|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 18, 2015|
Q: According to media reports, the US has for the first time repatriated Yang Jinjun, who is on a “red notice” list of 100 most-wanted Chinese fugitives abroad, back to China. How do you comment on the China-US cooperation on combating cross-border corruption crimes?
A: Under the coordination of the Fugitive Repatriation and Asset Recovery Office of the Central Anti-Corruption Coordination Group as well as the close cooperation of judicial, law enforcement and foreign affairs departments of China and the US, Yang Jinjun, a suspect of corruption and bribery who fled to the US 14 years ago, was repatriated to China on September 18. This is another important progress of the special task force on combating job-related crimes, pursuing fugitives and recovering illicit assets since the “sky net” campaign was carried out,and also the first time that the US repatriated to China personnel on the released list of 100 wanted fugitives.
The repatriation of Yang Jinjun signals that China is getting more international support and assistance on our efforts to combat corruption, pursue fugitives and recover illicit assets overseas. We will hold all the corrupted accountable no matter how far and how long they flee.
Over the years, judicial and law enforcement departments of China and the US have taken positive steps to implement the political consensus reached by the two leaders, and worked in unison to fight against transnational corruption crimes. The repatriation of Yang Jinjun is a notable outcome of China-US law enforcement cooperation on anti-corruption, and lays solid foundation for further bilateral cooperation in this area. We commend the cooperation of the US side. Looking forward, we will proceed the cooperation with relevant countries and jointly combat transnational corruption crimes.
Q: Japan’s special committee on security legislation rammed through the new security bill on September 17, and it is planned that the bill will be voted at today’s plenary session of the Senate. What is China’s comment?
A: Due to historical reasons, Japan’s policies and moves in the military and security fields have been closely followed by its Asian neighbors and the international community. We have noted that inside Japan there is an increasing wave of opposing the new security bill. It is hoped that the Japanese government can earnestly heed the calls for justice from inside Japan and from the international community, truly learn from historical lessons, stick to the path of peaceful development, act with caution in the military and security field, and do more things that are conducive to peace and stability of the region.
Q: The commander of US forces in the Pacific said yesterday that the US should challenge China’s claims in the South China Sea by sending military patrolling vessels close to the artificial islands that China is building in the South China Sea. Does China view this as a provocative action?
A: We are seriously concerned about the relevant remarks. China has sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and the adjacent waters, and this claim is fully backed by historical and jurisprudential evidence. China, like the US, champions navigation freedom in the South China Sea, but opposes any country’s attempt to challenge China’s territorial sovereignty and security under the pretext of safeguarding navigation freedom. China urges relevant party to exercise caution in its words and deeds, respect China’s territorial sovereignty and security interests, and refrain from taking any provocative and risky action.
Q: A military coup was staged in Burkina Faso. What is China’s comment on this? It is one of the three countries in Africa that have “diplomatic relations” with Taiwan. With the formation of the new military government, is there now a opportunity for China to establish diplomatic ties with Burkina Faso?
A: The Chinese side has been following the situation in Burkina Faso, and hopes that all parties can proceed from the fundamental interests of the state and the people, resolve political disputes through dialogue and consultation, restore normal order as soon as possible, and ensure national stability and development.
After the press conference, the follow question was raised: It is reported that the Israeli police clashed with Palestinian protesters in Al-Aqsa mosque of Jerusalem. How does China comment on this? What is your position on the current situation between Palestine and Israel?
Hong Lei said that China pays great attention to this, and urges Israel and Palestine, Israel in particular, to exercise maximum restraint and avoid escalation of the tension. It is disconcerting to see the continuous clashes between Israel and Palestine in recent days. It is a proven fact that containing violence through violence can only lead to the cycle of violence and additional confrontation and hatred between the two parties. China once again urges the Israeli and Palestinian sides to take effective measures to rebuild trust and strive for the early resumption of peace talks.