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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on July 10, 2014

Q: What is your comment on the first day of the 6th round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED)?

A: The most important message coming out of the first day of the 6th round of China-US S&ED is that both China and the US will stick to the general direction of building a new model of major-country relationship through cooperation.

President Xi Jinping pointed out in his speech that the past and the present makes it clear that China and the US stand to gain in cooperation, but lose in confrontation. Cooperation between China and the US means major achievements that are beneficial to our two countries and the world, while confrontation means disaster for our two countries and the world. Under such circumstances, both sides should adopt a long-term perspective, enhance and maintain cooperation, and avoid confrontation. That is the right way to deliver benefits to our two countries and achieve betterment of the world.

President Barack Obama said in his written statement that ties between China and the US keep strengthening, and the interdependence of our economic destinies keeps growing. Both sides need to build our relationship around common challenges, mutual responsibilities, and shared interests. We should use the S&ED to demonstrate to the world that China and the US remain determined to ensure that cooperation defines the overall relationship.

We believe this round of S&ED will inject more positive energy to the building of a new model of major-country relationship between China and the US.

Q: Wu Sike, China's Special Envoy on the Middle East Issue, visited Iraq and met with Iraqi officials, including its Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. Can you brief us on his visit?

A: Recently, Wu Sike, China's Special Envoy on the Middle East Issue, visited Iraq and met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq and Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on separate occasions. During the meetings, Special Envoy Wu Sike stressed that China pays high attention to what is going on inside Iraq. China staunchly supports Iraq's efforts in safeguarding national sovereignty, independence and combating terrorism. We hope that all factions in Iraq can unite together, build up consensus and establish an inclusive government at an early date. We call on the international community to provide more support and help to Iraq. While continuing our political, moral and material support to the Iraqi side, we hope they can offer more effective protection to Chinese enterprises and personnel in Iraq. The Iraqi leaders expressed their appreciation to China for sending the Special Envoy to visit at such difficult times, commended China's support in Iraq's political reconciliation and economic reconstruction, and expressed that they will continue to provide security guarantees to Chinese enterprises, personnel and property.

After leaving Iraq, Special Envoy Wu Sike will travel to Turkey and Iran for meetings with leading officials from relevant departments and exchanges of views on the situation in Iraq.

Q: There are reports that Chinese hackers attacked the computer systems of the US government for personal information in March. What is China's comment on that?

A: We keep stressing that China firmly opposes cyber-hacking. This is what we say and what we have been doing. Recently, some American media and internet security firms keep playing the card of China Internet Threat and smear China's image. They cannot produce tenable evidence. Such reports and comments are irresponsible and are not worth refuting.

Q: First, what is China's comment on the presidential election in Indonesia? Is China worried about the possibility that the election may get stuck in an impasse? Second, will China's Foreign Minister attend the foreign ministers' meeting on the Iranian nuclear issue on July 11 in Vienna?

A: On your first question, China has noted that the Indonesian presidential election was concluded yesterday smoothly. China will respect the choice of the Indonesian people. We attach great importance to developing Sino-Indonesia comprehensive strategic partnership, and are willing to work with the Indonesian side to strive for more development of bilateral ties.

On your second question, regarding the 6th round of talks on a comprehensive deal on the Iranian nuclear issue, I have already briefed you on relevant details on July 2. As for the foreign ministers' meeting on July 11, I have no specific information on that.

Q: First, a London-listed company has obtained an approval from the Philippine government to extend for one year a drilling plan for natural gas in the waters off Liyue Bank. What is China's comment on that? Second, why is it that more than half of China's foreign aid in 2010-2012 went to Africa according to the Foreign Aid White Paper 2014. Is that because China wants better access to natural resources in the region?

A: On your first question, China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. Without permission from China, oil and gas exploration by any foreign companies in waters under China's jurisdiction is illegal and invalid.

On your second question, China's aid to Africa is an important component of China's foreign aid. While seeking its own development, China would like to help its friends in the developing countries to improve their livelihood and provide boost to their development. It is also an important manifestation of China's fulfilling its international obligations.

It is worth pointing out that cooperation between China and Africa extends far beyond resources and energy areas. Last year, President Xi Jinping visited Africa, and this year, Premier Li Keqiang also made an African trip. China and African countries agree to seize the great opportunities for development that the African continent now enjoys, enhance all-round cooperation in various areas including infrastructure, connectivity, agriculture, manufacture, medical treatment and public health. All these efforts will inject strong impetus to the new round of growth in Africa. Our cooperation with and assistance to Africa all serves the aforementioned goal. In other words, we try to enable African countries to benefit from China's development, and to realize leapfrog development by acting on the opportunities brought by China's development.

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