Liu Weimin started the press conference with the following announcements:
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of the Republic of Indonesia will pay a state visit to China from March 22 to 24.
China-Indonesia relations are in good shape. Since the establishment of China-Indonesia strategic partnership in 2005, the two countries have maintained close high-level exchanges, constantly enhanced political mutual trust and made substantial progress in exchanges and cooperation in business, defence, security, culture and other fields. Chinese leaders look forward to exchanging views with President Susilo in an extensive and in-depth manner on bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest in a bid to actively promote practical cooperation in all fields and deepen China-Indonesia strategic partnership.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman will pay an official visit to China from March 15 to 22.
Q: Please brief us on the Chinese Government's position on the issue of the Suyan Rock.
A: China's position on the Suyan Rock is clear. The Suyan Rock is situated in the waters where the exclusive economic zones of China and the ROK overlap. The ownership of the rock should be determined through bilateral negotiation, pending which, neither of the two should take unilateral moves in these waters. China and the ROK have a consensus on the Suyan Rock, that is, the rock does not have territorial status, and the two sides have no territorial disputes.
Q: What is China's suggestion on the new Syria-related draft resolution being discussed in the UN Security Council? Should the Security Council adopt the draft resolution?
A: China has participated actively in relevant consultation over the new Syria-related draft resolution tabled by the US. China also proposed revision to the resolution based on China's six-point proposal on the political resolution of the Syrian issue. China supports the international community's positive and constructive role and influence for the political settlement of the Syrian issue.
Q: According to the Airbus's statement last week, the Chinese Government refused to ratify the purshase contract of Airbus passenger planes in reaction to the EU's policy on international aviation carbon emission. Is it true? What other measures has China taken to express its concern over the EU's policy on aviation carbon emission?
A: China has repeatedly expressed its concern to the EU through bilateral and multilateral channels. We hope the EU will take into consideration the overall political and economic interests and strive to resolve appropriately the issue of incorporating international flights entering and exiting the EU into its Emissions Trading Scheme. As for the specifics that you mentioned, you may ask the competent authorities or airline companies.
Q: Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov attended the Arab League Foreign Ministers Meeting on March 10, and reached a five-point consensus with the Arab side on the settlement of the Syrian crisis. What is China's comment?
A: China welcomes the international community to enhance communication and coordination and build up consensus on the Syrian issue. We believe that the five-point consensus reached between Russia and the Arab League is of realistic and positive significance to the political settlement of the Syrian issue. We hope that all parties will continue to push for a just, peaceful and appropriate resolution of the Syrian issue.
Q: Please brief us on the purpose of Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Liberman's visit to China and topics of discussion during his meetings with Chinese leaders. How does China comment on the recent Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip?
A: Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Liberman's visit to China has long been scheduled by the two sides. During his visit, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will host talks with him, and Chinese leaders will meet with him. The two sides will exchange views on bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest.
China staunchly supports peace of the Middle East. Bearing in mind the larger interests of maintaining regional peace and stability, China has been actively working on all parties concerned to mediate for peace talks and stays committed to the political settlement of the Middle East issue. China will continue to play a positive and constructive role to this end.
China is concerned over the current re-escalation of the Gaza situation. We call on the Israeli side to stop its air strikes in Gaza and relevant parties to cease fire immediately to avoid casualties of innocent civilians.
Q: Please brief us on the specific itinerary of Indonesian President Susilo's visit to China. Will the two countries sign agreements during the visit? Some people in Israel believe Israel should strike Iran's nuclear facilities. Will Israeli Foreign Minister talk about the Iranian nuclear issue with China during his visit?
A: On the specific itinerary of Indonesian President Susilo, the two sides are still consulting on it, and we will release information in a timely fashion.
During Israeli Foreign Minister Liberman's visit, the two sides will exchange views on international and regional issues of common interest. On the Iranian nuclear issue, we always oppose the use or threat of force in handling international issues and state-to-state relations. Military strikes against Iran will only escalate confrontation and lead to greater turbulence in the region. Dialogue and negotiation is the right way out for disputes.
Q: Recently, China evacuated about one hundred Chinese nationals in Syria. How many still remain there?
A: Some time ago, given the tensions in Syria, some personnel of relevant Chinese institutions, including enterprises, returned to China out of security concerns.
Q: On March 10, the Arab League Foreign Ministers Meeting discussed the Syrian issue on a priority basis and adopted relevant resolution. Recently, the UN-AL Joint Special Envoy Annan met with Syrian President Bashar and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov respectively and made specific proposals on how to resolve the Syrian crisis. How does China comment?
A: China noted that the Arab League held a foreign ministers meeting on March 10 and passed a Syria-related resolution. We believe that the resolution shows the will of the Arab countries and the Arab League to continue to solve the Syrian crisis through political means. In particular, there are lines in the resolution that call on the Syrian Government and the opposition to actively coordinate with the work of the UN-AL Joint Special Envoy and engage in serious national dialgue, which is conducive to easing the current tensions in Syria and expanding consensus among all parties concerned.
China is positive and open towards any proposal or measure that is conducive to pushing for a political settlement of the Syrian issue and is ready to work with the international community, the Arab League included, to pursue a fair, peaceful and proper resolution of the Syrian issue.
China supports the Joint Special Envoy Annan in playing a constructive role for the political settlement of the Syrian crisis and hopes that relevant parties will actively cooperate with his mediation efforts.