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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 12, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on September 12, 2013.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

The 2013 China-Arab States Expo will be held in Yinchuan, Ningxia from September 15 to 19. Chairman Yu Zhengsheng of the National Committee of the CPPCC will attend the opening ceremony on September 15.

Q: Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that the US strike on Syria could risk escalating the crisis and unleash a new wave of terrorist attacks. Does China agree with the assessments from the Russian side? Yesterday ambassadors from the five permanent members of the Security Council met to discuss the Syrian issue. Has there been any progress in that deal?

A: On your first question, our position on the issue of Syria's chemical weapons is consistent. We are firmly opposed to the use of chemical weapons by anyone. In the meantime, China is against the use or threat of force in international relations. To bypass the Security Council and take unilateral military action goes against the international law and basic norms governing international relations and will add to turmoil in Syria and the region as a whole. The Russian proposal offers an important opportunity to ease the current tension and properly address the international community's concerns about Syria's chemical weapons. We hope that all relevant parties could adhere to a political and diplomatic settlement of relevant issues.

On your second question, China supports the UN Security Council in playing its due and important role in issues concerning peace and security and stands ready to stay in communication with all relevant parties on the Security Council's next possible move on the Syrian issue. As for the specifics about the consultation, I need to have a further look at that.

Q: A research institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies reportedly said yesterday that the lastest satellite image suggests that the DPRK seems to have restarted the Yongbyon plutonium reactor. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports. To achieve denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and uphold peace and stability there and the Northeast Asia at large is China's long-standing stance. It meets the common interests and calls for the concerted efforts of all relevant parties.

Q: The US Secretary of State and the Russian Foreign Minister will meet in Geneva to discuss the plan of putting Syria's chemical weapons under control. A consultation will be held later in the UN Security Council. The US White House Spokesperson said yesterday that the US was not putting a timetable on the diplomatic resolution. What is China's comment?

A: China supports all parties in reaching an agreement through consultation on the implementation of relevant plan. On the Syrian issue, China maintains that we should uphold the international norm that prohibits the use of chemical weapons and stick to resolving the issue through political means.

Q: Please brief us on US Special Representative for North Korean Policy Glyn Davies' meeting with his Chinese counterpart during his visit to China.

A: On September 11, the Chinese Government Special Representative on the Korean Peninsular Affairs Wu Dawei held talks with visiting US Special Representative for North Korean Policy Glyn Davies. The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on the Korean nuclear issue and the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. Special Representative Wu Dawei pointed out that the meeting was held against the backdrop of the tenth anniversary of the Six-Party Talks and the eighth anniversary of the September 19 Joint Statement. All relevant parties should create conditions for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks and be more committed to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, upholding peace and stability of the Peninsula and solving relevant issue through dialogue and consultation. Both sides agreed to stay in close communication on relevant issue.

Q: French President Francois Hollande reportedly said yesterday that France is ready to launch military strikes against the Syrian government if diplomacy fails. What is China's comment?

A: The new Russian proposal on resolving the issue of chemical weapons in Syria brings about a new and important opportunity to ease the current tension there. We hope that all relevant parties will seize the opportunity, make positive and rational response and stay committed to properly solving the Syrian issue through political and diplomatic means, so as to safeguard peace and stability of Syria and the region as a whole.

Q: It is said that China's policies towards Syria and other Arab countries are driven by oil import requirement. What is China's comment?

A: China's position on the Syrian issue is objective and impartial. China is committed to safeguarding the purposes of the UN Charter, the basic norms governing international relations, the fundamental interests of the Syrian people as well as peace and stability of Syria and the region as a whole. China endeavours to properly resolve the Syrian issue through political and diplomatic means together with the international community.

Q: The UN Human Rights Council released a report yesterday, saying that both the government and the opposition forces of Syria have committed the war crime and the crime against humanity, and should both be brought to justice. What is China's comment?

A: China has noted relevant reports. What is pressing now is to urge all relevant parties of Syria to immediately cease fire and stop violence, convene the second Geneva meeting on the Syrian issue as soon as possible and remove differences through dialogue and negotiation. Only by realizing security and stability in Syria can Syrian people's human rights be fundamentally protected.

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