Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:
At the invitation of Minister of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs Duncan of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Bazoum of the Republic of Niger and Foreign Minister Utoni of the Republic of Namibia, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will pay official visits to the above countries from January 2 to 7, 2012.
Q: It is reported that Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun and ROK First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Park Suk-hwan co-chaired the fourth China-ROK Foreign Ministry High-Level Strategic Dialogue on December 27 in Seoul. Sources say that the Strategic Dialogue mainly discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula in the wake of Kim Jong-il's passing away as well as China-ROK fishery disputes. Please confirm.
A: This is a regular dialogue scheduled long ago. China and the ROK take turns to host the Foreign Ministry High-Level Strategic Dialogue which was inaugurated in 2008. It is the ROK's turn to hold the fourth Dialogue this year.
The Dialogue held on December 27 in Seoul was co-chaired by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun and ROK First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Park Suk-hwan. Vice Minister Zhang Zhijun also met with ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Kim Sung-hwan and Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik. The two sides reviewed the development course of China-ROK relations, talked over celebration activities marking the 20th anniversary of China-ROK diplomatic relations next year and exchanged views on the future development of bilateral relations. Both sides agreed to pull together to advance China-ROK friendly cooperation across the board for the benefit of the two countries and two peoples. With regard to the regional landscape, the two sides shared the view that all relevant parties should make joint efforts to safeguard peace and stability on the Peninsula and in the region.
Q: The Japanese Government decided to ease the ban on arms export today. What is China's comment?
A: We have noted relevant report. We hope that Japan will play a more constructive role in regional peace, stability and development.