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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 30, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on September 30, 2013.

Q: The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2118 and the target date of the Geneva II was set in the near term, which marks a major step forward on the path of political settlement of the Syrian issue. Please brief us on China's role in seeking a political solution to the Syrian issue.

A: Since the Syrian conflict began, the Chinese side has been forging along the course of political settlement and encouraging talks among different parties for a peaceful solution with a sense of responsibility toward the Syrian people, the world and history, showing commitments to fundamental interests of the Syrian people as well as peace and stability of Syria and the Middle East as a whole.

We are of the view that political settlement is the only practical way out for Syria. We work upon both the Syrian government and the opposition forces in a balanced and in-depth manner with an objective, impartial and responsible attitude, call on all relevant parties in Syria to set store by national and people's interests, realize a ceasefire and cessation of violence as soon as possible, put an end to the crisis through dialogue so as to rebuild their homeland. We adcovate concerted efforts of countries in the region and the international community to play a positive and constructive role in seeking a political settlement of the Syrian issue. We welcome and support the early convocation of the Geneva II and look forward to positive outcomes out of it.

We stand firmly for the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations and against the use or threat of force in international relations. We support an independent, objective, impartial and professional investigation into the issue of chemical weapons in Syria by the UN mission and object to the use of chemical weapons by any organization and any individual. We took an active part in relevant consultations at the Security Council and the Executive Council of the OPCW and contributed to the adoption of relevant resolution and decision on ridding Syria of its chemical weapons, which brought the Syrian situation back to the track of peace from the verge of war and sent a strong voice of solidarity to the international community. The Chinese side has decided to send experts to help verify and eliminate Syria's chemical weapons and provide financial support in this regard.

We are deeply concerned about the humanitarian conditions in Syria and extend sympathy to the Syrian people for their suffering. China has repeatedly offered humanitarian aid to the internally displaced in Syria and refugees fleeing Syria to the best of its capability through bilateral and multilateral channels. In his statement at the General Debate of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly, Foreign Minster Wang Yi announced that the Chinese government is providing emergency humanitarian aid to Jordan and will provide cash remittance for emergency humanitarian aid to help the displaced people inside Syria and Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon through the World Food Program and the World Health Organization. Going forward, we will renew our efforts to relieve the humanitarian crisis in Syria to meet the actual needs of the changing situation.

China will continue its utmost endeavour with the international community to implement the resolution and the decision and make due contribution to the comprehensive, proper and long-term settlement of the Syrian issue.

Q: It is reported that US President Barack Obama had a telephone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani the other day on the Iranian nuclear issue. It is said that the conversation is a historic event in Iran-US relations, as it represents a thaw in relations between the two countries and has sent a clear message for the settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted the recent efforts by the US and Iran for the improvement of bilateral relations. We believe that it is conducive to the political settlement of hotspot issues, the Iranian nuclear issue included, and is of positive significance to upholding and promoting regional peace and stability.

Q: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a meeting in New York on September 29. Indian National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon called the meeting useful and constructive and said that the two sides agreed to work for a complete ceasefire in the Kashmir region and both accepted invitations to visit each other's countries. What is China's comment?

A: We welcome the efforts made by leaders of India and Pakistan for the improvement of bilateral relations. Both India and Pakistan are important countries in South Asia. The improvement of their relationship is crucial to regional peace, stability and development. As a neighbour and friend to both countries, China will continue its support for the proper settlement of disputes between India and Pakistan through dialogue and cooperation so as to realize common development.

Q: Militants reportedly stormed a college in Yobe state in Northeast Nigeria on September 29, shooting dead dozens of students. The Islamic extremist group "Boko Haram" was suspected to be behind the scene. What is China's comment?

A: China has noted relevant reports and strongly condemns the violent and terrorist attack which took innocent lives. We express condolences to the victims and extend sympathy to the bereaved families and the injured.

China is firmly opposed to terrorism in all manifestations and stands ready to enhance anti-terrorism exchanges and cooperation with countries around the world to push for new progress in international anti-terrorism cooperation, in a bid to uphold world peace and stability.

Hong Lei announced at the end that the regular press conference will be suspended from October 1 (Tuesday) to October 7 (Monday) for the National Day holiday and resumed on October 8 (Tuesday). During the adjournment, correspondents may raise questions to the Spokesperson's Office by telephone. Wish all the journalists a happy holiday!

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