|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on March 25, 2016|
At the invitation of the Egyptian and Israeli governments as well as Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Vice Premier Liu Yandong of the State Council will pay official visits to Egypt, Israel and Palestine and chair the 2nd meeting of China-Israel joint committee on innovative cooperation from March 25 to 31.
At the invitation of transitional head of state Catherine Samba-Panza of the Central African Republic, Zhang Jianlong, administrator of State Forestry Administration of China, will attend the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Faustin Archange Touadera of the country on March 30 as the special envoy of President Xi Jinping.
Q: It is reported that Mr. Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy for Syria of the UN Secretary-General, said on March 24 that he had drafted a 12-point statement of common principles based on opinions from both warring parties in Syria, and no party had raised any objection. The next round of peace talks is expected to start on April 9, focusing on the process of political transition. What is your comment?
A: Political settlement is the only practical way out of the Syrian crisis, and peace talk is an important way to achieve political settlement. China supports the Geneva peace talks under the auspices of the UN. China believes that the Syrian government and opposition have shown willingness and sincere attitudes towards political settlement of the issue in this round of talks, and divergence of positions held by the two parties is on the way of being narrowed. We notice that Mr. De Mistura has published a statement of common principles in the name of the Special Envoy for Syria, hoping to heed more opinions from the Syrian warring parties and lay solid foundation for the next round of peace talks.
Currently the window of opportunities for resolving the Syrian issue is before us. China calls on both parties to seize the opportunity, show goodwill, wisdom and courage, continue with the talks as scheduled, and strive to find a solution that best accommodates the interests and addresses the concerns of all parties as soon as possible.
Q: The World Anti-Doping Agency started investigating allegations that Chinese swimmers had covered up positive doping tests. What is your comment?
A: You may have noticed that the Chinese Swimming Association has released information on this issue and expounded China's firm position on anti-doping.
After the press conference, the follow-up question was raised: Can you update us on the Chinese casualties in the Brussels terrorist attacks?
A: According to notification we have just received from the Belgian Foreign Ministry, one Chinese citizen lost his life in the Brussels attacks. We strongly condemn terrorist attacks, and express our deep condolences and sincere sympathies to the fellow Chinese citizen and his families. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Embassy in Belgium will provide necessary support for the bereaved families to deal with follow-up matters in Belgium.
China is firmly against all forms of terrorism. The Chinese government will continue to work intensively with the international community, and make real efforts to safeguard safety and legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese citizens and institutions.