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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on April 9, 2014

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on April 9, 2014.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation will pay an official visit to China on April 15.

Hong Lei then updated the press on China's search for the missing Malaysian plane MH 370 over the past day.

Haixun 01, East China Sea Rescue 101 and the Chinese naval vessel Jinggangshan continue their underwater scanning in the possible sea area. South China Sea Rescue 115 and Chinese naval vessels Haikou and Kunlunshan are searching the mission area newly designated by the Australian side. Haixun 31, South China Sea Rescue 101 and the Chinese naval vessel Yongxingdao are still scouring the eastern part of the Indian Ocean. Up till 12 o'clock of April 8, Chinese vessels have searched a total area of 485,000 square kilometers in the southern Indian Ocean in accordance with the search plan.

Q: Please brief us on President Xi Jinping's talks with Israeli President Shimon Peres yesterday.

A: Yesterday, President Xi Jinping held talks with Israeli President Peres at the Great Hall of the People. The two Heads of State had in-depth discussions on developing China-Israel relations and agreed to push for bigger progress in friendly exchanges and cooperation between the two sides. President Xi Jinping expressed his hope for tangible progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at an early date.

President Xi said that the Chinese people and the Jewish people have long been getting on well with each other, especially during WWII, when the two peoples supported each other and forged a profound friendship in the joint fight against Fascism and militarism. The two countries have enjoyed a sound political relationship and fruitful results of practical cooperation since the establishment of diplomatic ties. China is ready to continue high-level exchanges with the Israeli side, set up an inter-governmental mechanism of economic and technological cooperation as soon as possible, enhance exchanges and cooperation in agriculture, energy, environmental protection, education, health care, scientific and technical innovation and other fields so as to constantly deepen friendship and cooperation.

President Peres expressed his admiration for the peace-loving Chinese nation and the Chinese people who have been making unremitting efforts to improve themselves and have scored remarkable achievements on the path of development of their own choice. He said that the realization of the Chinese dream would surely create more opportunities for world peace and development. The Israeli side is looking forward to strengthening friendship and cooperation with China.

President Xi pointed out that Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have entered a crucial phase where chances and difficulties co-exist. China hopes that the Israeli side can take the whole picture of peace into consideration, show strategic wisdom, make brave decisions at an early date and work for tangible outcomes of the peace talks together with the Palestinian side and the international community. China will play a constructive role as always.

President Peres expressed Israel's readiness to make joint efforts with the Palestinian side and the international community to conquer difficulties and push forward the peace talks, adding that Israel welcomes the important role constantly played by China for the promotion of peace talks.

Q: When meeting with Lee Chu-ming and Chan Fang On Sang at the White House the other day, US Vice President Joe Biden underscored the long-standing support of the US for democracy in Hong Kong and for the city's high degree of autonomy under the "one country, two systems" framework. What is China's comment?

A: We have seen remarkable success achieved by "one country, two systems" since the return of Hong Kong. The development of Hong Kong's political system falls within China's domestic affairs that cannot be interfered by any external forces. The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is pushing forward relevant work in accordance with law. What has been done by the US side is completely wrong. China hereby expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition.

We urge the US to bear in mind the overall interests of China-US relations, earnestly respect China's position and concerns and stop any form of interference in the internal affairs of Hong Kong.

Q: It is learned that Premier Li Keqiang will meet with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tomorrow on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference. What will they talk about?

A: Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif will be in China from April 9 to 11 to attend the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2014 upon invitation. On the sidelines of the conference, Premier Li Keqiang will meet with Prime Minister Sharif to exchange views on bilateral relations and issues of common interest. We will issue the news release in due course.

Pakistan is China's important neighbor and all-weather strategic cooperative partner. China-Pakistan relationship has gone from strength to strength over recent years. The Chinese Premier and the Pakistani Prime Minister paid successful visits to each other last year, and practical cooperation such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has made important headway. During the visit by Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain to China in February, 2014, the two sides reached important consensus on enhancing strategic coordination and practical cooperation and making joint efforts to build the China-Pakistan community of common destiny. We believe that the upcoming meeting between Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Sharif will further deepen the traditional friendship and broaden practical cooperation between the two countries.

Q: The sixth China-India strategic dialogue is going to be held in Beijing. Please give us more details. What are the major topics of the dialogue? What is China's expectation for the dialogue?

A: As agreed by the two sides, the sixth China-India strategic dialogue will be co-hosted by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin and Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh on April 14 in Beijing. The two sides will have an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations, including high-level interactions and practical cooperation in various fields as well as international and regional issues of common interest.

This round of dialogue marks one of the important activities of the "Year of Friendly Exchanges between China and India 2014". We believe that this activity will help maintain strategic communication between China and India, promote friendly exchanges and practical cooperation across the board and give a boost to the steady and sound growth of bilateral relations.

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