Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on December 21, 2015

Q: The US Senate on December 18 ratified IMF's 2010 reform plan on quotas and governance structure as part of a budget bill. What is China's comment on that?

A: The Chinese side welcomes the passing of the relevant bill. It means that the 2010 reform package will finally be put into practice after years of delay. Mirroring changes in the international economic architecture, the reform plan will give more representation and voice to emerging markets and developing countries in the IMF and reinforce the legitimacy and effectiveness of the IMF. The Chinese side will work in concert with all parties in support of the continuous improvement of IMF quotas and governance structure, so as to ensure that it will play a positive role in the international financial and monetary system.

Q: Do you think that Spain's parliamentary election held yesterday will have an impact on stability of Spain and the EU?

A: We have noted the relevant situation about Spain's parliamentary election. China and Spain are friendly countries that have been enjoying close high-level interaction, dynamic economic cooperation and trade as well as thriving people-to-people and cultural exchanges in recent years. We hope to maintain sound relations with Spain, push forward practical cooperation across the board, enhance coordination in international and regional affairs and advance China-Spain comprehensive strategic partnership. Spain is a major country in Europe, with whom we will work side by side to promote China-EU relations.

Q: The South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal established at the request of the Philippines made public the transcript of its hearing on issues related to merits. What is China's comment on that?

A: The Chinese side will neither accept nor participate in the South China Sea arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines. This longstanding position is fully supported by international law and subject to no change.

In the hearing, the Philippine side attempted to negate China's sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and deny the validity of the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation in disregard of historical facts, international law and international justice. It testifies to the fact that the South China Sea dispute between China and the Philippines is in essence a territorial dispute over which the arbitral tribunal has no jurisdiction. It also shows that the so-called arbitration is a political provocation under the cloak of law aiming at negating China's sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea instead of resolving the dispute.

It is the Chinese people rather than any other individuals or institutions that master China's territorial sovereignty. When it comes to issues concerning territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation, China will not accept any dispute settlement approach that resorts to a third party. The Chinese side urges the Philippine side to cast aside illusions, change its course and come back to the right track of resolving disputes through negotiations and consultations.

Q: Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the other day that the Chinese government would invite the Syrian government and opposition forces to China for talks. Do you have any details to offer?

A: Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the third foreign ministers' meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in New York that the Chinese side would invite representatives of the Syrian government and relevant opposition forces to China as part of China's constructive efforts to promote peace talks and the political settlement of the Syrian issue. We will release relevant information in due course.

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