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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on May 17, 2016


At the invitation of President Obiang of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Miao Wei, Minister of Industry and Information Technology will travel to Equatorial Guinea for the inauguration ceremony of President Obiang on May 20 as the Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping.

Q: The International Syria Support Group (ISSG) will hold the fifth foreign ministers' meeting in Vienna on May 17. Who will represent China at the meeting?

A: The Chinese side welcomes the fifth ISSG foreign ministers' meeting in Vienna. We have reached a crucial stage in resolving the Syrian issue through political means. ISSG members should implement relevant Security Council resolution in its entirety, push forward the political process in Syria, work for a ceasefire, improve the humanitarian situation there, and eradicate the threat of terrorism and address the refugee crisis at its source. Conflicting parties in Syria should work toward the future of the country and the fundamental interests of the people, and strive for common grounds while reserving differences, so as to come up with an all-acceptable solution that lives up to the Security Council resolution at an early date.

Xie Xiaoyan, Special Envoy of the Chinese government for Syria will attend the meeting. The Chinese side will continue to take an active part in discussions at the meeting with an objective and impartial stance, and make unremitting efforts for the political settlement of the Syrian issue.

Q: A government official of Venezuela said that Venezuela and China have reached a new oil-for-loans deal where all conditions, including loan time frames and investment amounts, have been improved. Can you confirm and give us more details?

A: Financing cooperation between China and Venezuela is commercial cooperation between financial institutions and companies of the two sides. Relevant funds have been used for economic and social development programs in Venezuela as well as cooperation projects between China and Venezuela, creating tangible benefits for both sides. Given the changes in global oil price, the two sides agreed to explore effective means to enhance the flexibility of the bilateral financing cooperation mechanism in accordance with the principle of equality and mutual benefit.

China and Venezuela are each other's cooperative partners for trade. The Chinese side is ready to continue with its pragmatic cooperation with Venezuela in finance and other fields based on equality and mutual benefit for the common development of the two sides.

Q: Can you give us more details about the deal with Venezuela, for example, programs covered in the deal and the amount of money involved?

A: I have no specifics to offer at the moment. As I just said, the two sides agreed to explore effective means to make their financing cooperation more flexible.

Q: What is China's expectation for the upcoming G7 Summit? Does China have any viewpoint on a push from Japan for a strong statement on the South China Sea? Does China expect any statement on excess capacity in global steel production to come out at the Summit?

A: The G7 should be clear about its positioning and know where to draw the line for discussions at the Summit. It should play a constructive role in international affairs.

On the issue of the South China Sea, our attitude is clear, that is, outsiders should stay neutral and objective instead of taking sides on issues relating to territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests of the South China Sea. China will safeguard peace and stability of the South China Sea with ASEAN countries and resolve disputes over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests through dialogue and consultation with countries directly concerned in accordance with the dual-track approach. Countries outside the region must respect such kind of efforts. We are dissatisfied with Japan's push for discussions on the issue of the South China Sea at the Summit.

As for overcapacity in the steel industry, we have been elaborating on our position recently. China has made enormous efforts over the past five years by cutting steel production by 90 million tonnes. Going forward, we will take one step further and bring the production down by 100 to 150 million tonnes during the 13th Five-year Plan period. Suffice to say that China has made important contributions to dealing with overcapacity in the steel industry. We believe that this issue is caused by cyclic factors such as the sluggish world economy and a downturn in world demand as well as structural factors such as the world-wide adjustment to industrial sectors and the division of labor. It is a global problem caused by an imbalance between supply and demand, and cannot be resolved without efforts of all countries. If the issue is to come up at the Summit, we hope it will be discussed in an objective and fair manner.

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