|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 14, 2015|
As agreed by China and France, the third China-France High Level Economic and Financial Dialogue will be held in Beijing on September 18. Vice Premier Ma Kai of the State Council and French Minister for the Economy and Finance Michel Sapin will co-host the dialogue. Senior economic and financial officials from both sides will attend the dialogue. The Chinese and French sides will consult with each other on issues such as macroeconomic landscape and policies, global governance, bilateral cooperation in finance, as well as cooperation in market, industry and major projects.
State Councilor Yang Jiechi will travel to Los Angeles, the US as the Special Representative of President Xi Jinping for the first China-US Summit on Climate-Smart/Low-Carbon Cities from September 15 to 17.
Q: Has the Chinese side expressed sympathy to Saudi Arabia for the crane collapse at the Grand Mosque in the Saudi city of Mecca on September 11? Were Chinese nationals hurt or killed in the collapse? What has the Chinese side done so far?
A: The Chinese side is deeply saddened by the crane collapse at the Grand Mosque and the heavy casualties it has caused. We convey our condolences to the victims and sympathy to the bereaved families and the injured. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi have respectively sent messages of condolences to Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.
Information from the Chinese diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia shows that three Chinese citizens were wounded in the accident, and two of those who were hurt in the leg have been treated. The Chinese Consulate-General in Jeddah has provided the injured with necessary assistance. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and relevant diplomatic missions will follow closely with the development and properly deal with follow-up matters.
Q: Foreign Ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine reached important consensus on the further implementation of the new Minsk agreement during their meeting in Berlin on September 12. Russian President Vladimir Putin said it was possible that the deadline for implementing the agreement could be extended. What is China's comment on that?
A: The Chinese side stands firmly for efforts and constructive initiatives aiming at peacefully resolving the Ukrainian crisis through political dialogues, and commends the mediation activities by Foreign Ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine for the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. It is hoped that all relevant parties could firm up confidence, meet each other halfway, remove differences as soon as possible and continue with the implementation of the new Minsk agreement so as to realize peace and tranquility in Ukraine at an early date.
Q: China appears to be building an airstrip on Meiji Jiao as is shown in new satellite images. Would you please confirm that?
A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. Construction activities taken by the Chinese side on some stationed islands and reefs in the Nansha Islands are completely lawful, reasonable and justified. As a responsible country and the largest littoral state in the South China Sea, China has the capability, need and obligation to provide the region and the international community with more public goods and services and satisfy the requirement of military defense by building some necessary facilities in the South China Sea.
Q: Secretary of the Committee of Political and Legal Affairs under the CPC Central Committee of China Meng Jianzhu visited the US recently, making preparations for President Xi Jinping and President Obama's meeting. The US and the Obama administration have expressed concerns over cyber theft and the impacts of China's national security law on the US companies operating in China. Has any agreement been reached on the above-mentioned issues during Meng Jianzhu's stay in the US?
A: From September 9 to 12, Mr. Meng Jianzhu, Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Secretary of the Committee of Political and Legal Affairs under the CPC Central Committee, led a delegation comprised of leading officials from the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of State Security, the Ministry of Justice and the Cyberspace Administration of China to the US and met with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, and President's National Security Advisor Susan Rice. Both sides exchanged views on jointly combating cyber crimes and on other prominent issues in law enforcement and security, and reached important consensus.
Secretary Meng Jianzhu pointed out that China and the US are major Internet users. Against the backdrop of frequent occurrence of cyberspace incidents and continuous increase of threats to cyber security, strengthening mutual trust and cooperation in the cyber security field becomes even more important. Secretary Meng Jianzhu stressed that the Chinese side resolutely opposes cyber attack and cyber espionage. Whoever carries out cyber attack and cyber espionage in China violates the national law and will be held accountable by law. It serves the common interests of both sides and the international community to carry out dialogue and cooperation and jointly combat cyber crimes.
Q: It is reported that Chinese and Indian troops had a "face-off" in the border area. The Indian side said that China built a watchtower in the sensitive region and opposed that. Both sides have stepped out their military reinforcements in the border area. What is China's comment on this?
A: China-India relations are enjoying a sound momentum of development. The significant consensus reached between leaders of both sides on maintaining peace and tranquility of the border area serves as an important guarantee for the sustainable development of bilateral relations.
As far as I know, there is no such "face-off" between China and India in the border area. The Chinese border troops have been performing their duties on the Chinese side of the Actual Control Line. The Chinese side is committed to maintaining peace and tranquility of the border area. We hope that the Indian side can clarify relevant issue, work with China, bear in mind the big picture of bilateral ties, and safeguard peace and tranquility of the border area so as to create a favorable environment for the development of bilateral relations.
Q: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit China. Please tell us more about his agenda.
A: As we have briefed you last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will pay a formal visit to China at the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi. During his visit, Chinese leader will meet with him, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks with him. Both sides will have in-depth discussions on how to move forward bilateral relations under the new circumstances, and exchange views on the implementation of the comprehensive deal on the Iranian nuclear issue and international and regional issues of common concern. We hope that his visit will further elevate China-Iran relations.
Q: On September 13, "Nagorno-Karabakh" region held elections to the "self-governing bodies". What is China's comment on this?
A: China's position on the issue of "Nagorno-Karabakh" is clear and consistent. It is hoped that parties concerned will find a mutually acceptable solution through consultation and dialogue based on well-recognized norms of the international law and relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.