|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 29, 2015|
Q: While attending the UN summits for its 70th anniversary, President Xi Jinping announced a series of major measures in support of UN peacekeeping operations. What is the consideration behind these measures? Can you give us more details on China's participation in UN peacekeeping missions?
A: On September 28, at the UN summits for its 70th anniversary, President Xi Jinping announced a range of major initiatives aimed at improving and strengthening UN peacekeeping operations. As President Xi said, China will join the new UN Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System, and has decided to take the lead in setting up a permanent peacekeeping police squad and build a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops. China will give favorable consideration to future UN requests for more Chinese engineering, transport and medical staff. In the next five years, China will train 2,000 peacekeepers from other countries and carry out 10 de-mining assistance programs that will include training and equipment provisions. China will also provide US$100 million worth of free military assistance to the African Union in the next five years to support the establishment of an African Standby Force and the African Capability for Immediate Response to Crisis. China will send the first peacekeeping helicopter squad to UN peacekeeping operations in Africa, and part of its pledge in the China-UN peace and development fund will be used to support UN peacekeeping operations.
All these measures demonstrate that China is taking on greater international responsibility to safeguard international peace and security. They showcase China's determination to maintain world peace and staunch support for UN peacekeeping operations.
Since its first-ever sending of military observers to UN peacekeeping operations in 1990, China has dispatched a total of over 30,000 peacekeepers and joined 29 peacekeeping missions. As we speak, over 3,100 Chinese soldiers and police are performing their duty in 10 peacekeeping mission areas, making China the top contributor of troops among the five permanent members of the Security Council. They have done an outstanding job of resuming peace and stability to their stationed areas and protecting local people's life and property, and won acclamation from the UN and relevant countries. Going forward, China will continue to practice multilateralism, support and expand its participation in UN peacekeeping operations, and make more positive and greater contributions to international peace and security.
Q: First, yesterday at the UN, Presidents of the US and France urged Syrian President to step down, saying that Syria would not be stable if he stayed on. How does China respond? Second, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for the creation of a broad coalition against terrorism where Muslim countries shall play a leading role. What is China's comment on that? Does China believe that such kind of coalition is possible? Does China support Russia's proposal?
A: On your first question, it is our long-standing belief that the Syrian issue should be politically resolved, the future of Syria should lie in the hands of the Syrian people, an inclusive political process should be moved forward, nation-wide reconciliation and unity should be achieved in Syria, and humanitarian assistance should be provided to Syria and its neighboring countries. The Chinese side will make continuous efforts together with the international community to that end.
On your second question, the Chinese side firmly opposes all forms of terrorism, and believes that the international community should work as one, adopt a holistic approach to address both the symptoms and root causes, deliver on relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and take actions in accordance with the purposes of the UN Charter and basics norms governing international relations. China is ready to enhance communication and coordination with the international community including Russia on that.
Q: How do you comment on the outcomes of President Xi Jinping's visit to the US and its possible impact on China-US relations?
A: President Xi Jinping paid a historic state visit to the US at the crucial juncture when China and the US are building the new model of major-country relationship. The two sides' shared commitment to this new model of major-country relationship has led to a productive visit and major new progress on investment, people-to-people exchanges, climate change and coordination and cooperation on multilateral affairs. It shows once again that China and the US are ready to rise up to challenges through enhanced cooperation. We will work alongside the US to open a new chapter in the bilateral relationship and deliver more benefits to people from the two countries and other parts of the world.
Q: The Indonesian government delegation in Japan said they welcome China's high-speed railway program. What is China's comment on that?
A: The Chinese side has a wealth of experience in building and operating high-speed railways and enjoys an edge in terms of cooperation model, financing conditions, technology transfer and construction period. The Chinese government encourages companies with strength to carry out active and fruitful cooperation with the Indonesian side.
Both China and Indonesia are developing countries boasting broad space for cooperation. The Chinese side looks forward to expanding and deepening practical cooperation with Indonesia on infrastructure facilities and production capacity, creating more tangible benefits to the two countries and two peoples.
Q: Vietnam's President told the media yesterday that China's island-building in the South China Sea violated international law and endangered maritime security. How does China respond?
A: The Nansha Islands have been part of China's since ancient times, and we have enough historical and jurisprudential evidence to back that up. China's construction and maintenance work on some stationed islands and reefs in the Nansha Islands is legitimate, justified and reasonable. It affects and targets no one. China's construction is mainly for the purpose of providing international public goods and services, fulfilling China's obligations as a major country and further safeguarding freedom and safety of navigation in the South China Sea. We hope that relevant parties will have a right understanding on that.