Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 21, 2011

On the afternoon of September 21, 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, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Premier Choe Yong Rim, Member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee will pay an official goodwill visit to China from September 26 to 30.

Hong Lei also referred to the fourth Euro-Asia Economic Forum to be held in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province from September 22 to 24. Li Changchun, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee will attend and address the opening ceremony of the Forum. With the theme of "innovating Eurasian cooperation, sharing opportunities in transition", the Forum is an open platform of economic dialogue led by relevant countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and oriented toward the vast Eurasia area. China hopes that all parties will have an in-depth exchange of views on regional economic cooperation during the Forum with a view to promoting common development and prosperity.

Q: It was reported that Former Afghan President Rabbani was assassinated at home. What is China's comment? How do you look at the current situation in Afghanistan?

A: Shocked at the death of Mr. Rabbani, China condemns the attack. Mr. Rabbani has made positive contribution to the reconciliation process in Afghanistan since he took office as the Chairman of Afghanistan's High Peace Council. China expresses condolences over Mr. Rabbani's death and solicitude to the bereaved. We sincerely hope that Afghanistan can realize peace, stability, national reconciliation and development at an early date.

Q: The DPRK and the ROK top nuclear negotiators met in Beijing recently. Has the Chinese side met with them? What kind of expectation does China have for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks?

A: China supports the contact and dialogue between the South and the North, and hopes that relevant dialogue will produce positive outcomes so as to create conditions for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

Q: World Bank chief economist for Latin American affairs was recently quoted as saying that China attaches more weight to importing raw materials from than investing directly in Latin America. How does China respond?

A: China sticks to developing economic relations and trade with Latin America on the basis of mutual benefit and common development. Recent years have witnessed both sides give play to respective advantages, tap cooperation potentials, bring forth new cooperation modes and realize rapid growth of economic cooperation and trade, which has vigorously promoted their respective economic growth.

Both the World Bank and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean are of the view that the rapid growth of China-Latin America trade plays a positive role in Latin American countries' fight against the international financial crisis to sustain the momentum of economic growth. Trade and investment are two tracks that run side by side in China-Latin America economic relations and trade. China's non-financial direct investment in Latin America topped US$ 11 billion in 2010, with the fields of investment expanding from energy and mining industries to manufacturing, infrastructure and agriculture, pushing forward local economic and social development.

Q: It is reported that the US will sell much more advanced fighter jets to Taiwan in the future. What is China's comment?

A: China has reiterated time and again its relevant position on opposing US arms sales to Taiwan, about which the US side should be clear.

Q: Under the current circumstances, is it possible for the Six-Party Talks to resume soon?

A: All relevant parties, including the South and the North of the Korean Peninsula have been actively engaged in contact and dialogue recently. Thanks to the concerted efforts of all parties, the situation on the Peninsula is easing, which is worth cherishing. We hope all parties meet each other halfway and create conditions for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks. Bilateral dialogue and multilateral talks can complement and reinforce each other.

Q: It is reported that China has provided US$ one billion worth of preferential loans to Belarus. Please brief us on that. Does China require any payback or attach strings to the loans?

A: China and Belarus conduct mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields on an equal footing. China supports and assists within its capacity Belarus' endeavour to promote economic and social development and improve people's well-being.

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