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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 17, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on September 17, 2013.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, President Nicolás Maduro Moros of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will pay a state visit to China from September 21 to 24.

Q: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday briefed the Security Council on the report by the United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria. The report states that "chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in Syria", but does not assign blame. What is China's comment on that report? Does China believe the Security Council should take actions for that?

A: The UN mission carried out its work in an extremely complex environment and submitted its report in a timely manner. China appreciates that. China attaches great importance to the report and will give it a serious review.

China's position on the issue of chemical weapons is consistent and clear-cut. We are opposed to the use of chemical weapons by anyone and strongly condemn the use of chemical weapons in Syria. China supports the UN mission in continuing its work in accordance with its previous agreement with the Syrian government. We also welcome the US-Russia framework agreement and support the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons within the UN framework, which should go hand in hand with seeking political resolution.

Q: First, it is reported that since Hong Kong's return to motherland, UK intelligence agencies have engaged in more infiltration missions there. What is China's response to that? Second, tomorrow will be an anniversary of "the September 18 Incident". What is China's comment? Third, Japanese Defence Ministry said that it would consider shooting down Chinese drones entering the airspace of the Diaoyu Islands. What is China's comment?

A: On your first question, China by no means allows interference in Hong Kong's internal affairs by any external forces which will harm Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. We are determined and able to safeguard national security.

On your second question, the September 18 Incident preceded the Japanese militarism's war of aggression against China. We commemorate this day to carry forward the Chinese nation's great spirit of loving peace and striving for unremitting self-improvement and make China stronger through arduous efforts.

The Japanese militarism's war of aggression in modern times brought untold sufferings to its Asian neighbours and people of victimized countries. Once again, we urge the Japanese side to express deep remorse for its history of invasion, be responsible to history and future, pursue a path of peaceful development, honor its solemn statement and commitment on historical issues and take concrete actions to win the trust of its Asian neighbours and the international community.

On your third question, China has the resolve and capability to defend its territorial sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe summoned a panel of experts the other day to discuss the exercise of collective self-defence. Japan is also considering developing its capacity for preemptive strikes. What is China's comment?

A: Due to historical reasons, where Japan is heading in terms of military and security always holds the attention of its Asian neighbours and the international community. We hope that Japan will take history as a mirror, respect the concerns of countries in the region and make contributions to regional peace and stability, rather than stir up and play up tensions and make excuses for military buildup and adjustment to military policies.

Q: Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said in a speech to the general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency that the current government of Iran has a more full-fledged desire to solve the Iranian nuclear issue and is optimistic about the forthcoming negotiation, adding that Iran would like to enhance cooperation with the agency, but would never abandon its right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy. What is China's comment?

A: China has noted the statement made by the Iranian side. China always maintains that Iran should fulfill its international obligations of nuclear non-proliferation, and should also be able to make peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We are now facing new opportunities for the political and diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue. We hope that Iran would enhance practical dialogues with the P5+1 countries, explore a win-win approach to make concrete progress at an early date and create conditions for a comprehensive, long-term and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.

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