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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on May 19, 2015

At the invitation of the government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh and Mrs Puan Maharani, the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia, Vice Premier Liu Yandong of the State Council will pay official visits to the aforementioned two countries from May 24 to 31, and co-host with Minister Puan the first meeting of the cultural and people-to-people exchanges mechanism between China and Indonesia at the vice premier's level.

Q: The government of Mali and several armed groups in northern Mali signed an accord for peace and reconciliation on May 15 in Bamako. What is China's comment on that?

A: The Chinese side has noted the important and positive step forward in the process of achieving peace and reconciliation in Mali. We congratulate Mali on that and call on all parties in Mali to seize the opportunity and pull together to move forward the peace process, so as to realize enduring peace and stability as well as economic and social development in Mali.

Q: Has the Chinese side noted an increased US military presence in the South China Sea? If so, is China concerned about that?

A: We hope that relevant country would respect efforts made by countries in the region to safeguard peace and stability of the South China Sea, act properly and do more to promote regional peace and stability.

Q: On May 18, senior diplomatic officials of Japan called for the inclusion of inviting leaders from other countries to visit Japan's atomic-bombed cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the outcome document for the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) held in New York. The Chinese side objected that. Can you tell us what China's position is and why did China say no to Japan's proposition?

A: My colleague answered that question last week. The NPT review conference has come to a crucial stage. We hope that all parties could deal with issues related to the conference in a reasonable, pragmatic and collaborative manner instead of introducing complex and sensitive factors, and work to reach a constructive outcome document based on consensus.

Q: It is reported that companies of China and Thailand have signed a memorandum of cooperation on the project of a canal across the Kra Isthmus of Thailand. What is the Chinese government's stance on that? Will the Chinese government take part in the project?

A: It is also from the media reports that we learned about that. I have not heard of any plan of the Chinese government to take part in the project.

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