Saturday, 12 February 2011

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu's Regular Press Conference on February 10, 2011

via CAAI

On the afternoon of February 10, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu held a regular press conference.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Happy Spring Festival! Welcome to the first press conference in the Chinese New Year. We have the first snow this winter today in Beijing. A timely snow promises an auspicious year. Wish you good luck in the coming year!

This year is the Year of Rabbit, a friendly, peaceful, speedy and smart animal. I sincerely hope you will report on China faster and better in the coming year. My colleagues and I will spare no efforts to provide you assistance and convenience.

Q: Cambodia and Thailand engaged in armed conflicts in their border area lately. What role has China played in easing the tension? It is learned that the Security Council will hold a meeting on 14th to discuss the border situation between Cambodia and Thailand. Cambodia hopes the UN will send troops to the border area. What is your attitude on the involvement of the Security Council and the UN sending peace-keeping troops to the border area?

A: Both Cambodia and Thailand are friendly neighbors of China. Since the start of the conflicts, China has stayed in close contact with both sides and pushed for settlement of the dispute through consultation between them. China calls on both sides to keep calm and exercise restraint so as to avoid further escalation of the situation.

On your second question, we have taken note of the reports and will stay in communication with all relevant parties.

Q: How do you comment on the latest developments in Egypt? The Chinese Government has sent several planes to take back Chinese nationals in Egypt since demonstrations broke out. Can you update us on it?

A: China has been following the developments in the Egyptian situation. Egypt is a major Arabic and African country and the stability of Egypt concerns the peace and stability of the whole region.

China understands and supports Egypt's efforts to maintain social stability and restore normal order, and holds that the affairs of Egypt should be decided by itself independently without intervention from the outside. China believes Egypt has the wisdom and capability to find proper solutions so as to get through the current tough time.

China cherishes the traditional friendship and strategic cooperation with Egypt, and believes that the friendly relations between the two countries will continue to develop in a sound and steady manner.

The Chinese Government has attached great importance to safety of Chinese nationals in Egypt since demonstrations broke out in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. The Foreign Ministry and the Embassy in Egypt took various emergency measures immediately to provide consular protection and assistance for Chinese nationals. From January 31 to February 3, the Chinese Government sent eight planes to take back over 1800 Chinese nationals in total, including about 360 from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. At present, Chinese tourists and delegations in Egypt have been basically taken back.

We will continue to closely follow the developments in the Egyptian situation and coordinate with relevant departments to protect safety of Chinese institutions and nationals in Egypt.

Q: The DPRK and the ROK held a preparatory meeting ahead of high-level military talks from 8th to 9th and failed to reach an agreement on relevant matters. How do you comment?

A: China always supports reconciliation and cooperation between the DPRK and the ROK. We hope the two sides will keep the momentum of dialogue and contact, meet each other halfway and work together to play a constructive role in improving relations with each other and safeguarding peace and stability on the Peninsula.

Q: It is reported that Brazil and India accused China of its exchange rate policy. How do you comment? And could you comment on China’s relations with Southern Sudan following the Referendum?

A: It is China’s set policy to establish a managed floating exchange rate regime, which is in our long-term and fundamental interests. We will continue to proceed with reform of the RMB exchange rate regime under the principle of independent decision-making. A great many facts have proved that the RMB exchange rate is not the main cause that leads to the trade imbalance between China and the US, nor will the appreciation of the RMB solve the trade deficit issue between the two. We have never intentionally sought a trade surplus, nor has the Chinese Government ever benefited from international trade through so-called exchange rate manipulation. We hope relevant individuals will treat the issue objectively and rationally.

The Southern Sudan Referendum was held smoothly and its results announced officially days ago. China respects the will and choice of the Sudanese people, supports the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and would like to develop friendly relations and cooperation with Southern Sudan on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence.

Q: Wi Sung-lac, Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs of the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Head of Delegation to the Six-Party Talks arrived in Beijing today. The ROK Government hoped to bring the DPRK uranium enrichment issue to the UN Security Council. How do you comment?

A: Wi Sung-lac, Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs of the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Head of Delegation to the Six-Party Talks visits China today and tomorrow. As far as I know, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun and Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs of the Chinese Government Wu Dawei will meet with him respectively. The two sides will exchange views on the situation on the Peninsula and other issues of common interest.

It is China’s consistent and staunch position to realize denuclearization on the Peninsula through dialogue and consultation and safeguard peace and stability in Northeast Asia. We hope the parties will work together to create conditions for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks, seek to properly address respective concerns through dialogue and consultation and comprehensively implement the various goals set in the September 19 Joint Statement.

Q: You talked about Wi Sung-lac’s visit to China just now and Japan’s newly-appointed Head of Delegation to the Six-Party Talks visited China as well on January 30. With such intensive interactions among the parties, does it mean the Six-Party Talks will resume in the near future?

A: It is a shared aspiration of us all. China will work with other parties toward that goal.

Q: It is reported that the US FBI is investigating attacks carried out by Chinese hackers against major western energy companies. Do you know about it and how do you comment? Second, the US Treasury Department didn’t list China as a currency manipulator in its biannual report on exchange rate policies, but urged the RMB’s speedy appreciation. What is your comment?

A: On your first question, I don’t know about relevant information.

On your second question, I already answered in principle just now. China establishes a managed floating exchange rate regime based on market demand and supply with reference to a basket of currencies. The Chinese Government will continue to proceed with reform of the RMB exchange rate regime.

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