Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin's Regular Press Conference on October 12, 2011

Q: In the wake of the attack against Chinese cargo ships, Some Chinese vessels and crewmen have reportedly been stranded in Chiang Saen Port, Thailand. What has China been doing to help?

A: The Chinese Embassy in Thailand, Consulate-General in Chiang Mai and the task force of Yunnan Province have stayed in close communication and cooperation with relevant departments of Thailand. Investigation of the incident and the search for the missing crewman are still going on.

The Foreign Ministry and the government of Yunnan Province are coordinating with the governments of Thailand, Myanmar and the Laos to guarantee the safety of homebound Chinese vessels and crewmen and provide convenience to the Chinese police patrol ship for escort.

Q: What is China's comment on the agreement on the basic principles guiding the resolution of maritime issues signed between China and Vietnam yesterday?

A: The agreement on the basic principles guiding the resolution of maritime issues signed between China and Vietnam is a positive step in the course of bilateral negotiation on maritime issues, giving full expression to the two countries' common political will of appropriately handling and addressing maritime issues as well as their capacity and determination in resolving their maritime disputes through bilateral friendly consultation and negotiation. The agreement will serve as an important guidance for the two countries to deal with maritime issues. China stands ready to earnestly implement the agreement together with Vietnam.

Q: The US Senate passed the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011 on October 11, local time. What is China's comment?

A: Chinese Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Commerce as well as the People's Bank of China reiterated China's solemn position on the US Senate's RMB exchange rate-related bill this morning. I want to stress that the bill severely violates the WTO rules and impairs bilateral economic cooperation. It can not serve the purpose of addressing the economic and employment problems of the US, but will obstruct the joint endeavour of China and the US to promote strong global economic recovery and growth. To put it simply, it will not only hurt the interests of others but also the US and bring no good but harm. China firmly opposes it.

We urge relevant US lawmakers to bear in mind the larger interests of the global economy and China-US economic cooperation and trade as well as the interests of the US itself, stop pressuring China by means of domestic legislation, discard protectionism, refrain from politicizing economic and trade issues and take concrete actions to create an enabling environment for the development of bilateral business ties.

Q: It is reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda may visit China soon. Please confirm.

A: China welcomes Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's visit to China this year at his convenience. Premier Wen Jiabao has already invited Prime Minister Noda. The two sides are communicating with each other through diplomatic channels on this issue. We will release further information in a timely fashion.

Q: China and Russia made some headway on pipeline crude oil pricing during the regular meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers yesterday. Please brief us on that.

A: Prime Minister Putin will wrap up his visit to China this afternoon. This morning, President Hu Jintao and Chairman Wu Bangguo met with him respectively. Premier Wen Jiabao co-hosted the 16th Regular Meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers with him yesterday.

China highly commends Prime Minister Putin's visit and believes it is a fruitful one. The two sides signed a series of contracts and agreements on economic cooperation and trade, and more importantly, they had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as the international and regional situation. They also mapped out cooperation in the next stage, particularly in the fields of trade and culture. Both sides are committed to further developing China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination featuring equality, mutual trust, mutual support, common prosperity and enduring friendship and engaging in greater and broader cooperation and coordination in bilateral, regional and international dimensions so as to advance bilateral relations and promote global peace, stability and prosperity.

Russia is endowed with abundant energy resources. China-Russia cooperation boasts good potentials. The two sides reached an agreement on pipeline crude oil pricing during the regular meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers. They will continue to expand energy cooperation based on the principle of mutual benefit.

Q: Prime Minister Putin said that bilateral negotiation on natural gas was about to conclude. Have the two sides fixed the timetable of final negotiation?

A: The two sides had a further in-depth exchange of views on natural gas cooperation during the 16th Regular Meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers and decided to instruct enterprises on both sides to promote bilateral cooperation through active negotiation based on the principle of fairness, friendly consultation, mutual understanding and mutual accommodation.

Q: Myanmar released a number of political prisoners today. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant report. This is Myanmar's internal affair, and we always uphold the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs.

Q: It is reported that Myanmar's Vice President will soon visit China and meet with Chinese leaders. Please brief us on that. What is China's comment on the remarks that Myanmar may enhance its relations with the US?

A: We welcome the attendance of leaders of ASEAN countries in the upcoming China-ASEAN Expo to be held in Nanning. Preparations for the Expo are still underway. We will release relevant information in due course.

I answered the question concerning US-Myanmar relations yesterday. We would like to see the development of normal relations between the US and Myanmar and hope for improvement of their relations.

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