|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on March 14, 2016|
Q: On March 13, Zhou Qiang, head of the Supreme People's Court, said in his work report that China will establish an international maritime judicial center this year. Do you have more details? Why does China choose to set up such an institution at this moment? Is it because the South China Sea arbitration initiated by the Philippines against China will see a ruling in May?
A: Since 1984, when the first maritime court was set up in China, remarkable progress has been achieved in maritime trials in China. China has established a specialized system for maritime trials and put in place a sound system of adjudication for maritime affairs. It is learnt that China by far boasts the largest number of maritime judicial organs and handles the greatest amount of maritime cases around the world. In order to improve our work in this field, China will establish an international maritime judicial center this year. I would refer you to competent authorities for details.
Q: What are the major outcomes of Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Russia?
A: To steadfastly move forward China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is a priority for China's diplomacy. In fact, China and Russia have been engaging in close and high-level contacts covering various fields. During his official visit to Russia from March 10 to 11, Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, enhancing communication and coordination and reaching broad consensus on bilateral ties as well as international and regional issues of common interest.
Regarding China-Russia relations, the two sides spoke highly of the development of bilateral ties at a high level and expressed their readiness to take the 15th anniversary of the signing of the China-Russia Treaty on Good-neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation as an opportunity to further promote China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination and jointly maintain peace and stability of the region and the whole world. Foreign Minister Wang Yi described his vision for the future of China-Russia relations with "Four Confident", that is, China is confident about the promising prospect of Russia, confident about China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, confident about China-Russia practical cooperation, and confident about the alignment of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Eurasian Economic Union.
Regarding the current situation on the Korean Peninsula, China and Russia will adhere to the goal of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and will not recognize the DPRK as a nuclear state. The two sides support the resumption of the Six-Party Talks and an early replacement of the Korean nuclear issue on the track of negotiations, and stand ready to renew their efforts to that end.
Regarding the THAAD system, the two sides agree that the US deployment of the THAAD system in the ROK, which far exceeds the actual defense needs of the Korean Peninsula, will directly harm the strategic security interests of China and Russia and disturb regional strategic balance. The two foreign ministers expressed the same position and concern on this.
Besides, China and Russia had an in-depth exchange of views on Syria, Afghanistan and other international and regional issues of common interest.
Q: First, according to reports in India, on two occasions last week troops from the People's Liberation Army of China crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) into India's territory, causing a stand-off between troops on both sides. Can you confirm this? Why are these incidents still taking place though both sides have signed a Border Defense Cooperation Agreement and taken confidence-building measures along the boundary? Second, reports in India said that PLA troops have also been spotted in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Can you confirm? Does their presence have anything to do with the building of China-Pakistan economic corridor? Is China concerned that the building of the corridor will impede China-India relations?
A: On your first question, it is learnt that China's border troops were carrying out normal patrols on the Chinese side of the LAC. There is no such a thing as "border crossing". Some media twisted the fact and hyped up the China-India boundary question. We deeply regret that. At present, China-India relations are enjoying a sound momentum of development. Friendly cooperation represents the mainstream of the public opinion in the two countries. It is hoped that relevant media can describe the situation along the China-India border as it is and do more to promote China-India friendship, mutual trust and bilateral ties.
On your second question, I have not heard of it. China's position on the Kashmir issue is consistent. We believe it is an issue between India and Pakistan left over from history and should be properly handled by the two sides through dialogue and consultation.
Q: On the evening of March 13, a car bomb exploded at a bus stop near the Kizilay square in the Turkish capital of Ankara, killing 34 people and wounding 125 others. What is your comment?
A: China condemns this act of terrorism which targeted innocent civilians. We mourn for the victims and express sympathies to the bereaved families and the injured. We oppose all forms of terrorism and hold that the international community should enhance communication and coordination on this to forge synergy against terrorism. We are working to verify whether there are Chinese citizens among the injured
Q: First, the Arab League last week declared the Lebanese Hezbollah a terrorist organization. What is China's comment? Second, the 2nd round of the Geneva peace talks on the Syrian issue is about to begin. There are comments accusing the Bashar regime of attempting to sabotage peace talks. What is your comment?
A: We need to check on your first question.
On your second question, the Chinese side always believes that dialogue and negotiation is the only fundamental way out of the Syrian crisis. We support an early resumption of the Geneva peace talks on the Syrian issue and call on the Syrian government and the opposition to seek common ground while narrowing down differences, work towards the same direction and find a political solution that accommodates the legitimate concerns of all parties. The Chinese side is willing to work with the international community and continue to contribute its due share to politically resolving the Syrian issue.
Q: Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov announced last week that foreign ministers of Russia, China and India will meet in Moscow on April 18. Can you confirm that? Will Foreign Minister Wang Yi attend the meeting?
A: The trilateral dialogue mechanism of foreign ministers of China, Russia and India has worked out very well these couple of years. It truly served its purpose of enhancing mutual understanding and strengthening communication and coordination on major international issues. As for your specific question, we will release relevant information in due course.
Q: On March 11, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy issued a statement on the recent situation in the South China Sea. What is your comment?
A: We have noted the statement. The crux and root cause of the South China Sea issue is territorial disputes caused by some coastal countries' illegal occupation of some islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands in violation of the UN Charter and the basic norms guiding international relations since the 1970s. China is determined in safeguarding territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. Meanwhile, we are committed to peacefully settling relevant disputes with countries directly concerned through negotiation and consultation on the basis of respecting historical facts and international law and to working with ASEAN countries to jointly maintain peace and stability as well as navigation freedom of the South China Sea. The statement also mentioned non-militarization. I want to stress that non-militarization of the South China Sea requires the concerted efforts of countries both in and outside the region. It is hoped that relevant parties can respect history and efforts made by regional countries in maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea.