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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on February 21, 2012

Q: The Eurozone Finance Ministers' Meeting approved the second round of bailout plan for Greece. Does China welcome it? Will China continue to buy eurozone bonds?

A: We have noted relevant reports. China supports the EU's efforts against the debt crisis. We have faith in the stability of the European economy and euro and believe that the EU has the capability, wisdom and means to walk out of the crisis through promoting relevant reforms and adjustments and push forward its economic development. China will continue to support the EU and the IMF's efforts to solve the debt issue in its own way.

Q: It is reported that anti-government armed forces in the Darfur region of Sudan recently abducted 52 peacekeepers of the joint UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and later released 49 of them. What is China's comment?

A:We condemn the violence against UN peacekeepers. China will continue to support the implementation of the mandate of Security Council Resolution 2003 by the joint mission. We uphold the "dual track" strategy of paying equal attention to peacekeeping deployment and political process in order to attain peace, stability and development of the Darfur region at an early date.

Q: Today marks the 40th anniversary of former US president Nixon's visit to China. What is China's comment? What are the challenges facing the current China-US relations?

A: This year marks the 40th anniversary of US president Nixon's visit to China and the publication of the Shanghai Communique. Over the past four decades, China-US relations have forged ahead and made historic achievements despite twists and turns, bringing great benefits to both countries and both peoples. The sound and steady development of China-US relations is vital to the interests of our two countries, and is also crucial to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole. It is the only right choice for the two sides to remove all obstacles and always be friends and partners to each other. Vice President Xi Jinping has just concluded his successful visit to the US. China looks forward to working together with the US in enhancing trust, building consensus, expanding cooperation and managing disputes to further implement the important consensus reached between President Hu Jintao and President Obama, push forward China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit and always keep China-US relations on the track of positive and sound development.

Q: It is reported that DPRK First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan has arrived in Beijing. Will Special Representative Wu Dawei of the Chinese Government on the Korean Peninsular Affairs meet with him? Will the Chinese side urge the DPRK to use this opportunity to return to the Six-Party Talks?

A: China welcomes the third high-level DPRK-US dialogue in Beijing. We hope that relevant dialogue will attain positive results and create conditions for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. We are ready to continue our intensified communication and coordination with relevant parties in order to play a constructive role in boosting the Six-Party Talks process and maintaining peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.

As for the meeting between First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan and the Chinese side, we will release information in due course.

Q: Officials of the Arab League reportedly remarked that there were signs that China might change its position on the Syrian issue. What is China's comment?

A: China's position on the Syrian issue is consistent and clear. We have followed closely the developments of the situation in Syria, and are deeply worried about the escalating crisis in the country which has caused civilian casualties and affected peace and stability in the Middle East region. We urge the government and all parties concerned in Syria to immediately and fully end all acts of violence, launch inclusive political dialogue with no preconditions attached and jointly discuss a comprehensive political reform plan and mechanism. We believe the international community should fully respect Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity as well as the independent choice of the Syrian people. We do not approve of armed intervention or forcing a so-called "regime change" in Syria. We support Arab countries' positions of immediate end to violence, concrete protection of civilians, provision of humanitarian assistance to Syria and prevention of external military intervention, etc. We hope the Syrian issue will be resolved within the framework of the League of Arab States through political dialogue.

China is willing to maintain communication with the government and various political factions of Syria, as well as the Arab countries and the League of Arab States. China will work together with the international community to play a constructive role in appropriately resolving the issue of Syria.

Q: It is reported that Russia is still selling weapons to Syria. What is China's comment?

A: I am not aware of the situation you mentioned. We hope the international community will play a constructive role in solving the Syrian issue.

Q: Joachim Gauck has been nominated as Germany's next president. What is China's comment?

A: This is an internal affair of Germany. China is ready to work with Germany to continue to push for the sound and steady development of China-Germany relations.

Q: Will China accept the invitation to attend the "Friends of Syria" Meeting in Tunisia?

A: China has received the invitation to the meeting. China welcomes all efforts conducive to the peaceful and proper settlement of the Syrian crisis. We are willing to work with other parties to play a constructive role in the peaceful resolution of the crisis. China still needs to look into the role and mechanism of the meeting.

Q: It is reported that an IAEA delegation is on a visit to Iran for talks over the Iranian nuclear issue. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports. China welcomes that and hopes that the two sides will keep the good atmosphere for dialogue and cooperation and make progress on clarifying the outstanding issues of Iran's nuclear program as soon as possible. We believe this will be conducive to the comprehensive, long-term and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.

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