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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on October 19, 2012


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on October 19, 2012.

Q: Please brief us on the latest development of Ghana's arrest of Chinese illegal gold miners, and what has China done?

A: Thanks to the efforts made by the Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Ghana, the Chinese nationals arrested by Ghana were all released on bail on October 17, local time. Ghana has set up an investigation team and stepped up investigation into relevant situation, including the death of a Chinese citizen. The Chinese Embassy in Ghana will continue to deal with the aftermath.

Q: ROK President Lee Myung-bak paid an inspection visit to the Yeonpyeong Island yesterday, becoming the first incumbent ROK President to land on the island. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant report. Peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula serves the common interests of all parties. We hope that parties concerned will make more contributions to that end.

Q: The Japanese Prime Minister stated in August this year that there was a lack of evidence that the Japanese military recruited "comfort women" during the Second World War. What is China's comment?

A: The conscription of "comfort women" is a heinous crime committed by the Japanese militarism to people of the victimized Asian countries during the Second World War. It is a historical fact no one can deny. Japan should face squarely the history, undertake deep introspection, and face the international community in a responsible manner.

Q: Today a joint maritime rights-protection drill was held on the East China Sea by the Chinese Navy's East China Sea Fleet together with the Ministry of Agriculture and the State Oceanic Administration. What is the purpose of the drill? Is it directed against Japan's "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands? What impact will it have on the current situation of the Diaoyu Islands and China-Japan relations?

A: China's competent authorities have released information about the joint drill, to which you may refer.

Japan's unilateral "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands is the sole cause to the flaring-up of the Diaoyu Islands dispute between China and Japan. Japan should bear full responsibility. The Chinese government is determined and resolute in defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We hope that Japan will face up to the facts, correct mistakes and come back to the track of a negotiated settlement to the Diaoyu Islands dispute.

Q: Has China banned its state-owned enterprises from investing and doing business in Ogaden, Ethiopia after Sinopec was attacked there in 2007?

A: The Chinese government encourages Chinese citizens and enterprises to invest and do business overseas. We also remind them to mitigate relevant safety risks.

Q: US presidential candidates will hold another round of foreign policy debate next Tuesday. China is bound to once again become the topic of both the Republican and the Democratic candidates. What is your comment?

A: As two important countries in the world, China and the US share extensive common interests and shoulder significant common responsibilities. Sound China-US relations serve the fundamental interests of both countries and peoples, and are also conducive to world peace, stability and development. We hope that the US can join China in earnestly implementing the consensus reached between leaders of the two countries, establishing a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit and building a new type of relations between China and the US as major countries.

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