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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 16, 2013

2013/09/16

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on September 16, 2013.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto, State Councillor Yang Jiechi will pay a visit to Indonesia and co-chair with Minister Suyanto the fourth meeting of bilateral dialogue mechanism at deputy prime ministerial level from September 18 to 20.

Q: China will hold a seminar in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Six-Party Talks. Please brief us on that.

A: In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Six-Party Talks and the eighth anniversary of the September 19 Joint Statement, China Institute of International Studies will hold an international seminar in Beijing on September 18. Experts, scholars and relevant officials from member countries of the Six-Party Talks will attend the seminar upon invitation. The participants will conduct in-depth communication on realizing denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, upholding peace and stability there and resuming the Six-Party Talks. The seminar aims to look back at the history of the Six-Party Talks, look ahead into its future, review the spirit of the September 19 Joint Statement and create an important platform for the enhancement of contact and exchanges among all parties. We look forward to positive outcomes from the seminar.

Q: The Minister of State Hugo Swire at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office wrote an article about Hong Kong's political system development on September 14. What is China's comment?

A: The Minister of State at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office blatantly made irresponsible remarks about Hong Kong's political system development. China is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to that. The issue of political system development is the internal affair of Hong Kong and China, which brooks no interference by any foreign country. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government has also made clear its solemn position on rejecting any outside interference.

Hong Kong once suffered colonial rule for a long time. Since Hong Kong's return to motherland, the Basic Law has fully protected various basic rights and freedom of Hong Kong compatriots. Hong Kong's political system is steadily developing in accordance with the Basic Law and relevant decisions by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. We urge the UK side to immediately stop any form of interference in Hong Kong's internal affairs.

Q: Please brief us on what has been done by the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese diplomatic missions in the ROK following the detention of the cruise liner "Henna" in Jeju, the ROK.

A: The detention of the cruise liner "Henna" by the ROK district court in Jeju due to debt dispute has left many Chinese tourists stranded on board. Paying high attention to the issue, the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Chinese Embassy in the ROK and Consulate General in Jeju immediately launched the emergency mechanism. The Chinese Ambassador to the ROK expressed concerns to the ROK side immediately after the incident, urging them to ensure the safety as well as legitimate rights and interests of the stranded Chinese, assist China and facilitate China's follow-up actions. The Chinese Consul General in Jeju paid multiple visits to the site where the cruise liner was detained to ensure that the company involved took measures to meet the stranded tourists' daily need on board, minimize their losses, pacify them and take them home as soon as possible. Thanks to various parties' efforts, the ROK side has rendered flight clearances to us and facilitated the tourists' entry and exit. So far, 1409 passengers have been taken back home by planes sent by the relevant company. Others will soon be on a return trip as planned.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry and diplomatic missions in the ROK will continue to follow closely the developments, stay in communication and coordination with the ROK side and pursue an immediate and proper settlement of the incident.

Q: US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel paid a working visit to China from September 13 to 14. Please give us more details on that. What did China say on the Korean nuclear issue?

A:US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Russel paid a working visit to China from September 13 to 14. Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang met and held talks respectively with him. The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on implementing the consensus reached by the two presidents, pushing forward the new model of major-country relations between China and the US and enhancing cooperation at the bilateral level as well as on major international and regional issues.

With regards to the Korean nuclear issue, China underlines that to achieve denuclearization and to uphold peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula serves the common interests of China and the US, hoping that all relevant parties make joint efforts to restart the Six-Party Talks at an early date. Both sides agreed to stay in communication and coordination on relevant issues.

Q: The US Secretary of State and the Russian Foreign Minister reached an agreement on framework for elimination of Syrian chemical weapons on September 14 in Geneva. What is China's comment?

A: A political resolution is the only practical way out for the Syrian issue. The political process should go hand in hand with the elimination of chemical weapons, so as to properly solve the Syrian issue under the UN framework at an early date.

China welcomes the agreement on framework for elimination of Syrian chemical weapons reached by Russia and the US in Geneva. We hope that the agreement will be put into practice.

China calls on Syria to stop violence immediately for a ceasefire and create necessary conditions for the elimination of chemical weapons and an early start of the second Geneva international meeting.

Q: Please brief us on the Sixth Senior Officials' Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). Why does China push for "gradual progress" in the COC?

A: The Sixth Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) and the Ninth Joint Working Group (JWG) Meeting on the Implementation of the DOC were held in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province from September 14 to 15. All sides had an in-depth exchange of views on further fully and effectively implementing the DOC and enhancing maritime practical cooperation and held consultations on the code of conduct (COC) under the framework of implementing the DOC in a friendly and candid atmosphere.

All participants agreed to start from setting the consensus straight and gradually expand the consensus to narrow differences under the principle of "seeking gradual progress and consensus through consultations", so as to steadily press ahead with the COC process while fully and effectively implementing the DOC. The participants decided to authorize the JWG to have detailed consultations over the COC and agreed to take steps to set up a panel of well-established experts. In other words, the principle of "seeking gradual progress and consensus through consultations" is the common ground of all participants.

Q: India yesterday test-fired the long-range missile Agni-5 for the second time. It was reported to be a weapon of deterrence with China in mind. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports and comments and hope relevant media outlets will do more to contribute to the growth of China-India relations and regional peace and stability.

Both China and India are important developing countries and emerging economies. The two countries are natural cooperative partners rather than rivals. Both sides should work together to commit to bilateral friendship, deepen strategic mutual trust and uphold peace, development and stability in the region.

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