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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on April 14, 2014

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on April 14, 2014.

Hua Chunying started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Dmitry Rogozin, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and the Russian co-chair of the committee for regular meetings between Chinese and Russian prime ministers, Wang Yang, Vice Premier of the State Council and the Chinese co-chair of the committee will be in Russia from April 17 to 19 for a co-chairs' meeting of this committee.

Q: Ukrainian security forces clashed with Pro-Russian militants on April 13 in the city of Slavyansk, Donetsk, leaving people dead and injured. What is China's comment? How does China view the current situation in Ukraine?

A: China hopes that all parties in Ukraine can keep calm and exercise restraint, explore ways to dissolve the crisis through political dialogue based on a full consideration and accommodation of the legitimate rights, interests and concerns of all regions and ethnic communities, and promote political stability and economic development of Ukraine. China supports the continuation of dialogue and consultation among all parties to push for early and positive progress of the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.

Q: The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on the situation in Ukraine. What is China's comment on that?

A: China is concerned about the escalation of the situation in Ukraine. We hope that all parties there can keep calm, exercise restraint and prevent the situation from getting worse. Given that the settlement of the Ukrainian issue is related to all parties' rights, interests and concerns, a balanced approach should be pursued, differences should be narrowed through political and diplomatic means and a peaceful settlement should be achieved within the framework of law and order. China has been calling on the international community to make constructive efforts and perform good offices to alleviate the situation in Ukraine, and we will continue to support the international community in doing so.

Q: It is learnt that the leader of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces will soon visit China. Please confirm that and give us more details. What is China's comment on the current situation in Syria?

A: At the invitation of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, President Ahmad Jarba of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces will lead a delegation to visit China from April 15 to 18. Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming will respectively meet and hold talks with the delegation during its stay in China. They will exchange views on the current situation in Syria and the political settlement of the Syrian issue. Chinese experts and scholars will also have interactions with the delegation.

The turmoil in Syria has lasted for more than three years, bringing untold sufferings to the Syrian people and delivering a heavy blow to regional peace and stability. The Chinese side is deeply concerned about that. The Syrian government and opposition have carried out two rounds of talks under the framework of the Geneva II Conference, taking an important step forward toward the political settlement of the Syrian issue. What is pressing now is that the two parties of Syria should convene the third round of talks as soon as possible, understand and accommodate each other, meet each other half way and blaze a "middle way" that takes into account all parties' concerns and is accepted by all. To host the delegation of the National Coalition is part of the efforts made by China to work on all relevant parties in a positive and balanced way and push for the political settlement of the Syrian issue.

Q: The alleged chemical weapons attacks in the province of Hama, Syria have left several people dead. What is China's comment?

A: China pays high attention to the report on the suspected use of chemical weapons in Syria. The use of chemical weapons runs counter to the norms of international law widely accepted by the international community. China is firmly opposed to whoever uses chemical weapons. To ensure the safe and smooth shipping and destruction of chemical weapons from Syria serves the interests of all parties and contributes to regional peace and stability. Chemical weapons are being removed out of Syria and destroyed in accordance with relevant decisions of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and resolutions of the UN Security Council. Now is a critical stage for this process. We call on all parties to cherish the progress achieved so far, exercise restraint, build up consensus, complete as soon as possible the removal and destruction of chemical weapons in Syria through practical cooperation and create favorable conditions for the political settlement of the Syrian issue.

Q: The Nonproliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) consisting of Japan and other countries held its foreign ministerial meeting in Hiroshima. The meeting closed with the Hiroshima Declaration which calls for a multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiation that brings together countries like the US, Russia and China. What is China's comment?

A: To press ahead with nuclear disarmament and make the world free of nuclear weapons is the aspiration shared by countries around the world. Nuclear-weapon states have made great efforts to that end. International strategic balance and stability is required in advancing nuclear disarmament, and relevant countries should relinquish nuclear umbrella, nuclear sharing and other policies.

China always stands for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. We are committed to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons and unconditionally not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. China has never deployed nuclear weapons outside China and has made positive contribution to the international process of nuclear disarmament.

Q: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the other day that Chinese state-owned companies had a "highly commercial culture". The Australian side welcomes investment by more Chinese companies in Australia. What is China's comment?

A: Business and investment cooperation between China and Australia is mutually beneficial in nature. During Australian Prime Minister Abbott's visit to China last week, leaders of the two countries reached important consensus on accelerating the negotiation on China-Australia free trade agreement and further expanding bilateral cooperation in business and investment. As Prime Minister Abbott said during his visit, Chinese state-owned companies are highly commercialized market players. We hope that the Australian side will further level the playing field and provide more conveniences for investment and operation by Chinese companies in Australia. The Chinese side also hopes to see more Australian companies invest and develop in China.

Q: Please update us on China's latest efforts in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft.

A: China is going full steam ahead with the search operation. South China Sea Rescue 101, East China Sea Rescue 101 as well as Chinese naval vessels 999, 998, 886 and 171 are searching the mission sea area. One IL-76 military aircraft is performing the search task above the mission area newly adjusted by the Australian side. Haixun 31 is searching the eastern part of the southern Indian Ocean.

Up to 8:00 p.m. of April 13 Beijing time, vessels in the southern Indian Ocean have searched a total area of over 610,000 square kilometers. China Maritime Search and Rescue Center has mobilized altogether 63 merchant vessels passing by to search waters to the west of Indonesia and Australia that covers an area of over 160,000 square kilometers.

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