|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 9, 2015|
At the invitation of Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic Lubomír Zaorálek, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Poland Grzegorz Schetyna, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria Daniel Mitov, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay official visits to the aforementioned three countries from October 13 to 16.
Q: Reports said that the Indonesian government asked several countries including China and Singapore for help to put out forest fires that have been spreading on Sumatra island and part of Kalimantan island. What is China's response?
A: The Chinese side attaches great importance to Indonesia's request, and will do its best to assist Indonesia in putting out the fire. We are in close communication with the Indonesian side, and relevant departments are ready for the dispatch to Indonesia.
Q: Today, a delegation of Japanese high school students arrived in Beijing. They are the future of China-Japan friendship. Do you have anything to say to them?
A: First of all, welcome to the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the press conference. Young people are the future. You shoulder the future of China-Japan relations. It is hoped that you can sow the seeds of China-Japan friendship far and wide, and do your share to promote China-Japan friendship and cooperation.
Q: This morning, China Arms Control and Disarmament Association and China Institute of Nuclear Information and Economics jointly issued a study report on the issue of Japan's nuclear materials together with other academic institutions. China has been keeping an eye on the issue of Japan's nuclear materials. What is China's comment on this study report?
A: We have noted the relevant report. Japan has been storing a large amount of sensitive nuclear materials for a long time. The acute imbalance between supply and demand leads to risks of nuclear proliferation and poses threat to nuclear security. It has already raised concerns and doubts from many countries and the international academia. I believe a solution does exist for the issue of Japan's nuclear materials. The key is for Japan to show sincerity and responsibility, and take concrete actions to address the concerns of the international community.
Q: Japan has been voicing opposition against China applying to UNESCO to list documents relating to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre and wartime sex slavery on the Memory of the World Register. What is your comment?
A: China's application meets the standards of the Memory of the World Register. The Chinese side believes that UNESCO will reach a fair conclusion that can stand the test of history.
We have noted that Japan has taken some moves to obstruct China's application. I want to stress that the 1937 Nanjing Massacre and the forced recruitment of comfort women are grave crimes committed by Japanese militarism during its war of aggression against China. China's application is made with the sense of responsibility towards history. It will help people of all countries including Japan to realize the brutality of war, remember the history, cherish peace, and jointly safeguard human dignity.
Fact is not to be denied. History is not to be falsified. What the Japanese side has said and done once again revealed its reluctance to face the history squarely, which is wrong. The Chinese side urges the Japanese side to bear in mind its responsibility towards history, face up to and reflect upon its history of aggression, properly deal with relevant issues, and take concrete actions to win back trust from its Asian neighbors and the international community.
Q: Liu Yunshan, member of the Politburo Standing Committee and Secretary of the Central Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee starts his visit to the DPRK today. Will he meet the DPRK's supreme leader? What is on the top of the agenda?
A: At the invitation of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers' Party, Liu Yunshan, member of the Politburo Standing Committee and Secretary of the Central Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, is leading a CPC delegation to attend activities marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Workers' Party and pay an official goodwill visit to the DPRK. During his visit, he will meet with the DPRK leaders, attend activities marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Workers' Party, and visit the cemetery for martyrs of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army. Both sides are in contact on relevant arrangements.
China and the DPRK are close neighbors. The two parties remain friendly exchanges. The visit enablesl high-level exchange of views on bilateral relations and issues of mutual concern, which will be conducive to consolidating and developing the traditional friendship and safeguarding regional peace and stability.
Q: A Chinese woman was reportedly charged in a Tanzanian court with trafficking in ivory. Earlier reports said that another Chinese female was tried in the same court for ivory smuggling. Can you confirm that? What is China's comment on Chinese citizens' alleged involvement in ivory smuggling in Africa?
A: I am not aware of the two specific cases you mentioned.
The Chinese government holds a clear-cut position on the relevant issue. It is the shared responsibility of countries around the world to protect endangered wild species including elephants and crack down on poaching as well as related illegal trafficking. International cooperation is required in this regard. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the protection of wildlife and takes concrete actions to fulfill its international obligations by enhancing domestic legislation, management and education, combating smuggling activities, and taking an active part in relevant transnational joint law-enforcement actions. In January last year and May this year, the Chinese government destroyed in public altogether 6.76 tonnes of confiscated ivory, and imposed a one-year temporary ban on the import of ivory carvings from Africa in February this year. Together with other countries, we will continue to contribute to the efforts to protect endangered wild species and contain illegal trade.
