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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on May 8, 2012

On May 8, 2012, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference.

Q: Please brief us on the meetings of President Ghalioun of the Syrian National Council in China.

A: To my knowledge, Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun had talks with President Ghalioun of the Syrian National Council, an opposition group in Syria, who is visiting China at the invitation of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs. The two sides had in-depth exchange of views over the situation in Syria.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will also meet with President Ghalioun this afternoon.

Q: Please update us on the meetings of Secretary General Araby of the Arab League in China.

A: This morning, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi had talks with visiting Secretary General Araby of the Arab League in Beijing.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi applauded the Arab League's positive role in promoting regional and world peace and stability and thanked Arab countries and the Arab League for their firm support to China on issues concerning China's core interests and major concerns. He stressed that the Chinese Government attaches great importance to developing friendly relations with them, adamantly supports the just cause of the Arab peoples and Arab countries' exploration of development path suitable to their national conditions, and actively promotes peace and stability of the Middle East.

Secretary General Araby thanked China for its longstanding invaluable support to the just cause of the Arab peoples. He remarked that China and the Arab world enjoy profound friendship, and their cooperation across the board has been productive and promising. The Arab side highly values its relations with China, and is ready to work with China to jointly usher in the bright future of China-Arab relations.

The two sides exchanged in-depth views on the preparation for the fifth Ministerial Meeting of China-Arab Cooperation Forum and the regional situation in west Asia and north Africa.

Q: Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said during her meeting with the Philippine Charge d'Affaire that China was not optimistic about the situation of the Huangyan Island and it had made all kinds of preparations for the Philippines' attempt to escalate the situation. What do these preparations include? Do they include military means?

A: The current Huangyan Island situation was provoked unilaterally by the Philippines. Over a period of time, the Philippines has been escalating the situation regardless of the consequences. China has made remarks to point out its serious mistakes and urged it to concretely respond to China's concerns and demands, and come back to the right track of the diplomatic resolution of the Huangyan Island situation.

Q: China believes that the Philippines is responsible for the Huangyan Island incident. However, previously, the Philippines proposed to submit the issue to international arbitration. Does China think that handing this issue to an impartial third party is common sense? Since the Philippines believe that the sovereignty over the Island is disputed, how can China still say that it has indisputable sovereignty over the Island?

A: On your first question, the Huangyan Island is China's inherent territory, and China has indisputable sovereignty over it. Isn't it a weird thing in international affairs to submit a sovereign country's territory to international arbitration? What a chaos the world will be in if this happens?

On your second question, I want to point out solemnly that China has full historical and jurisprudential evidence for its sovereignty over the Huangyan Island. Whatever the Philippines do or say regarding the sovereignty of the Island cannot alter the fact that the Island belongs to China.

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