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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on December 6, 2011

Q: Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesperson announced on December 5 that Syria had accepted the Arab League's requirement of sending observers and would sign the accord in no time. The Arab League, however, refused to suspend sanctions against Syria despite the latter's agreement to sign the accord. What is China's comment?

A: China always maintains that the international community should give priority to peace and stability of Syria and the Middle East region and create conditions for the relaxation of tensions in Syria, as it serves the fundamental interests of peoples within the region and the international community.

We hope relevant parties keep to dialogue with patience and flexibility and strive for an agreement on things such as sending observers to Syria.

Q: First, please brief us on Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's upcoming visit to China. Second, has China made contact with the Syrian opposition?

A: On your first question, China welcomes and attaches importance to Prime Minister Noda's visit to China. We will work together with the Japanese side to forge ahead with China-Japan strategic relationship of mutual benefit through this visit. The two sides are in close communication on the arrangement for this visit.

On your second question, China stands for an inclusive political process launched by Syria with an extensive involvement of all relevant parties there so as to meet the reasonable expectations and aspirations of the Syrian people and abate the situation as soon as possible. China will work together with the international community to play a constructive role in realizing the above goal.

Q: The US side recently required other countries to cease oil trade with Iran. Has China received a request like that? If so, how will China respond?

A: The US side did not contact us for the issue you mentioned.

China firmly opposes placing domestic law above international law and wilfully imposing unilateral sanctions on other countries.

China and Iran maintain normal and transparent commercial ties in the fields of energy and trade which neither violate relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council nor impair the interests of other countries or the international community, thus should not be called into question.

Q: The US will hold a trilateral meeting with India and Japan. What is China's comment?

A: The US, Japan and India are countries of influence in the region. We hope that relevant meeting will be conducive to regional peace, stability and development.

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