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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on March 28, 2014


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on March 28, 2014.

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

On March 27, Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, Special Envoy of the Chinese government visited relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard the missing plane in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Zhang Yesui said that since the plane went missing, the Communist Party of China and the government have been paying close attention to the incident. The Party and state leaders including General Secretary Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have the fate of all the passengers and crew aboard the plane at their hearts. They instructed on many occasions to make all-out efforts for search and rescue and contacted leaders of relevant countries in person. So far, China has deployed 21 satellites and over 10 vessels, and has flown multiple sorties for search and rescue. Our goal is to do whatever we can to look for and save passengers on board the plane. We will never give up as long as a glimmer of hope exists.

Zhang Yesui told relatives of the Chinese passengers that the Party and state leaders care about them. The Chinese government is with them. We sympathize with them for the plight and distress they are going through. Going forward, we will do our best to push the Malaysian side to coordinate international search efforts and continue to intensify China's search activities. We will continue to ask the Malaysian side to provide timely and accurate information to the relatives, update them on the development of the investigation, and take good care of them. Zhang Yesui assured relatives of the passengers that the Chinese government will earnestly safeguard their legitimate rights and interests, and hoped that they take good care of themselves.

After the Australian side informed us of the adjustment to the search area, the Chinese Marine Search and Rescue Center rearranged its search operation. So far, Haixun 01 has already arrived at the new search area announced by the Australian side. East China Sea Rescue 101, South China Sea Rescue 115 and the Chinese naval vessel Jinggangshan are sailing towards the new search area. One IL-76 of the Chinese Air Force is also searching that area. Haixun 31, South China Sea Rescue 101 and the Chinese naval vessel Yongxingdao are searching in the eastern part of the southern Indian Ocean.

China will continue its all-out efforts in searching relevant waters and keep in close touch with relevant countries, including Australia.

Q: This morning, China and the ROK held a ceremony for the handover of remains of soldiers of the Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) dead in the 1950-53 Korean War. Please give us more details.

A: This morning, China and the ROK held a ceremony at the Incheon International Airport of the ROK for the handover of remains of 437 CPV soldiers. The coffins covered with China's national flags were escorted aboard the charter flight by China's honor guards after a memorial ceremony. Our highest tribute goes to the home-coming martyrs.

Those soldiers who laid down their lives during the Korean War were buried on the Korean Peninsula to the south of the "military demarcation line". They were then reburied in the cemetery of Paju, Gyeonggi Province after being excavated and identified by the ROK side. Last June, during ROK President Park Geun-hye's visit to China, she proposed to hand over remains of CPV soldiers to China. Thanks to the concerted efforts and promotion of leaders of the two countries and consultations between relevant departments of the two sides, final arrangements were made for the handover. We express our heartfelt thanks to the ROK for their help. President Xi Jinping also thanked President Park Geun-hye for that during their meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands.

Q: The rotating president of the UN Security Council issued a brief comment to the media and condemned DPRK's latest launches of missiles. What is China's comment?

A: We believe that under the current circumstances, all parties should do more things that are conducive to peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula.

Q: On the night of March 27, the UN General Assembly voted on a draft resolution on the issue of Ukraine. China abstained from the vote. What is China's comment?

A: There are complex history and reality behind the issue of Ukraine, which relates to the interests and concerns of all relevant parties. Therefore, a balanced approach is needed when resolving the issue. What is pressing now is to ease the tension, narrow differences though dialogue and consultation, seek consensus and promote a political settlement.

China follows a just and objective position on the issue of Ukraine and have come up with a three-point proposal on resolving the crisis. We call for the establishment and activation of an international coordination mechanism consisting of all relevant parties to explore ways and plans for a political settlement. At the current stage, all sides should refrain from actions that may sharpen disputes, exacerbate rivalry and complicate the situation. They should create favorable conditions for a political settlement.

Q: According to Japanese media, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the other day at the G7 Summit that what is happening in Crimea could happen in Asia, adding that China takes provocative actions in the East China Sea and South China Sea with the aim of changing the status quo through coercion. What is China's comment?

A: We have long since said that the Japanese leader on the one hand chants empty slogans of improving China-Japan relations and on the other hand says bad things about China wherever he goes. His remarks once again exposed that. His attempt to confuse the public and smear China is made to no avail and cannot pull the wool over the eyes of the international community. I want to point out that, it is Japan who stole the Diaoyu Islands from China in the history, and it is also Japan who broke the status quo of shelving the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands two years ago.

I want to underscore that China's position on territorial disputes surrounding the East China Sea and the South China Sea is consistent and clear. China is unswerving in safeguarding its territorial sovereignty. Meanwhile, we are committed to managing and resolving relevant issues through dialogue and consultation.

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