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FM press conference on Dec. 3 (Full Text)

(People's Daily Online)

15:44, December 07, 2012

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on December 3, 2012. (Photo/ Foreign Ministry of China)

Q: It is reported that Peña Nieto swore in as President of Mexico on December 1. What is China's comment?

A: China congratulates Mr. Peña on taking office as President of Mexico. President Hu Jintao's special envoy and Vice Chairman Lu Yongxiang of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress attended the power transfer ceremony of Mexican President and met with President Peña. China always attaches great importance to the development of China-Mexico friendly and cooperative relations, and is willing to work with Mexico to promote the comprehensive and in-depth development of strategic partnership to the benefit of the two countries and peoples.

Q: The Singaporean Ministry of Manpower reportedly said in a statement on December 1 that the work permits of 29 Chinese bus drivers who went on strike a few days ago had been revoked and they would be repatriated, and another five people were arrested. Please brief us on the Chinese side's response to the latest development and the work it has done.

A: The Chinese Foreign Ministry pays great attention to the case. Consular officials from the Chinese Embassy in Singapore visited the Chinese citizens who were arrested or to be repatriated on November 30 and December 1. The 29 repatriated Chinese citizens already returned to China on December 2.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Embassy in Singapore will continue to follow closely the developments and maintain communication with the Singaporean side for a proper settlement of the case.

Q: Israeli officials reportedly said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had decided to build 3,000 new settlement units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank as a response to Palestine's observer state status in the UN. What is China's comment?

A: China is always opposed to Israel's building of Jewish settlement on occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem and the West Bank. We urge the Islaeli side to take effective measures to remove barriers to the peace talks and create necessary conditions for rebuilding mutual trust and restarting peace talks between Palestine and Israel at an early date.

Q: The French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said in Côte d'Ivoire the other day that with China's growing presence in Africa, French companies must compete with Chinese companies for larger presence there. What is China's comment?

A: China-Africa economic cooperation is mutually beneficial which has boosted their common development. Their cooperation is also open and inclusive, without prejudice to any third party's cooperation with Africa, and largely contributing to the international community's increasing interest and input in Africa. China welcomes France's greater input in Africa which we believe can benefit both Chinese and French businesses in Africa and the sustainable development of Africa.

Q: The top Republicans and Democrats on the US House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee reportedly wrote to senior officials of the Obama administration on November 30 to express concern over China-US economic and trade issues prior to the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade to be held in December. The letter said that China continues to move away from market-based reforms and is more deeply embracing an economic model dominated by state-owned enterprises, World Trade Organization-inconsistent subsidies, and economic protectionism. What is China's response?

A: China-US economic and trade relations is essentially mutually beneficial. The two sides should properly handle differences in the principle of mutual accommodation, mutual benefit, and equal consultation. Blaming China can not solve the US' own problems. The US side should do more that is conducive to China-US mutual trust and cooperation, which is in line with the US' own interests. We hope both sides will make the most of such platforms as the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade to deepen cooperation and resolve frictions for the sound and stable development of China-US economic and trade relations based on mutual benefit.

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