Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin's Regular Press Conference on April 12, 2012

On April 12, 2012, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin held a press conference.

Q: It is reported that the BRICS countries are discussing their support to Nigerian Finance Minister as candidate for the World Bank President. Please confirm and brief us on China's position.

A: China supports the election of the World Bank President to be carried out based on the principle of openness, transparency and meritocracy and has stayed in communication with all parties concerned. China hopes that the next World Bank President will continue to push forward the reform of the World Bank governance structure, enhance the voice and representation of developing countries in the World Bank and make even greater achievement in global poverty reduction and development.

Q: It is reported that China sent a third ship to waters off the Huangyan Island. Please confirm. If so, is the ship sent a warship or a maritime surveillance ship?

A: Competent Chinese authorities have sent public service ships rather than warships to waters off the Island with the aim of protecting the safety of Chinese fishermen and fishing boats and their legitimate fishing activities. We have made solemn representations with the Philippines and demanded its warships to leave the area immediately and avoid complication and magnification of the situation. Currently, China and the Philippines have maintained communication through diplomatic channels.

Q: Recently, Sudan and South Sudan have had several armed clashes in the border areas. How does China comment?

A: The armed conflicts between Sudan and South Sudan in the border areas have attracted world-wide attention. China is deeply worried about that. Sudan and South Sudan are neighbors to each other and should live with each other peacefully. The current tension has not only exerted grave impact on the social stability and economic development of the two countries, but also threatened regional peace and security. We call on the two countries to bear in mind the long-term and larger interests, exercise maximum calmness and restraint, halt conflicts at once, carry out military disengagement and properly solve their disputes through negotiation, which is in the fundamental interests of the two sides. China will work with other parties in the international community to make efforts toward this end. We also hope the two countries will honor their commitments and take concrete actions to protect the personnel and property safety of Chinese enterprises.

Q: The Chinese Foreign Ministry released a statement on the ceasefire of Syria. Has China communicated with the Syrian Government and relevant Arab countries on the ceasefire? What measures will you take? Second, the Icelandic Government announced today that Premier Wen Jiabao will visit the country soon. Please confirm and brief us on the itinerary.

A: On the Syrian issue, China welcomes the decision of the Syrian Government, which is conducive to relaxing tensions and is an important step toward resolving the Syrian issue politically. It also marks major progress in the UN-AL Special Envoy Annan's mediation efforts. We hope all parties of Syria will earnestly honor their pledges and implement the six-point proposal of Annan.

China has been committed to easing tensions in Syria and promoting the political settlement process. China's efforts have paid off. We have stayed in contact and communication with Special Envoy Annan and given full support to his mediation efforts. We have also maintained contact with the Syrian Government and opposition and actively promoted peace talks. Yesterday, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi wrote a letter to Syrian Foreign Minister over the Syrian situation. Officials of relevant departments of the Foreign Ministry also met with Syrian Ambassador to China. China has also maintained close communication and consultation with relevant countries in West Asia and North Africa, the Arab League, Russia, the US and European countries. China is ready to work with other parties to continue to support the mediation efforts of Special Envoy Annan and play a constructive role for the fair, peaceful and proper resolution of the Syrian issue at an early date.

On your second question, China will release information soon.

Q: Today is the first day of the window period of the satellite launch announced by the DPRK. Japan and some other countries have announced a state of full alert. Does China have any measures in response? Has China stayed in communication with the DPRK on the launch date. Will China send a delegation to observe the launch?

A: China's position remains unchanged over the satellite launch of the DPRK. The key is focusing on the larger interests, exercising calmness and restraint and jointly maintaining peace and stability of the region. China has maintained close communication and coordination with relevant parties. I have not heard that experts are going to the DPRK to observe the launch.

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