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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on July 8, 2010

On the afternoon of July 8, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.

Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have three announcements to start with.

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany will pay an official visit to China from July 15 to 18.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko of Ukraine will pay an official visit to China from July 13 to 15.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, William Hague, First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will visit China and hold China-U.K. Strategic Dialogue with State Councilor Dai Bingguo on July 14.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: Has China expressed concern to relevant sides over the US-ROK joint military exercise in the Yellow Sea? Did the US and the ROK postpone the exercise due to pressure from China?

A: China has expressed grave concern to relevant parties over the issue. Our position is consistent and clear. We firmly oppose foreign military vessels and planes' conducting activities in the Yellow Sea and China's coastal waters that undermine China's security interests. We hope relevant parties exercise calmness and restraint and refrain from actions that might escalate tension in the region.

Q: It is said that China and Pakistan are now discussing building a railway directly leading to the Arab Sea. What are your strategic considerations? Will relevant agreements be signed during Pakistani President Zardari's visit? How do you respond to India's possible confrontational measures? It is also reported that China and the ROK are considering signing a frequent currency swap deal to prevent a foreign exchange crisis. Please confirm.

A: On your first question, China and Pakistan are strategic partners of cooperation with profound traditional friendship as well as deepening pragmatic cooperation in various fields. Featuring mutual-benefit and not targeting any third party, our cooperation is in the interest of the peoples of both countries and conducive to regional stability, common development and prosperity.

I don't have the information on your second question and will leave it to competent authorities.

Q: The ROK military spokesperson said recently that its joint naval drill with the US in the Yellow Sea will be held after the UN Security Council takes measures on the Cheonan incident. How do you comment? What's China's attitude towards the UN Security Council's discussion of the incident? Is there any change in China's position on this issue?

A: I already answered your first question just now and have no more to add.

On your second question, members of the UN Security Council are holding consultations over the text of a Security Council document on the Cheonan incident. We have expounded on China's position over the incident on many occasions that we hope relevant parties proceed from the overall peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula as well as the region so as to properly handle relevant issues. China is ready to stay in communication with other parties in this regard.

Q: During yesterday's meeting, did President Hu Jintao and President Zardari touch upon the agreement on China-Pakistan nuclear energy cooperation?

A: After the meeting between the two heads of state yesterday, domestic and foreign media witnessed the signing ceremony of the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation Between the Governments of China and Pakistan as well as cooperative documents in agriculture, public health, justice, media and etc.

Q: Could you provide more details about the railway project between China and Pakistan? Besides, the press secretary of Pakistani President said recently that China and Pakistan already reached an agreement on China's helping Pakistan build two nuclear power stations during President Zardari's visit back in 2009. Please confirm.

A: Yesterday, during the talks between the two leaders, the two sides, exchanging extensive and in-depth views on developing the strategic partnership of cooperation, agreed on deepening pragmatic cooperation in economy and trade, agriculture, transport infrastructure and energy, among other areas.

Over the past years, China and Pakistan have conducted some cooperation in nuclear energy for civilian use, which is consistent with their respective international obligations, completely for peaceful purposes and subject to the IAEA safeguard and supervision.

If there are no more questions, thanks for coming! See you!

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