Liu Weimin started the press conference with the following announcements:
At the invitation of Vice President Temer of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Vice Premier Wang Qishan will be in Brazil from February 10 to 14 to chair the second session of the China-Brazil High-level Coordination and Cooperation Committee.
Under the current circumstances where the international landscape is undergoing profound and complex changes, China and Brazil, as major developing countries, should further enhance dialogue and expand cooperation so as to serve the common interests of the two countries and two peoples, safeguard the overall interests of developing countries and steer the international order onto a more equitable and reasonable path. China would like to work together with the Brazilian side to constantly push forward China-Brazil strategic partnership.
The China-Brazil High-level Coordination and Cooperation Committee is a top-level dialogue and cooperation mechanism between the two governments as well as an important platform to promote the balanced development of bilateral practical cooperation across the board. We believe that with the concerted efforts of China and Brazil, the second session of the China-Brazil High-level Coordination and Cooperation Committee will be a success.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh will pay an official visit to China from February 12 to 15.
Sound and stable China-Vietnam relations not only serve the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples but also do good to regional and world peace, stability and development. China attaches importance to developing relations with Vietnam and would like to push for the steady and sound development of China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation together with the Vietnamese side.
During Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh's stay in China, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will hold talks with him and Chinese leaders will meet with him. The two sides will exchange views on enhancing exchange of high-level visits, promoting bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation, appropriately handling specific issues in bilateral relations and boosting China-ASEAN relations.
Q: Since China has vetoed the UN Security Council's draft resolution on Syria, are you worried that the situation in Syria will deteriorate with more bloodshed?
A: China is highly concerned about the developments in Syria. We call on all parties there to cease violence, avoid casualties of innocent civilians in particular, restore order as soon as possible, respect the reasonable aspirations of the majority of the Syrian people for change and protection of their interests. All these serve the fundamental interests of Syria and its people. We support the efforts made by the Arab League for a political resolution of the Syrian issue and the maintenance of regional stability.
The Security Council's action on the Syrian issue should be in line with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations as well as relevant norms governing international relations, should be conducive to alleviating tensions, promoting political dialogue for the resolution of differences and maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East region. Based on the above principles, China has played an active part in the Security Council consultations on relevant draft resolution. Regrettably, the sponsors forced a vote on the draft regardless of severe disagreement among all parties. Such practice does no good to the unity and authority of the Security Council, nor does it contribute to the appropriate resolution of the issue. Therefore, China vetoed the draft resolution. China stands ready to work together with the international community and continue to play an active and constructive role for the appropriate settlement of the Syrian issue.
On the Syrian issue, China neither shelters nor opposes anyone on purpose. Instead, China upholds an objective and just position as well as a responsible attitude. Our aim is to shield the Syrian people from violence and warfare rather than to complicate the issue.
Q: Please brief us on the arrangement for Vice Premier Wang Qishan's attendance at the second session of the China-Brazil High-level Coordination and Cooperation Committee and China's expectation.
A: During Vice Premier Wang Qishan's visit, he will meet with Brazilian President Rousseff and hold a small group meeting with Vice President Temer. Together, they will co-chair the second session of the China-Brazil High-level Coordination and Cooperation Committee, sign the minutes of the meeting and meet with representatives of Brazilian entrepreneurs and journalists from both sides. The two sides will review and sum up the development of bilateral relations since the first session of the China-Brazil High-level Coordination and Cooperation Committee and exchange views on various fields of practical cooperation in the next stage as well as major international issues of common interest.
China hopes that this session will help implement the consensus reached between the two heads of state, enhance the institution-building of the China-Brazil High-level Coordination and Cooperation Committee, give full play to the role of the Committee in promoting and coordinating bilateral cooperation across the board and advance China-Brazil strategic partnership.
Q: Will China send a special envoy or delegation to Syria? Will you raise your own solution for Syria?
A: China has all along encouraged and facilitated talks for peace through concrete action in a bid to ease the situation. We have been urging all parties in Syria to solve the issue through dialogue and consultation so as to avoid civilian casualties and restore stability in the Syrian situation as soon as possible. China also strongly supports the mediation efforts of the Arab League and actively participated in relevant Security Council consultations. As for the specific question you raised, I don't have any information to provide to you now.
Q: The US considered China and Russia's veto of the draft resolution a "travesty". British Foreign Secretary Hague believed it would escalate violence in Syria. How does China respond?
A: China does not accept the above accusations.
