|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on December 29, 2015|
Q: Japan and the ROK reached consensus on the issue of comfort women. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made an apology to the victims. Will China hold talks with Japan on the issue of comfort women and move the issue towards a final settlement?
A: The war of aggression waged by the Japanese militarism has brought great sufferings to the people in China and other victimized countries in Asia. We keep urging the Japanese side to view and treat its history of aggression correctly, learn from the past, and win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community with concrete actions.
On the issue of comfort women, I have made clear China's position. We once again urge the Japanese side to face squarely and reflect upon its history of aggression and deal with the relevant issue in a responsible manner. This position is consistent and subject to no change.
Q: Taiwan said that it will consult with the Japanese side on the issue of comfort women. Will the Chinese side lodge representations with the Japanese side?
A: During the Second World War, the Japanese militarists forcibly recruited comfort women from different places in China, committing a severe crime against humanity. We urge the Japanese side to assume its responsibility, respect the concerns of the victims, and properly handle relevant issues.
Q: An article published on the New York Times said that China's Belt and Road Initiative is causing geopolitical strains, with some countries increasingly worried about becoming too dependent on China. What is your response?
A: Since the Belt and Road Initiative was put forward two years ago, more than 60 countries along the Belt and Road and international organizations have responded positively to participate in the initiative. Many countries have signed cooperation agreements or reached consensus on aligning strategies with China. A range of multilateral and bilateral major cooperation projects are making steady progress. All these give full expression to the fact that the Belt and Road Initiative corresponds to the development needs of countries and regions along the Belt and Road, meets the common interests of relevant parties, and conforms to the trend of regional and global cooperation.
The Belt and Road Initiative will elevate the level of connectivity between the Eurasian continent and other continents, help inland countries diversify their corridors for economic growth, energy transportation and trade, enable countries along the Belt and Road to create demands and jobs, and drive the overall recovery of the world economy, which benefits all countries around the world.
The Belt and Road Initiative is an open and inclusive initiative for regional cooperation. It is not a tool for geopolitics. China has no geopolitical motives that seek the so-called sphere of influence, and will not impose its will on others. The Chinese side will continue to adhere to the principle of jointly building the initiative through consultation to meet the interests of all and deepen practical cooperation in various fields with countries along the Belt and Road so as to achieve win-win results.
Q: Does the Chinese side believe that the Japanese side is sincere about resolving the issue of comfort women?
A: The issue of comfort women bears on the feelings and dignity of people in the victimized countries in Asia, including China and the ROK. Just like you, we are waiting to see whether or not the Japanese side will match its words with actions, mean what it said, and adhere to its commitment from first to last.
Q: Akie Abe, wife of the Japanese Prime Minister reportedly wrote on her personal homepage of a social network that she visited the Yasukuni Shrine on December 28. What is China's comment on that?
A: The Chinese side holds a clear and consistent position on the issue of the Yasukuni Shrine. We once again urge the Japanese side to face squarely and reflect upon the history of aggression, make a clean break with militarism and make sincere efforts to enhance mutual trust and realize reconciliation with its Asian neighbors. On the issue of history, it is hoped that the Japanese side can match its words with actions, mean what it said, and adhere to its commitment from first to last.