|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on January 7, 2016|
Q: Countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Sudan, and Djibouti have either severed or downgraded diplomatic ties with Iran, causing tensions to spike in the region. Has China contacted relevant parties in the region to lower tensions?
A: I have expressed our concerns over the situation there on many occasions. The Chinese side hopes that relevant parties could remain calm, exercise restraint, and properly address their disputes through dialogues and consultations.
The Chinese side stays committed to promoting peace and stability in the Middle East. Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming is now in Saudi Arabia for a visit and he will then travel to Iran. He will have an in-depth exchange of views with both sides on the situation in the region. In Beijing, China has also reached out to relevant countries. We hope that the situation in the Middle East will ease up.
Q: It is learnt that the Foreign Ministry of China summoned the DPRK Ambassador last night. Can you confirm that?
A: The Chinese government has made clear its position on DPRK's latest nuclear test in a Foreign Ministry's statement yesterday. Leading official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry has given further elaboration on China's position to official in charge from the DPRK Embassy in China.
Q: Presidents of the US and the ROK talked about the Korean Peninsula situation over the phone after the nuclear test. The ROK side hopes to acquire strategic weapons from the US side. Is China concerned that the deployment of strategic weapons by the two countries will further aggravate tensions on the Korean Peninsula? Many countries believe that China holds the key to the Korean nuclear issue and hope that China can persuade the DPRK to denuclearize. Do you have any comment?
A: We have noted the international community's strong reaction to DPRK's latest nuclear test. We are following the situation and are concerned about where it is heading for.
As I said yesterday, China has been making positive efforts to realize the goal of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. We will continue to move toward that goal and remain committed to resolving the Korean nuclear issue through the Six-Party Talks.
The Korean nuclear issue is deep-seated and complex. The Chinese side always believes that reasonable concerns of all parties should be addressed through dialogues within the framework of the Six-Party Talks so as to realize denuclearization and long-term stability on the Korean Peninsula. It takes two to tango. It takes six parties for the Six-Party Talks to work. To realize denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and safeguard peace and stability of Northeast Asia meets the interests of all relevant parties and should be taken as a shared responsibility and a goal that all parties work for. All relevant parties should return to the right track of resolving the Korean nuclear issue through the Six-Party Talks as soon as possible with the larger picture of regional peace and stability in mind.
Q: Parties including the US and Japan hope to see a new round of sanctions against the DPRK. If this is brought before the Security Council, how will China react? Will China support it?
A: On January 7, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss DPRK's nuclear test and issued a press statement. China took a constructive part in the consultations. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will participate in follow-up discussions organized by the Security Council and work with relevant parties to promote denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, prevent nuclear proliferation and safeguard peace and stability of Northeast Asia.
Q: It is reported that Indian and Pakistani prime ministers had a phone call on January 5 concerning the attack on the Indian air force base. Pakistan said that it would take prompt and decisive actions against organizations and individuals that might have plotted the attack. What is your comment?
A: We have noted the relevant report. The Chinese side welcomes all efforts that help improve Pakistan-India relations and supports the two sides in enhancing counter-terrorism cooperation. As a neighbor and friend to both Pakistan and India, China sincerely hopes that the two sides can calmly and properly address the relevant issue through dialogues and cooperation, sustain the momentum of improvement in bilateral ties and work together to promote regional stability and development.
Q: The Chinese government always stands for restarting the Six-Party Talks. However, since the DPRK carried out its 3rd nuclear test in 2013, it has shut the door to the Six-Party Talks. Do you still believe that the Six-Party Talks would work?
A: During these years when the Six-Party Talks is on hold, the Korean nuclear issue has gone through reversals and zigzags. What we are facing now only highlights the importance, the necessity and the urgency for all parties to restart the Six-Party Talks as soon as possible. It has been proven that the only effective and practical platform and approach to settle the Korean nuclear issue is the Six-Party Talks. We hope that all parties can remain devoted to properly addressing reasonable concerns of all sides, and find a way to realize denuclearization and long-term stability on the Korean Peninsula through the Six-Party Talks.
Q: First, the DPRK side did not inform China beforehand of its nuclear test. Is this the first time in all its four tests? Second, how will the latest nuclear test affect senior-level official exchanges between China and the DPRK?
A: On your first question, the DPRK did not inform China before its nuclear test.
On your second question, China's position on denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula is consistent and clear. We oppose DPRK's nuclear tests. Its action will hamper the normal development of China-DPRK relations.
Q: There are voices from the West criticizing China's policies on the DPRK. Donald Trump of the US said yesterday that China could have done more. To our knowledge, the China-DPRK border is still open and functioning as normal. China is still supporting the DPRK with food and fuel, most of which is not known to the public. It would be easy for the Chinese government to sanction the DPRK. If the Chinese government really wants to do so, then why is it still trading with the DPRK?
A: I am afraid I cannot agree with the opinions in your question.
I said yesterday that the Chinese side has been striving to properly resolve the Korean nuclear issue and maintain peace and stability of Northeast Asia both in words, policies and in actions. Our efforts are constructive and open for all to see. The Korean nuclear issue is deep-seated and complex. The Chinese side always believes that reasonable concerns of all parties should be addressed through dialogues within the framework of the Six-Party Talks so as to realize denuclearization and long-term stability on the Korean Peninsula. It takes two to tango. It takes six parties for the Six-Party Talks to work. To resolve an issue as complex as the Korean nuclear issue, it needs all relevant parties to work as one. Those who blame China for not doing enough shall ask themselves how many constructive efforts they have made. Under the current circumstances, it is more critical for all relevant parties to bear in mind the larger picture of regional peace and stability and return to the Six-Party Talks as soon as possible. We will continue to honor our international obligations and work with the international community to push ahead with denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.