|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on November 10, 2015|
Q: In his speech on November 7 in California, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter talked about freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, saying that China's recent behavior has presented challenges for the international order. What is China's response to that?
A: The current international order is jointly established by the international community with the UN at its core, and purposes and principles of the UN Charter as its basis. Its basic principle is that all countries should respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, treat each other as equals and refrain from interfering in each other's internal affairs. The international order can by no means be defined arbitrarily by any specific person from the US. China upholds, builds and contributes to the current international system and international order. It also is a staunch defender for peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific and the world as a whole as well as international equity and justice. The international community is able to come to a fair conclusion.
Our position concerning the issue of navigation freedom in the South China Sea is consistent, clear and unchanged. The Nansha Islands have been part of China's territory since ancient times. China has the right to carry out construction on its own territory which harms no country, and has no impact on freedom of navigation and over-flight in the region. The Chinese side stays committed to peacefully resolving relevant disputes with countries directly concerned through negotiations and consultations on the basis of respecting historical facts and international law, and jointly safeguarding peace and stability of the South China Sea with ASEAN countries. China's position as mentioned is reasonable, justified and lawful. The US side has no right to point an accusing finger at us.
In disregard of China's opposition, the US side insisted on sending military vessels to nearby waters of relevant islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands. It constitutes a grave damage to China's sovereignty and security, and heightens regional tension. Facts have given us a clear idea of who is breaching the international order and creating troubles.
Q: Do recent moves taken by China, such as President Xi Jinping's visits to Singapore and Vietnam and the trilateral leaders' meeting of China, Japan and the ROK, indicate that China is adopting new policies and becoming even open to the neighborhood?
A: China is conducting active and dynamic neighborhood diplomacy. President Xi Jinping just wrapped up his visits to Vietnam and Singapore. Premier Li Keqiang attended the sixth trilateral leaders' meeting of China, Japan and the ROK during his visit to the ROK. China's neighborhood diplomacy thrives. We prioritize the neighborhood in our overall diplomacy and take it as our duty to promote peace, stability and development in the neighborhood. By developing relations with neighbors, we are aiming at building a community of common destiny and shared interests with them. The Chinese side would like to see that China's neighbors seize the opportunity brought by China's development, work with China to enhance good-neighborliness and friendliness, boost economic growth in the region and create benefits for people from the region.
While developing relations with relevant countries, we also stress that we should stick to the right course of bilateral relations. For example, we maintain that we should regard history as the mirror and look forward into the future when developing China-Japan relations, and that we should properly deal with and manage well maritime disputes when developing China-Vietnam relations to keep the larger picture intact.
Q: The Governor of the People's Bank of China wrote an article about the internationalization of RMB for the CAIJING MAGAZINE the other day. Does that mean any progress in IMF's inclusion of RMB in the SDR basket of currencies?
A: With the growth of China's economic strength and foreign trade, RMB is playing a more and more important role in international trade, investment and other areas. Given such a trend, the inclusion of RMB in the SDR will make the SDR more representative and appealing, improve the international monetary system, and maintain global financial stability. We look forward to progress on the issue of including RMB in the SDR basket of currencies.