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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on November 9, 2011

Q: In its Iranian nuclear issue report released on November 8, the IAEA claims to have found comprehensive and authentic information which indicates that Iran has engaged in the research and development of nuclear explosion device and expresses solemn concerns over the possibility that the Iranian nuclear program may be used in military field. What is China's comment on the report?

A: We are looking into the report. China opposes the proliferation of nuclear weapons and disapproves of the development of nuclear weapons by any Middle East country. As a member to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Iran undertakes the international obligation of nuclear non-proliferation.

China always maintains that the Iranian nuclear issue should be addressed through dialogue and cooperation. The P5+1 countries' serious and pragmatic dialogue with Iran and the IAEA's cooperation with the Iranian side is the correct approach to the comprehensive, long-term and appropriate settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue and a pressing task as well. We hope that the IAEA will be actively committed to clarifying relevant issues through cooperation with the Iranian side from an objective and just perspective. The Iranian side should also show flexibility and sincerity and conduct cooperation with the Agency earnestly. In a nutshell, all relevant parties should do more to promote dialogue and cooperation.

I would like to stress that it serves the common interests of the Middle East region and the international community to prevent any new turbulence in the security situation of the Middle East.

Having a high sense of responsibility in maintaining the international non-proliferation regime as well as peace and stability in the Middle East, China will keep in touch with relevant parties and the IAEA, steadfastly press ahead with the dialogue and cooperation on the Iranian nuclear issue and play a constructive role in peacefully resolving the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic means.

Q: How do you comment on the report that the Chinese captain previously detained by Japan was released today after paying fines?

A: It is an ordinary fishery case that has been appropriately dealt with. The Chinese fishing boat, its captain and 10 crew members have been released after paying fines and are on their way home.

Q: The US and some other countries imply that they are considering harsher unilateral sanctions against Iran, targeting its financial institutions for example. What is China's position on that?

A: I pointed out just now that China always stands for resolving the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and cooperation.

Q: How do you comment on the report that US Under Secretary of State Robert Hormats said recently that China's influence was rising around the world and Washington would not see China's help to Europe as a threat, but hoped European leaders do not make concessions on economic or foreign policies to tap into Chinese largesse?

A: World economic recovery is at a critical juncture. All countries should strengthen unity, send a strong signal of standing together in times of adversity and pursuing win-win cooperation and enhance the international community's confidence in world economic recovery and growth. It is hoped that other countries will look positively at cooperative efforts between relevant parties.

Q: Please confirm the report that China will send security forces on armed convoy missions on the Mekong River.

A: I'm not aware of the specific information you referred to. Please consult competent authorities.

The Meeting on Law Enforcement and Security Cooperation on the Mekong River between China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand reached consensus on October 31 to engage in joint patrol and law enforcement as soon as possible so as to create safe conditions for restarting the shipping lane on the Mekong River and try to restore passage ahead of the Leaders Meeting of Greater Mekong River Sub-regional Economic Cooperation in December.

Q: Please brief us on IMF chief Lagarde's visit to China.

A: According to my knowledge, at the invitation of the People's Bank of China, IMF Managing Director Lagarde visits China from November 9 to 11, during which she will attend the annual conference of the International Finance Forum, hold talks with the head of the People's Bank and call upon Chinese leaders. The Chinese side will exchange views with Lagarde on global and Chinese economic situation, the role of the IMF, reform of the international monetary system and other issues of common interest.

Q: Does China believe the UN Security Council should discuss the IAEA's latest report on the Iranian nuclear issue?

A: At present, we believe all relevant parties should do more to contribute to dialogue and cooperation.

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