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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on October 15, 2012


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on October 15, 2012.

Q: It is reported that King Father Sihanouk of the Kingdom of Cambodia passed away in Beijing on the early morning of October 15. How does China comment? How will China help Cambodia with the follow-up work?

A: On the early morning of October 15, King Father Norodom Sihanouk of the Kingdom of Cambodia passed away in Beijing at the age of 90. King Father Sihanouk is a great friend of the Chinese people. He forged profound friendship with several generations of Chinese leaders and made indelible contribution to creating and cultivating China-Cambodia friendship. His passing away is a great loss not only to the Cambodian people, but also to the Chinese people.

This morning, Vice President Xi Jinping paid a visit to King Father's residence in Beijing to offer deep condolences and sympathy to Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk on behalf of the Chinese government and people. When King Father Sihanouk was sick in hospital, State Councillor Dai Bingguo, Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee Li Zhanshu and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visited him in the Beijing Hospital.

China will provide full assistance and cooperation to Cambodia for the relevant work. We will release information of the Chinese side's memorial activities in a timely fashion.

Q: Today, Japanese Foreign Minister Gemba said during his meeting with visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Burns that Japan adheres to the position that there is no territorial dispute between Japan and China. How does China comment?

A: Japan tries to bring in other countries to counter China on the issue of the Diaoyu islands. This is totally in vain. We have noticed that the US has expressed many times that it does not take a position on the territorial dispute between China and Japan. We hope the US will honor its words with deeds.

Q: It is reported that Japan will intensify its overseas campaign on the Diaoyu Islands issue. This week, Japanese Foreign Minister Gemba will visit the UK, France and Germany to explain that the Diaoyu Islands belong to Japan. How does China comment?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have always been China's inherent territory since ancient times. No matter how Japan campaigns for its position internationally, it cannot change the historical fact that Japan illegally stole and occupied China's territory.

Q: Please brief us on the latest development of Ghana's arrest of Chinese illegal gold miners and the death of one Chinese national in the meantime. What measures has China taken?

A: Recently, the law-enforcement department of Ghana carried out a crackdown on some gold mines and arrested altogether over 90 Chinese nationals suspected of illegal gold mining. One Chinese national died during the crackdown.

Attaching great importance to the incident, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Embassy in Ghana immediately launched the contingency mechanism, made representations with the Ghanian side, expressed grave concerns and demanded it to have a thorough investigation of the case, bring the perpetrator to justice, provide compensation and inform the Chinese side of the investigation result as soon as possible. China demands Ghana to properly handle relevant affairs, take concrete and effective measures to prevent similar incidents from happening again and protect the safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and enterprises in Ghana. The Ghanian side expressed deep grief over the death of one Chinese national and said that attaching high importance to China's concerns, the government will deal with the case strictly according to law and protect the safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.

The Chinese Embassy in Ghana has sent staff to visit the detained Chinese nationals many times, providing them with necessary living and medical services. At the request of the Chinese side, the physically unwell and female nationals among the detained have all been released on bail. China will continue to follow the case closely. At the same time, we remind Chinese nationals in Ghana to abide by local laws and regulations, work legally and enhance their safety awareness.

Q: How does China comment on the EU's winning of the Nobel Peace Prize?

A: China supports the integration of Europe and welcomes the EU's constructive role in international affairs.

Q: US Deputy Secretary of State Burns will visit China tomorrow. Could you brief us on his meeting arrangements and major topics with the Chinese side?

A: The two sides will exchange views on China-US relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest. We will release information of the visit in due course.

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