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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on December 4, 2012

2012/12/05

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on December 4, 2012

Q: The DPRK announced its plan to launch a satellite on December 1. The Chinese side said it was communicating and coordinating with relevant parties over this issue. Can you tell us more details?

A: The Chinese side has exchanged views with the DPRK side several times on its plan of launching a satellite. As a sovereign country, the DPRK is entitled to peaceful use of the outer space. However, given the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the restrictions of relevant UN Security Council resolutions, China hopes that the DPRK side can act prudently with the larger interests of peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula in mind. The Chinese side also stays in communication with other parties to the Six-Party Talks, hoping that they could take a long-term and calm approach and avoid taking actions that may further escalate the situation.

The Chinese side is ready to continue close communication and coordination with other parties and make active efforts to properly handle the current situation and uphold peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region.

Q: The Indian Navy Chief said recently that Indian companies have a stake in the oil and gas exploration blocks in parts of the South China Sea and the Indian navy is prepared to deploy vessels to the South China Sea to protect India's national interests there if necessary. What is China's comment?

A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. China opposes unilateral exploration and development of oil and gas in contested waters of the South China Sea. We hope relevant countries can respect China's claim, position and rights and interests, and respect and support efforts made by countries in the region to solve disputes through bilateral negotiations.

Q: It is reported that a hydroelectric dam built by China in Pursat Province of Cambodia incurred partial collapse on December 1, leaving some missing. Please brief us on the latest development and the work China has done.

A: It is learned that three workers were missing in the incident at the Stung Atay hydroelectric dam invested by a Chinese enterprise in Cambodia on December 1. The enterprise concerned is now actively cooperating with the local government for an all-out rescue and search operation and investigation into the incident.

Q: First, some countries already began discussions on possible sanctions against the DPRK if it goes ahead with its satellite launch. What is China's comment? Second, will the DPRK's decision to launch a satellite make it difficult for China to uphold peace in Northeast Asia?

A: On the first question, under the current circumstances, any measures taken must be conducive to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. We hope all parties concerned can exercise calmness in order to avoid further escalation of the situation.

On the second question, the Chinese side is ready to continue close communication and coordination with other parties and make active efforts to properly handle the current situation and uphold peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region.

Q: US President Barack Obama said recently that it should be made clear to the Bashar regime that the use of chemical weapons would be unacceptable. The Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on the same day that the Syrian side would not use chemical weapons on its people under any circumstances. What is China's comment?

A: China always stands for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of weapons of mass destruction, supports the purposes and goals of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (CWC), opposes the development and use of chemical weapons, and stands for increasing the universality of the CWC in a comprehensive manner.

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