|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on November 2, 2015|
As the Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping, China International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan will attend the inauguration ceremony of President Alexander Lukashenko of the Republic of Belarus upon invitation on November 6.
Q: On October 31, a Russian-operated Airbus A321 flying from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt to St Petersburg, Russia crashed in the Sinai Peninsula 20 minutes after taking off, killing all aboard. What is China's comment on that?
A: The Chinese side is deeply saddened by the crash of the Russian airliner in Egypt which has caused the death of all on board. President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Wang Yi have respectively sent messages of condolence to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, lamenting the lost lives and expressing sincere sympathy to the bereaved families.
The Chinese people will stand firmly with the Russian people at this time of sorrow.
Q: The Taiwan authorities reportedly released a statement on October 31 concerning the award rendered on October 29 by the Arbitral Tribunal established at the request of the Philippines on jurisdiction and admissibility of the South China Sea arbitration, saying that it would neither recognize nor accept the award. What is your comment on that?
A: I have noted the relevant report. I want to stress that Chinese people from both sides of the Straits have the responsibility and obligation to jointly uphold territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests of the country.
Q: The Japanese side said today that the South China Sea issue is the cause of international concern. How does China respond to that?
A: Some people keep expressing concern about the South China Sea issue. As a Chinese saying goes, there won't be any trouble in the world, unless people look for trouble themselves. I wonder what on earth these people are concerned about. Is it about navigation freedom? However, as we have all seen, there are over 100,000 ships from countries around the world sailing safely and freely through the South China Sea every year with no problem at all. According to the US media, there are over 15 million barrels of oil being shipped to East Asia every day via the Strait of Malacca and the South China Sea with no problem at all. It is hoped that relevant countries would be objective, impartial and reasonable about the relevant issue and join China to play a constructive and responsible role in safeguarding peace and stability of the South China Sea.
Q: India and China will hold a counter-terrorism consultation in New Delhi on November 4. Over the past years, apart from holding five rounds of counter-terrorism exercises, the two countries have also taken other measures to promote the bilateral relationship. According to the Indian media, the Indian government may ask the Chinese side to raise issues concerning Pakistani-based terrorist groups with the Pakistani side. What is China's comment on that?
A: As agreed by foreign ministries of China and India, the seventh round of counter-terrorism consultation will be held in New Delhi on November 4, for the exchange of views on international and regional campaigns against terrorism and counter-terrorism cooperation between the two sides. In the previous six rounds of consultations, the two sides had candid and in-depth communication and coordination on counter-terrorism issues of common concern following the principle of mutual respect and cooperation on an equal-footing. It has given a boost to counter-terrorism exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. The Chinese side looks forward to carrying forward relevant communication and cooperation with the Indian side during this round of consultation.
Counter-terrorism cooperation is also part and parcel of the all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Pakistan. The two countries cooperate very well on the relevant issue. We believe that the collaborative fight against terrorism will be conducive to stability and security of all relevant countries and that of the region. The Chinese side will carry on with its close communication and cooperation with India, Pakistan and other countries on the issue of counter-terrorism.
Q: First, ROK and Chinese leaders agreed yesterday to step up cooperation on two-way trade and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. What is your comment on that? Second, leaders of the ROK, China and Japan agreed to reinforce the mechanism of trilateral cooperation. The Chinese side touched upon the issue of history at the meeting. What is your comment on that?
A: News releases about Premier Li Keqiang's attendance at the trilateral leaders' meeting of China, Japan and the ROK in Seoul and visit to the ROK have been issued. China-ROK relations enjoy a sound momentum of development. Cooperation in politics, trade, culture and other areas are moving ahead in tandem, producing fruitful results. Premier Li Keqiang and President Park Geun-hye had thorough discussions on furthering China-ROK economic cooperation and trade, and other issues including aligning development strategies of the two countries. The Chinese side will work harder to strengthen friendly cooperation with the ROK, and on top of that, make still further progress in practical cooperation across the board by blazing new trails, exploring new areas and fostering new growth points.
The Chinese side stays committed to safeguarding peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, realizing denuclearization on the Peninsula and solving problems through dialogues and consultations. The ROK side said that they value the important efforts made by the Chinese side for denuclearization, peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and would like to have more communication and coordination with the Chinese side on the issue of the Korean Peninsula. We will work in concert with all relevant parties to ensure that there won't be a u-turn in the process of lowering tensions on the Peninsula, and press ahead with denuclearization. The Chinese side firmly supports efforts by the ROK and the DPRK to improve relations and forge ahead with reconciliation and cooperation.
With regard to the mechanism of trilateral cooperation, Premier Li Keqiang has given his point of view on that at the meeting. China, Japan and the ROK, as major economies in East Asia and locomotives driving forward regional economic growth, carry a lot of weight in world economic growth. Leaders of the three countries reiterated at the meeting that they attach great importance to trilateral cooperation, concurred that history and other sensitive issues should be properly handled and that all three countries should work for regional economic integration following the principle of facing squarely the history and advancing toward the future, and make greater contributions to the renewal of Asia as a whole as well as world peace and development.
Q: Reports say that Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of the US Pacific Command, will come to visit China today. Has he arrived yet? Can you give us more details about the visit? Which Chinese leaders will meet with him?
A: I have no information on that. I would refer you to the military.
Q: French President François Hollande starts his state visit to China today. What is China's expectation for the visit?
A: President Hollande is in China on November 2 and 3 for a state visit at the invitation of President Xi Jinping. The Chinese side attaches great importance to the visit. It has been President Hollande's second state visit to China since he took office. During the visit, President Xi Jinping will hold talks with President Hollande, and Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman Zhang Dejiang will meet with him on separate occasions. Apart from Beijing, President Hollande will also go to Chongqing.
China-France relations enjoy a sound momentum of development. The two sides have maintained frequent high-level visits and enhanced political mutual trust over recent years. Economic cooperation and trade between the two countries is making steady progress, yielding fruitful results that are groundbreaking and exemplary. There have also been splendid events for cultural and people-to-people exchanges. Celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the China-France diplomatic ties achieved success, deepening the friendship between people of the two countries. China and France also have close communication and coordination on global issues as well as regional hot spots, making contributions to world peace, stability and development. We hope that the two sides will have in-depth exchange of views on issues of common interest during the visit, adding new impetus to the growth of bilateral ties.