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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on December 13, 2013

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on December 13, 2013.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

As agreed by China and the US, the 24th meeting of the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade will be held in Beijing on December 19 and 20. Vice Premier Wang Yang of the State Council will co-chair the meeting with US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and US Trade Representative Michael Froman.

Q: The release put out by the DPRK yesterday said that Jang Sung-taek, Vice Chairman of its National Defence Commission was executed immediately after being sentenced to death. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports. It is the DPRK's internal affair. As its neighbor, we hope to see the DPRK maintain political stability and realize economic development and people there lead a happy life.

Q: What is the latest development of the case about Chinese citizens detained by the Philippine Immigration Office following its raid on several stores in the Chinese community in Manila?

A: Thanks to the efforts by the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines, 52 Chinese citizens that hold valid passports have been released by seven o'clock last night. Others are waiting for the results of investigation. All those detained are safe and sound.

The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines will follow closely the development of the case, provide relevant consular protection and service for the detained Chinese citizens and call on Chinese citizens in the Philippines to observe local laws and regulations so as to avoid damage to their security and rights.

Q: Will the case of Jang Sung-taek have an impact on China-DPRK business ties?

A: The development of economic cooperation and trade between China and the DPRK serves the interests of both sides. China will continue economic interactions with the DPRK based on friendliness and mutual benefit and advance practical cooperation. We hope and believe that China-DPRK economic cooperation and trade will move ahead in a sound and steady manner.

Q: Japan's maritime self-defense force and the ROK navy yesterday held an aircraft-involved regular search and rescue training on the high sea to the South of the ROK, where the air defense identification zones of China and Japan overlap, but the two countries did not file their flight plans with China. How does China respond?

A: China has unshakable resolve and will in safeguarding the security of national territory and airspace. We are fully capable of and are implementing effective management over the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). China is committed to upholding peace, order and stability of the region and the relevant airspace. All relevant parties should make constructive efforts together with China, rather than the other way around.

Q: The Foreign Ministry celebrated last night the 30th anniversary of the spokesperson's mechanism. What will you do to further improve the mechanism?

A: Many journalists present joined us in the reception last night to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the spokesperson's mechanism of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. Over the past 30 years, the mechanism, which serves as an important window of reform and opening up, has been dedicated to introducing China to the outside world, improving mutual understanding between China and the world and setting up a platform for communication between the Chinese government and the public. Spokespersons of the Foreign Ministry firmly safeguard national sovereignty, security and dignity, uphold justice at the international level, promote world peace and common development and play a positive role in international affairs.

As Foreign Minister Wang Yi put it, the 30-year old spokesperson's mechanism is standing at a new historical starting point. We will stay committed to enhancing exchanges with other countries and voicing peace, development and mutual benefit on the platform so as to build up mutual understanding and trust between China and the world.

Q: Today is the 76th Memorial Day commemorating the dead in the Nanjing Massacre. What is China's comment?

A: We deeply mourn the compatriots killed in the Nanjing Massacre.

The Nanjing Massacre is a brutal crime committed by the Japanese militarism in its war of aggression against China. We urge Japan to face up to and reflect on its history of aggression, draw lessons from history and make concrete efforts to improve relations with China and other Asian neighbors.

Q: First, two Vice Prime Ministers of the DPRK have reportedly sought asylum in China. Can you confirm it? Second, the second batch of the Apache attack helicopters from the US arrived in Taiwan today. What is China's comment?

A: On your first question, I am not aware of what you said. I hope that the media could report in a responsible way.

On your second question, we are firmly opposed to US arms sales to Taiwan, and this position is clear-cut. We require the US to abide by the one China policy and the principle and spirit of the three China-US joint communiqués, especially those of the August 17 communiqué, stop selling arms to Taiwan and take concrete actions to maintain the overall interests of China-US relations and support the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.

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