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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on March 22, 2011
2011/03/23

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on March 22, 2011

On the afternoon of March 22, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference.

Jiang Yu started the press conference with an announcement:

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Kim Sung-Hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea will pay an official visit to China from March 28 to 30.

Q: The World Health Organization has issued a warning about food contamination caused by radioactive leaks in Japan. Is China concerned about this?

A: China pays close attention to Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident. The National Nuclear Emergency Coordination Committee immediately launched a coordination mechanism to arrange sustained surveillance over the radioactive levels of China's land and ocean environment without detecting abnormalities so far. The National Nuclear Emergency Office will keep the public informed about the impact of the accident on China's environment and public health.

Given the severity and uncertainty of the Fukushima nuclear accident, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has required its local agencies to strengthen port surveillance and test Japanese food imports for radiation exposure to ensure food safety.

The impact of the Fukushima accident is a global one. We hope the Japanese side will release information in a timely, comprehensive and precise manner, which is of vital importance for other countries to appraise the situation.

Q: It's reported that the multinational military actions against Libya have caused civilian casualties, drawing extensive international concern. What is China's view? Separately, further civilian casualties occurred yesterday in the Gaza Strip as Israel bombarded the area. How do you comment? Also, could you brief us about Ambassador Wu Sike's visit to the Middle East?

A: China has noted and expresses deep concern over the report of civilian casualties caused by the military actions taken by relevant countries against Libya. Relevant Security Council Resolution was meant to protect civilian safety in Libya. We oppose the abuse of force that can cause more civilian casualties and a bigger humanitarian crisis. It's reported that Libya has required its armed forces to stop military actions. We once again call for an immediate ceasefire and a peaceful settlement of the issue. China supports the continued diplomatic efforts of the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy to Libya, the African Union and the Arab League for peaceful settlement of the current crisis in Libya.

On your second question, China condemns any violent actions targeted at civilians. We firmly opposes Israel building Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territory including the West Bank, which will not help break the deadlock in the peace talks and build up political mutual trust between the two sides. China hopes the Israeli side could take concrete measures to create conditions for resumption of the peace talks.

Special Envoy Wu Sike for the Middle East issue will visit Israel, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and Qatar from March 23 to April 2 to exchange views with relevant parties on the Middle East peace process and the current regional situation.

China has noted that the Middle East region is undergoing profound and complicated changes, but that is no reason for the international community to ignore other hotspot issues, particularly the Palestinian issue, which remains at the core of the Middle East issue. China will work with the international community and play a constructive role for the early realization of comprehensive, impartial and enduring peace in the Middle East.

Q: It's said that French President Sarkozy will attend a high-level seminar on financial issues to be held in China by the end of this month. Will the seminar be held as scheduled? Could you share more details?

A: The international monetary reform seminar will be held in Nanjing on March 31. This will be an unofficial and academic seminar held by the French side with logistics provided by the China Center for International Economic Exchanges. The seminar will mainly focus on the reform of the international monetary system. As for specifics of the arrangement, please refer to the French side.

So far as I know, President Sarkozy will be present at the seminar. The Chinese leaders will meet with him. Relevant information will be released in due course.

Q: Four BRICS countries abstained from voting on the Security Council Resolution 1973. Did the four have any consultation beforehand? What is your expectation of the BRICS Leaders Meeting to be held in Hainan?

A: All the Libya-related resolutions adopted by the Security Council are based on sufficient consultation and discussion among member states.

China believes relevant countries should abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and norms of international law, respect the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Libya. We maintain the current crisis should be resolved through dialogue and other peaceful means. The future of Libya should be decided by the Libyan people themselves.

The BRICS Leaders Meeting will be held in Hainan Province next month. Participating countries will strengthen consultation and jointly strive for positive results at the meeting on the basis of democracy and transparency. China expects the meeting to: first, strengthen communication and coordination and enhance the political mutual trust among member states; second, exchange views on economic and financial issues of common interest and give play to the active role of emerging markets as an integrate whole in contributing to world economic recovery; third, pay attention to global development issues, help achieve the Millennium Development Goals and promote sustainable development; forth, expand cooperation among BRICS countries and consolidate the basis for cooperation.

Q: Some countries including China oppose air raids against Libya. As a permanent member of the Security Council, China had a chance to block Resolution 1973. Why didn't China veto the resolution?

A: China has fully illuminated its position on the Security Council's adoption of Resolution 1973. We always oppose the use of force in international relations and have serious reservation about certain parts of the resolution. But in consideration of the concerns and stances of Arab countries and the African Union as well as the special circumstances in Libya, China and relevant countries abstained from the voting.

Q: Did you mean that China abstained rather than vetoed the resolution last week based on the consultation and reality? And what further actions will the Security Council take?

A: As the rotating President of the Security Council, China has been fulfilling its obligations in a just and transparent manner. China has fully expounded on its voting position regarding Resolution 1973.

At present, the Security Council is still having consultation about Libya's request for an emergency meeting according to rules of procedure and usual practice. As for what actions will be ultimately taken, that will be jointly decided by Security Council member states.

Q: The Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 to avert a humanitarian disaster. Is China of the view that the bombardment in Libya has caused a bigger humanitarian disaster?

A: The initial purpose of relevant UNSC resolution is to guarantee the safety of civilians in Libya. We have noted the reports about civilian casualties caused by military strikes against Libya by some countries, and we are highly concerned. We oppose the abuse of force which leads to heavier civilian casualties and a bigger humanitarian disaster.

Q: The State Council convened a meeting after the nuclear leakage accident in Japan, announcing the suspension of examination and approval of new nuclear power projects. Are there any new developments in this regard? Will China adopt further countermeasures?

A: China has a well-established nuclear accident contingency plan at both national and local levels. We will adopt relevant measures in accordance with the developments of the situation. As for China's medium and long-term nuclear power development plan, please refer to the information released by competent authorities recently.

Q: What is China's comment on Saudi Arabia's recent deployment of troops in Bahrain? Does it violate China's principled position against the use or threat of force?

A: It is the consistent position of the Chinese Government to oppose the use or threat of force in international relations.

On the situation in Bahrain, It is learned that the Gulf Cooperation Council sent troops to Bahrain at the request of the Bahraini Government. We hope that all parties concerned in Bahrain will launch a national dialogue as soon as possible so as to address differences and restore national stability through dialogue or other peaceful means.

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