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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on December 23, 2010

On the afternoon of December 23, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference.

Jiang Yu started the press conference with an announcement:

At the invitation of Secretary of State and Foreign Minister Saudabayev of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will pay an official visit to the country from December 27 to 29.

Q: The White House has made an announcement on President Hu Jintao's state visit to the US next January. Please brief us on relevant arrangement and China's expectation.

A: At the invitation of President Obama, President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to the US next January. The two sides are staying in close communication on the visit. We will make announcement in due course.

President Hu Jintao's upcoming visit is a major event in bilateral relations in the new era. China expects it to further advance bilateral relations in a positive, cooperative and comprehensive way.

Q: Will the two heads of state hold a joint press conference during President Hu Jintao's visit to the US?

A: China and the US stay in close communication on issues related to the visit. Information on the arrangement will be released in due course.

Q: It's been one month since the Yeonpyeong shelling incident. Today, the ROK is launching another military drill. How do you view the current situation on the Peninsula? What role has China played in easing the situation in the past one month?

A: The current situation on the Peninsula remains complicated and sensitive. We call on relevant parties keep calm, exercise restraint, adopt a responsible attitude and do more things conducive to easing the situation and safeguarding peace and stability on the Peninsula. China hopes parties make concrete and positive endeavors together for easing the situation and resuming dialogue and consultation.

In recent months, China has been working on relevant parties for peace talks through various means. We hope other parties concerned respond to China's appeal so as to bring the Peninsula issue back to the track of dialogue and negotiation as soon as possible.

Q: About the collision incident between the Chinese fishing boat and ROK coast guard ship, the ROK side said it was not the one to blame. What is your response?

A: We take note that the ROK side has expressed regret over the incident many a time and the wish to properly handle the issue through consultation. We are keeping in communication with the ROK side in the hope of properly resolving the issue as soon as possible.

Q: We note that the DPRK has been quite restrained in responding to recent ROK military drills. Do you owe it to the efforts of China and Russia?

A: It is in the common interest of both the North and South to safeguard peace and stability on the Peninsula. Relevant parties should keep calm, exercise restraint and make concrete and positive efforts to ease tension, safeguard peace and stability on the Peninsula and bring the issue back to the track of dialogue and consultation.

Q: It's reported that China has offered to help euro-zone countries with their sovereign debt crisis. Portuguese media says China is ready to buy Portugal's sovereign bonds. Please confirm. Second, what major topics will be covered in President Hu Jintao's visit to the US? Is the Peninsula situation included?

A: About your second question, we will release information on issues related to the visit according to the usual practice, which is, prior to major visits by Chinese leaders, the Foreign Ministry will hold special press briefings, where I believe you'll find answers.

As for which country's sovereign bonds to buy, the Foreign Ministry is not the competent authority to decide. China supports the EU and the IMF taking a package of financial stability measures to overcome crisis and restore economic growth and fiscal health. The European market has always been and will always be one of the most important investment markets for China's foreign exchange reserve.

Q: ROK President Lee Myung-Bak visited the border between the North and South lately, and the US also warned the DPRK against overreacting toward the ROK military exercises. Does China see these moves of the US and the ROK against the initiative of China and Russia?

A: The North and South should place the safety of the peoples on the Peninsula above everything else, proceed from the overall interests of safeguarding peace and stability on the Peninsula, keep calm and exercise restraint to the maximum, and work to ease the situation with a responsible attitude. China hopes all other parties do more to encourage and facilitate talks for peace.

Q: How many people have been sentenced since the July 5 incident? Please brief us on the recent visit by Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.

A: On your first question, competent Chinese authorities have handled the July 5 incident in a fair and transparent manner according to law, which has also been covered by the media. You may refer to relevant media reports.

On the second question, at the invitation of the Chinese side, Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food visited China from December 15 to 23. Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, State Administration of Grain and other departments held meetings and talks with him respectively. During the visit, Schutter talked to agricultural experts and visited Shandong Province. Schutter commended China for its great achievements in promoting agricultural development, stepping up efforts in poverty alleviation, safeguarding food security and improving social safety net, believing China's successful experiences are worth learning for other developing countries to follow. Schutter also shared his thoughts and suggestions on how to further promote the right to food in China. It is believed the visit will strengthen China's exchanges and cooperation with UN human rights mechanisms.

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