|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 12, 2015|
At the invitation of Vice President Li Yuanchao, Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera of the Plurinational State of Bolivia will pay an official visit to China from October 15 to 17 and attend the China 2015 Poverty Reduction and Development Forum.
At the invitation of Secretary General Shotaro Yachi of Japan's National Security Secretariat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi will co-host the second China-Japan high-level political dialogue with Secretary General Yachi in Tokyo on October 13 and 14. The first round of dialogue took place in Beijing in July, 2015.
Q: State Councilor Yang Jiechi has just wrapped up his visit to South Africa. What is your comment on the visit? Please brief us about the visit and its outcomes.
A: On his official visit from October 9 to 11 to South Africa, State Councilor Yang Jiechi and the South African side compared notes on preparations for the Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to be held in Johannesburg in December, consulted with each other about how to arrange President Xi Jinping's visit to South Africa and design its outcomes, so as to ensure the summit and visit a full success. The visit is highly effective and practical, living up to all the expectations.
Attaching great importance to the visit, President Jacob Zuma and Minister of International Relations Maite Nkoana-Mashabane met and held talks with State Councilor Yang Jiechi on separate occasions. The two sides had thorough exchange of views and reached broad consensus on preparations for FOCAC Summit, including the theme, outcome documents and key areas of cooperation, as well as arrangements for President Xi Jinping's state visit to South Africa. The two sides agreed that the Johannesburg Summit, the first of its kind to be held on the African Continent, marks a milestone in deepening China-Africa cooperation and transforming and upgrading China-Africa relations. As co-hosts of the summit, China and South Africa will enhance coordination to make the summit a historic gathering that strengthens unity and envisions future cooperation between China and Africa, writing a new chapter of China-Africa relations. The two sides will take President Xi Jinping's visit to South Africa as an opportunity to implement consensus between leaders of the two countries on deepening bilateral relations and the 5-10 Years Strategic Plan on Cooperation Between China and South Africa, and prioritize cooperation in maritime economy, special economic zones, manufacturing, resources and energy, infrastructure, people-to-people exchanges and other areas, injecting strong impetus to China-South Africa relations. State Councilor Yang Jiechi gave an interview with Independence News & Media during his visit, giving China's outlook on China-South Africa and China-Africa relations, BRICS cooperation, South-South cooperation and China's economic growth.
Q: Nepal is facing a fuel crisis and is considering importing fuel from China. But the border between China and Nepal has been closed since the earthquake in Nepal earlier this year. When will the border be reopened, specifically the Zhangmu border crossing?
A: The border between China and Nepal has been closed temporarily as a result of the April 25 earthquake. The Chinese side is working to clear out the blocked road and staff the customs so as to reopen the border at an early date and facilitate cross-border trade and personnel exchanges.
Q: UNESCO did not inscribe documents related to comfort women in its Memory of the World Register. Did UNESCO give a reason? What is the Chinese side planning to do next?
A: According to the reply recently given by UNESCO's international advisory committee concerning documents related to comfort women, the issue of comfort women scars not only China but also some other countries. The international advisory committee suggested in accordance with application guidelines that all these countries file a joint application which will be reviewed at the 2017 meeting. The Chinese side will think carefully about the aforementioned suggestion.
Q: Following China's arrest of two Japanese on suspicion of spying, two more Japanese nationals were reportedly detained by China for alleged espionage. Can you confirm that? How many Japanese have been arrested so far on charges of spying?
A: It is learnt that competent authorities of China are investigating relevant cases in accordance with the law. The Japanese side has been informed of the development. I have no information on your second question.
Q: Nepal's parliament elected Khadga Prasad Oli, leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), as the new prime minister on October 11. What is China's comment on that?
A: The Chinese side gives its sincere congratulations to Mr. Oli on being elected as the new prime minister of Nepal, and hopes to see new achievements made by the Nepali government and people under the leadership of Prime Minister Oli on the way toward national unity, stability and development.
China and Nepal are good neighbors and friends who share weal and woe. The Chinese side values its relationship with Nepal, respects the choice of social system and development path made by the Nepalese based on Nepal's national conditions, and supports Nepal's endeavor to safeguard national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Chinese side is ready to work in concert with Nepal to advance the comprehensive partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship and do its best to assist Nepal with development.
Q: India and the US kicked off the Malabar naval exercise today and invited Japan to join them. Reports from India say that India and the US are considering turning Japan into a permanent partner in this exercise. Do you have a comment on this exercise? Do you think the drill is aimed at China?
A: I think you are worrying too much when you ask whether the joint naval drill is aimed at China. Countries around the world have all kinds of activities and cooperation. We don't think all these activities are targeting China. China-US and China-India relations are on a track of sound development. We hope that the development of relations and cooperation between relevant parties can make positive contributions to regional peace and stability.
Q: The turnout in Belarus's presidential election on October 12 brought victory to the incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko. What is China's comment on that?
A: President Xi Jinping has sent a message of congratulations to President Lukashenko upon learning the result. The Chinese side respects choice made by people of Belarus, sincerely hopes that Belarus will maintain political stability and economic growth and stands ready to push forward China-Belarus comprehensive strategic partnership based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.
Q: Can you give us more details about State Councilor Yang Jiechi's visit to Japan? What will be on the top of the agenda?
A: As I just mentioned, State Councilor Yang Jiechi is to co-host the second China-Japan high-level political dialogue with Secretary General Yachi at the latter's invitation. It is an institutional arrangement between the two countries and an important measure taken by the two countries to enhance high-level strategic communication, build consensus and manage differences. Secretary General Yachi came to China in July and joined State Councilor Yang Jiechi in hosting the first high-level political dialogue. They exchanged views on China-Japan relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest.
Q: The US Congressional-Executive Commission on China released its 2015 report on human rights, saying that the unsettling deterioration of China's human rights and rule of law will have an impact on the national interests of the US and US-China relations. What is China's comment?
A: The so-called report by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China makes groundless accusation against China's domestic affairs. You just said "unsettling deterioration". What is really unsettling is the prejudice and ignorance held by some people in the US against China. It is hoped that they could make sensible, objective, comprehensive and just assessment about China's development, and stop making unfounded accusation against China's domestic affairs. We would like to have equal-footed communication and exchanges with the US based on mutual respect, help them develop a better understanding of China and promote China-US relations.
Q: China and India start the 5th round of counter-terrorism drill today. What is the significance of the counter-terrorism cooperation between China and India?
A: According to the annual plan of exchanges, Chinese and Indian armies are having a joint counter-terrorism exercise in Kunming, Yunan in October under the name of "Hand in Hand 2015", which is the 5th round of exercise between the two armies. It has a positive significance in safeguarding security and stability of the two countries and relevant region, contributes to mutual trust between the two armies, and better facilitates the sound and stable development of bilateral ties. We stand ready to continue to strengthen communication and cooperation with the Indian side in the field of national defense, and instill positive energy to the sound and stable development of China-India relations.