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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin's Regular Press Conference on December 23, 2011

Q: Prime Minister Noda will visit China soon. What is China's comment on the current China-Japan relations?

A: China and Japan are important neighbours. The sound and stable development of China-Japan relations is not only in the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples, but also of great significance to regional peace, stability and development. China-Japan relations are in good shape. The 40th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations next year brings important opportunities to the development of bilateral relations. China attaches great importance to Prime Minister Noda's upcoming visit and hopes to enhance political mutual trust, deepen exchanges and cooperation across the board and advance China-Japan strategic relationship of mutual benefit through concerted efforts.

Q: It is reported that the Finnish Police has impounded a British-flagged cargo ship heading for Shanghai, China from Germany, with Patriot surface-to-air missiles and explosives on board. Does the Chinese side know anything about it?

A: The Spokesperson of the German National Defence Ministry has indicated that the shipment produced by Germany is bound for the ROK. According to various media reports, the British ship loaded with Patriot missiles is on its way from Germany to the ROK. It stopped by the port in Finland just to pick up the anchor chain destined for China. I cannot see how the transportation of missiles is related to China. I do not know why someone always likes linking certain matters with China.

Q: Please brief us on State Councillor Dai Bingguo's visit to Pakistan as well as China's expectation.

A: State Councillor Dai Bingguo has kicked off his visit to Pakistan as the representative of President Hu Jintao.

State Councillor Dai Bingguo will attend and address the closing ceremony that marks the 60th anniversary of China-Pakistan diplomatic ties and the Year of China-Pakistan Friendship. He will meet with President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani and other leaders. The two sides will review the development experience over the past six decades since the establishment of China-Pakistan relations, discuss the future development of bilateral relations, push forward practical cooperation in various fields and exchange views on issues of common interest.

China-Pakistan strategic partnership of cooperation enjoys sound momentum of development. China is satisfied with the current state of bilateral relations and confident about the prospect of bilateral friendly cooperation. State Councillor Dai Bingguo's visit to Pakistan will culminate the celebration activities of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties and the Year of China-Pakistan Friendship.

Q: How does China hope to properly address the recent China-Japan maritime frictions, including fishery disputes?

A: The Chinese diplomatic missions in Japan have sent staff to visit the crew of two recently detained Chinese fishing boats and asked the Japanese side to ensure their legitimate rights and interests. The Chinese crew are in a sound physical and mental state. The two captains have admitted respectively to the Chinese consular officials their entry and operation in the Japanese territorial waters.

These are two ordinary fishery cases. China is in close communication with the Japanese side to push for a proper settlement. Competent Chinese fishery authorities always require Chinese fishermen to operate in accordance with law. We also hope that Japan will safeguard Chinese fishermen's legitimate rights and interests in cases like this.

Q: The Philippine Foreign Ministry reportedly declared on December 22 that China had pledged to provide US$1 million worth of disaster relief assistance to the Philippines. Please confirm.

A: The Philippines has been stricken by strong tropical storms. The disaster, which has caused over 1000 casualties as well as great property losses, is serious. China decided to provide US$1 million worth of disaster relief assistance to the Philippine people in disaster-hit areas from the humanitarian perspective.

Over the years, China and Southeast Asian countries always help and assist each other in face of grave natural disasters. When China was hit by the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, people from Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines provided large amounts of assistance. The Philippine people donated about RMB32 million in total to the quake victims in Wenchuan. The Chinese people believe that the Philippine people will tide over difficulties and rebuild their homeland.

Q: Please brief us on the ROK Six-Party Talks negotiator Lim Sung-nam's visit to China.

A: The Chinese Government's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei met with Mr. Lim Sung-nam on December 22. The two sides exchanged views on the Six-Party Talks and the situation on the Peninsula.

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