Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin's Regular Press Conference on October 13, 2011

Q: Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao summoned the diplomatic envoys of Thailand, the Laos and Myanmar to China this morning to lodge representations on the incident of Chinese crewmen being attacked on the Mekong River. Please brief us on that.

A: Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao summoned Thai Charge d'Affaires ad interim Warawudh Chuwiruch, Lao Ambassador Somdy Bounkhoum and Myanmar Ambassador U Tin Oo this morning to lodge urgent representations on the incident of Chinese crewmen being killed in the attack against cargo ships on the Mekong River.

Song Tao stated that greatly shocked at the incident, the Chinese Government felt deep grief for the death of Chinese nationals and strongly condemned the atrocity. The Chinese Government values the life of each Chinese national and will investigate the incident thoroughly to bring the perpetrators to justice.

China urges the three countries to provide active assistance in the following areas:

First, step up investigation to find out the truth as soon as possible and inform China in a timely fashion, hunt down and punish the culprits in accordance with law. Second, provide assistance and protection for Chinese vessels and crew stranded in Chiang Saen Port, Thailand on their way home so as to ensure their safety, facilitate and assist the Chinese patrol ship's escort. Third, take effective measures to enhance protection of Chinese vessels and crewmen plying on the Mekong River so as to prevent recurrence of similar crimes. China will discuss with other related parties ways of enhancing the safety of the Mekong waterway and expects active support and coordination to jointly safeguard the safety of this important international waterway.

The envoys of the three countries expressed deep condolences over the killing of Chinese crew members. They said that they attached great importance to the representations of the Chinese side and would immediately report to their governments. They expressed their willingness to fully coordinate with China in investigation and go all out to assist China in appropriately dealing with the aftermath.

Q: What is China's expectation of the upcoming G20 Cannes Summit?

A: China has been in close contact with all parties on the G20 Cannes Summit. Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai has recently communicated with coordinators of relevant member states. We believe that the G20 Summit plays an important role in pooling the international community's efforts to tackle the financial crisis and promote global economic recovery. The G20 Cannes Summit to be held in November is a significant conference. China endorses the core agenda of the Summit and appreciates the effective preparations done by the French side for the Summit. China will continue to support and take part in all aspects of the Summit and work with other member states to make the Summit a success.

Against the backdrop of a gloomy global economic recovery, this Summit is of particular significance. We hope that all countries will show the spirit of cooperation so as to jointly meet major challenges in global economy and finance.

Q: The handover ceremony of Chinese food aid to Somalia was held yesterday in its capital city of Mogadishu. Please brief us on China's assistance to the Horn of Africa up till now.

A: The Horn of Africa is now plagued by widespread famine which was triggered by severe drought, drawing high attention from the international community. China has announced in total RMB 443.2 million worth of emergency assistance in both food and cash to the disaster-hit countries. China is now stepping up efforts to deliver the pledges. Following the first batch of Chinese food aid to Kenya at the end of September, bilateral food aid provided by China has arrived in the affected countries one after another. The food purchased by China for Somalia through the World Food Program has also been delivered and distributed to the local people.

The emergency food aid provided by China to the Horn of Africa has won warm welcome from the local governments and people. China will continue to follow closely the developments of the disaster and provide more help to the disaster-hit countries as its capacity allows. At the ministerial donor conference on the Horn of Africa famine held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this year, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi reiterated that China would positively consider providing medical equipment, medicine and other assistance to the affected countries based on their needs. We believe that with the help of the international community, those countries and their peoples are sure to tide over difficulties.

Q: Recently, the US accused Iran of plotting the assassination of Saudi Ambassador to the US which ratcheted up tensions in the region. This issue may be submitted to the UN Security Council, and the US may impose more sanctions on Iran. What is China's comment? Separately, the opposition party in Syria expressed dissatisfaction over Russia and China's vetos on the recent UN draft resolution on Syria. What is China's comment?

A: On your first question, we have noted relevant report and the positions of all parties. We will keep following the developments.