China does not seek its own interests on the Syrian issue. We neither shelter nor intentionally oppose anyone. Instead, we uphold justice and stay committed to safeguarding peace and stability in Syria and the Middle East and relevant norms governing international relations, which is in the common interests of the international community.
As a responsible major country, China will work with the international community to continue to play an active and constructive role on the Syrian issue.
Q: China expressed support for the Arab League's efforts to politically solve the Syrian issue, but at the same time vetoed the Security Council draft resolution sponsored by the Arab League. How do you comment? Is China worried about standing against the international community? There are calls for boycotting Chinese goods in some Arab countries. Is China concerned that China-Arab relations will be affected?
A: China values the Arab League's position and concerns on the Syrian issue and supports its efforts to mediate the Syrian crisis. China hopes to see stability restored in Syria as soon as possible, which is in the common interests of the international community including the Arab League.
China and Arab countries share profound friendship. The Chinese people are sincere friends of the Syrian and Arab people and hope they experience less turbulence and hardship and embrace peace and tranquility at an early date. We are ready to continue to work together with Arab countries to safeguard lawful rights and interests as well as the fundamental interests of developing countries in a bid to promote regional and world peace, stability and development.
Q: The US Government recently released an annual assessment report on national security threat, accusing China of massive intrusion into US computer network, stealing US intellectual property rights and engaging in "economic espionage". It also said that the Chinese intelligence agency will be the biggest threat to the US in the relevant field for the coming years. How does China comment?
A: China has made clear its position many times on issues related to cyber security. Cyber attacks are transnational and anonymous. It is neither professional nor responsible to prejudge the origin of attacks without thorough investigation and hard evidence. Accusing China of the so-called "espionage" is complete fabrication driven by ulterior motives. We urge the US side to discard Cold War mentality, respect facts and stop groundless accusations of China. China is ready to continue its cooperation with the international community aimed at ensuring cyber security.
China is in fact among countries most frequently attacked by hackers. To my knowledge, since 2009, hacking attacks against China from abroad have increased by fifteenfold and more, and the IP addresses of these attacks are mainly located in the US. Like what I just said, we are keenly aware of the complexity of the Internet environment so we do not come to the conclusion that it is the US institutions or individuals that have carried out the attacks.
Q: Please brief us on the latest developments of the kidnap incident of Chinese workers in Sudan.
A: In recent days, Chinese diplomats abroad have had contact with the kidnapped Chinese nationals by phone. As far as we know, the 29 kidnapped workers are in good health and a stable emotional state. The work to rescue them is still ongoing. China is engaged in rescue operations through various channels and all available means.
Q: Out of deep friendship toward the Arab people, the Chinese people in general are against western interference in Syria's internal affairs and toppling the Syrian Government by force. How do you view the attitude of the Chinese public?
A: The Chinese Government always upholds justice on Syria-related issues and is committed to safeguarding the fundamental interests of Syria, peace and stability of the Middle East, the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations as well as norms governing international relations. This position is understood and supported by the domestic public.
Q: Last March, China abstained from voting on the Libyan issue in the UN Security Council, but vetoed the Syria-related resolution this time. Why the difference?
A: China judges issues according to their own merits. We always hold that actions by the Security Council should abide by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and norms of international law. Such actions should respect the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of relevant country and should be conducive to dissolving disputes and conflicts through dialogue and other peaceful means. China's position is clear and consistent and is in the common interests of the international community, in particular, the vast developing countries.
After the press conference, a question was raised about China's comment on the current China-Canada relations and the progress in the negotiation between the two countries on the China-Canada Agreement on Investment Protection Cooperation, given Canadian Prime Minister Harper's upcoming visit to China. Spokesperson Liu Weimin replied as follows: The current China-Canada relations enjoy good momentum of development with constant progress in wide-ranging fields of cooperation and exchanges such as business, trade, energy, resources, science and technology, culture, health, justice and law enforcement as well as close coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs. Both being important countries in the Asia-pacific region, China and Canada share broad common interests and great cooperation prospects in promoting their respective development and upholding regional and world peace, stability and prosperity. China attaches great importance to Prime Minister Harper's visit to China and is ready to work with the Canadian side to further enhance political mutual trust, expand practical cooperation and push forward China-Canada strategic partnership through this visit.
Highly complementary in economy, China and Canada share great prospect of economic cooperation and trade. It is believed that with the joint efforts of the two sides, this visit will give new impetus to bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation. As for the China-Canada Agreement on Investment Protection Cooperation, the two sides are still in communication. Please refer to the Ministry of Commerce for the specifics.