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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 10, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on September 10, 2013.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcements.

At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain will pay a state visit to China from September 14 to 16.

As decided by China and ASEAN countries through consultation, the Sixth Senior Officials' Meeting and the Ninth Joint Working Group's Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) will be held in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province from September 14 to 15. All parties will have an in-depth exchange of views on the full and effective implementation of the DOC as well as the enhancement of maritime cooperation. Consultations on the code of conduct in the South China Sea will also be held under the framework of implementing the DOC.

Q: Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov yesterday suggested that Syria place its chemical weapons under international control and then have them destroyed, so as to avoid military strikes. Does China believe that it is a sensible solution? Does China support this proposal?

A: We welcome and support the proposal made by Russia. Proposals that can help ease the current tension in Syria, solve the Syrian issue politically and safeguard peace and stability of Syria and the whole region deserve positive consideration of the international community.

Q: The ROK and US top nuclear negotiators said today that if the DPRK refuses to change its attitude on the Korean nuclear issue, it will be impossible to restart the Six-Party Talks. What is China's comment?

A: China always stands for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and maintains that peace and stability of the Peninsula should be upheld and relevant issue should be solved through dialogue and consultation. Under the current circumstances, all relevant parties should have the big picture in mind, do more to ease the tension, make joint efforts to create enabling conditions for the resumption of talks and stay committed to solving relevant issue under the framework of the Six-Party Talks.

Q: It is learned that China will soon host the visit by a Syrian opposition organization. Please confirm and give us more details.

A: At the invitation of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, a delegation of six people sent by a Syrian opposition organization called the "Syrian national dialogue forum" starts its visit to China today. During its visit, officials of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and other relevant authorities will meet with the delegation to discuss the situation in Syria.

China always believes that political resolution is the only practical way out for the Syrian issue. Against the current background, it has become even more important to stick unswervingly to the direction. China has been working on all relevant parties in Syria in a positive and balanced way and making relentless efforts for the political resolution of the Syrian issue. To host the visit by the "Syrian national dialogue forum" is also part of China's efforts.

Q: First, there have been frictions between China and Japan surrounding the Diaoyu Islands issue since the Japanese government's illegal "purchase" of the islands one year ago. The China-Japan relationship has also been affected. What is China's comment? Second, a seven-vessel fleet of the Chinese coast guard today patrolled waters off the Diaoyu Islands. Does it have anything to do with Japan's "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands?

A: On your first question, Japan's illegal implementation of the so-called "nationalization" of China's Diaoyu Islands has grossly infringed upon China's territorial sovereignty and caused great difficulties to China-Japan relations. We urge the Japanese side to face up to history and facts, correct mistakes with concrete actions, desist from provocative actions that are detrimental to China's territorial sovereignty and remove obstacles to the improvement of bilateral relations.

On your second question, China is resolute and determined in defending sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands. In the meantime, we are committed to peacefully solving the dispute through dialogue and consultation. The Chinese government vessels' patrol in the territorial waters off China's Diaoyu Islands is a normal performance of duty to exercise jurisdiction over waters off the Diaoyu Islands.

Q: Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga reportedly said that in order to strengthen Japan's actual control over the Diaoyu Islands, one of the options is to post government employees on the islands. What is China's comment?

A: We are gravely concerned about relevant remarks made by the Japanese side. China is determined and resolute in defending the sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands, and will by no means tolerate Japan's actions that further infringe upon China's territorial sovereignty. If Japan insists on taking provocative actions, it must bear all the ensuing consequences.

Q: US media reported on September 9 that resources from the "WikiLeaks" showed that some of the chemical agents and delivery missiles of Syria's chemical weapons were from Russia, Iran, China and other countries. What is China's comment?

A: I want to stress that as a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, China honors faithfully its obligations enshrined in the Convention, makes declarations with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on time and is subject to its examinations. We are firmly opposed to the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction, including the chemical weapons.

Q: US National Security Advisor Susan Rice said yesterday that the US military action against Syria would have a widespread impact and serve as a warning to a nuclear Iran. What is China's comment? How does China view the spillover effect of the US military action against Syria?

A: China is opposed to the use or threat of force in international relations. To bypass the UN Security Council and take unilateral military actions goes against the international law and basic norms governing international relations. It will further complicate the Syrian issue and add to regional unrest. We call on all relevant parties to keep calm, exercise restraint and stay committed to solving the Syrian issue politically.

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