|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on April 7, 2016|
Q: When meeting at the African Union's Peace and Security Council, the African Union and multiple African countries called on the international community to extend emergency aid to Africa in the wake of the mounting influence of El Nino on Africa. Will China answer the call of Africa and offer disaster relief assistance?
A: China is African countries' sincere and friendly partner of cooperation. The Chinese government is highly concerned about problems such as crop failure and famine in El Nino-stricken African countries. At the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation last December, President Xi Jinping announced that the Chinese government would provide RMB one billion of emergency food aid to the affected countries. China and African countries are communicating and consulting with each other about putting the aid in place as soon as possible so as to meet the burning need of relevant African countries.
As a Chinese saying goes, teaching people to fish is far more important than offering them the fish. At the Johannesburg Summit, President Xi Jinping also put forth ten cooperation plans with Africa centered on accelerating Africa's industrialization and agricultural modernization. One major target of the plans is to help African countries develop agriculture, set up a system to ensure food safety, improve food productivity and increase the added value of agricultural products, so as to achieve sustainable self-development in Africa.
Q: Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson announced yesterday that foreign ministers of China, Russia and India will meet in Moscow on April 19 to discuss global and regional issues including the Middle East, Afghanistan, North Africa and the DPRK. Can you give us more details? It is also reported that there will be a bilateral meeting between Chinese and Russian foreign ministers on the sidelines of the trilateral meeting. What will be the major topics for their discussion?
A: With regard to the foreign ministers' meeting among China, Russia and India, all three countries are of great influence in international affairs. The mechanism of trilateral foreign ministers' meeting is of significance, as it helps deepen communication, coordination and collaboration among the three countries on major international and regional issues. Once there is information about the foreign ministers' meeting, we will let you know.
Q: Canadian Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland said the other day that it was "a lost opportunity" for Canada not to have joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a founding member, due to the Harper administration's refusal. There is now the possibility for Canada to join the AIIB. What is China's comment on that?
A: The AIIB is an open and inclusive multilateral institution on development. New members will be taken in based on the Articles of Agreement of the AIIB. In accordance with the Articles of Agreement, countries or regions that fulfill conditions of membership can become AIIB members once approved by the Board of Governors.
As the initiator of the AIIB, China is pleased to see the AIIB grow from strength to strength, play a bigger role in promoting global economic recovery and sustainable growth, infrastructure building and connectivity in the region and common growth of all countries, and deliver benefits to more countries.
Q: Reports by the Taiwan media said that China will organize a reporting trip by foreign journalists to Yongxing Dao in May. Please confirm.
A: You may have noted the response given by staff of the press center of Sansha City, Hainan Province. They said they have noted the online report but have not been informed of any reporting trip by foreign journalists to Yongxing Dao. They also said that if foreign journalists want to visit Yongxing Dao, they can file applications to the information department of Hainan Provincial Party Committee.
Q: Over the past few years, there have been frequent confrontations between fishing boats from China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Taiwan region. Some of them have involved China's coast guard authorities and even the military. Chinese fishermen have found themselves in danger when fishing in disputed waters. What is the Chinese government planning to do to avoid tensions in the future, in particular in the fishing industry? Is China using the country's fishing fleet to assert its claim over relevant disputed waters?
A: I will take your second question first. There is no such thing as what you said.
On your first question, fishery disputes are not exclusive to this area. The Chinese government attaches great importance to fishery management and directs Chinese fishermen to conduct fishing operations in accordance with laws and regulations. Fishery cooperation is an important part of mutually beneficial cooperation between China and neighboring countries including coastal countries in the South China Sea. A very good approach of resolving disputes through friendly consultation has been developed over time. As for the disputes you mentioned, China and relevant countries are trying to solve them through friendly consultation.