On June 20, 2012, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference.
Q: It is reported that China, Russia, Iran and Syria are going to stage a joint military drill in Syria. What is China's comment?
A: Relevant report is groundless.
Q: A recent poll survey conducted by Chinese and Japanese non-governmental groups and media shows that the percentage of Japanese with a negative impression of China reaches a historic high and the percentage of Chinese with a negative impression of Japan is still high. How does China see the lack of improvement of sentiments between the two peoples?
A: As countries with major influence in the region and the world, China and Japan should respond to the general trend of the world and the times, abide by the principles and spirit of the four China-Japan political documents and properly handle sensitive issues in a bid to push for the sound and steady development of bilateral relations. We should actively enhance political mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation and resolutely refrain from taking actions that will undermine the political foundation of bilateral relations and China-Japan friendship with a view to concretely upholding the overall interests of China-Japan relations. China is ready to work with the Japanese side to strengthen the popular support for the improvement and development of China-Japan relations.
Q: Though the Dialogue on the Iranian nuclear issue in Moscow failed to make concrete progress, parties agreed to hold an expert-level meeting in Istanbul on July 3. There is comment that such an agreement ushers in a new phase of continuous engagement between the two sides. How does China respond? What is China's comment on the outcome of the Dialogue?
A: The P5+1 countries and Iran had candid and in-depth exchange of views on substantive issues of the Iranian nuclear program at the Dialogue. Iran responded to the package proposal put forward by the P5+1 countries in Baghdad while the latter also made feedback to Iran's "five-point proposal". The two sides agreed to set up a panel of experts for more detailed discussions on relevant technical details in each other's proposal in order to lay the necessary foundation for the settlement of disputes through follow-up dialogues. In that sense, the Dialogue is pragmatic and useful.
The experts will start working in early July in Istanbul. Lady Ashton, vice President of the European Commission and High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy will, on behalf of the P5+1 countries, stay in communication with Jalili, Secretary of Iranian Supreme National Council, with a view to advancing the dialogue process.
We hold that dialogue and negotiation is the sole correct way to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. Parties should stay committed to the diplomatic resolution, view their disputes objectively and keep patience and faith. They should seek common ground while shelving differences, adopt a flexible and practical attitude and take full account of each other's concerns. Parties should keep the momentum of dialogue and push for progress in the dialogue which serves their the common interests. Long committed to promoting peace talks, we are ready to continue to play a constructive role for the long-term, comprehensive and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.
Q: It is reported that the President of Beijing Botanic Garden was arrested by Tokyo police on charge of "damaging objects of the Yasukuni Shrine" in early June. What is China's comment?
A: As far as I know, it is an ordinary consular case which has been properly solved.