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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on November 20, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on November 20, 2013.

Q: Please update us on China's dispatch of the emergency medical team to the disaster-hit areas in the Philippines.

A: In recent days, China has been following closely the typhoon disaster in the Philippines. It is reported that the disaster has injured about 20,000 people and left the disaster-hit areas lacking in doctors and medicine. We have got the confirmation after coordinating with the Philippines and will send relief workers to the disaster-hit areas to provide humanitarian medical assistance in the spirit of healing the wounded and rescuing the dying. It reflects the Chinese people's goodwill towards the Philippine people.

The 51-member emergency medical team sent by the Chinese government will set off within the next few days. The Red Cross Society of China will send an international rescue team to the disaster-hit areas in two groups. The first group of 16 people has left today and the second one of 14 will set off on November 23. China will also dispatch the naval hospital ship "Peace Ark" to join the relief effort in the disaster-hit areas. The "Peace Ark" will set sail on November 21 and save lives in the disaster-hit areas by harnessing its advantages in medical assistance and maneuverability.

Besides, China Soong Ching Ling Foundation decided the other day to donate 200 movable prefabricated houses worth 3.2 million Yuan to three Philippine provinces and other severely stricken areas to ease the housing difficulty of some of the typhoon-affected people.

Q: Double suicide bombings not far from the Iranian Embassy in Lebanon killed 23 and injured 146 on the morning of November 19 local time. The premises of the Iranian Embassy were severely damaged and its Cultural Counsellor was among the dead. What is China's comment?

A: China strongly condemns this terrorist attack and firmly opposes terrorism in all manifestations. This attack has severely endangered the security of diplomatic missions in Lebanon. We express grave concerns over that and are deeply saddened by the deaths and injuries of relevant diplomatic personnel and a large number of innocent civilians.

Q: US Ambassador to China Gary Locke has announced that he is going to leave office early 2014. What is China's comment on him, the first Chinese-American Ambassador to China in the American history? What is China's expectation for the next US Ambassador?

A: Since Mr. Gary Locke assumed the office of US Ambassador to China, he has made positive efforts to promote exchanges and cooperation between China and the US. We commend him for that. President Xi Jinping and President Obama had a successful meeting at the Annenberg Estate, California last June, charting the course for the establishment of a new model of major-country relations between China and the US. We are ready to make concerted efforts with the US to forge ahead along the course set by the two Heads of State.

Q: Chinese tourists were killed and injured in a bus accident on the Bali island of Indonesia. Do you have any update and what has China done so far?

A: On the afternoon of November 18, a tourist bus carrying 13 Chinese tourists had an accident on its way to a scenic spot on the Bali island of Indonesia, leaving four Chinese tourists dead and nine injured. The three that were critically injured are now in stable conditions.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Consulate General in Surabaya paid high attention to that. The Consulate General there immediately activated the emergency response system, sent the working group to the site of the accident on the very night to visit the injured and extend condolences to the victims and required the Indonesian side to help treat and cure the injured, properly deal with matters concerning the deaths of Chinese tourists, find out the cause of the accident as soon as possible and assist with the bereaved families' journey to Indonesia. It is learned that the Henan provincial tourist administration and the tourist agency concerned have sent working groups to Indonesia. Families of the injured and dead are also arriving in Indonesia to deal with follow-up matters.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry and diplomatic missions in Indonesia will continue to follow the development of the case and provide necessary assistance for the Chinese tourists and their families.

Q: A senior Philippine official visited Hong Kong yesterday to talk about the follow-up issues of the Hong Kong hostage incident with the Hong Kong SAR government. What is China's comment? Does China deem it helpful for the final agreement between the two sides?

A: We have stated many times China's position on the relevant issue. The central government supports the close communication between the Hong Kong SAR government and the Philippines on the follow-up issues of the hostage incident for a proper settlement at an early date. We hope the Philippines could respond to the Hong Kong compatriots' requirements and properly resolve relevant issues.

Q: Please brief us on the meeting between Special Representative Wu Dawei of the Chinese Government for Korean Peninsular Affairs and the visiting Special Representative Davies of the US State Department for North Korea Policy.

A: China has maintained close communication and contact with all other parties of the Six-Party Talks including the US. Special Representative Davies of the US State Department for North Korea Policy is visiting China from November 19 to 21. We will release the information about relevant meeting in due course.

Promoting denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and maintaining peace and stability there is the shared responsibility of all relevant parties which serves their common interests. Under current circumstances, we hope relevant parties could display wisdom and return to the track of dialogues and consultations as soon as possible so as to promote the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks. China is ready to work with relevant parties to push forward the Six-Party Talks process, implement all the objectives set in the September 19 Joint Statement in a comprehensive and balanced way and stay committed to promoting lasting stability and peace in Northeast Asia.

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