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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on January 14, 2014


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on January 14, 2014.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council, Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich of the Republic of Belarus will pay an official visit to China from January 19 to 23.

Q: At the press conference marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between France and China held at the French Foreign Ministry, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that 2014 would be an important year for France-China relations and that a series of celebrations would be organized by the two countries to highlight bilateral friendship and showcase every aspect of the partnership between the two countries. What commemorative activities will China hold and what is your comment on the current China-France relationship?

A: France is the first major western country to have established diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level with China. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and France. China-France relationship, with its global and strategic significance and epochal features, leads the development of relations between China and European countries as well as between China and western countries. China-France relationship is entering a new period of rapid development, witnessing constant new progress in practical cooperation in various areas. Under the new historical conditions, China stands ready to work with France, view and deal with bilateral relations from long-term and strategic perspectives and push for further and greater development of China-France Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in the principles of mutual respect, treating each other as equals and accommodating each other's concerns.

In accordance with the consensus reached by the two Heads of State, China and France will hold grand celebrations throughout the year. Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Minister of Culture Cai Wu will hold a joint press conference at the press room of China's National Center for the Performing Arts at 10 a.m. on January 17 to brief the journalists about plans and designs for major celebration activities. Friends from the press are all welcome there.

Q: Please update us on the shipping of Syrian chemical weapons.

A: The Syrian government overcame difficulties and shipped out the first batch of chemical warefare agents on January 7, implementing decisions of the OPCW and resolutions of the UN Security Council with concrete actions. China, Russia and Denmark actively coordinated with each other to ensure the security of the first round of shipping. We welcome the progress and appreciate the efforts by all parties including the Syrian government.

The shipping is a crucial part of the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons. China will continue to make concerted efforts with relevant parties to maintain the favorable momentum. China's Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry have sent staff to Cyprus to coordinate the shipping and keep in close communication with the OPCW-UN joint mission, Russia, Denmark and all other parties. China's ship Yancheng will also conduct tactical coordination with naval vessels from Russia, Denmark and other countries in a timely manner in accordance with actual needs so as to prepare for follow-up shipping and escort missions.

Q: The G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in 2010 decided to press ahead with the IMF quota reform and transfer more quotas to developing countries including China. However, relevant process is slow and no active response has been given by the US Congress. What is China's comment?

A: Quota realignment is a significant decision of the IMF. China hopes that all relevant countries could step up efforts to implement the IMF quotas and governance reform, work out a new quota formula that reflects the relative weights of IMF members in the world economy and give greater representation and bigger say to emerging markets and developing countries in international financial institutions.

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