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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu's Regular Press Conference on February 22, 2011

On the afternoon of February 22, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu held a regular press conference.

Q: It's reported that Indonesia is calling an unofficial meeting among ASEAN Foreign Ministers from February 22 to 23 to discuss the Cambodia-Thailand border conflict. How do you comment?

A: Cambodia and Thailand are both ASEAN member states and friendly neighbors of China. Since the border conflict occurred between the two, China has worked on both sides with patience, suggesting them to maintain calm and exercise restraint to avoid further escalation and try to resolve disputes through consultation. We take note that Indonesia, which currently holds the rotating presidency of ASEAN, has recently convened an unofficial meeting among ASEAN Foreign Ministers. China appreciates and supports Indonesia's positive mediation efforts under the ASEAN framework. We will join the international community including ASEAN in playing a constructive role for the proper settlement of relevant issues.

Q: How do you comment on the current unrest in Libya? The UN Security Council is to hold a discussion later today. What role will China play?

A: Paying great attention to the developments in Libya, China hopes the country will soon restore social stability and normality and take concrete measures to protect Chinese personnel, institutions and property there.

Since social turmoil broke out in Libya on February 16, there have been some incidents involving beating, smashing, looting and burning. Some Chinese companies had their local camp sites raided by gangsters, and some people got hurt. The Chinese Government takes these incidents seriously and has instructed our Embassy in Libya to take every measure necessary to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel and institutions. The Foreign Ministry has promptly launched the emergency mechanism. China has made urgent representations to the Libyan side, requiring it to conduct investigation without delay and bring the perpetrators to justice to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel and institutions in Libya. The Chinese Embassy in Libya has set up contact mechanisms with all the Chinese institutions in the country to keep them informed of the security situation, caution them against safety hazards and make preparation for emergencies.

Relevant Chinese authorities and the Chinese Embassy in Libya are working hard and fast to safeguard the safety and property of Chinese citizens in the country as well as China's national interests there. Detailed information will be released in due course.

Q: Do you happen to know how many Chinese institutions and nationals there are in Libya? Some micro-bloggers there have expressed the wish that the Chinese Government take them out of the country like what it did with those stranded in Egypt. Do you have any arrangement for evacuation, for example, by chartered planes?

A: Like I said, competent Chinese authorities, the Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Libya are losing no time and sparing no efforts to safeguard the safety and property of Chinese nationals and China's national interests in the country. We will keep you updated.

Q: Both BBC and VOA have recently announced to closure of their Chinese broadcasting service. Do you have any comment?

A: I've seen relevant reports. That will be independent decisions by relevant media organizations.

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