Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei’s Regular Press Conference on April 30, 2015
As agreed by China and the EU, State Councilor Yang Jiechi will host the 5th China-EU High-Level Strategic Dialogue from May 5 to 6 together with Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission during the latter’s visit to China. This dialogue falls on the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the EU as an integral part of relevant celebrations. The two sides will take this opportunity to look back on and ahead to China-EU relations, and exchange views on international and regional hotspot issues of common interest. It is believed that this dialogue will promote strategic mutual trust and enhance pragmatic cooperation between the two parties, and create favorable conditions for the development of China-EU partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization.
Here are updates on China’s disaster-relief assistance to Nepal and protection of Chinese citizens there.
China’s International Rescue Team is racing against time to search and rescue survivors. They will make 100% of efforts as long as there exists 1% of hope.
The medical team sent by China has carried out rescue and treatment work in Nepal in an orderly way. The team has received over 400 injured Nepalis, 14 of whom suffer from serious wounds. A new medical and disease prevention team consisting of 59 members arrived in Nepal at 4 p.m. April 29 local time, assisting and guiding Nepal to prevent any epidemic after the disaster. They will also help Nepal train 1,000 disease prevention personnel.
120 out of the 186 tons of Chinese government’s first batch of emergency relief supplies have reached Nepal, and the left will be delivered today and tomorrow. The second batch of 800 tents sent by the Red Cross Society of China has arrived in Nepal on three cargo planes this noon local time. The Chinese military will also dispatch helicopters at the request of the Nepali government to help transport the injured and other personnel.
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 arranged 30 flights and taken back over 3,700 Chinese citizens from Nepal against all odds since April 26. We will continue to dispatch civil flights to pick up Chinese citizens in Nepal based on the situation there.
From April 25 to 5 p.m. April 29, the Foreign Ministry has received 408 calls concerning the Nepali earthquake through the 12308 consular protection hot-line. 2,209 Chinese are involved, including 17 from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. We are happy to learn that the number of Chinese citizens dialing 12308 because of the Nepali earthquake has sharply decreased in the past two days. 11 calls were received from 5 p.m. April 28 to the same time the next day, which means that most of the Chinese citizens in Nepal have received effective assistance. The Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Nepal will continue to follow closely the information of Chinese citizens trapped in Nepal, provide them with all necessary assistance and coordinate with departments concerned on the follow-up work.
Q: Commentaries say that India has done more in assisting Nepal than China. What is your response to this?
A: After the massive earthquake in Nepal, China, India and the international community extended a helping hand by offering emergency disaster-relief supplies, and sending rescue and medical teams to search and treat the injured in Nepal. The international rescue efforts that come at a difficult time to those in need exemplify that Asian countries are in a community of common destiny, and will help Nepal overcome the disaster and rebuild the homeland at an early date. We are willing to keep in touch and step up coordination with India, and jointly strive for positive outcomes in the disaster-relief work in Nepal.
Q: When addressing the US Congress, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed deep repentance to the Second World War but did not apologize for Japan’s aggression. What is your comment?
A: The Chinese side repeatedly urges the Japanese government and leadership to take a responsible attitude towards history, and act in accordance with the Murayama Statement and other statements and commitment made by previous governments on facing squarely and reflecting upon the history of aggression. This is the only way for Japan to genuinely win the trust of the world and develop friendly relationship for the future with its Asian neighbors.
Q: Media reports suggest that Michael Ching, a real estate businessman in Canada is the man named Cheng Muyang on China’s wanted list of corrupted officials fleeing overseas. Can you confirm this? If so, is China asking Canada for his extradition?
A: Staying abroad does not mean being able to stay outside the law. The Chinese government is determined to crack down on corruption. No matter where the corrupts flee, the Chinese side will bring them to justice. Absconders like Cheng Muyang are bound to receive due punishment.
Q: During Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the US, the two sides reached consensus on strengthening the US-Japan alliance based on the revised Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation. What is China’s response to this?
A: We have stated our stance on the relevant issue in the past few days. The US-Japan alliance is a bilateral arrangement forged during the Cold War. 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 the US and Japan.