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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 25, 2015

Q: A stampede reportedly occurred during the Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and caused heavy casualties. How does China comment on this? Are there any Chinese pilgrims killed or injured? What consular protection measures has the Chinese government taken?

A: China is grieved at the Hajj stampede in Mina, Mecca of Saudi Arabia and the heavy casualties it incurred. According to what we have got up to now, one Chinese pilgrim was killed in the stampede. We express deep condolences to the victims and sympathies to the bereaved families and the injured.

The Chinese Embassy in Saudi Arabia and the Consulate General in Jeddah have initiated the emergency response mechanism right after the incident. The Chinese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and the Consul General to Jeddah arrived at the site immediately to check on further details and deal with relevant work. They have asked the pilgrims to raise security awareness and keep themselves safe. The Chinese diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia will continue to follow the incident and properly deal with relevant follow-up matters together with the Chinese Pilgrimage Group.

Q: According to media reports, Tsai Ing-wen, chief of the Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan, plans to visit Japan early October. What’s your comment? Will China lodge any representations with Japan over this?

A: We are deeply concerned about and firmly opposed to Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to Japan. It is hoped that Japan would stick to the one-China principle, honor its commitment to China on the Taiwan Question, and leave no room for those who may spread the “Taiwan independence” ideas in whatever name and under whatever pretext.

Q: How does China comment on President Xi Jinping’s visit to the US up to now?

A: President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the US is warmly welcomed by all sectors of the US, and the visit is proceeding well. President Xi Jinping’s elaboration of China’s views and positions on China’s development and China-US relations was warmly responded and widely covered by both the American and international media. The two leaders of China and the US will hold talks on September 25 local time, and President Barack Obama will throw a welcome ceremony and a state dinner for President Xi Jinping. We expect to see a thorough exchange of ideas in their talks on China-US relations and international and regional issues of common interest so as to bolster bigger achievements in the building of the new model of major country relationship between China and the US.

Q: In an accident reportedly took place on September 24, at least 4 on board a school bus full of foreign exchange students with North Seattle College were killed and many injured. Are there Chinese students among the dead and injured? Has the Chinese government offered assistance instantly?

A: We deeply mourn the victims, and our hearts go out to the bereaved families and the injured. It is learned that one Chinese student tragically died in the accident. Relevant follow-up work is underway.

Highly concerned about the car crash, the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco sent staff to the site right after the accident to check on what has happened and help deal with follow-up matters. The Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco will keep a close eye on this and take care of follow-up matters.

Q: Some media reports say that during President Xi Jinping’s visit to the US, China will announce the opening of the national carbon emission trading market in 2017 and write it in the China-US Joint Statement on Climate Change. Can you confirm this and give us more details?

A: President Xi Jinping’s scheduled meeting with President Obama will cover a wide spectrum of topics, ranging from bilateral cooperation to important issues concerning international and regional affairs. We look forward to positive outcomes from this leaders’ meeting.

Q: Russian President Putin will discuss the Syrian issue with all parties during the upcoming session of the UN General Assembly. How does China think the Syrian issue can be resolved given the Islamic State’s increasing threat over Syria? Some media say that peacekeepers should be sent to Syria, and what is China’s position on this?

A: We pay close attention to the situation in Syria. It is China’s constant belief that stability of the Middle East meets the interests of all parties. Political dialogue is the only realistic way out of the Syrian issue. The international community should work in concert and create favorable conditions. China is willing to join hands with all relevant parties to push for the proper settlement of the Syrian issue at an early date.

Q: What is China’s expectation for the upcoming talks between President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama?

A: We hope that the talks between President Xi and President Barack Obama will serve as an opportunity to make clear China's concept of peaceful development and win-win cooperation, to relate to the American people the importance of having China-US cooperation, not confrontation, and to address US concerns about possible conflict with China regarding the current international system and order in the Asia-Pacific. We hope that the two sides will use this opportunity to reaffirm our respective development directions and strategic intentions, our growing common interests and our common responsibility for peace, stability and development. All in all, we hope that the meeting between President Xi and President Barack Obama will leave a splendid page in the process of building the new model of major-country relationship between China and the US.

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