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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on December 19, 2013

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on December 19, 2013.

Q: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) adopted on December 17 a decision on the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria in the next phase, commending China, Russia and other countries for providing transport and escorts for the shipping of chemical weapons. Please brief us on what China has done.

A: China supports the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria under the frameworks of the UN and the OPCW. The decision of sending warships to escort the shipping of Syria's chemical weapons is another important move by China in implementing Resolution 2118 of the UN Security Council and OPCW's decisions on the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.

China hopes that the destruction will be completed safely and smoothly, as it contributes to the political settlement of the Syrian issue, enhances regional security and serves the interests of all parties. China will, as it always does, work with the international community to offer necessary assistance to neutralize chemical weapons in Syria.

Q: It is reported that US President Barack Obama may nominate Democratic Senator Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee as the new Ambassador to China. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports. We look forward to making joint efforts with the new US Ambassador to China to push for sustained, sound and stable development of China-US relations.

Q: Military conflicts over recent days in parts of South Sudan have caused huge casualties. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern about that. What is China's comment on the current situation in South Sudan? What has China done so far?

A: China expresses concern about the conflicts and huge casualties in South Sudan. As a friend of South Sudan, we sincerely hope that parties concerned there could solve disputes through peaceful means and restore peace and stability as soon as possible.

Ever since conflicts broke out in Juba, capital of South Sudan, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese Embassy in South Sudan have been following closely the development of the situation and providing necessary assistance for Chinese institutions and people there. On December 17 local time, Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan Ma Qiang immediately got in touch with the Interior Minister of South Sudan upon learning that 12 Chinese workers were stranded by the warfare in a sand pit near the Nile, requesting for all-out efforts to rescue the stranded Chinese. Thanks to the coordination of the Chinese Embassy and the full support of the government of South Sudan, on the very day, all 12 Chinese workers were rescued safe and sound and well placed. The Chinese Embassy in South Sudan has issued safety tips on line and through other means to remind Chinese citizens and institutions there to step up precautions and stay in touch with the Embassy.

Staff of the Chinese Embassy are all holding fast to their positions and performing their duties. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Embassy will continue to keep a close eye on the local security situation and do all that is necessary to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in South Sudan.

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