On June 28, 2012, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference.
Q: The foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group on Syria will be held in Geneva on June 30. Will China send people to the meeting? What is China's expectation of the meeting? Does China believe that Iran should be invited to the meeting?
A: China has received an invitation and is positively considering attending the meeting. We hope the convocation of the meeting can help build international consensus, support Special Envoy Annan's mediation, push all parties concerned on the Syria issue to earnestly implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions and Annan's "six-point proposal" so as to create conditions for easing the current tensions and launching a political dialogue. China believes that the proper resolution of the Syrian issue can not do without the participation and support of regional countries, particularly countries with influence on relevant parties in Syria.
Q: First, the US said that it would discuss the issue of regime change in Syria at the foreign minister's meeting of the Action Group on Syria and believed that the sooner the regime change takes place, the better it is for restoration of peace in Syria. What is China's comment? Second, the US said recently that US Secretary of State Clinton would underline the importance of a stable China-US relationship to ASEAN countries while attending the foreign ministers' meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum. How does China respond?
A: On the first question, China always regards it imperative to adhere to the right direction of seeking the political resolution of the Syrian issue. Under the current circumstances, the international community should focus on supporting Special Envoy Annan's mediation efforts and urging all parties concerned in Syria to cease fire and end violence, fully implement relevant Security Council resolutions and Annan's "six-point proposal", and launch a political dialogue with no preconditions attached or results predetermined at an early date. China disapproves of pushing for a "regime change" forcefully. How to resolve the Syrian issue should be ultimately decided by the Syrian people independently. China is ready to join the international community to push for a peaceful, fair and proper resolution of the Syrian issue at an early date.
On the second question, it serves the common interests of China, the US and regional countries for the two countries to enhance communication and coordination and engage in mutually beneficial cooperation and sound interactions. In recent years, China and the US have had serious discussions and useful experimentation of cooperation with a third party in the Asia-Pacific region, which has yielded positive results. We hope the two sides can follow the principle of mutual respect, mutual benefit and gradual progress to steadily advance their cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region and work with other regional countries to promote prosperity and stability of the region.
Q: The US, the EU and Japan put a request to the World Trade Organization to settle disputes on China's rare earth export. How does China respond?
A: For many years, China has been supplying over 90% of the world's demand of rare earth with only 23% of the world's reserve. China adopts management measures on the mining, production and export of rare earth only to protect resources, the environment and public health. We have no intention to protect domestic industries through distorting trade.
China has been staying in communication and engagement with other parties over its export policy on relevant raw material and will continue to set a reasonable annual export quota of rare earth by taking into account the reserve, production and consumption of resources at home as well as conditions of the international market. We also hope that relevant countries endowed with rich rare earth reserve will engage actively in rare earth mining and production.