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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on May 22, 2015

Q: Conflicts in Upper Nile state and other parts of South Sudan have flared up over recent days. What is China's comment on that?

A: Recently, the conflict in South Sudan has escalated, and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement In Opposition made threats to attack the infrastructure including the oil fields. The Chinese side expresses grave concern over that. Violent conflict will cause additional human suffering, jeopardize the economic future of South Sudan, and risk regional stability.

The long-term interests of the South Sudanese people, as well as regional peace and stability, are currently at stake. We call on both parties involved in the armed fighting to put the future and well-being of the South Sudanese citizens first and immediately stop the military conflict, so as to ensure the safety of foreign workers, UN personnel and humanitarian actors in South Sudan. All sides have the responsibility to protect the country's oil infrastructure, which will be a critically important resource for South Sudan in economic reconstruction and development during a peaceful period of transition.

There can be no military solution to this conflict. We urge all parties involved in the South Sudan conflict to make the political decision, bring about a reconciliation and initiate a meaningful transition as soon as possible.

Q: Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly wrote on her personal homepage of a social network that she visited the Yasukuni Shrine on May 21. What is China's comment on that?

A: The Chinese side holds a clear and consistent position on the history issue. We once again urge the Japanese side to face squarely and reflect upon the history of aggression, make a clean break with militarism and win the trust of the international community and its Asian neighbors with concrete actions.

Q: A P-8A anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft of the US military approached the maritime features of the Nansha Islands, including the Yongshu Jiao on May 20 to monitor China's activities. The Chinese navy warned the aircraft to leave immediately through radio several times. Can you confirm that and give us more details?

A: Information from the competent authorities of China shows that a US P-8A anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft flew over waters off relevant maritime features of China's Nansha Islands for reconnaissance activities on May 20. Chinese troops garrisoning the islands and reefs acted upon the rules and asked the aircraft to leave through radio. It must be pointed out that the reconnaissance conducted by the US military aircraft poses a potential threat to the security of China's maritime features, and is highly likely to cause miscalculation, or even untoward maritime and aerial incidents. It is irresponsible and dangerous and detrimental to regional peace and stability. The Chinese side hereby expresses strong dissatisfaction. We call on the American side to act in strict accordance with the international law and relevant international rules, and refrain from taking any risky and provocative actions. The Chinese side will keep a close watch on the situation in relevant waters and airspace and take proper and necessary measures accordingly, so as to guard against any harm to the security of China's maritime features as well as sea and air accidents.

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