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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on March 27, 2014


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on March 27, 2014.

Hong Lei updated the press on China's search efforts for the missing Malaysian plane:

On March 26, Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, Special Envoy of the Chinese government, met with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Zhang Yesui said that since the Malaysian plane went missing, the Chinese leaders have been paying close attention to the development of the incident. They are deeply concerned about the safety of all the passengers and crew onboard, including 154 Chinese passengers, and have instructed relevant Chinese departments to closely coordinate with the Malaysian side in the search and investigation. It has been the 19th day since the plane went missing. At the current stage, search, still being the top priority, must be pushed forward non-stop and unrelentingly. The Chinese side will further intensify its search efforts. We hope that the Malaysian side can enhance its information-sharing with China, provide full and accurate information and evidence that leads up to its conclusion that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight ended in the southern Indian Ocean, spare no efforts in coordinating relevant countries to continue the search and take good care of relatives of the passengers onboard the missing plane.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib said that he welcomes and appreciates the support and assistance China has provided in searching for the missing plane. He said the Malaysian side will do its best in providing timely and accurate information, concentrate its search efforts in the southern Indian Ocean, and make all-out efforts to deal with all relevant matters, including to comfort relatives of the passengers.

On the same day, Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui also met with Malaysian Defense Minister and acting Minister of Transport Hishammuddin Hussein, Chairman Yusof and Chief Executive Officer Ahmad of Malaysia Airlines.

On March 26, Xuelong, Zhonghai Shaohua and Chinese Naval vessels Qiandaohu, Kunlunshan and Haikou arrived at the waters where floating objects possibly related to the missing aircraft were spotted by the Australian side. They have begun searching the area assigned by Australia to China. China will integrate its aircrafts and vessels, enhance their coordination so as to develop synergies and play an important role in the search operation in relevant waters.

Haixun 01, South China Sea Rescue 115, East China Sea Rescue 101 are on their way to the same waters.

Haixun 31, South China Sea Rescue 101 and Chinese Naval vessels Jinggangshan and Yongxingdao are still searching in the eastern part of the southern Indian Ocean.

Q: Reports say that the UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting to discuss DPRK's recent launch of missiles. What is China's position?

A: Under the current circumstances, relevant parties should work together to safeguard peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula.

Q: The World Trade Organization (WTO) yesterday published a panel report regarding the complaint brought up by the EU, Japan and the US about the measures taken by China over the exportation of rare earth and other materials. The report said that China's export administration measures on rare earth and other products were inconsistent with China's Accession Protocol. What is China's comment? What measures will China take to conform with the WTO rules?

A: You may have already noticed the statement made by the official of the Ministry of Commerce.

The panel recognized China's comprehensive resource and environment conservation measures taken for rare earth, tungsten and molybdenum, and rejected EU's claim that the export performance requirement on enterprises applying for molybdenum export quotas discriminated against foreign enterprises. China welcomes that. But China regretted that the panel found China's export duty, export quota, and export quota administration and allocation measures imposed on relevant products inconsistent with the WTO rules and China's Accession Protocol.

Facing increasing resource and environment pressure, the Chinese government has been reinforcing its comprehensive regulation on high-polluting, high-energy-consuming and resource-consuming products in recent years. This is China's response to the need of conserving exhaustible natural resources and protecting environment, and represents China's endeavor to maintain global sustainable development. China believes that these regulatory measures are in line with the goal of sustainable development promoted by the WTO, and contribute to the coordinated development of resources, environment and mankind. China will continue to strengthen its regulation on resource products in a WTO-consistent manner and ensure fair competition.

China is now assessing the panel report and will follow the WTO dispute settlement procedures to settle this dispute.

Q: Does China support punitive measures against Russia? Will China provide financial assistance to the new government in Ukraine?

A: We have expounded our position on Ukraine repeatedly. It is our longstanding position to respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. The complex history and reality brings Ukraine to where it is today. Under the current circumstances, China calls on all sides to exercise calm and restraint, and seek a political settlement to the issue of Ukraine through dialogue.

China follows a just and objective position on the issue of Ukraine, and is committed to promoting a political settlement of it. To this end, China has put forward a three-point proposal. One of the points is that international financial institutions should start exploring ways to assist Ukraine in maintaining economic and financial stability. China will play a constructive role in this regard.

Q: How many Chinese vessels are searching in the area where floating objects possibly related to the missing plane were spotted by the Australian side? How many vessels are still on their way?

A: So far, five Chinese vessels are searching in the area where floating objects possibly related to the missing plane were spotted by the Australian side. They are the scientific research vessel Xuelong, Zhonghai Shaohua, and Chinese Naval vessels Kunlunshan, Qiandaohu, and Haikou. Three vessels, namely Haixun 01, South China Sea Rescue 115 and East China Sea Rescue 101 are still on their way to the relevant waters. Therefore, there will be altogether 8 Chinese vessels searching in relevant waters. We will take concrete measures to coordinate the search resources at sea and in the air so as to push forward the search operation in an all-round way and play an important role in this regard.

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