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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on April 29, 2015

The Chinese side has been continuously pooling staff and materials to step up disaster-relief support to Nepal, and protect Chinese citizens and institutions in Nepal.

After announcing to provide Nepal with the first round of 20 million RMB worth of emergency humanitarian supplies, in light of further developments after the earthquake, the Chinese government decided to provide the second round of emergency relief supplies to the earthquake-stricken area in a bid to back up the Nepali government in its disaster-relief efforts. Water purification facilities, first-aid packages, tents and blankets are among the second batch of emergency supplies with a total value of 40 million RMB. Relevant Chinese departments are expeditiously preparing the materials and making transportation plans, trying their best to deliver them to Kathmandu with the least delay.

About 600 tents collected by the Red Cross Society of China were delivered to Nepal on two cargo planes at noon of April 29 local time. Given the possibility of an epidemic outbreak after the earthquake in Nepal, the Chinese government sent a 60-person medical and epidemic prevention team to Nepal carrying 20 tons of disease prevention and relief supplies. They are expected to reach Nepal on April 29 local time.

A customs building on the Nepali side of Jilong border crossing between China and Nepal has caved in. At the request of the Nepali side, border defense personnel from Jilong of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China arrived in Nepal this morning to rescue 4 Nepali customs officers trapped under the debris.

In the past days, under the coordination of the Foreign Ministry, the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the Chinese Embassy in Nepal, Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Sichuan Airlines have worked around the clock and taken back around 2,700 Chinese citizens from Nepal. Those airlines will send more flights today to pick up Chinese citizens there.

As for the 200-odd Chinese employees of the China Three Gorges Corporation who were stranded in their camps along the China-Nepal border, thanks to the coordination with the Nepali side, convenience has been provided to the Chinese relief planes for them to reach the camp and pick up the trapped. Employees of the corporation have been safely evacuated.

We will strengthen coordination with the international community, continue to support Nepal in overcoming the difficulties and do a better job to evacuate and protect Chinese citizens in Nepal.

Q: The 26th ASEAN Summit released the Chairman's Statement yesterday, expressing concerns about the land reclamation being undertaken in the South China Sea. Some media say that the statement is mute about the massive land reclamation and military construction carried out by some ASEAN members in the South China Sea over a long period of time. What is China's comment on this?

A: The Chinese side stated its solemn position on the Chairman's Statement of the 26th ASEAN Summit yesterday. For quite a long time, a few ASEAN countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam have been carrying out large-scale construction on China's maritime features of Nansha illegally seized by them. Unlawful massive reclamation is underway, airport and other fixed facilities being built and offensive weapons including missiles being deployed. For instance, the Philippines has built and expanded an airport on China's Zhongye Dao of Nansha, and built a dock and other facilities on the island. It has also built so-called tourism facilities on Zhongye Dao, Mahuan Dao, Feixin Dao and other islands and reefs. What's more, the Philippines has attempted to occupy the Ren'ai Jiao by reinforcing its illegally "grounded" military vessel on it. Vietnam has also carried out large-scale reclamation on over 20 maritime features of China's Nansha Islands, and simultaneously built on them a considerable amount of fixed facilities such as harbor basins, airstrip, missile bases, office buildings, barracks, hotels and lighthouses. It has also built many stilted houses and helipads on Wan'an Tan, Xiwei Tan, Lizhun Tan and Aonan Ansha. China is gravely concerned about and firmly opposed to the aforementioned illegal activities, urging the countries concerned to immediately terminate all words and actions that infringe upon China's sovereignty and rights and interests.

Q: At his joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 28, US President Barack Obama reiterated that the security treaty between the US and Japan covers all territories under Japan's administration, including the Diaoyu Dao. He also expressed concerns about China's land reclamation and construction activities in the South China Sea. What is your response to that?

A: Diaoyu Dao has been an inherent part of China since antiquity. This fact will not be changed no matter what others say or do. The Chinese government and people are resolved to uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We urge the US side to take a responsible attitude, honor its commitment of not taking sides on issues concerning territorial sovereignty, stop sending wrong signals and make constructive efforts for regional peace and stability.

America and Japan are not parties to the South China Sea issue. They should be objective and impartial, and refrain from words and deeds that may complicate the dispute and sabotage regional peace and stability.

Necessary construction by China on maritime features of Nansha is well within China's sovereignty. It is completely lawful and justified.

Q: When jointly meeting the press with Japanese Prime Minister Abe on April 28, US President Obama said that the new Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation will make the two countries more flexible and better prepared to cooperate on a range of challenges, from maritime security to cyber threats and space. Japan will take on greater roles and responsibilities in the Asia-Pacific and around the world. What is China's comment on that?

A: The US-Japan alliance is a bilateral arrangement forged during the Cold War era. It is our strong belief that the US and Japan shoulder the responsibility of ensuring that a third party's interests will not be damaged and peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific not be undermined by their alliance. We will keep an eye on the future security cooperation between America and Japan.

Q: ROK media reports say that three DPRK deserters crossed the border into China on April 24 and ran away after killing three Chinese border residents in Longcheng County of Helong City, Jilin Province of China. The official weibo of Helong city confirmed the homicide case today but did not mention whether the suspects were from the DPRK. Can you confirm this?

A: Information from the public security authorities indicates that a criminal case took place on April 24 in Helong City of Jilin Province, resulting in the death of three Chinese citizens. Local public security agency is carrying out investigation into this case.

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