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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on April 8, 2013

2013/04/09

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on April 8, 2013.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcements:

At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council, Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir of Iceland will pay an official visit to China from April 13 to 18.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of France will visit China from April 12 to 13.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit China from April 13 to 14.

Q: First, it is reported that the DPRK may carry out a fourth nuclear test or launch a medium-range missile in the near future. What is China's comment? Second, US Republican Senator John McCain yesterday said that China should use its leverage to exert further influence on the DPRK. What is China's comment?

A: On your first question, China's position on relevant issues of the Korean Peninsula is clear. The current situation on the Peninsula is sensitive and complex. China opposes any party's actions that may impair peace and stability of the Peninsula.

On your second question, it serves the common interests and is also the shared responsibility of all parties to properly deal with the Korean nuclear issue and safeguard peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia. China's position to safeguard peace and stability and realize denuclearization of the Peninsula is clear and resolute, and our unremitting efforts to this end is clear for all to see. China always believes that it is the only correct and effective way to peacefully solve the Korean nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation. We call on all parties concerned to take the responsibility, return to the track of dialogue and engagement and jointly push forward the denuclearization process of the Korean Peninsula so as to realize long-lasting peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia.

Q: Please brief us on the itinerary of US Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to China.

A: During US Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to China, the two sides will exchange views on China-US relations and other issues of common interest. Chinese leaders will meet with him. Currently, China-US relations are at an important historical period that connects the past and future, and face new opportunities of development. China stands ready to work with the US side to earnestly implement the important consensus of the two heads of state, maintain high-level visits, enhance strategic mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation across the board, properly manage differences and sensitive issues and push bilateral relations to develop on the right track of building cooperative partnership and exploring a new type of relations between major countries to better benefit people of the two countries and the world.

Q: As the DPRK's biggest trading partner and aid donor, what measures will China take to restrain the DPRK's words and deeds and encourage the country to give up its nuclear program?

A: For the situation on the Korean Peninsula, we always call for peace rather than war, detente rather than tension and dialogue rather than confrontation. War and chaos on the Korean Peninsula are in no one's interests. China is committed to safeguarding peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia as well as denuclearization of the Peninsula, and has made unremitting efforts to this end. The only effective way to solve the Korean nuclear issue is dialogue and negotiation. Relevant parties should address each other's concerns in a balanced way through resumption of the Six-Party Talks and press ahead with the denuclearization process to realize long-lasting peace of the Peninsula.

Q: China stands for solving the Korean nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation. Does China support direct dialogues between the US and the DPRK?

A: We always maintain that all relevant parties should sit down for dialogue and communication, learn about each other's concerns and solve the issue within the framework of the Six-Party Talks in a comprehensive and balanced way so as to push for the turnaround and improvement of their relations, press ahead with the denuclearization of the Peninsula and safeguard long-lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

Q: The China-ASEAN Countries' Senior Officials Consultation was held the other day. What is China's position on formulating the "Code of Conduct in the South China Sea" (COC)?

A: The 19th China-ASEAN Countries' Senior Officials Consultation was held in Beijing on April 2. The two sides had an extensive and in-depth exchange of views on China-ASEAN relations and international and regional issues, and reached broad consensus on promoting China-ASEAN strategic partnership. Senior officials from the two sides reiterated in the Consultation that safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea is of great importance to all countries in the region, and is conducive to China-ASEAN strategic partnership. In accordance with the spirit of the Joint Declaration released at the 15th China-ASEAN Summit held in Cambodia in 2012 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), they agreed to keep working for the comprehensive and effective implementation of the DOC. The senior officials also agreed to enhance cooperation within the framework of the DOC, maintain the momentum of dialogue and negotiation, promote mutual trust and work towards reaching the COC on the basis of consensus through consultation.

Q: Which Chinese official will attend the inauguration ceremony of President of Kenya?

A: Upon invitation, Vice Chairman Zhang Baowen of the NPC Standing Committee will attend the inauguration ceremony of Uhuru Kenyatta, the newly-elected President of Kenya, on April 9 as the Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping.

After the press conference, a journalist asked the following question: A Palestinian long jailed by Israel died of illness the other day. The Palestinian side blamed Israel for not giving him proper treatment and the Palestinian people have protested for days. What is China's comment?

Hong Lei said that China is deeply concerned about Israel's long-term detention of a large number of Palestinians. We call on Israel to release the people arrested for no reason, and take concrete measures to improve the living and medical conditions of the detained Palestinians. We have noted that Palestine and Israel recently expressed the willingness to restore peace talks, and hope that the two sides will seize the opportunity, remove obstacles and work together to resume dialogue and make substantive progress at an early date, which is also conducive to solving the issue of detained Palestinians.

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