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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on December 8, 2014
2014/12/08

At the top, I would like to brief you on the work of the Chinese Ebola treatment center operating now in Liberia.

From the night of December 5th to the noon of December 6th local time, the medical team of the Chinese People's Liberation Army at the treatment center had received a total of 3 suspected Ebola cases. Upon examinations, one patient had been cleared of the possibility of contracting Ebola. The other two need to undergo further examinations. This signals that the Ebola treatment center built and independently operated by China has officially begun to receive and treat Ebola suspected cases.

As we speak, western African countries are still fighting the battle against Ebola epidemic. We believe the Ebola treatment center built up with China's assistance will play an important role in helping Liberia beat back Ebola epidemic.

Q: Maldives' water desalination facility was damaged in fire, resulting in a shortage of fresh water. The Maldivian government appealed to China, India and the US for help. Can you brief us on China's assistance to Maldives?

A: As a friendly neighbor of Maldives, China sympathizes with the Maldivian people for what they have been going through amid the fresh water crisis and has provided humanitarian assistance to the best of its capability. At the request of the Maldivian government, the Chinese government offered emergency assistance in cash and delivered fresh water at the earliest time possible through military vessels, military aircrafts and commercial flights. China gave an immediate order to a submarine rescue ship of Chinese Navy cruising in waters off the Indian Ocean to change course and head for Male. The rescue ship has nearly 700 tons of fresh water on board and is equipped with a water desalination equipment that can produce over 70 tons of fresh water daily. It arrived in Maldives late on December 7th local time and is now supplying fresh water to the people there. Two IL-76 aircrafts of Chinese Air Force with 40 tons of drinkable water on board also arrived at Male early morning on December 8th. Besides, the Chinese government and Chinese enterprises in Sri Lanka and Maldives have transferred a total of 85 tons of fresh water to Maldives by civilian airliners. The emergency humanitarian assistance offered by China demonstrates the fact that China and its neighboring countries belong to a community of shared destiny, and reflects China's neighborhood diplomacy featuring amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness. China will follow up with further assistance in accordance with the Maldives' needs.

Q: On December 5, a US State Department official said that China has provided to the US with a namelist of economic fugitives now hiding in the US. China and the US have nailed down the finite number of the fugitives and agreed to address them case by case. Can you confirm that and update us on the counter-corruption cooperation between China and the US? What will happen to these fugitives?

A: From December 3rd to 5th, China and the US held the 12th meeting of the Joint Liaison Group on Law Enforcement Cooperation in Beijing. Assistant Secretary of State William R. Brownfield attended the meeting as one of the co-chairs from the US side. A major topic of this meeting is cooperation on counter-corruption, the pursuit of fugitives and the retrieval of illegal proceeds. Significant consensus has been reached on enhancing cooperation in this field.

I would like to reiterate that the Chinese government is resolute in its determination to fight and punish corruption. There should be no such thing as "safe haven" for corrupt officials. No matter how far they run away and how long they hide away, they will be hunted down by the Chinese government, and justice will be served.

Q: Prince William delivered a speech at a wildlife conference in the US. He is critical of countries like China for not doing enough to stop illegal ivory trade and for fueling a rise in poaching. What is China's response to this?

A: As a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, China has been following the Convention strictly and honoring its international obligations. On countering ivory smuggling and illegal trade, our attitude is resolute. The Chinese government has enacted a series of laws and regulations, established a joint law enforcement mechanism incorporating multiple agencies, and taken an active role in the international law enforcement cooperation to severely crack down on ivory smuggling and illegal trade. We hope the international community can view our efforts in an objective light.

Q: An Australian citizen and a New Zealand citizen are arrested and will be trialed in Guangzhou for taking 36 kg of meth to China. Can you give us more details?

A: I am not aware of the specifics. However, I would like to point out that drug poses a grave danger to the society, and drug trafficking is illegal in all countries. If the relevant case you mentioned is true, it will be dealt with in accordance with the law by China's judicial authorities.

Q: On December 4th, the US Senate deliberated and passed a bill on the transfer of navy vessels, and gave the US president a mandate to transfer Perry-class frigates to Taiwan by means of sales. What is China's response to that?

A: The US military sales to Taiwan goes against the explicit commitments the US made in the three China-US joint communiques, the August 17 communique in particular. It constitutes an interference in China's domestic affairs. China is firmly opposed to that and has lodged solemn representations with the US side.

We urge the US Congress to stop pushing forward relevant bill, and the US executive branch to take effective measures to prevent it from being legislated so as to avoid damages to the China-US relations.

Q: The Kenyan police recently arrested 77 Chinese people on charges of conducting espionage activities. Can you give us some updates?

A: At the current stage of investigation, these people seem to be involved in a telecommunication fraud. Relevant departments in China are in communications with the Kenyan side and helping them to get to the bottom of this case.

 
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