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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu's Regular Press Conference on December 28, 2010

On the afternoon of December 28, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu held a regular press conference.

Jiang Yu started the conference with the following announcements:

At the invitation of Governments of the Kingdom of Spain, the Federal Republic of Germany and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Vice Premier Li Keqiang will pay official visits to the above three countries from January 4 to 12, 2011.

At the invitation of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will visit the United States from January 3 to 7, 2011.

At the invitation of the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei, Special Envoy of President Hu Jintao will attend the power transfer ceremony of Brazilian President on January 1, 2011.

Q: Please brief us on Vice Premier Li Keqiang's itinerary in the three European countries as well as China's expectation.

A: Vice Premier Li Keqiang's itinerary in Spain, Germany and the UK is arranged as the following. He will be in Spain from January 4 to 6, during which he will have talks with Spanish Vice Prime Minister, meet with the King, Prime Minister and attend breakfast with Chinese and Spanish entrepreneurs. From January 6 to 9, he will be in Germany to have talks with Chancellor, meet with President, Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister and attend dinner with Chinese and German business representatives. From January 9 to 12, he will be in the UK to have talks with Vice Prime Minister, meet with Prime Minister and attend dinner with business representatives.

Spain, Germany and the UK are all major EU countries which enjoy sound relations with China. We expect the upcoming visits to strengthen political mutual trust and deepen practical cooperation with the three countries and promote sound and stable development of China-EU relations.

Q: It's reported that Defense Ministers of China and the ROK will hold a meeting next February, please confirm. Separately, in his Christmas message, the Pope urged Catholics in Mainland China to hold on to faith in religious belief and hope for the future. How do you comment?

A: I will leave your first question to the Defense Ministry.

We hope the Vatican side face the fact that China adopts a policy of freedom of religious belief and that Catholicism has achieved development in China. The Vatican side should create favorable conditions for improving bilateral relations with China with concrete actions.

Q: The head of the US Pacific Command said in a interview with the Japanese media that China is speeding up deployment of anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBM). Could you confirm?

A: Please refer this specific question to the military. Following the path of peaceful development and pursuing a national defense policy which is defensive in nature, China poses no threat to any other country with its national defense building. China will always be a staunch force in safeguarding regional peace and stability.

Q: Is it to prepare for President Hu Jintao's visit to the US that Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi is heading to the country?

A: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's visit to the US in early January is to prepare for President Hu Jintao's upcoming state visit to the country. He will also exchange views with the US side on China-US relations as well as issues of common interest. The two sides are keeping communication on relevant details.

Q: How would you comment on China-ROK relations in 2010 as the year has basically run its course? What is your expectation of China-ROK relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula in the coming year?

A: Over the past year, China and the ROK took the opportunity of "Visit China Year" and the Shanghai Expo, kept frequent people-to-people exchanges and advanced practical cooperation in various fields. China and the ROK are major neighbors and cooperative partners to each other. Setting great store by developing relations with the ROK, we are ready to further deepen our friendly cooperation of mutual benefit and make join efforts for peace and stability on the Peninsula and in the region.

Q: Did China and ASEAN countries discuss the Nansha-related issues during the recent working group meeting on the implementation of DOC follow-up actions? Did you make any progress?

A: Relevant information has already been released about the recent working group meeting on the implementation of DOC follow-up actions which was held in Kunming City, Yunnan Province. Participants at the meeting reiterated commitment to the DOC, agreeing to devote themselves to safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea and making it a Sea of peace, friendship and cooperation. Positive discussions were held on how to promote the follow-up action process. The meeting agreed to hold the next working group meeting in Indonesia in the second half of next March.

China and ASEAN countries keep unimpeded communication on relevant issue. China hopes to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with other parties to jointly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Q: It's reported that the US will send another nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, to East Asian sea waters to meet with the other two carriers in the West Pacific, which may very well add to the tension on the Peninsula. How do you comment?

A: At present, the situation in the Asia-Pacific is generally stable. It is in the common interest of regional countries and shared aspiration of all peoples to have alleviation rather than tension, dialogue than confrontation and peace than war. We hope relevant country take a responsible attitude and do more to contribute to mutual trust between regional countries as well as peace and stability in the region, rather than the contrary.

Q: Sudan will hold a referendum next January. How do you view the possibility of the South getting independent?

A: Always in support of peace process in Sudan, China encourages the North and South to properly address their disputes through dialogue and consultation and earnestly fulfill the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. China upholds to respect Sudan's sovereignty and Sudanese people's true aspiration and choice. We hope the upcoming South Sudan Referendum will be held in a free, fair and transparent atmosphere and that the result be respected by all parties. We are ready to join the international community to play a constructive role in promoting peace, stability and development in Sudan.

Q: It's reported that the BRIC cooperation mechanism has included South Africa as its official member. Please confirm and comment.

A: Recently, as the rotating President of the BRIC Cooperation Mechanism, China has agreed upon consultation with Russia, India and Brazil to include South Africa as an official member. President Hu Jintao has sent a letter to President Zuma, inviting him to attend the Third Summit Meeting of BRIC Leaders next year in China. We believe the accession of South Africa will be conducive to the development of the mechanism as well as cooperation among emerging markets.

I'd like to stress that the BRIC cooperation is one featured by harmony and stability, mutual benefit and win-win outcome as well as openness and transparency.

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