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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on March 28, 2012

Q: It is reported that the US intends to deploy spy drones on the Cocos Islands of Australia in the Indian Ocean. But the Australian Defence Minister is not enthusiastic about the proposal. How does China comment?

A: Peace, development and cooperation is the trend of the times and the common aspiration of people in the Asia-Pacific. We hope relevant countries in this region will adapt to this historic trend and uphold the new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination to jointly ensure security for all in this region.

Q: The spokesperson of the UN-AL Joint Special Envoy on the Syrian crisis Annan said on March 27 that the Syrian Government accepted Annan's six-point proposal in a letter to him. How does China comment?

A: China has noticed relevant report and is happy to see the Syrian Government's positive response to Special Envoy Annan's six-point proposal. We believe this is conducive to pushing for the political settlement of the Syrian issue. We hope the Syrian Government and relevant parties in Syria will support and coorperate with Annan's mediation efforts, seize the current important opportunity, take concrete actions in a positive response to the mediation of the Special Envoy and honor their commitments in a bid to push for progress in the political settlement of the Syrian issue.

Q: The Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS) recently decided to suspend the membership of Mali and send a delegation to the country. How does China comment? How do you view the current Malian situation?

A: We believe the pressing task for Mali now is to restore normal constitutional order and social stability as soon as possible. Relevant parties in Mali should seek a proper solution to the crisis through dialogue and negotiation an an early date.

China appreciates and supports the efforts of the African Union, the ECOWAS and regional countries to mediate the Malian issue. We hope relevant parties in Mali will actively respond to the concerns of the international community, engage in cooperation with relevant regional organizations in Africa so that ultimately, the current crisis can be properly solved by peaceful means.

Q: It is reported that the Australian Government recently rejected Huawei Company's participation in the country's nation-wide broadband network project. How does China comment?

A: The Australian market and consumers have already given a fair appraisal of the products and services of relevant Chinese company. We hope competent Australian authorities will provide a level and indiscriminative market environment for Chinese companies, instead of wearing colored glasses and obstructing Chinese companies' normal operations in Australia in the name of security.

For years, China-Australia investment cooperation has not only provided opportunities to the "going global" strategy of Chinese companies, but also injected strong impetus to the social and economic development as well as the improvement of people's well-being in Australia. We are ready to work with Australia to enhance mutually-beneficial cooperation for the benefit of the two peoples.

Q: The Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Senate adopted a Tibet-related resolution on March 27, criticizing China's relevant policies. How does China comment?

A: The Chinese Government is committed to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of people of all ethnic groups, including their religious freedom. Some US legislators are confounding right and wrong, black and white in an attempt to interfere in China's internal affairs by using Tibet-related issues. China is firmly against that. We urge these US lawmakers to recognize facts, discard prejudice and stop interfering in China's internal affairs in any way. They should do more things to contribute to China-US relations in stead of the contrary.

Q: Special Envoy Annan has concluded his visit to China. How does China comment on his visit? Separately, the Arab League Summit will be held on Thursday. What is China's expectation of this summit?

A: We believe the visit of Special Envoy Annan is a complete success. During his visit, Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun met and had talks with him respectively. They exchanged in-depth views on the political resolution of the Syrian issue.

Both sides agreed that the pressing task now is to push all parties concerned in Syria to immediately, fully and unconditionally end all acts of violence and launch the process for the political settlement of the Syrian issue. The future and destiny of Syria should be decided by the Syrian people themselves. China will continue to actively support and coordinate with the mediation of Annan, call on the international community to create enabling conditions towards this end and play a positive and constructive role for the fair, peaceful and proper resolution of the Syrian issue.

Annan gave positive comments on China's efforts regarding the Syrian issue and thanked China for support to his mediation work. He expressed the will to continue his close communication with the international community including China for the political resolution of the Syrian issue.

On your second question, we congratulate on the convocation of the Arab League Summit in Baghdad. We hope the meeting will attain positive results in terms of building consensus among Arab countries, promoting internal unity and cooperation among them and enhancing the institutional-building of the Arab League. We wish this meeting a full success and hope it will contribute to maintaining and promoting peace, stability and development of the region.

Q: Military conflicts broke out in the border areas between Sudan and South Sudan. Please brief us on the safety situation of Chinese nationals in the region and the work done by Chinese diplomatic missions.

A: The Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Sudan attach great importance to the safety of Chinese nationals and institutions in Sudan. We have asked the Sudanese side to concretely step up security measures. At the same time, we remind Chinese nationals and institutions in Sudan to enhance safety awareness and highten alert to ensure their personal and property safety. Up till now, Chinese nationals in this region have been safe in general .

Q: Has China decided to attend the second "Friends of Syria" meeting to be held in Turkey?

A: China has decided not to attend in light of the current circumstances.

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