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China to invite world leaders to WWII commemorations

Updated: Mar 8,2015 11:17 AM

BEIJING — Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on March 8 that China will provide all the services needed by every next of kin of those on board missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and help them with their legitimate and lawful rights and interests.

Wang made the remarks at a press conference in Beijing on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature.

The plane, carrying 239 people, including 154 Chinese, disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014.

“On this day one year ago, MH370 flight went missing. The year has passed, the plane has not been located, but the search efforts will continue,” Wang said.

“Today must be a tough day for the next of kin of those on board MH370. Our hearts are with you,” he said.

The Malaysian government officially declared on Jan 29 that the disappearance of the flight was an accident and said there were no survivors. China issued a statement on Jan 29 expressing its deepest sympathy to the relatives and loved ones of the passengers.

“Malaysia Airlines has started its compensation work. We will provide all needed services to every next of kin and help you uphold your legitimate and lawful rights and interests,” Wang said.

China will invite Abe for military parade

China will extend invitation to leaders of all relevant countries and international organizations for the military parade to mark China’s victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, part of the World Anti-Fascist War, says Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

We welcome the leaders of all nations as long as they are sincere in coming, said Wang Yi in response to a question from a Japanese reporter asking if China will invite Abe.

“One Belt One Road” initiative not geopolitics

Comparing “One Belt One Road” initiative to the Marshall Plan is like comparing apple to orange because it’s both much older and younger than the latter, said Wang Yi.

It’s older because it embodies the spirit of the ancient Silk Road, which dates back to 2,000 years ago. It was used by people from many countries for friendly exchanges and commerce. We will renew the spirit and bring it up to date.

It’s younger because it’s born in the age of globalization which features inclusive cooperation. It’s not about geopolitics and should not be reviewed by outdated cold war mindset.

China, Canada facilitate issuing of visas

China and Canada have reached an agreement on visas for each other’s citizens with a validity period of up to 10 years, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday, marking the latest move by China to facilitate the issuing of visas.

Wang made the remarks at a press conference in Beijing on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature.

Referring to China’s progress in facilitating visas last year, Wang said: “We signed visa exemption or simplification agreements with another 24 countries, equal to the total of the previous four years. Chinese citizens can now visit more than 50 countries or territories without a visa or obtaining a visa upon arrival.”

Wang also mentioned the reciprocal visa arrangement announced by China and the United States last year.

“It means that a Chinese citizen has a visa and for up to five or even 10 years he or she can travel easily between the two shores of the Pacific Ocean with just a passport and an air ticket,” Wang said.

As for Chinese citizens who need help abroad, Wang suggested that they dial the consular assistance hotline at 12308. In the six months since the launch of the hotline, more than 30,000 phone calls have been received.

“No matter which part of the world … if you run into trouble, you can dial this number and get prompt assistance from the Foreign Ministry and our diplomatic and consular missions abroad,” Wang said.