|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 17, 2015|
Q: According to reports, the Constituent Assembly of Nepal endorsed the draft of the new constitution with an overwhelming majority vote of 507 to 25. President Ram Baran Yadav will officially unveil the new constitution on September 20. What is your comment?
A: As a friendly neighbor, the Chinese side is glad to see the approval of the new constitution by the Constituent Assembly of Nepal. We support and respect Nepal's independent choice of social system and development path, and wish for political stability and economic development in Nepal.
Q: President Xi Jinping will visit the US next week and attend the World Conference on Women in the UN. Why does China hold this conference with UN Women?
A: This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women held in Beijing. Two decades ago, the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action were adopted at this Conference, becoming the guideline for the global course of women. In the past 20 years, considerable progress has been made in this area thanks to the proactive efforts by the international community. However, the current development level of women still lags far behind the established goal at the Beijing World Conference on Women because of uneven development of women in different countries, regions and areas. The international community needs to take further actions about this.
By hosting the World Conference on Women together with UN Women, China aims to take the opportunity of the 20th anniversary of the Beijing World Conference on Women when world leaders gather at the UN, to promote heads of states and governments of all countries to reaffirm their commitments on gender equality and women empowerment and take positive actions. This is of great historical significance for being the first conference on women attended by world leaders.
It has been an important consensus in the Chinese society that women hold up half of the sky. The Chinese government always pays great attention to protecting women's rights and interests, and encourages and supports women to uphold their own rights and interests through legal means. China has made notable achievement in advancing the endeavor of women.
The World Conference on Women is warmly welcome among the international community, with nearly 80 heads of states, governments and international organizations having confirmed their attendance to the Conference. The World Conference on Women is expected to be the largest meeting on a specific topic at the highest level among a series of UN summits. We welcome the positive participation and support from all parties to the Conference. It is hoped that the world would take this opportunity to forge consensus, pay more attention to and support the global endeavor of women, take more powerful policy measures and push for greater achievement of the development of women around the world.
After the press conference, the following questions were raised: The Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary and the Foreign Ministry protested to China over China's continuous development of 4 oil and gas fields near the Japan-China median line in the East China Sea, saying that it was regrettable to exploit resources in undelimited waters and demanding consultations based on the Japan-China agreement on joint development of oil and gas fields signed in 2008. How do you respond to this? What is your take on Japan's proposal of holding consultations?
A: China's oil and gas development in the East China Sea lies in indisputable waters under China's jurisdiction. Japan has no right to make carping comments on this. Japan's deliberate hyping up of relevant issue is by no means conducive to China and Japan's dialogue and cooperation on East China Sea-related issue, nor constructive to the management of the East China Sea situation and improvement of bilateral relations through dialogue. It is hoped that the Japanese side would follow the four principled consensus reached between China and Japan last year, and exercise self-examination on its behavior.
The Chinese side attaches great importance to implementing the principled consensus. This position remains unchanged. The ball is in Japan's court so as to create favorable conditions and atmosphere for the implementation of the principled consensus.
Q: On September 17, a powerful earthquake rattled the west coast of Chile and set off tsunami waves. Are there Chinese casualties and what has China done?
A: China expresses condolences to Chili over the earthquake.
Since the outbreak of the earthquake, the Foreign Ministry and the Chinese diplomatic missions in Chile have been following the situation closely. The Chinese Embassy in Chile and the Chinese Consulate-General in Iquique activated emergency response mechanism rapidly, and confirmed the security of Chinese institutions and people working in Chile through various channels. So far, there has been no report of Chinese people hurt or killed in the earthquake. The Chinese diplomatic missions in Chile will continue to follow the situation closely, and provide assistance to Chinese institutions and people there.