Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on May 17, 2013.
Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:
At the invitation of the government of the Republic of Ecuador, Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei will attend President Rafael Correa Delgado's inauguration ceremony as the Chinese government's special envoy on May 24 in Ecuador.
At the invitation of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Mexican Foreign Minister José Antonio Meade Kuribreña will pay a working visit to China from May 19 to 20.
Q: Will China send representatives to Washington today to attend the consultation on the Syrian issue among political director-generals of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council?
A: China is open to any effort that is conducive to the political settlement of the Syrian issue. There are some positive developments in recent international mediation. Relevant parties are in communication on that.
Q: US Consul General in Hong Kong Stephen M. Young recently made some remarks on the development of Hong Kong's political system. What is China's comment?
A: We have noted relevant remarks by US Consul General in Hong Kong Stephen M. Young. Spokesperson of the Commissioner's Office of the Foreign Ministry of China in the Hong Kong SAR has made clear our principled position on May 16.
Since the return of Hong Kong, the practice of "one country, two systems" has achieved universally recognized success. Hong Kong citizens are entitled to various rights and freedom in accordance with law. The development of political system is Hong Kong's internal affairs which brooks no interference from whatever foreign government or official. We hope relevant people can honor his commitments with actions and stop making irresponsible remarks and interfering in Hong Kong's internal affairs.
After the press conference, a journalist asked: three missing Chinese women were found killed in the Republic of Khakassia, Russia. Local police are investigating the case. What has China done up till now?
Hong Lei said that it was a serious criminal case. Highly concerned about the case, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Consulate General in Irkutsk immediately launched the emergency response mechanism upon learning the case. The Consulate General has sent consular officials to the scene. China urged the Russian side to quickly solve the case, capture and bring the murderer to justice and ensure the safety of Chinese citizens in Russia. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Consulate General in Irkutsk will lend full support to the bereaved families in dealing with the follow-up.
Another journalist asked: Airlines of China and India are facing a fine of up to 2.4 million euros, as they refuse to pay for the greenhouse gas emission of their flights within the EU. What is China's position?
Hong Lei said that China has noted relevant reports. China always stands for international cooperation against aviation carbon emission within multilateral mechanisms such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the International Civil Aviation Organization. Like many other countries, China is opposed to the EU's unilateral action of including foreign international airlines into its emission trading system. We hope that the EU could take into consideration opinions of all parties, act with discretion, and properly deal with this issue through consultation with relevant parties, including China.
Hong Lei asked the journalist to consult competent authorities for the specifics.