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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 16, 2013

2013/10/16

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on October 16, 2013.

Hua Chunying started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs of the Republic of Singapore, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of the State Council will visit Singapore from October 20 to 23 and co-chair the 10th meeting of the China-Singapore Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation, the 15th meeting of the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park Joint Steering Committee, and the 6th meeting of the China-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Joint Steering Committee.

Q: It is reported that the Six-Party nations, except the DPRK will meet on the sidelines of an internet conference to be held later this week in Seoul. Please confirm.

A: A cyberspace conference will be held in Seoul, the ROK on October 17 and 18 for discussions on cyber-related issues and further international cooperation on cyber affairs. As arranged by the ROK side, representatives from China, the US, Russia, Japan and the ROK will hold a breakfast meeting on the sidelines of the conference to have a preliminary exchange views on cyber security cooperation. The activity has nothing to do with the Six-Party Talks.

Q: A Panamanian-flagged cargo ship sank Tuesday off ROK's Pohang Port, and several Chinese crew members on board were missing. Please confirm and give us more details. What has China done so far in response?

A: On the night of October 15, the cargo ship "CHENG LU 15", with 18 Chinese and one Vietnamese crew members on board, capsized due to bad weather in waters off ROK's Pohang Port. Highly concerned about this incident, the Chinese Foreign Ministry ordered the Consulate-General in Busan to launch the emergency response mechanism immediately. The working team of the Consulate-General wasted no time in learning and verifying the information at the site of the incident and called on the ROK side to make all-out efforts to search and rescue the crew members. The ROK side offered generous support by employing ships, copters and lots of manpower in the search and rescue efforts. Up till now, eight survivors and nine bodies have been found, while two others are still missing. The search and rescue efforts are ongoing. Consular officials of the Consulate-General in Busan have paid visit to the survivors in the local hospital.

The Center for Consular Assistance and Protection of the Foreign Ministry and Chinese diplomatic missions in the ROK will follow closely the developments of the incident and help with follow-up search and rescue, treatment of the injured and the handling of matters concerning the death of crew members.

Q: It is reported that a Chinese official made a secret visit to Japan and met with the Japanese side earlier this month for discussion on mending bilateral ties. Please confirm.

A: I have seen relevant reports. Chinese and Japanese Foreign Ministries are in communication. As to what you have said about Chinese official's secret visit to Japan and meeting with the Japanese side earlier this month, as far as I know, it did not happen.

Q: It is reported that a cargo ship with Chinese crew members on board was found in distress in the eastern coast of India the other day. 18 crew members were saved by the Indian side. Please give us more details.

A: On October 12 local time, a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship was tilted in waters off the Sagar Island, eastern India. 17 Chinese and one Indonesian crew members were missing after boarding a life raft. The Chinese Foreign Ministry paid high attention to the incident. After being apprised of the incident, the Center of Consular Assistance and Protection and Consulate-General in Calcutta activated the emergency response mechanism immediately, called for all-out rescue efforts from the Indian side and sent officials to the site to learn more about the incident. Around 4 p.m. of October 13, 18 crew members were saved by the Indian side. On the morning of October 14, consular officials of the Consulate-General visited and sent their regards to the rescued crew members. They are in good shape and spirits.

The Chinese Embassy in India and Consulate-General in Calcutta will help with the follow-up work, including assisting the crew members in returning home.

Q: Some reports say that as China is importing more oil from the Middle East, it should assume more responsibility in safeguarding peace of this region. What is China's comment?

A: I have noted relevant reports. China's energy cooperation with Middle Eastern countries is open, transparent and mutually beneficial. It does no harm to the interests of any third party.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a responsible country, China has long been playing a positive and constructive role in promoting peace, security, prosperity and development of the Middle East region. China has made universally-recognized efforts to push for political solutions to the Syrian, Iranian, Palestinian and other hotspot issues, support regional countries in independently exploring development paths suited to their national conditions and help regional countries develop economy and improve people's livelihood. Peace, stability, prosperity and development of the Middle East region will help maintain the safety of global energy supply, which meets the common interests of the international community. China will make tireless efforts to that end.

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