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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 23, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on September 23, 2013.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, President Hamid Karzai of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan will pay a state visit to China from September 25 to 28 and attend the opening ceremony of the Euro-Asia Economic Forum 2013.

Q: Japan has reportedly approved the installation of the X-band radar by the US military in the Air Self-Defense Force's base in the Kyoto Prefecture. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant report and are concerned about that. China believes that some individual country or bloc of countries' unilateral deployment of anti-missile system or engagement in bloc cooperation under the pretext of guarding against the nuclear and missile "threat" from the DPRK will make no contribution to regional non-proliferation, nor will it be conducive to peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific, rather, it may produce a severe and negative impact on global strategic stability. We maintain that political and diplomatic means should be adopted in dealing with the issue of missile proliferation, so as to fully accommodate different countries' legitimate concerns over the anti-missile issue and safeguard global strategic stability.

Q: Germany held the Bundestag election on September 22. The CDU/CSU led by incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel won the election. What is China's comment? Has China expressed congratulations? How does China envision the development of China-Germany relations?

A: China congratulates on the full success of the Bundestag election and the victory of the CDU/CSU led by Madame Merkel.

China and Germany are each other's strategic partners. To deepen China-Germany mutually beneficial cooperation lives up to the consensus of the two countries and serves the interests of both sides. China attaches great importance to developing relations with Germany and stands ready to enhance cooperation with the new German government to open up the future and propel bilateral relations to a new high.

Q: First, Thai media reported that China agreed to buy rice from Thailand. Please confirm. Second, what is China's comment on the terrorist attack at the mall in Nairobi, Kenya? Are Chinese citizens among those that have been taken hostage?

A: On your first question, China and Thailand enjoy sound cooperation on trade in agricultural products, with a corresponding subcommittee established under the framework of the Joint Committee on Trade, Investment and Economic Cooperation. China is a major export destination for Thailand's agricultural products. We are willing to import more rice and other agricultural products from Thailand and stay in communication with the Thai side in this regard.

On your second question, China resolutely opposes terrorism in all manifestations, strongly condemns the terrorist attack in Kenya's capital Nairobi, and expresses deep condolences to the victims and sincere solicitude to the bereaved families and the injured. China will continue its staunch support for Kenya's efforts to safeguard national security and regional stability.

After the attack, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese Embassy in Kenya immediately launched the emergency mechanism. Up till now, one Chinese citizen has been killed and another injured in the attack. The Chinese Ambassador to Kenya has visited the injured Chinese citizen and condoled with the bereaved family in the hospital. The Chinese Embassy in Kenya is assisting the bereaved family in dealing with the aftermath and has required the Kenyan side to make an all-out effort to treat and cure the Chinese injured, cooperate to deal with matters concerning the death of the Chinese citizen and take concrete measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in Kenya.

The attack is still being dealt with. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Embassy in Kenya will closely follow the developments, further verify the situation and render full assistance to relevant Chinese in dealing with the aftermath and seeking treatment.

Q: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the other day that China is willing to send experts to Syria to help verify and destroy chemical weapons. Please give us more details.

A: As an important member of the OPCW, China always energetically supports the organization's work and has sent many high-calibre professionals, chemical weapons inspectors in particular, to the organization. With regards to the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria, China will continue to support the OPCW's work as it always does, and will send experts to join relevant action at the request of the organization.

Q: The DPRK reportedly postponed the inter-Korean reunions of separated families and relatives and talks on reopening the Mount Kumgang resort. The ROK side expressed regret at that. What is China's comment?

A: We have seen relevant reports. The improvement of the DPRK-ROK relationship and realization of reconciliation and cooperation meet the interests of both sides. The current momentum of dialogue on the Peninsula does not come easily. We hope that relevant parties cherish and seize the opportunity, maintain the momentum of dialogue and contact, keep working in the same direction and make positive efforts to improve relations between the DPRK and the ROK and move the situation on the Peninsula in a favorable direction.

Q: It is reported that a mortar round landed in the compound of the Russian Embassy in Syria, causing injuries. What is China's comment?

A: China expresses grave concerns at the attack against the Russian Embassy in Syria on September 22, extends sympathy and solicitude to the injured, and strongly condemns attacks against diplomatic corps in Syria. We urge all relevant parties in Syria to comply fully with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and take concrete measures to ensure the safety of diplomatic corps and their staff. In the meantime, we call on all relevant parties in Syria to stop violence immediately for a ceasefire, launch the political dialogue and transition process as soon as possible and restore national stability at an early date.

Q: The OPCW said on September 21 that it had received a full account of chemical weapons from the Syrian government. What is China's comment?

A: China has noted that. To submit the relevant list to the OPCW is another positive step taken by the Syrian government following its announcement of joining the Chemical Weapons Convention. China welcomes that and supports the OPCW in playing a positive role in the issue of Syria's chemical weapons. Together with all parties, we stand ready to push for an adoption of a decision by the Executive Council of the OPCW on eliminating chemical weapons in Syria.

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