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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 25, 2013

2013/09/25

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on September 25, 2013.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

P5+1 countries will hold a foreign ministers' meeting in New York on September 26 to discuss the current developments of the Iranian nuclear issue and the next dialogue between P5+1 countries and Iran. Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend the meeting.

China stands for a peaceful settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation. We hope that this foreign ministers' meeting will play a constructive role in facilitating dialogues on the Iranian nuclear issue.

Q: US Consul General to Hong Kong Clifford Hart said yesterday that the US will continue to support Hong Kong's progress toward genuine universal suffrage as laid out in the Basic Law and the National People's Congress' 2007 decision, adding that the Washington reserves its position to comment on things that they consider important. What is China's comment?

A: The development of political system is the internal affair of Hong Kong and China. The Chinese government is firmly opposed to any country's interference in Hong Kong's internal affairs by making irresponsible remarks in this regard. We hope that relevant country will match words with deeds and do more that is conducive to Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.

Q: Iran's President Hassan Rowhani reportedly told the UN General Assembly that his country poses no threat to the world and has prepared to engage in nuclear negotiations under certain conditions. US President Barack Obama welcomed the new Iranian government's pursuit of a more moderate course, saying that it should offer the basis for a breakthrough on Iran's nuclear impasse. What is China's comment?

A: China has noted relevant reports. China maintains that dialogue and negotiation is the only correct way to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. Under the current circumstances, P5+1 countries should resume dialogue with Iran as soon as possible, move forward such dialogue in a result-oriented manner, seek a win-win solution, make headway at an early date so as to create conditions for a comprehensive, long-term and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue. We support all relevant parties in increasing dialogue, contact and mutual trust, which will facilitate the dialogue between P5+1 and Iran.

Q: The United States appealed to the UN to back top consequences for Syria if Syria does not surrender its chemical weapons stockpile in a verifiable way. What is China's comment?

A: The agreement reached between the US and Russia, the Syrian government's accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention and submission of the list of chemical weapons for elimination have presented a window of opportunity to the peaceful settlement of the issue of chemical weapons in Syria. China hopes that the US-Russia agreement will be implemented. What is pressing now is that the OPCW should make a decision as soon as possible and start the verification and elimination of chemical weapons at an early date. The UN Security Council should speak with one voice on this issue to give unequivocal political support to the settlement of the issue of chemical weapons in Syria.

In the meantime, China also maintains that the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria should go hand in hand with the political process. Under the current conditions, all relevant parties in Syria should immediately stop violence for a ceasefire, launch the political dialogue and transition process and seek to reduce tension and restore national stability.

Q: First, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Baluchistan Province of Pakistan yesterday, causing over 200 deaths and hundreds of injuries. What is China's response? Will China send some assistance for relief? Second, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday had a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in New York. Can you update us on this meeting?

A: On your first question, China closely follows the earthquake disaster in Pakistan, expresses deep condolences to the victims and sincere solicitude to the bereaved families and the injured. President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have respectively sent a message of condolences to President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The Chinese government will offer emergency assistance at the request of Pakistan.

In the wake of the earthquake, the Chinese Foreign Ministry immediately instructed the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan to check whether Chinese citizens and institutions there have been affected. Up to date, there have been no reports of Chinese casualties.

On your second question, Foreign Minister Wang Yi yesterday met with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the UN headquarters in New York.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi started by expressing sympathy to Pakistan over the casualties caused by the recent earthquake and the attack on the church in Peshawar. He said that the successful exchange of visits between the Chinese Premier and the Pakistani Prime Minister in less than two months has set a new record in the history of bilateral relations, renewed and instilled new impetus to the traditional friendship between the two countries. The new Chinese leadership highly values its relationship with Pakistan and takes it as a priority in China's neighbouring diplomacy. China is ready to implement the important consensus between the two countries together with Pakistan, translate the special and friendly political relations between China and Pakistan into concrete results of practical cooperation in various fields, and in particular, make the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor a success. Appreciating Pakistan's efforts to combat the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement", China will continue to support and help Pakistan in building up anti-terrorism capacity.

Prime Minister Sharif thanked Foreign Minister Wang Yi for his sympathy. The Pakistani side is well satisfied with the fruitful results of mutual visits between the Chinese Premier and the Pakistani Prime Minister and will work together with China to accelerate the implementation of all these results, the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in particular, so as to deliver more tangible benefits to the two countries. Despite the enormous sacrifice, the Pakistani side is determined to fight till terrorism is rooted out and make contributions to regional security.

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