|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on March 18, 2014|
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on March 18, 2014.
Hong Lei started the press conference by briefing the press on China's search efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.
Hong Lei: To search for the missing aircraft remains the top priority for us. China has deployed over ten professional search vessels in relevant waters and required Chinese merchant ships passing by to join the search operation. We have also employed numbers of planes and 21 satellites in the operation. We have informed 25 countries of the situation and asked for their assistance. Our appreciation goes to all those countries for their all-out efforts in the search.
Given the increasing complexity and enlarged search areas, it becomes more difficult to search for the missing plane. As long as there is a gleam of hope, however, we will not cease our efforts. We also hope that the Malaysian side could provide us with information including that from the third party in a timely, comprehensive and accurate fashion, identify the scope of search as soon as possible, work out solutions and increase the effectiveness of the search. We believe that the search should go hand in hand with investigation, and more accurate and comprehensive information should be provided through investigation.
Q: The Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia said today that China has begun its search over the northern corridor where the plane could have flown. Can you tell us specifically over which part of China is the government currently looking at?
A: At the request of the Malaysian side, we mobilized satellites and radar to search over the Chinese section of the northern corridor which the Malaysian side says the plane may have flown over.
Q: The Malaysian government hopes that countries concerned can share raw information collected by radar. Is China willing to do so?
A: Since the Malaysia Airlines flight went missing, China has been in close communication and coordination with the Malaysian side to press vigorously ahead with the search. China is ready to cooperate actively on anything that is conducive to the search.
Q: There are discussions in the UN Human Rights Council on the human rights issue of the DPRK. Would China use its veto power at the UN Security Council if the issue was brought there for further actions?
A: China's position on human rights is consistent and clear-cut. We maintain that differences in the human rights field should be resolved through constructive dialogues and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect. We oppose politicizing human rights issue or interfering in other countries' internal affairs under the pretext of human rights.
The current situation on the Korean Peninsula has relatively relaxed. The international community should make constructive efforts to maintain this momentum.
Q: With regard to the referendum in Crimea, the Russian government said that it accorded with international law, but the US and the EU did not agree and refused to recognize the result of referendum. What is China's position on that?
A: I believe that you have taken note of my statement on the result of the referendum in Crimea. I'd like to reiterate that we hope the issue of Crimea can be properly handled and resolved through political dialogues as soon as possible on the basis of respecting all parties' reasonable concerns and legitimate rights and interests.
Q: Is China conducting search on the Chinese territory covered by the northern corridor at the request of the Malaysian government? What Chinese agencies are involved in the search?
A: As I just said, we are mobilizing satellites and radar to conduct search as required by the Malaysian side.