Q: US Department of Defence released a Defence Strategic Review, saying that the rise of China may affect the economy and security of the US, and states such as China and Iran will continue to pursue asymmetric means to counter US' power projection capabilities. It also urges China to clarify its strategic intention and stresses that US forces will increase input in the Asia-Pacific region. What is China's comment?
A: China's strategic intention is clear, open and transparent. China sticks fast to the path of peaceful development and upholds the independent foreign policy of peace as well as the defence policy that is defensive in nature. Our national defence modernization serves the need of national security and development and plays a positive role in safeguarding regional peace and stability, without posing a threat to any country. The charges against China in this document are groundless and untrustworthy. China will look seriously into the document.
To maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific serves the common interests of all countries within the region. We hope that the US will play a more constructive role to this end.
Q: It is reported that the Philippine Foreign Ministry released a statement recently, rebuking the appearance of Chinese vessels near the waters off the Xianbin Reef in the South China Sea. What is China's response?
A: The Xianbin Reef is a part of China's Nansha Islands. China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. China does not accept the unfounded accusation of the Philippine side and hopes that the latter will never again make trouble out of nothing and cause disturbances. Instead, it should make more contribution to peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Q: The US recently adopted new sanctions against Iran, including restrictions on the access to the US financial market for companies having business transactions with the Iranian Central Bank. What is China's comment? Will China reduce the amount of oil import from Iran and take measures to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons?
A: China believes that the Iranian nuclear issue can not be fundamentally resolved through sanctions and willful pressure. Dialogue and negotiation is the correct way out. China always opposes one country placing its domestic law above international law and imposing unilateral sanctions on other countries.
China is one of many countries that conduct normal, open and transparent economic and energy cooperation with Iran. Such cooperation should not be affected as it does not violate relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and does not impair China's position on the non-proliferation issue.
Q: Please brief us on the arrangement and major topics of ROK President Lee Myung-bak's visit to China. Will the two sides exchange views on the current situation of the Korean Peninsula?
A: President Lee Myung-bak pays a state visit to China from January 9 to 11. President Hu Jintao, Chairman Wu Bangguo will hold talks and meet with him respectively this afternoon. Premier Wen Jiabao will meet with him tomorrow.
China and the ROK are important and close neighbours enjoying sound development of bilateral relations. The two sides have established strategic partnership of cooperation. Bilateral trade volume has been on a constant rise, with China becoming the largest trading partner of the ROK. Cultural and people-to-people exchanges between our two countries have been deepened as evidenced by over 6 million times of mutual visits last year and 800-odd flights shuttling between the two countries every week. China and the ROK have been integrated into the "one-day living circle". This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the ROK and the "Year of China-ROK Friendly Exchanges". Bilateral relations are facing important opportunities of development. China attaches great importance to President Lee Myung-bak's visit to China and stands ready to work together with the ROK to elevate bilateral strategic partnership of cooperation to a new high through this visit.
Peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula serves the common interests of all relevant parties and meets the universal aspiration of the international community. China has been in touch with all parties concerned, including the ROK and the DPRK in this regard and stands for the improvement and development of relations between different parties so as to jointly push for denuclearization on the Peninsula and forge ahead the process of the Six-Party Talks. We will work with all parties to make unremitting efforts for the realization of enduring peace and stability on the Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.
Q: It is reported that US Treasury Secretary Geithner will visit China soon. Please brief us on his visit. What does China expect of this visit?
A: At the invitation of Vice Premier Wang Qishan, the US Special Envoy of President Obama and Treasury Secretary Geithner will pay a visit to China from January 10 to 11. Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice President Xi Jinping, Vice Premier Li Keqiang and Vice Premier Wang Qishan will meet with him or have talks with him respectively. The two sides will exchange views on bilateral economic relations and the world economic and financial situation.
China and the US have reached important consensus on building a China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. Against the backdrop of grave challenges in the current world economic and financial situation, the US and China, as the largest and second largest economy respectively, should constantly enhance bilateral economic cooperation and trade, which is conducive to international cooperation against the challenge.
The Chinese side has made proposals on the furtherance of China-US economic cooperation and trade and hopes that the two sides will meet each other half way.
Q: It is reported that Iran is going to use a new uranium enrichment facility. How does China comment?
A: The Chinese side has noticed relevant reports. Iran, as a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is entitled to peaceful use of nuclear energy and at the same time should also shoulder its due international obligations. Under the current circumstances, all parties concerned should step up diplomatic efforts, stay committed to dialogue and negotiation, take new measures in boosting mutual trust and create favorable conditions for the proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.
As far as we know, the Iranian side has sent an invitation to the IAEA Deputy Director General. We hope the Agency can resume contact with Iran at an early date and the P5 plus one countries can intensify engagement and dialogue with Iran.
Q: Japanese and ROK leaders have visited China successively, the Chinese side calls for the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks. Will China raise new proposals or take new measures to restart the Talks?
A: The Chinese side's position on the Six-Party Talks has been consistent and clear. We always hold that the Talks is the effective mechanism to realize denuclearization on the Peninsula and maintain peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia. We hope parties concerned will step up engagement and dialogue, enhance mutual trust and create favorable conditions for the resumption of the Six-party Talks.