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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on January 16, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on January 16, 2013.

Q: It is reported that at least 80 people were killed and 160 wounded in the explosions that rocked the University of Aleppo in Syria on January 15. The Syrian government and opposition blamed each other for the incident. What is China's comment?

A: China strongly condemns all acts of violence against civilians and laments the heavy civilian casualties caused by the explosions in the University of Aleppo. China once again urges the Syrian government and opposition to immediately cease fire and stop violence, protect civilians, and launch and push forward the political transition process led by the Syrian people on the basis of the communiqué of the Geneva foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group on Syria and other international consensus as soon as possible for an early restoration of national peace and stability.

Q: It is reported that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a religious decree banning Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that Iran would observe the decree and western countries could stop suspecting Iran of developing nuclear weapons. What is China's comment?

A: China welcomes and values Iran's relevant remarks. Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). We hope relevant parties would strengthen dialogue and cooperation, enhance mutual trust and seek a comprehensive, long-term and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue for early progress.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit three ASEAN countries. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports.

Q: Japan reportedly said that it would cope with Chinese planes entering the airspace of the Diaoyu Islands according to international standards. What is China's comment?

A: I have noted relevant reports. The patrols of Chinese government vessels and planes in the waters and airspace of the Diaoyu Islands are normal performance of duty to exercise jurisdiction. China always firmly opposes Japan's infringement activities in the waters and airspace of China's Diaoyu Islands and remains highly vigilant against Japan's acts.

Q: President-elect Park Geun-hye of the ROK will send envoys to China. Please brief us on relevant arrangements.

A: The Chinese government's Special Envoy and Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun recently paid a successful visit to the ROK. Currently the two sides are coordinating over the visit to China by President-elect Park Geun-hye's special envoys.

Q: It is reported that the Syrian government forces are suspected of using chemical weapons against civilians. What is China's comment?

A: We have answered relevant questions. China opposes the development, production and use of chemical weapons by any country.

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