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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on January 8, 2014


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on January 8, 2014.

Hua Chunying started the press conference with the following announcements:

At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, President Rosen Plevneliev of the Republic of Bulgaria will pay a state visit to China from January 12 to 15.

At the invitation of the government of Tanzania, Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Jiang Weixin will attend the celebration of the 50th Zanzibar Revolution Day on January 12 in Tanzania as the Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping.

Q: Foreign Minister Wang Yi is visiting Africa. Experts say that his visit is directed against Japan. How does China respond?

A: I do not know which expert you are referring to. If that is what the expert said, maybe he or she is not so acquainted with the past and present of China-Africa relations. Friendly relations between China and Africa have lasted for decades. China fosters relations with African countries based on the principle of "sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith" and tries its best to make contributions to the cause of peace and development of African countries. The sincere and selfless help from China plays a positive role in promoting economic and social development of countries in the region and receives welcome and recognition from African countries. Chinese Foreign Ministers always choose Africa as the destination of their first overseas visit at the beginning of every new year. It is a decades-old fine tradition of China's diplomacy. It demonstrates the importance attached by China to Africa and the traditional friendship between China and Africa.

We are open to the international community's cooperation with Africa and hope that all parties of the international community could work together and play a positive and constructive role in promoting peace, security and development of Africa. However, if there is any country out there that attempts to make use of Africa for rivalry, the country is making a wrong decision which is doomed to fail. We hope that all parties could adopt a right attitude and focus on improving the well-being of African people when carrying out cooperation with Africa, instead of putting efforts into wrong areas.

Q: It is reported that since June last year, the US and the EU have somewhat eased their sanctions on Iran's oil trade. What is China's position on oil trade with Iran?

A: China carries out open, transparent and normal cooperation in energy and business with countries in the Middle East, including Iran. This kind of cooperation, which is mutually beneficial, does no harm to the interests of any other party, neither does it violate China's international obligations.

Q: Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid was quoted as telling Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of the New Komeito Party of Japan, who is visiting India, that if Japan reflects on its experiences in the history, it will find itself wrong on some issues. It is best for Japan to learn from history and move on. The Indian Foreign Minister also called on Japan to take the criticism from China, the ROK, the US, Russia and the EU with an open mind. What is China's comment?

A: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's perverse action on the historical issue has severely offended people from countries victimized in WWII. It has triggered criticism and condemnation from more and more peace-loving and justice-holding countries and people. We urge the Japanese leader to face up to the international community's cry for justice, admit mistakes and change course.

Q: It is learned that the first batch of chemical weapons has been shipped out of Syria on January 7. Please give us more details.

A: Yancheng, the Chinese naval vessel taking part in the joint escort mission, entered the territorial waters of Syria on January 7. It is in close cooperation with naval vessels from Russia, Denmark and Norway to officially start escorting the shipping of chemical weapons in Syria. The Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN Secretary-General released statements successively to welcome the aforementioned progress, hailing it as an important step in the thorough destruction of chemical weapons in Syria. We believe that a timely and swift removal of chemical weapons will help advance the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria. China applauds the efforts made by all parties and the ensuing progress. China will step up coordination with all parties to jointly ensure the safety and success of the shipping.

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