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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on November 25, 2015


Q: The Turkish military said on November 24 that it shot down a Russian fighter jet that entered Turkish air space near its border with Syria. Russia's Defense Ministry also confirmed that one of its Su-24 fighter jets was downed and crashed in Syria. What is your comment?

A: The Chinese side follows this incident closely. Some details remain to be clarified. The Chinese side supports the international counter-terrorism efforts and hopes that all sides would strengthen communication and coordination.

Q: The South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal established at the request of the Philippines has started its hearing on issues related to merits. What is your comment?

A: China has expounded on many occasions its position that the Arbitral Tribunal has no jurisdiction over the arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines and that China will neither accept nor participate in the arbitration. This position is clear and consistent.

The Philippines' unilateral initiation and obstinate pushing forward of the South China Sea arbitration is a political provocation under the cloak of law. It is in essence not an effort to settle disputes but an attempt to negate China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea.

Disregarding the fact that the subject matter of the arbitration involves territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation and related matters, maliciously evading the declaration on optional exceptions made by China in 2006 under Article 298 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and negating the consensus between China and the Philippines on resolving disputes through negotiations and consultations, the Philippines and the Arbitral Tribunal have abused relevant procedures and forced ahead with the arbitration, and as a result, have severely violated the legitimate rights that China enjoys as a sovereign state and a State Party to UNCLOS, completely deviated from the purposes and objectives of UNCLOS, and eroded the integrity and authority of UNCLOS.

With regard to the issues of territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, China will not accept any solution imposed on it or any unilateral resort to a third-party dispute settlement. The Philippines' attempt to negate China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea through arbitral proceeding will lead to nothing.

Q: On November 24, a bomb attack rocked the city center of Tunisian capital, causing major casualties. What is your response?

A: The Chinese side condemns this attack, expresses condolences over the lost lives, and sympathy to the Tunisian government, the bereaved families and the injured.

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