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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin's Regular Press Conference on March 13, 2012

Q: It is reported that a Chinese citizen was shot dead by Myanmese soldiers who crossed into Yunnan. Please confirm. Will China lodge representations with the Myanmese side?

A: On January 12 this year, two soldiers of the Myanmese Government army entered illegally into Dehong, Yunnan Province and killed one Chinese citizen. China made solemn representations to Myanmar immediately after the incident and urged Myanmar to get to the bottom of the case as soon as possible, bring the perpetrators to justice, compensate the bereaved families, earnestly enhance the education and management of its troops stationed in the border area and prevent the recurrence of similar incidents. Myanmar expressed its high attention to China's representations and has stepped up relevant investigation.

Q: It is reported that China's restriction on the export of rare earth and other high-tech raw materials impairs the interests of US enterprises. The US side will file a complaint with the WTO on that. How does China respond?

A: Rare earth is scarce and nonrenewable. The exploitation of rare earth will exert impact on the environment. In order to protect the resources and environment and realize sustainable development, the Chinese Government adopts management measures not only on rare earth export, but also on its mining and production. Relevant measures meet WTO rules. China's reserves of rare earth take up 36.4% of the world's total. However, China has been supplying over 90% of the world's demand of rare earth. Over the years, China has been striving to maintain a considerable amount of rare earth export, despite enormous environmental pressure. China will continue to provide rare earth to the international market and carry out effective management of rare earth export in accordance with WTO rules.

China hopes that other countries endowed with rare earth resources will engage actively in rare earth development and jointly shoulder the responsibility of global rare earth supply. China would also like to enhance cooperation with other countries on searching substitute resources and improving the utilization of rare earth.

Q: Please brief us on the Chinese Government's Special Envoy on African Affairs Ambassador Zhong Jianhua's recent visit to Sudan and South Sudan.

A: The Chinese Government's Special Envoy on African Affairs Ambassador Zhong Jianhua visited Sudan and South Sudan from March 10 to 13. Ambassador Zhong met with Sudanese President Bashir on March 11 and First Deputy Foreign Minister Daterio of South Sudan on March 12. The visit is still on going. The priority of Ambassador Zhong's visit is to exchange views with leaders of the two countries on China-Sudan and China-South Sudan relations as well as the Sudan-South Sudan issue so as to push for peaceful co-existence between the two countries and encourage them to resolve relevant issues through dialogue and consultation for the sake of their interests as well as regional peace and stability.

Q: The National People's Congress (NPC) will vote on the draft amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law tomorrow. Does that mean that China has made progress in the protection of human rights?

A: The leading official of the NPC Law Committee has recently made detailed explanation on relevant issues concerning the Criminal Procedure Law. Opinions have been solicited from all walks of life for the draft amendments, which fully upholds the principle of punishing criminals while protecting human rights and represents a major progress made by China in the improvement of democracy and the legal system and the protection of human rights.

Q: A US soldier recently went on a shooting rampage in Afghanistan, killing and wounding civilians. What is China's comment?

A: We are shocked at the incident and express our sympathy and solicitude to the bereaved families. As a friendly neighbour of Afghanistan, China sincerely hopes to see an early realization of peace and stability there. Relevant parties should make more contribution to security and stability in Afghanistan.

Q: Vietnamese monks have reportedly planned to move into the temples on the Nansha islands (the Spratly islands as addressed by Vietnam) to assert Vietnam's sovereignty over the islands. What is China's response?

A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha islands and their adjacent waters. We hope that the Vietnamese side will earnestly observe the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and Agreement on the Basic Principles Guiding the Resolution of Maritime Issues signed between China and Vietnam and do more to promote cooperation and stability in the South China Sea instead of taking actions that will complicate the situation.

Q: There was a debate yesterday in the UN Security Council on the Syrian issue. What is China's current position on the Syrian issue? Will China's position change if there is another vote on the Syria-related draft resolution in the Security Council?

A: China's position on the Syrian issue remains unchanged. We uhold the six-point proposal on the political resolution of the Syrian issue. Ambassador Li Baodong fully expounded on China's position and proposal at the ministerial meeting of the Security Council yesterday. China hopes that the situation in Syria will calm down as soon as possible and the political dialogue process will be swiftly launched. We also hope that the international community will play a positive and constructive role to this end.

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