Q: First, the US and Pakistan are having negotiations on a civil nuclear deal. A similar kind of deal was clinched by the US and India years ago. China and Pakistan have close cooperation in the field of civil nuclear energy. How does China view the ongoing negotiations between the US and Pakistan? Second, the China-India Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on Border Affairs is holding a meeting in Beijing. Can you give more details?
A: On your first question, I have noted the relevant report. Cooperation between China and Pakistan in the field of civil nuclear energy is totally for peaceful purposes and is in line with their respective international obligations.
On your second question, the meeting of the China-India Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on Border Affairs is being held in Beijing on October 8 and 9. The Chinese delegation is led by Director General Ouyang Yujing of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of the Foreign Ministry. The Indian delegation is led by Director General Pradeep Kumar Rawat of the East Asia Division of the Ministry of External Affairs. Both sides also sent representatives from diplomatic, defense and public security sectors to the meeting.
Both sides reviewed the border situation of the past year as well as how the confidence-building measures have been implemented. They also exchanged views on various topics concerning peace and stability of the border areas. Both sides highlighted the importance of maintaining peace and tranquility of the border areas. They agreed to follow the important consensus reached between leaders of the two countries to further enhance communication and coordination, explore measures to build confidence, move forward cooperation on the border areas, and safeguard peace and stability of the border areas.
Q: The US Congressional-Executive Commission on China released its 2015 report on human rights, criticizing human rights and the rule of law in China. What is China's comment?
A: This kind of report has nothing new but groundless accusations against China's domestic affairs based on usual prejudice. More than 1.3 billion people in China are in the best position to talk about China's human rights situation. It is hoped that you can travel more and have more talks with the Chinese public, and tell the true situation in China to the congressmen, officials and people in the US so that they can have an objective and fair understanding of China.
Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reshuffled the Cabinet on October 7. What is China's comment on that? What is China's expectation for China-Japan relations?
A: A stable and sound development of China-Japan relations serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and the peoples. The Chinese side always believes that bilateral relations should be developed on the basis of four political documents and in the spirit of taking history as a mirror and facing to the future. It is hoped that Japan can work towards the same direction, earnestly implement the four principled agreement reached last year, properly settle relevant issues, and move bilateral relations along the track of continuous improvement.
Q: First, have the Syrian authorities asked for China's participation in the air strike against Syrian rebels? Second, recent conflicts between Palestian and Israelis have caused heavy casualties of civilians. What is China's comment on that?
A: On your first question, I have no information on that. Yesterday I elaborated on China's position on the current situation in Syria. We believe that the international community should forge a synergy in fighting against terrorism and safeguarding security of countries concerned as well as regional peace and stability. It is our long-standing position that political settlement is the fundamental way out of the Syrian issue. An equal-footed, inclusive and open political dialogue should be launched as soon as possible so as to work out a solution that accommodates each other's concerns and realize peace and stability in Syria at an early date.
On your second question, the Chinese side follows with concern conflicts between Palestine and Israel which have worsened the security situation. We urge Israel and Palestine to exercise maximum restraint, take concrete actions to avoid the flareup of conflicts and more casualties. The Chinese side also believes that peace talks remain the only way out of conflicts and calls on Israel and Palestine to rebuild mutual trust and restart peace talks at an early date.
Q: First, the US has announced an increase of assistance to the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia in maritime law enforcement. What is China's response? Second, there are reports saying that the US is considering sending naval vessels to the South China Sea. What is your comment?
A: On your first question, the overall situation in the South China Sea is stable. The freedom and safety of navigation has not been affected. At present, China and ASEAN countries are properly handling the South China Sea issue following the dual-track approach, and are committed to fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), moving forward consultations on the code of conduct in the South China Sea (COC), and jointly maintaining peace and stability of the South China Sea. The Chinese side hopes that relevant parties can respect efforts made by China and ASEAN countries to maintain peace and stability of the South China Sea, make more constructive remarks, and play a more constructive role. They should do more to facilitate these efforts instead of making the situation worse.
On your second question, China and the US remain in contact at different levels on the South China Sea issue. The US is clear about China's principled stance.
We are seriously concerned about the relevant report. It needs to be pointed out that China always respects and safeguards the freedom of navigation and overflight that all countries enjoy in the South China Sea as well as other places around the world according to international law. However, there is no way for us to condone infringement of China's territorial sea and airspace by any country under the pretext of "maintaining the freedom of navigation and overflight". We urge relevant party to refrain from saying or doing anything provocative and act responsibly in maintaining regional peace and stability.