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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on March 1, 2012


Q: Talks between Iran and P5+1 countries will hopefully be resumed soon. What is China's view on when to resume the talks?

A: China has been in close communication with Iran and P5+1 countries. We hope all parties take the current opportunity to restart the process of dialogue as soon as possible and steer the Iranian nuclear issue back to the track of dialogue and negotiation.

Q: According to the World Bank's report released on February 29, China has scored remarkable achievement in poverty alleviation and made tremendous contribution to poverty reduction across the world. China lifted 660 million people out of poverty from 1981 to 2008. The extreme poverty rate of most developing countries dropped from 41% in 1981 to 25% in 2008, realizing the UN's goal of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015, which owes a lot to China's contribution. What is China's comment?

A: The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and has successfully realized goals such as halving the number of people living in poverty. However, given that China is still a developing country, it is still faced with many challenges. China has been helping other developing countries as its capacity allows in achieving the MDGs within the framework of South-South cooperation.

Despite the positive progress made by the international community in implementing the MDGs, there are still arduous tasks in front of the whole world if we want to reach the goal on schedule by 2015. We hope that the international community will fully carry forward the consensus reached by leaders around the world during the UN High-Level Meeting on the MDGs in 2010 and focus on helping African and least developed countries shake off poverty and realize development so as to push for the implementation of the MDGs.

Q: The Vietnamese side reportedly lodged protest with the Chinese side yesterday, accusing China of "harassing" Vietnamese fishermen in the Xisha Islands. What is China's comment?

A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the Xisha Islands and their adjacent waters. There is no dispute over the sovereignty of Xisha. It is totally justified and legitimate that relevant Chinese government department recently expelled in accordance with law a Vietnamese fishing boat engaged in illegal fishing in the internal waters of the Xisha Islands. It needs to be stressed that the Chinese side did not use force while enforcing the law and did not board the Vietnamese fishing boat. Relevant reports are untrue.

In the spirit of humanitarianism, China has helped many Vietnamese fishermen who were really in danger on the sea, for which the Vietnamese side also expressed thanks in the past. We urge the Vietnamese side to respect in real earnest China's sovereignty over the Xisha islands, take effective measures to enhance its education and management of their fishermen and stop illegal fishing activities in a bid to safeguard the overall interests of China-Vietnam friendly relations.

Q: The DPRK and the US have made public their consensus reached in their third high-level dialogue. Does China, the host of the Six-Party Talks, believe that the Talks will be resumed in no time?

A: China appreciates the DPRK and the US's reiteration of their commitment to the September 19 Joint Statement and their readiness to take positive actions to this end. We welcome the improvement of DPRK-US relations to contribute to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. China would work with all relevant parties to press ahead with the Six-Party Talks and play a constructive role in striving for enduring peace and security on the Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.

The Six-Party Talks is an important mechanism for the realization of denuclearization and the maintenance of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. China will keep in close communication with all relevant parties to push for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks as well as the comprehensive and balanced implementation of the targets stipulated in the September 19 Joint Statement.

Q: It is reported that the European Commission recently decided to levy shipping carbon tax this June and work out a price list of carbon tax charged on international aviation and shipping. How does China comment?

A: Like many other countries, China opposes the unilateral measures taken by the EU on international aviation and shipping emission. It is proven that the EU's unilateral approach is unpopular and will not lead to its intended effect. Solution to international aviation and shipping emission should be found within the multilateral framework through full consultation. It cannot be broken away from the basic legal framework set by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol and should not go against the principles of "common but differentiated responsibilities" and fairness. We hope that the EU will face squarely the international community's concerns and strive to resolve the issue instead of complicating it.

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