|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on March 18, 2016|
Q: Did Gambia set any preconditions for resuming diplomatic relations with China?
A: We have released the news about the resumption of diplomatic relations between China and Gambia yesterday. The time is ripe for the two countries to restore diplomatic ties, which is in line with the common interests of the two countries and their people. The Gambian side did not set any preconditions when expressing its aspiration to restore diplomatic relations with China. The Gambian leadership has expressed that restoring diplomatic relations with China is in the interests of the Gambian people, therefore this right decision was made.
Q: It is reported that the DPRK launched a ballistic missile to the eastern waters of the Korean Peninsula. Has China lodged any representations with the DPRK?
A: The UN Security Council has explicit provisions about the DPRK's launch of ballistic missiles. We urge the DPRK to implement relevant resolutions adopted by the Security Council. Meanwhile, we hope that relevant parties can keep cool-headed, exercise restraint, and avoid taking actions that may escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Q: What are China's considerations and next steps following the resumption of diplomatic relations with Gambia? Do you have faith in the prospect of bilateral relations?
A: China and African countries are making joint efforts to fully implement the consensus reached in the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. Gambia now naturally becomes a member state of the Forum, and is qualified for participating in the ten cooperation plans between China and Africa. China and Gambia can carry out priority cooperation for the mutual benefits of both sides in areas such as agriculture and fishery, processing and manufacturing, facilitation of investment and trade, infrastructure, development of human resources and people-to-people exchanges. We believe that this will bring real benefits to people of the two countries.
Q: First, the US military said that China's current construction on the Huangyan Island was a move of further militarization. Has China noticed such remarks? How do you respond? Second, how much assistance did China promise to Gambia for the restoration of diplomatic ties? You mentioned that China and Gambia will carry out cooperation. What kind of development assistance will China grant to Gambia?
A: On your first question, we have noted that officials from the US military have made multiple comments on the South China Sea issue, and kept hyping up and creating tensions. Given the fact that certain country often deploys cutting-edge offensive weapons including missile destroyers and strategic bombers in the South China Sea, it is ludicrous that such a country would keep accusing others for militarization and blaming China for carrying out justified and necessary defense development on its own territory.
On your second question, as I just put it, it is only a matter of time for China and Gambia to restore diplomatic relations. The Gambian side did not set any precondition when proposing to restore diplomatic ties with China. As for cooperation between China and Gambia, as Gambia has naturally joined the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, it is eligible to take part in the ten cooperation plans between China and Africa. We believe that the two sides do have a promising future for win-win cooperation under this framework.
Q: Today the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology published its review on high school textbooks, which state that Diaoyu Dao is Japanese territory. How does China respond to this?
A: It is an indisputable fact that China exerts inherent sovereignty on Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands. China's position is always clear and consistent.
The Japanese textbooks issue is actually all about whether Japan can see and deal with its past history of aggression in a right way. We believe that the Japanese side should face up to the history, educate the younger generation with a right view on history, and win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community through tangible moves.
Q: Exhibitions were put on in the Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security in China. Can you give us more details?
A: The Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security in China hosted exhibitions this morning. Vice Premier of the State Council Ma Kai, Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei, US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Juan Carlos Lentijo attended the event.
Preparation for the center was launched in January, 2011. The building work started in October, 2013 and concluded in December, 2015, one year ahead of the schedule. China and the US maintained close cooperation in this process, and China acknowledges the efforts and contribution made by the US.
China is committed to boosting its nuclear security level and moving forward international cooperation on nuclear security. President Xi Jinping once said on the 3rd Nuclear Security Summit in 2014 that this center would contribute to regional and international exchanges and cooperation on nuclear security technology. China will make full use of this center as a platform and forge it into an exchange and training center for nuclear security that is the largest, most fully-equipped and most advanced in the Asia-Pacific and even the world. China welcomes relevant countries and international organizations including the IAEA to participate in the follow-up work of the center.
Q: It is reported that President Xi Jinping will attend the 4th Nuclear Security Summit to be held in the US. Can you confirm this? Has China accepted the invitation?
A: The Chinese side supports the enhancement of nuclear security cooperation worldwide, and supports the 4th Nuclear Security Summit. Relevant information on the specific question you raised will be released in due course.