On June 8, 2012, foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin held a regular press conference.
Q: Recently, the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf posted a summary of its recommendations on Japan's claim of outer continental shelf on its website. How does China comment?
A: China has noted the summary of recommendations on Japan's claim of outer continental shelf released by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. We have also noted that the Commission did not make any recommendation on Japan's claim of southern Kyushu-Palau ridge based on the Okinotori Reef. This is consistent with the previously-released presidential statement of the Commission.
After Japan submitted its claim to the Commission, China and the ROK have delivered multiple notes to the UN Secretary-General, stressing that in light of international law, the Okinotori Reef shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf and requesting the Commission not to recognize Japan's claim of outer continental shelf based on the Okinotori Reef. Many other countries have also voiced disagreements over Japan's illegitimate claim. The Commission not recognizing Japan's claim based on the Okinotori Reef is fair and reasonable, in compliance with international law, and has safeguarded the overall interest of the international community. China welcomes that decision.
Q: During Afghan President Karzai's trip to China, the two sides issued a joint declaration on the establishment of strategic partnership of cooperation. What's China's consideration? What will be your future steps?
A: China and Afghanistan are traditional friendly neighbours. The Chinese Government, attaching importance to developing its relations with Afghanistan, adheres to a friendly policy towards Afghanistan. Under the current complicated and volatile international and regional circumstances, the strategic significance of China-Afghanistan relationship has been greatly enhanced. The two sides decided to elevate bilateral relations and expand comprehensive cooperation across the board, which not only serves the fundamental interest of both sides and peoples, but also contributes to promoting peace, stability and development of the region and the world at large.
Going forward, the two sides will cooperate closely, implement the consensus in the joint declaration, and deepen bilateral cooperation in politics, economy, culture and people-to-people exchanges, security, and international and regional affairs.
Q: Could you brief us on the specific content of the meeting between Chinese and Afghan leaders. Did they discuss the situation in Afghanistan after NATO's withdrawal?
A: President Hu Jintao held talks with President Karzai this morning and relevant information has been released. As a friendly neighbour of Afghanistan and a responsible member of the international community, China has been an active advocate and participant in Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction. China will continue to support Afghanistan's efforts in safeguarding national sovereign independence and territorial integrity and promoting peace, stability and development, and will continue to provide assistance within China's capacity to Afghanistan according to the needs of the latter.
As to the security situation in Afghanistan after 2014, we believe that relevant parties should take a responsible attitude and deliver on their commitments in earnest, continue to offer help to Afghan Government and its people on the basis of respecting independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, so that Afghanistan's autonomy and development capacity can be strengthened in a bid to lay the groundwork for a full transition to governance of Afghanistan by the Afghan people. We hope to see a step-by-step and steady withdrawal of the troops and relevant parties can continue to take up the responsibility of safeguarding security and stability of Afghanistan while transferring security power to Afghanistan.
With its increasing regional influence, the SCO will play a bigger role in the peace, stability and development of Afghanistan.
Q: Violence broke out in the Hama province of Syria recently, causing nearly 100 civilian casualties. What's China's comment? Second, UN-AL Special Envoy Annan said that given the recent massacres, concrete measures should be taken against the Syrian Government. Does China support his proposal?
A: China follows the situation in Syria closely. We strongly condemn the recent brutal killings of innocent civilians, women and children in particular, and hope to bring the perpetrator to justice as soon as possible.
Under the current circumstances, the importance of Special Envoy Annan's mediation is increasing rather than declining and the support to Special Envoy Annan should be enhanced rather than reduced. Mr. Annan has briefed the UN General Assembly and the Security Council on the recent situation in Syria, and the international community should keep faith and patience to firmly back his mediation.
We noted that there have been some suggestions from Special Envoy Annan and the Russian side. China will stay in communication and coordination with all parties. We adopt an open attitude towards all positive suggestions conducive to easing tensions and promoting an early launch of political resolution in Syria. We will continue to play our role as a responsible major country and work with the international community to promote all parties in Syria to cease fire, end violence and kick off the political resolution process as soon as possible. Both the Syrian Government and the opposition should honor their commitment and shoulder their due responsibility.
Q: Russian Foreign Minister proposed an international conference on the Syrian issue with the participation of Iran and Turkey. Does China support this proposal?
A: China adopts a positive and open attitude towards all suggestions conducive to easing tensions and pushing for an early launch of political resolution in Syria. We are willing to stay in communication and coordination with all parties.
Q: Please brief us on the specific content of the talks between Chinese and Iranian leaders. Did they discuss the Iranian nuclear issue?
A: This morning, President Hu Jintao held talks with Iranian President Ahmadinejad and relevant information has been released for your reference.