Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin's Regular Press Conference on March 7, 2012

Q: It is reported that some demonstrators gathered in the Chinese Embassy in Ecuador to protest the Ecuadorian Government's signing of a mining cooperation agreement with a Chinese-funded enterprise. Many of them were detained by the police. What is China's comment? Will China take measures to cope with similar incidents?

A: China carries out mining cooperation with Ecuador on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, which is conducive to local economic growth and delivers benefits to the local people. The Chinese Government always requires Chinese enterprises to strictly abide by local laws and regulations, assume social responsibilities, repay the local society, adopt strict environmental protection standards and protect the ecosystem, in order to make positive contribution to the sustainable development of the local communities.

On what you have mentioned, the government of the receiving state has the obligation to ensure the safety of personnel and property of foreign diplomatic missions in accordance with relevant convention on international relations.

Q: Turkish Prime Minister recently depicted the situation in Syria as being bogged down in the peril of massacre. What is China's comment?

A: China's position and proposal on the Syrian issue is crystal clear. We have twice elaborated on China's position and informed all sides of China's proposal by sending Special Envoys, making phone calls and other means. We call on all factions in Syria to immediately, fully and unconditionally cease all acts of violence, express political aspirations through non-violent means and support the international community in making positive efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis politically.

Q: EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy High Representative Ashton has reportedly agreed to resume talks with Iran in her letter of reply. What is China's comment? What is China's expectation of the developments of the Iranian nuclear issue?

A: China is committed to peacefully resolving the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue, and endeavours to push for the resumption of the talks. P5 plus one countries have recently reached consensus on resuming talks with Iran. The EU wrote back to Iran on behalf of P5 plus one countries yesterday. This is a positive step taken by the international community to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation. We welcome that.

We will work with other members of the P5 plus one mechanism to pursue an early resumption of talks with Iran, keep the process running and seek to fully resolve the Iranian nuclear issue in a long-term and appropriate manner.

Q: The Chinese special envoy started his visit to Syria from yesterday. Please brief us on the specifics. Will he urge the Syrian Government to take relevant measures, and will he meet with leaders of the opposition? Second, the UN Security Council has begun discussing a Syria-related draft resolution tabled by the US. Does China believe that this draft can serve as a basis for resolving the Syrian issue?

A: Ambassador Li Huaxin is now on a visit to Syria as representative of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. He will engage with relevant parties in Syria to further elaborate on China's position and proposal on the Syrian issue, push all political factions in Syria to immediately, fully and unconditionally end all acts of violence, and at the same time launch an inclusive political dialogue process as soon as possible, resolve differences and disagreements through dialogue and consultation, reach a comprehensive and detailed reform roadmap and timetable and implement them speedily in order to restore national stability and social order in Syria. Currently, I am not aware of the specifics of this visit, and we will release information in due course.

On your second question, relevant countries in the Security Council are now discussing the Syria-related draft resolution tabled by the US. Some time ago, we have informed all countries, Security Council members included, and relevant international and regional organizations about China's six-pronged position on the Syrian issue. The US side is very clear about our position as well.

China supports the international community in playing a constructive role in the political settlement of the Syrian crisis, pushing all political factions in Syria to launch an inclusive political dialogue and playing a leading role in the humanitarian relief efforts. However, we oppose anyone interfering in Syria's internal affairs under the pretext of "humanitarian" issues and do not approve of armed interference or pushing for "regime change" in Syria. We believe the use or threat of sanctions cannot help to solve the issue fundamentally. Based on its six-pronged position, China is ready to have equal-footed, patient and full consultation with all parties concerned to seek consensus, uphold the unity of the Security Council and play a positive and constructive role for the settlement of the Syrian Crisis.

Q: It is reported that head of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region said in response to a media question that "East Turkistan" forces are closely linked with terrorists in China's neighbouring countries. Does China worry that such a link will affect China's relations with its neighbours such as Pakistan?

A: The "East Turkistan" forces pose a grave threat to the social stability of Xinjiang, and they have recently created a spate of activities of violence and terrorism, once again proving the organization's nature of violence and terrorism.

Since you mentioned Pakistan, I want to point out that Pakistan stands at the forefront of the international fight against terrorism. The country has made active contribution to and great sacrifice for the cause. The international community should highly appreciate its anti-terrorism efforts. Preventing and cracking down on terrorism as well as upholding regional security and stability serve the common interests of both China and Pakistan. The two sides have engaged in cooperation in counter-terrorism. We are ready to continue to deepen cooperation with Pakistan in this field, further build up China-Pakistan relations and jointly push for peace and security of the region.

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