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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on October 31, 2011

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcements:

At the invitation of Russian Prime Minister Putin, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council will attend the 10th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Prime Ministers' Meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russia from November 6 to 8.

At 3:40 pm tomorrow afternoon, Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping will give a press briefing on Premier Wen's attendance of the meeting. You are all welcome. The regular press conference will be adjourned tomorrow.

Q: Please brief us on the visit to Syria by Chinese Special Envoy Wu Sike on the Middle East issue. What efforts does China think the Syrian Government should make to solve the current crisis?

A: Special Envoy Wu Sike on the Middle East issue paid a visit to Syria from October 26 to 28. He met with Syrian Vice President Sharaa and Foreign Minister Muallem respectively. He also met with leaders from the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change and the Popular Front for Change and Liberation of Syria and had in-depth exchange of views with them on the Syrian situation.

Wu Sike said that the Chinese side has been highly concerned over the developments of the Syrian situation and believes that the pressing task now is for all parties in Syria to bear in mind the interests of the country and the people, immediately put an end to all violence and bloodshed to ease the tension as soon as possible. At the same time, the Syrian Government should speed up the implementation of its reform pledges, launch and promote a broad-based inclusive political process with the participation of all parties of Syria at an early date to respond to the Syrian people's reasonable expectations and appeals. The different parties in Syria should fully take part in the political settlement process in a constructive manner, solve differences through dialogue and find a reform and development path suited to Syria's national conditions. The international community should respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria, prudently and properly handle the Syrian issue, jointly push for relaxation of the situation and uphold Middle East peace and stability.

The Chinese side appreciates and supports the Arab League's active and constructive role on the Syrian issue. China holds a just position on the issue and is ready to continue to work for the stability of the Syrian situation to the benefit of the Syrian people.

The Syrian side expressed appreciation of China's position and constructive role on the Syrian issue and its willingness to actively push for reform and dialogue to properly solve the issue through dialogue and consultation.

Q: The BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change will soon be held in Beijing. Please brief us on its agenda and the goal of the Chinese side.

A: From October 31 to November 1, the 9th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change will be held in Beijing. Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Xie Zhenhua will lead a delegation to the conference and Foreign Ministry Special Representative Li Yanduan on Climate Change will attend the conference. Officials from Brazil, South Africa and India will also attend. The conference will discuss the prospects of the Durban Conference and the majors issues that may occur during the negotiation.

The Durban Conference in South Africa is just around the corner. We believe the most important thing is to extend the Kyoto Protocol and identify the second commitment period of the Protocol. Developed nations should make pledges on specific targets for the second commitement period, which is key to the success of the Conference.

Q: Is China's decision to bail out Europe from the debt crisis solely on economic grounds? Does China hope to seek something else in return?

A: China welcomes the consensus reached at the European Union Summit on tackling the European sovereign debt crisis which will help boost market confidence, restore economic growth in the European Union and the eurozone, and instill vigor and vitality into the European integration. The EU being the world's largest economy, a healthy and stable economy in the EU and the eurozone is critical to global economy. China supports the EU in taking active measures to meet challenges and is ready to join the international efforts to stabilize international financial markets and push for world economic recovery and growth.

Q: It is reported that the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission of the US Congress issued a report, claiming that hackers from the Chinese military disrupted the US satellite system. What is China's comment?

A: The commission from the US Congress always views China through colored spectacles. The report is sheer fabrication with ulterior motives and not worth refuting.

China is also a victim of hacking attack and opposes cyber offences and crimes including hacking.

Q: Vice Foreign Minister of the DPRK Kim Kye-Gwan and head of the ROK delegation to the Six-Party Talks Lim Sung-Nam will visit China respectively. Please brief us on their meetings with the Chinese side. Separately, please brief us on the meeting of law enforcement and security cooperation on the Mekong River between China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand.

A: China always keeps contact with parties concerned to the Six-Party Talks. Information on the meetings you referred to will be released in due course.

China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand will hold the Meeting on Law Enforcement and Security Cooperation on the Mekong River in Beijing today, with the purpose of finding out the truth about the case of Chinese crewmen being shot dead on the Mekong River, pushing for the establishment of a mechanism for law enforcement and security cooperation on the Mekong River between China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, effectively upholding shipping safety and order on the Mekong River, as well as ensuring the safety of the four countries' ships and crewmen. Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kowit, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Douangchai, and Myanmar Minister of Home Affairs Ko Ko will lead delegations to the meeting.

Yesterday evening, State Councilor Meng Jianzhu met with leaders of the three countries who were to attend the meeting respectively. State Councilor Meng Jianzhu pointed out that the Mekong waterway is an important route for economic exchanges and trade among countries along the river and one of the most important transportation passage in the China-ASEAN free trade area. With the view to safeguarding safety of the Mekong waterway, China proposed the meeting to discuss concrete measures to intensify law enforcement and security cooperation on the Mekong River, fight transnational crimes, and ensure the safety of international shipping.

We will release information on the details of the meeting in due course.

Q: It is reported that Exxon Mobil Corporation recently said it discovered oil and gas in disputed sea waters between China and Vietnam. Will China lodge representations with Vietnam over this issue to demand relevant cooperation deal between Exxon Mobil and Vietnam be removed?

A: China's position is clear-cut and consistent. Without the Chinese government's permission, no foreign company is allowed to take part in oil and gas exploration activities in the waters under China's jurisdiction.

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