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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on March 1, 2016


Q: It is reported that the US, Canadian, German, Japanese and EU ambassadors have written a letter to relevant Chinese authorities, voicing unease about the new counter-terrorism law, the draft cyber security law, and the draft law on management of foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs). What is China's response?

A: At the end of last year, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress deliberated and passed the new counter-terrorism law. It is a common practice for all countries to adopt legislation on counter-terrorism. Especially in light of the complex and grave counter-terrorism situation, all countries are intensifying efforts to prevent and combat terrorism, counter-terrorism legislation being an important part of it. The other laws were also put forward in response to the practical needs of China's national security and social development.

In the course of unveiling these laws, China had diligently studied and consulted the laws and regulations of relevant countries as well as international common practices. They will protect what is lawful and prevent what is not. Relevant regulations will not affect the lawful operations of enterprises, nor the legitimate rights and interests of citizens and organizations. It is hoped that relevant countries can respect China's judicial sovereignty and view China's legislation activities positively and objectively. The Chinese side is willing to remain in touch with all relevant parties on the basis of mutual respect and equal cooperation.

Q: The Syrian ceasefire agreement took effect the other day. So far, the agreement has been upheld on the whole, despite sporadic violations. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that Syrian peace talks will resume on March 7. What is your comment?

A: Several days have passed since the agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Syria took effect. On the whole, the agreement was basically observed by all conflicting parties in Syria. China welcomes that. We hope that relevant parties can truly bear in mind the future of their state and the fundamental interests of their people, strictly follow Resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council and the outcomes of the 4th foreign ministers' meeting of the International Syria Support Group, and seriously implement ceasefire and cessation of violence. The international community, especially regional countries, needs to play a positive and constructive role to that end.

The Chinese side always believes that fighting leads to nowhere and only dialogue brings hope. Dialogue and negotiation represents the fundamental and only way out of the Syrian crisis. China supports the early resumption of Geneva talks on the Syrian issue and calls on the Syrian government and the opposition to seek common ground while narrowing down differences, meet each other halfway, and reach a political settlement that addresses the reasonable concerns of all parties. The Chinese side stands ready to work with the international community and continue to contribute its due share to moving the Syrian issue towards a political settlement.

Q: The UN Security Council will vote on a resolution against the DPRK. Will China vote for it? If the resolution is passed, will China cut down its coal imports from the DPRK?

A: The Chinese side believes that the DPRK's recent nuclear test and satellite launch violated the resolutions of the UN Security Council. It is necessary for the UN Security Council to pass a new resolution on curbing the DPRK's capabilities to develop nuclear and missile programs. Meanwhile, the resolution should encourage all parties to replace the Korean nuclear issue on the track of dialogue and negotiation as soon as possible and resume the Six-Party Talks. We stand ready to remain in close communication with other parties. The Chinese side will earnestly implement the resolution if it is passed.

Q: The 19th session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress recently passed a law on deep seafloor resources exploration, which is China's first law in that regard. What is the significance of adopting this law?

A: The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) stipulates that international seabeds and their resources are the common property of mankind. The exploration and development of deep seafloor resources is regulated by the International Seabed Authority (ISA). Signatories to the UNCLOS are obliged to formulate relevant laws to ensure that their citizens and organizations conduct deep sea activities in accordance with the UNCLOS and the regulations of the ISA. China plays an active role in international seabed affairs. The purpose of adopting this law is to fulfill China's international obligations under the UNCLOS, further regulate exploration and development of deep seabed resources, promote sustainable utilization of deep sea resources and protection of seabed environment, and safeguard the common interests of all mankind.

Q: First, the Thai transport minister said that China should supply the bulk of the investment needed for a planned railway as the project will benefit Beijing. What is your response? Second, what is the latest development of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway project between China and Indonesia?

A: On your first question, China and Thailand are close and friendly neighbors. Both sides have been advancing practical cooperation in various fields following the principle of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. Railway cooperation is an important cooperation project between China and Thailand. The railway inside Thailand, once finished, will drive Thailand's economic and social development and build Thailand into a regional center for connectivity, which will promote the development of the whole Indo-China Peninsula and the ASEAN region. We will make joint efforts with Thailand to ensure that the project could be implemented as soon as possible to benefit the two countries and the region.

On your second question, the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway is a major project between China and Indonesia. The implementation of the project will drive Indonesia's economic and social development and elevate the level of practical cooperation between the two countries. We will remain in close communication with the Indonesian side on that.

The Foreign Ministry and the People's Government of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region will host an event in Lanting at 10 a.m. on March 2 under the theme "Open China: From Ningxia to the World". The event is the first of a series of activities to promote China's provinces, regions and municipalities to the world. Foreign Minister Wang Yi will address the event. Party Secretary Li Jianhua and Chairman Liu Hui of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region will respectively give speeches. Representatives of foreign diplomatic envoys, Chinese experts and scholars as well as representatives from different sectors will make remarks and interact with the guests. We have sent out invitations to the friends from the press. We welcome your coverage of the event.

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