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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on April 3, 2014

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on April 3, 2014.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, President Shimon Peres of the State of Israel will pay a state visit to China from April 8 to 10.

He then updated the press on China's latest search efforts for the missing Malaysian plane.

Yesterday, the Australian side redesignated the key search area for the Chinese side. It is a rectangular area in the northeastern part of the search area previously designated by the Australian side, covering about 220,000 square kilometers. Both the Chinese and Australian search forces are working in this area. Haixun 01, South China Sea Rescue 115, East China Sea Rescue 101 as well as Chinese naval vessels Qiandaohu, Kunlunshan, Haikou and Jinggangshan are searching in this mission area. What is more, Haixun 31, Formation 150 of the Chinese Navy composed of three vessels Changchun, Changzhou and Chaohu as well as the vessel of Yongxingdao continue their search in the eastern part of the Indian Ocean.

By 12 o'clock on April 2, the Chinese Marine Search and Rescue Center has mobilized altogether 62 merchant ships passing by to search 160,000 square kilometers of waters to the west of Indonesia and Australia.

Q: A Chinese citizen was reportedly kidnapped yesterday in a hotel in the Malaysian State of Sabah by armed men who were said to be Philippine rebels. Does the Chinese side know about that? What is your comment?

A: A female tourist from Shanghai was abducted last night in a diving resort off the coastal town of Semporna in Malaysia's state of Sabah. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Consulate General in Kuching paid high attention to the incident. The Consulate General immediately activated the emergency response mechanism, sent staff to the scene and asked local police to go all-out for rescue while ensuring the safety of the Chinese citizen and take effective measures to protect Chinese tourists there.

The Foreign Ministry will follow closely the development of the incident and give instructions to the Consulate General in Kuching for proper settlement of the incident.

Q: ROK President Park Geun-hye delivered a speech on the outlook of the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula during her recent visit to Germany, in which she made a three-point proposal to the DPRK. What is China's comment?

A: As a close neighbor of the Korean Peninsula, China always supports the DPRK and the ROK in improving relations through dialogue and promoting reconciliation and cooperation for the final realization of peaceful reunification on their own. We hope that all parties will work with China to keep moving the situation of the region toward relaxation, push for progress of the Six-Party Talks and make positive contribution to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as well as peace and stability of the region.

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