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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on January 28, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on January 28, 2013.

Q: It is reported that at least 230 people were killed and 100 wounded when a blaze swept through a nightclub in Santa Maria of Brazil on January 27. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has declared a three-day national mourning for the victims of this incident. What is China's comment?

A: We lament the heavy casualties caused by the blaze, and express deep condolences over the victims and sincere solicitude to the bereaved families and the wounded.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently expressed hope for opening dialogue with China to improve bilateral relations. What is China's comment on his remarks?

A: We have noted relevant remarks by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. China and Japan are important neighbours to each other. The Chinese government remains committed to the policy of valuing the development of relations with Japan. Under the new circumstances, the two sides should shoulder national and historical responsibilities and display political wisdom to overcome the current acute difficulties and push forward China-Japan strategic relationship of mutual benefit on the basis of the four political documents between the two countries. We hope Japan would work with China to make concrete efforts to this end.

Q: The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on sanctions against the DPRK last week. The leader of the DPRK called for "substantial and high-profile important state measures" in response to the current situation. What is China's comment?

A: China is highly concerned over the development of the situation. The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complex and sensitive. China opposes any action that may escalate the tension and undermine the denuclearization of the Peninsula. We call on relevant parties to remain calm and exercise restraint so as to earnestly safeguard peace and stability on the Peninsula. The Korean Peninsula issue is highly complicated. Relevant parties should insist on addressing each other's concerns and improving relations through dialogue in a bid to seek a solution for long-lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

Q: It is reported that some cities in Egypt were hit recently by demonstrations and conflicts which had left dozens dead. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said that he was ready to take all necessary measures to safeguard national security and stability. What is China's comment on the current situation in Egypt?

A: We hope relevant areas in Egypt can restore stability as soon as possible to avoid casualties. We support parties concerned in Egpyt in resolving their differences through political dialogue.

Q: Some EU countries have restricted the entry of Iranian media due to the Iranian nuclear issue. What is China's comment?

A: On the Iranian nuclear issue, China always stands for the settlement of differences through dialogue and negotiation. We hope the Iranian side could enhance cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and hold a new round of dialogue with the P5 plus one countries as soon as possible for early and substantive progress in the settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.

Q: Philippine President Benigno Aquino III reportedly said on January 26 that Chinese vessels recently prevented Philippine fishing boats from seeking shelter in waters off the Huangyan Island on two occasions, thus the Philippine side had decided to ask for international arbitration on the dispute of the South China Sea. Aquino said he could not allow China to claim effective control over Huangyan Island by this act, as this could encourage China to move into the Philippine-claimed and allegedly resource-rich Liyue Bank. What is China's comment?

A: The Huangyan Island is indisputable Chinese territory. Last year's Huangyan Island incident was caused by Philippine warships' harassment of Chinese fishermen and fishing boats. At present, the situation over the Huangyan Island is mainly stable. The Chinese side does not want to see a setback.

China's position on the Liyue Bank issue is clear. The Liyue Bank is part of Nansha Islands, and China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. The Chinese government always maintains that the Nansha dispute should be resolved through bilateral negotiation and consultation, which is also the consensus of relevant parties.

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