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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 2, 2013

2013/09/02

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on September 2, 2013.

Q: What is China's view on the US assessment of Syria's use of chemical weapons? The US is signaling that perhaps it will not move that quickly to launch military actions against Syria. The UK and France also said that they would not take part in the military actions for the moment. Do you see a scenario that China will agree with or back up the US military strike in Syria?

A: China has noted reports about the US announcement of evidence. The US has also briefed China on the relevant situation. China is opposed to whoever uses chemical weapons and supports the UN in carrying out independent, impartial, objective and professional investigation.

China has been following closely the situation in Syria and always believes that political settlement is the only practical way out for the Syrian issue. We are gravely concerned that some country may take unilateral military actions. Any action taken by the international community should comply with the purposes of the UN Charter as well as the basic norms governing international relations, so as to avoid complicating the Syrian issue and plunging the Middle East region into more disasters.

Q: Do you think that sanctions against Syria should be approved once the Syrian govenment's use of chemical weapon is proven?

A: We have repeatedly stressed that China is opposed to whoever uses chemical weapons and supports the UN in carrying out independent, impartial, objective and professional investigation. Any action taken by the international community should be based on the results of the UN investigation, which will answer questions like whether chemical weapons were used and who used them. That is the premise and condition for the international community's actions in the future.

Q: Chinese President Xi Jinping will soon pay his first visit to Kazakhstan and meet with top Kazakh leaders. What topics are on the agenda? What is China's expectation for the visit?

A: During President Xi Jinping's visit to the four Central Asian countries, including Kazakhstan, he will hold talks with presidents, meet with principal leaders, including prime ministers and parliament speakers and sign joint statements as well as other political and cooperation documents. He will have in-depth exchange of views with relevant leaders on deepening bilateral relations and promoting mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, make new proposals on cooperation and elevate China-Central Asia relations in an all-round way. They will also compare notes on major international and regional hot spot issues of common interest. President Xi will also deliver a speech in Kazakhstan to elaborate on the new Chinese government's foreign policy on Central Asia.

Q: The DPRK said that the Chinese government Special Representative on the Korean Peninsular Affairs Wu Dawei recently visited and held consultation with the DPRK. What is China's comment?

A: At the invitation of Kim Kye Gwan, the First Vice Foreign Minister of the DPRK, the Chinese government Special Representative on the Korean Peninsular Affairs Wu Dawei paid a visit to the DPRK for consultation from August 26 to 30. The two sides exchanged views on the current situation of the Korean Peninsula and the resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

Q: What actions will the Chinese government take to protect Chinese citizens in Syria?

A: The Chinese government is following closely the situation in Syria and attaches great importance to protecting the safety of Chinese citizens in Syria. As far as we have learned, there are still 20-plus Chinese citizens in Syria. The Chinese Embassy there has been in close contact with them and is ready to provide protection at any time. We also ask those Chinese citizens to take precautions, keep in touch with the Embassy and leave Syria as soon as possible. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Embassy in Syria will take all necessary means to ensure the safety and protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in Syria according to the developments of the situation there.

We have also posted consular notice to once again remind Chinese citizens not to visit Syria in the near term and be cautious about visiting its neighbouring countries.

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