withdraw from the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol as the Protocol is outdated. What is China's comment?

A: The Chinese side has noticed relevant reports. The UN climate change conference is now being held in Doha and negotiations on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol will be completed soon. New Zealand's announcement of not participating in the second commitment period regrettably runs counter to international efforts. China hopes that all developed countries, including New Zealand, could effectively fulfill their responsibilities and obligations, continue to follow through on their emission reduction commitments, and participate in international cooperation to address climate change with a positive and constructive attitude.

Q: How will China dissuade the DPRK after it announced the plan of launching a satellite?

A: We stated our position on the DPRK's announcement of satellite launch yesterday. Maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia serves the common interests and is the shared responsibility of all parties concerned. We hope relevant parties can do more for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. We also hope that all parties concerned can exercise calmness in order to avoid further escalation of the situation and make joint efforts to properly handle the current situation. China will continue to keep in communication and coordination with other parties.

Q: Does China regard the DPRK's announcement of satellite launch as a violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions?

A: The DPRK has the right to peaceful use of the outer space, but the right is subject to the restrictions of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Q: The US Senate recently adopted the amendament to the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013" which claimed that the US does not take a position on the ultimate sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands but recognizes Japan's administrative right over the Islands and that any unilateral action of a third party will not affect its above position. What is China's comment?

A: The Chinese side expresses serious concern over and firm oppostion to the US Senate's amendament to the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013" concerning the Diaoyu Islands issue. The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times and China has indisputable sovereignty over them. The US-Japan Security Treaty is the product of the Cold War and should not go beyond the bilateral scope or undermine the interests of a third party. The US side stated on many occasions that it would not take sides over the territorial dispute between China and Japan. We hope the US side can have in mind the larger picture of regional peace and stability, do what it says, refrain from sending out a conflicting and wrong message, and contribute more to regional peace and stability.

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