On your second question, China believes that the draft resolution submitted by relevant countries to the Security Council is not conducive to easing the situation in Syria, as it wilfully pressures and threatens to impose sanctions on Syria. We hope that while upholding the spirit of the UN Charter and the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, relevant actions of the Security Council will serve to ease tensions in Syria, facilitate political dialogue so as to dissolve disputes and maintain regional peace and stability. We hope that in the next stage, the Syrian Government will materialize its reform commitment as soon as possible and all parties concerned in Syria will launch swiftly the inclusive political process in a bid to resolve differences through dialogue and consultation.

Q: Please brief us on the talks between US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and the Chinese side. Separately, an Indian Defence Ministry official claimed to have found Chinese troops in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir region, but the Pakistani side denied. What is China's comment?

A: On your first question, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Grossman and his German counterpart Steiner visited China from October 9 to 10. Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun met with them and Director-General Luo Zhaohui of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry held talks with them. They had an in-depth exchange of views on the Afghanistan issue as well as the regional landscape.

China believes that the situation in Afghanistan bears on international and regional peace and stability as well as the international counter-terrorism campaign. Nowadays, although Afghanistan has made some positive progress in political reconciliation and economic reconstruction, it still faces some difficulties and challenges. An Afghanistan of peace, stability and development will not be possible without the concerted efforts of Afghanistan and the international community.

On your second question, China has expounded time and again its position on the Kashmir issue. It is an issue left over from history between India and Pakistan. As the neighbour and friend of both India and Pakistan, China always maintains that the Kashmir issue should be appropriately resolved through bilateral dialogue and negotiation.

It is groundless and ridiculous to say that Chinese troops are in Pakistan-administered Kashmir for construction.

Q: President of the European Commission Barroso recently outlined a "roadmap" to help solve the European debt crisis. How does China look at the current debt crisis in Europe?

A: As the comprehensive strategic partner and a major trading partner of the EU, China follows closely the European economic situation as well as the developments of the European debt crisis. China has offered sincere support and help to the EU and relevant countries. China has confidence in the European economy, supports the efforts and actions of the European countries to tackle the global financial crisis and enhance economic governance and believes that Europe has the capacity and wisdom to overcome difficulties and emerge from the crisis. China has adopted a series of measures to help the EU and relevant European countries in their struggle against the financial and debt crisis, including the expansion of cooperation in trade, investment, finance and other areas with Europe. We will keep on cooperating with Europe to address the current European debt crisis and other challenges of the global economy. Under the current international economic circumstances, all parties should cooperate and coordinate with each other. China also hopes the European side takes practical measures to ensure the safety of Chinese investment in Europe and provides more convenience for Chinese enterprises to invest in Europe.

Q: The 14th China-EU Summit is just around the corner. What is China's expectation?

A: About the China-EU Summit you mentioned, it is still under preparation. A Chinese Vice Foreign Minister who's in charge of the event has recently visited Europe to hold consultations with the European side. Both sides decided to make the Summit a success through concerted efforts and send to the outside world a positive signal that both China and Europe wish to further advance China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership and enhance cooperation to jointly meet challenges under the current international circumstances. We hope that with the joint efforts of both sides, the Summit will improve China-EU mutual trust, promote all-round cooperation in bilateral and multilateral affairs and send a positive signal to the outside world that China and Europe will meet challenges together. This not only serves the common interests of both sides, but is also conducive to promoting global economic recovery and boosting the confidence of the international community.

Q: The advisor to the President of Myanmar was recently quoted as saying that China and Myanmar had arrived at an agreement on the Myitsone power station project and Myanmar would pay compensation to the Chinese side. Will this project be restarted or permanently shelved? How much compensation will China seek from Myanmar?

A: Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin, Special Envoy of the President of Myanmar paid a visit to China recently. Vice President Xi Jinping met with him and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held talks with him. The Myanmese side indicated that it cherished its friendship with China, attached great importance to China's concerns and was willing to intensify mutually beneficial cooperation with China to enhance China-Myanmar relations. The two sides had in-depth communication on the Myitsone power station project and agreed to appropriately handle relevant issues based on the spirit of friendly consultation. At present, relevant departments and enterprises on both sides are in contact and consultation in such a spirit with a view to finding a proper solution.

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