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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on December 12, 2013

2013/12/13

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on December 12, 2013.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Salah Eddine Mezouar and Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Palestine, Israel, Algeria, Morocco and Saudi Arabia from December 17 to 26.

Q: It is reported that Japanese Foreign Ministry has translated its online video about the Diaoyu islands into 9 languages to step up propaganda. What is China's comment?

A: This is another provocative action by Japan on the issue of the Diaoyu islands. China firmly opposes it. I want to reiterate that no matter what means Japan employs to propagandize its illegal and unilateral position, it will not change the fact that the Diaoyu islands belong to China. We seriously urge the Japanese side to face squarely the history and reality, immediately stop all provocative words and deeds, come back to the track of managing differences and solving problems through dialogue and consultation.

Q: It is reported that yesterday the Immigration Office of the Philippines raided several markets in the Chinese community in Manila and detained 78 Chinese citizens. Please give us more details about the incident and what China has done so far.

A: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs have instructed the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines to launch an emergency mechanism. The Chinese Embassy immediately verified what has happened and lodged representations with the Philippine Immigration Office. The Philippines said that this operation targeted all overstayers in the Philippines not just Chinese, and that there were many citizens of other countries arrested in this operation. So far, three out of all the detained Chinese have been released for the time being given their poor health.The rest have been moved to another detention site with better conditions.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines will continue to follow the development of this case. We urge the Philippine side to properly resolve it as soon as possible.

Q: The ROK side reportedly tells its airlines to ignore China's East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), but also says that they can file flight plans with China if they want to. What is China's comment?

A: China has repeatedly expounded on its position on the establishment of the East China Sea ADIZ. It is fully justifiable for China to do so. It complies with intentional laws and conventions and calls for respect and coordination from other countries. To report flight plans to China is not only conducive to territory and airspace security in China but also the flight security of relevant airlines and the flight order in the relevant airspace.

Q: Chinese stores were looted and one Chinese was killed as parts of Argentina are plagued by riots. Please brief us on the latest development and what China has done so far.

A: Recently, robberies occurred in the Santa Fe Province, Cordoba Province and Buenos Aires Province of Argentina. Supermarkets, wine shops, bakeries, electronic appliance shops and people's homes and cars were all reduced to targets of robbery. Some Chinese-owned supermarkets also suffered.

It is verified that a Chinese citizen was killed in the recent riots in Argentina. The Chinese Embassy in Argentina activated the emergency response mechanism to deal with follow-up matters, lodge representations with the Argentine side and require relevant departments to solve the case as soon as possible. The Embassy will continue to follow the handling of the case and provide necessary assistance to the family of the Chinese involved in the case.

Year-end is a peak season for public security cases in Argentina. The Department of Consular Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Argentina will continue to urge the Argentine side to earnestly protect the security and interests of Chinese citizens. Meanwhile, we remind Chinese citizens in Argentina to pay close attention to local public security, raise their risk awareness and take necessary precautions.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly said that he hopes to rally support from Southeast Asian countries at the Japan-ASEAN Special Summit on issues concerning freedom of navigation and overflight in the region. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports. We believe that when developing relations with each other, relevant countries should not target a third party or undermine the third party's interests. They should make due efforts to maintain regional peace and stability.

Q: Could you please give us more details about Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to the five countries in West Asia and North Africa?

A: Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Palestine, Israel, Algeria, Morocco and Saudi Arabia is the first visit to West Asia and North Africa by the Foreign Minister of the new Chinese government. It is also an important visit that will deepen and grow China's relations with Middle East countries.

In recent years, China has played a positive and important role in pushing for the resolution of hotspot issues in the Middle East such as issues of Syria, Iranian nuclear and Palestine, supporting countries in this region in independently exploring development paths commensurate with their national conditions and promoting their economic and social development.

During his visit, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will have in-depth discussions with leaders and foreign ministers of relevant countries on deepening bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common interest. He will also exchange views with relevant parties on implementing the "Four-Point Proposal" made by President Xi Jinping for the resolution of the Palestinian issue and elaborate on China's policies toward Arab countries. I believe that this visit will be a boost to China's relations with countries in West Asia and North Africa.

Q: Japan is adjusting its mid-term defense plan and may increase its military expenditure on the ground of China's frequent activities concerning the Diaoyu islands. What is China's comment?

A: China sticks to the path of peaceful development and upholds a national defensive policy that is defensive in nature. The normal and legitimate build-up of China's national defense capacity does not pose threat to any country. Meanwhile, China firmly upholds its national sovereignty and territorial integrity and by no means allows any country to undermine its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

China and its Asian neighbors are all following closely Japan's military and security strategy and relevant policy moves. Japan makes irresponsible accusation of China's normal air and sea operations and hypes up "China threat". There is an ulterior political motive behind that. Japan is to find an excuse to amend its constitution, build up its military strength and adjust its military policies. We urge the Japanese side to stop making irresponsible accusation against China, follow the trend of peace and development, pay heed to the concerns and voice of countries in this region, stick to the path of peaceful development and make concrete efforts to maintain regional peace and stability.

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