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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on April 8, 2014

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on April 8, 2014.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of the Federal Republic of Germany will pay a visit to China from April 12 to 14 and co-host the fourth round of China-Germany Foreign Ministerial Strategic Dialogue with Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Hong Lei then updated the press on China's latest search efforts for the missing Malaysian plane MH370.

Over the past days, Haixun 01, East China Sea Rescue 101 and Chinese naval vessels Jinggangshan and Kunlunshan have intensified search efforts, especially efforts for underwater checking and scanning in possible waters covering 144 square kilometers. South China Sea Rescue 115 and the Chinese naval vessel Haikou have been respectively searching an area of about 60,000 square kilometers in the west zone and an area of about 30,000 square kilometers in the south zone. Haixun 31, South China Sea Rescue 101 and the Chinese naval vessel Yongxingdao are still searching the eastern part of the Indian Ocean. We have come to a crucial stage in the search for the black box of the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft. The Chinese side will further enhance coordination with countries involved in the search operation and build up collaboration among search forces on the water, under the water and in the air so as to push forward the search.

Q: Six-Party Talks negotiators from the US, the ROK and Japan held a meeting on the Korean nuclear issue in Washington on March 7 and released a statement, which urged the DPRK to stop threatening acts. What is China's comment?

A: China has elaborated on many occasions its position on the Korean nuclear issue. The current situation of the Korean Peninsula is quite fragile. We hope that all parties concerned would bear in mind the overall interests, be discreet in words and deeds and do more things that are conducive to reducing tension and resuming the Six-Party Talks.

Q: When meeting with his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera on March 6, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said that "great powers have great responsibilities, and China is a great power", adding that he would talk with the Chinese about respect for their neighbors. What is China's comment?

A: To build friendship and partnership with its neighbors is the long-standing neighborhood diplomacy independently chosen by China. We never violate other countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity. Meanwhile, we will never allow others to infringe upon China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Q: The P5+1 and Iran will soon hold the third round of talks. Please confirm that. Will China send a delegation? What is China's expectation for the talks?

A: It has been agreed that the third round of talks between the P5+1 and Iran will be held in Vienna from April 8 to 9 to discuss the comprehensive agreement on solving the Iranian nuclear issue. Director-General Wang Qun of the Department of Arms Control of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China will lead the Chinese delegation to the talks.

The previous round of talks was just concluded in mid March. To convene another round within less than a month speaks of the positive momentum of talks between the P5+1 and Iran. We hope that all parties could be flexible and practical, accommodate each other's concerns, properly deal with disputes, build up and broaden consensus so as to create conditions for a breakthrough of the talks. China will continue to work for the positive outcomes of the talks.

Q: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pledged on Monday to revise the country's nuclear doctrine once elected. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted the report.

Q: India is holding the general election. What is China's comment on the progress of the election?

A: China attaches importance to its relations with India. We hope that the two sides can stay committed to developing strategic cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity and moving bilateral relations constantly forward so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples and realize common development. We hope to see the smooth progress of the general election in India.

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