Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on April 19, 2011

On the afternoon of April 19, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a regular press conference.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council, Prime Minister Julia Gillard of the Commonwealth of Australia will pay an official visit to China from April 25 to 28.

At present, China-Australia relations maintain sound momentum of growth, with frequent high-level exchange of visits and strengthening political mutual trust. Chairman Jia Qinglin of the CPPCC has recently wrapped up his successful visit to Australia and reached broad concensus with Australian leaders on deepening bilateral relations, thus injecting new impetus to the development of China-Australia relations. With bilateral trade and economic relations forging ahead at a fast pace, China has become the No. 1 trading partner, source of import and export market of Australia. The two sides conduct fruitful cooperation of mutual benefit in a wide range of areas, including culture, education, science, technology and tourism and maintain close communication and coordination on major international and regional issues. We believe that this visit will help the two sides enhance dialogue, deepen cooperation and advance the bilateral relations along the path of sound and stable development for the benefit of the two peoples.

Q: China has reportedly accelerated the construction of dams on cross-border rivers, causing concerns among neighboring countries. It is deemed that China may use water resources as a political weapon to influence the downstream countries in the future. How does China respond?

A: China adopts a responsible attitude towards the development of cross-border rivers, fully bearing in mind the impact on the downstream areas and the legitimate rights and interest of the downstream countries. China pays high attention to the impact that this kind of development may exert on resources, environment and ecosystem, takes the initiative to accomodate the concerns of the downstream countries and maintains good communication with relevant countries. As a responsible upstream country, we will never do anything impairing the interest of the downstream countries. China will further strengthen communication and coordination with relevant parties through channels of dialogue and cooperation as well as on the basis of equal consultation, mutual benefit and reciprocity.

Q: What is China's comment on the economic reform measures adopted by the Communist Party Congress of Cuba recently?

A: On April 17, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China sent a telegraph of congratulations to the sixth Communist Party Congress of Cuba. As an important meeting convened when Cuba enters a critical period, the Congress will exert a significant and far-reaching influence on the sustainable development of the socialist cause of Cuba. China believes that under the leadership of the Cuban Communist Party, the Cubans will beat all odds on the path ahead and make new achievements in building socialism with Cuban characteristics.

We have noted that the Congress is deliberating the Draft Guidelines of Economic and Social Policy, which lays out adjustments to the economic and social development pattern of Cuba. We believe it is of great significance to the long-term economic and social development of Cuba.

Q: The intenational credit rating agency Standard & Poor's yesterday warned that it would downgrade the outlook on US government bonds. Since China holds a large amount of US government bonds, is China concerned about the safety of these bonds?

A: We have noted that Standard & Poor's has lowered its outlook on US government bonds from "stable" to "negative". US government debt is a reflection of the US government's credit as well as an important investment product for institutional investors in and outside the US. We hope the US government will earnestly adopt responsible policy measures to protect the interest of investors.

Q: US State Department Spokesperson was quoted as saying that the essential step for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks is dialogue and establishment of friendly relations between the DPRK and the ROK. How does China respond?

A: It is in the common interest of all parties to push for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks and implement the goals outlined in the September 19th Joint Statement within the framework of the Six-Party Talks so as to realize denuclearization and safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. As the situation on the Peninsula shows signs of easing, we hope all relevant parties seize the favorable opportunity to enhance contact and dialogue, in a bid to create conditions for the early resumption of the Talks. In order to achieve denuclearization on the Peninsula, talks should get started as soon as possible to build trust and find appropriate resolutions in the process of negotiations.

Q: A delegation of US senators including Senator Harry Reid is in China for a week-long visit. Which Chinese officials will meet with them and will the two sides touch upon economic and human rights issues?

A: At the invitation of Vice Chairman Lu Yongxiang of the Standing Committe of the NPC, US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is visiting China from April 16 to 25. The exchanges between the two legislative bodies are conducive to enhancing mutual understanding and promoting China-US relations. As for the details of Senator Harry Reid's visit, relevant information will be released in due course.

Q: Foreign automakers at the Shanghai Auto Show said that the Chinese side makes supporting its indigenous brands a precondition in the negotiations. Is that the so-called indigenous innovation policy?

A: I am not aware of the specifics you mentioned. What I want to point out is that China sticks to the policy of reform and opening up and firmly upholds the win-win strategy of opening up. We have created and will always create a favorable environment for foreign investors to invest and do business in China.

Q: Will Premier Wen Jiabao visit Malaysia next week?

A: We will release relevant information in due course.

Q: Whom will China send to attend the British royal wedding?

A: Chinese Ambassador to the UK will attend the wedding upon invitation.

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