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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on January 14, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on January 14, 2013.

Q: It is reported that on January 12, four Chinese workers of China Railway 18th Bureau Group were kidnapped near al-Fasher, capital of North Darfur of Sudan. Please brief us on relevant situation and what the Chinese government has done.

A:The Foreign Ministry took seriously the abduction of four Chinese workers in Sudan on January 12 and immediately instructed the Chinese Embassy in Sudan to launch the emergency response mechanism. The Embassy immediately lodged representations with competent Sudanese authorities, requiring active rescue operation and greater efforts to protect the safety of Chinese nationals in Sudan. Currently, the search and rescue operation is underway and other Chinese staff of the project have been evacuated to a safe camp.

The Chinese government attaches great importance to protecting the safety of overseas Chinese nationals and institutions. The Foreign Ministry will work with other competent departments to instruct the Chinese Embassy in Sudan and relevant enterprise to make every effort for the rescue work.

Q: It is reported that Joint Special Representative for the Syrian issue Lakhdar Brahimi, US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov recently held trilateral talks on the Syrian issue. Brahimi said in a joint statement after the talks that there is no solution around the corner for the Syrian crisis. What is China's comment? How do you view the prospect of the resolution of the Syrian crisis?

A: China believes that political resolution is the only practical way out for the Syrian issue. China supports the efforts by relevant parties for the political resolution and Joint Special Representative Brahimi's impartial mediation. We hope all parties concerned can keep patient and confident, build up consensus and push for a fair, peaceful and proper resolution of the Syrian issue at an early date on the basis of the communiqué of the Geneva foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group on Syria. We also urge the Syrian government and opposition to adopt a pragmatic attitude, actively seek a resolution that is acceptable to all parties and launch the political dialogue and transition process as soon as possible for an early end to the Syrian crisis.

Q: France recently carried out military intervention in Mali aiming at anti-government forces. What is China's comment? Will China consider evacuating Chinese nationals from Mali?

A: China condemns the latest military attacks by Malian rebels and has noted that at the request of the Malian government, relevant countries and regional organizations have sent ground troops and military aircrafts to help combat rebels. China always supports the Malian government's efforts for safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity, and calls for an early implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2085 on the authorization of the deployment of an African-led International Support Mission in Mali to help the country restore national unity, stability and tranquility.

The Chinese government always attaches great importance to the safety of overseas Chinese nationals and institutions. The Chinese Embassy in Mali will make utmost efforts to provide protection for Chinese nationals.

Q: There have been continued turmoil in northern Myanmar. How does China comment?

A: China follows closely the developments of the situation in northern Myanmar, and hopes that the Myanmese government and relevant parties would ease the tension through peace negotiation, prevent further escalation of the conflict and properly solve their dispute. China has adopted necessary measures and strengthened management of the border to protect the safety and property of Chinese border inhabitants.

Q: The Korea Joongang Ilbo quoted an ROK official saying that the DPRK side had told the Chinese side its plan to carry out a nuclear test between January 13 to 20. Please confirm.

A: We are not aware of relevant situation.

It serves the common interests of all parties to realize denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and safeguard peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia. Relevant parties should abide by the consensus in the September 19 Joint Statement reached at the Six-Party Talks in 2005 and make joint efforts to this end.

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