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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on January 6, 2015

Q: DPRK's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un said in his New Year's address that the DPRK and the ROK should actively engage in dialogue, negotiation and communication, and that the DPRK can resume stalled high-level meetings if the ROK authorities sincerely want to improve relations through talks. ROK President Park Geun-hye reportedly said on January 2 that the ROK government will take concrete steps to prepare for the reunification of the Korean Peninsula in 2015 which marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation and division of the Peninsula. What is China's comment on that?

A: This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Korean Peninsula. At the outset of the New Year, the DPRK and the ROK conveyed to each other positive messages concerning bilateral relations. The Chinese side welcomes that. As a close neighbor to the Korean Peninsula, the Chinese side always supports the DPRK and the ROK in improving relations through dialogue and advancing reconciliation and cooperation so as to achieve peaceful reunification with their own efforts. It is hoped that under the current circumstances, both parties can have larger interests in mind, seize the opportunity, take concrete measures and work hard to improve bilateral relations and safeguard regional peace and stability.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the press on January 5 that he would release a statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII which upholds the general stance of previous cabinets on history, including the Murayama Statement, records Japan's remorse for the war and its course of peaceful development in the post-war era, and sends out messages about how Japan will further contribute to peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific and the world. What is China's comment on that?

A: This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. It is a crucial year for the international community to look back on the history, draw lessons from the past and look into the future. We follow closely what attitude the Japanese government and leaders take when it comes to the history of aggression and what message they want to send. It is hoped that the Japanese side could honor the statement and commitment it has made on historical issues and follow the path of peaceful development with concrete actions.

Q: Given the current oil price crisis, will the Chinese side consider extending its 4 billion US dollars' worth of loans to Venezuela which are due next month? Will the Chinese side show support to the Venezuelan government?

A: The Chinese side understands that the fall of international oil price has exerted an impact on the economy of some countries, including that of Venezuela. China and Venezuela are important partners for economic cooperation and trade. Bilateral cooperation in various fields has registered fast growth with fruitful results over recent years. The two sides enjoy full-fledged and effective cooperation mechanisms in the field of financing. Relevant cooperation between the two countries is running smoothly.

Q: Afghan media reported that representatives of the Afghan Taliban paid a visit to China last November. Can you confirm that and give us more details?

A: As a friendly neighbor of Afghanistan, China attaches great importance to developing relations with Afghanistan, hopes to see Afghanistan achieve lasting peace, stability and development at an early date, supports the "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned" process toward peace and reconciliation and wishes to play a constructive role to that end.

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