Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on May 16, 2013.
Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prince Saud Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will visit China on May 17.
Q: In order to coordinate the international community's assistance to Mali, the EU, France and Mali took the joint initiative of holding a high-level Donor Conference for Development in Mali on May 15 in Brussels. What is China's comment on the conference? How will China support the peaceful development of Mali?
A: Political and security situation in Mali has somewhat improved. However, there are still many challenges to meet before a complete settlement of the Malian issue. China welcomes the high-level Donor Conference held by relevant parties and has sent senior officials of the Chinese Mission to the EU to attend and address the conference.
As a friend of Mali, China pays high attention to the situation in Mali and has been helping Mali with the restoration of peaceful development in various ways. The transitional government of Mali recently came up with the Sustainable Recovery Plan, to which China has taken the lead in offering support through bilateral means. China calls on the international community to fulfill its commitment of assistance in a concrete and timely manner and play a bigger role in promoting the cause of peaceful development in Mali.
Q: It is reported that Isao Iijima, special adviser to the Japanese Cabinet Secretariat recently visited the DPRK. What is China's comment?
A: We have noted relevant report. We hope that contact between relevant parties would be conducive to easing the tension on the Korean Peninsula and safeguarding peace and stability of Northeast Asia.
Q: The US government believes a Chinese rocket launch this week was a new test of anti-satellite missile. What is China's comment?
A: The Chinese Academy of Sciences recently conducted a scientific probe in high-altitude atmosphere and released relevant information. I want to stress that it is China's longstanding stance to make peaceful use of the outer space and oppose weaponization or arms race in the outer space.
Q: China's Ministry of Commerce warned today that the European Commission's agreement to anti-dumping and countervailing investigation against China's mobile telecom equipment as well as its possible imposition of provisional anti-dumping duties on solar panels made in China would exacerbate economic frictions between China and the EU. Is the Foreign Ministry worried that the strained China-EU economic ties may affect the development of the overall China-EU relations?
A: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce have expressed grave concern over relevant decisions made by the EU. We believe that China and the EU have enjoyed sound cooperation in both photovoltaic industry and wireless communication industry, which has promoted the economic development of both sides, strengthened bilateral business ties, enhanced EU's infrastructure construction in relevant fields and achieved mutually beneficial results.
We hope that the EU would faithfully fulfill its promise of not taking protectionist or restrictive measures, create favorable conditions for the stable and sound development of China-EU relations, China-EU economic ties included, and create an open and level playing field for Chinese companies in Europe.
Q: Please brief us on US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies' visit to China.
A: During Mr. Davies' visit to China, the two sides had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on the current situation of the Korean Peninsula and the Korean nuclear issue. Both sides agreed to make joint efforts for peace, stability and denuclearization of the Peninsula and play an active role in solving relevant issue through dialogue and consultation. The two sides agreed to stay in communication and coordination on relevant issue.
Q: Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto who also co-heads the Japan Restoration Party reportedly said that he would like to meet and apologize to two former ROK "comfort women", but refused to admit Japan's forced recruitment of "comfort women" in the Second World War. What is China's comment?
A: We have made clear our solemn position on this issue. Forced recruitment of "comfort women" is a heinous crime committed by the Japanese militarism during the Second World War. It is a major human rights issue concerning the dignity of the victims. We are shocked and outraged by Japanese politician's blatant challenge to the conscience of mankind and the justice of history. We require the Japanese side to face up to and reflect on history and take concrete actions to win trust from its Asian neighbours as well as the international community.