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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on November 10, 2011

Q: What is China's comment on the disturbance in the eurozone caused by the political and financial crisis in Italy?

A: Europe has been plagued by sovereign debt crisis. We hope European countries can tide over temporary difficulties, stabilize the international financial market and push for European economic recovery and growth.

Q: Chief Minister Modi of the State of Gujarat, India is visiting China. Please brief us on that.

A: It is learned that Minister Modi is visiting China at the invitation of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee. Please consult competent authorities for specifics.

Q: The US and other countries are considering imposing harsher unilateral sanctions on Iran. What is China's position?

A: We always hold that dialogue and cooperation is the only effective way to appropriately resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. Neither pressure nor sanctions can solve the issue fundamentally. What is pressing now is to beef up diplomatic efforts, forge ahead the dialogue between P5+1 countries and Iran and strive for substantial progress in the cooperation between the IAEA and Iran.

Q: It is reported that the US will sign an accord with Australia for permanent US military presence there. Some people say that it is to contain China's rising influence over the South China Sea. How does China respond?

A: We have noted relevant report and hope that bilateral cooperation between relevant countries will be conducive to peace, stability and development of the Asia-Pacific region.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said that Japan would participate in the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP). What is China's comment?

A: We have stated China's position on the TPP on this podium. China is open to relevant cooperation initiative that is able to promote regional economic integration and common development. In the meantime, we believe that given the difference and diversity of economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region, the existing mechanisms and platforms should be given full play to so as to push forward the economic integration of the Asia-Pacific region in a step-by-step manner.

Q: Is China of the view that the IAEA's Iranian nuclear issue report should be discussed by the UN Security Council?

A: China always maintains that dialogue and cooperation is the correct way out for the Iranian nuclear issue. We hope that the IAEA will uphold an objective and just position, and be actively committed to clarifying relevant issues in the report through cooperation with the Iranian side and resolving them within the Agency's framework. It is the top priority now.

Q: On the sidelines of the Summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), to which China has also sent officials, Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani and Indian Prime Minister Singh held talks. It was the first meeting between prime ministers of the two countries since Pakistan granted India the most-favored-nation treatment. What is China's comment?

A: The friendly relations between Pakistan and India contribute to regional peace and stability. We are glad to see the two countries engage in contact and dialogue and support them in appropriately resolving differences through dialogue and cooperation to improve and develop bilateral relations.

China has attended each Summit since it became an observer of the SAARC in 2005. We stand ready to foster friendship with the SAARC on the basis of mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation.

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