|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on April 13, 2016|
At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council, Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand will pay an official visit to China from April 17 to 22.
At the invitation of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of the State Council will attend the high-level signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to be held at the UN headquarters in New York on April 22 as the special envoy of President Xi Jinping, and sign the Paris Agreement on behalf of China.
As agreed upon by member countries of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), the 5th regular CICA foreign ministers’ meeting will be held in Beijing from April 27 to 28. Foreign ministers from CICA member countries and observer countries as well as representatives from observer international organizations will attend the meeting upon invitation. Representatives from other international organizations will attend the meeting as guests of the chair country.
Q: According to diplomatic channels, the Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned the Japanese Ambassador to China and some other countries’ senior diplomats yesterday. Please confirm. What message has China sent to them? Is China concerned that the South China Sea issue could dominate the G7 Summit to be held at the end of May in Japan?
A: Before the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting, we thought that this meeting would not have too much to do with China. But then some media claimed that Japan might put much of its attention on the South and East China Seas during this meeting. Before the official document of the meeting came along, I also said that we would evaluate whether it merited comments after reading it. Once it was published, we did find something in it that is not correct. We believe that when engaging with other countries, it is natural for us to present our position and stance to relevant countries if something is wrong. Especially given the fact that some senior officials from a G7 country said in public that they hoped China would listen more to what G7 said, we did summon diplomatic envoys from relevant countries and expressed our solemn position on this issue. As for what we said specifically, I can tell you that it is exactly the same as the one we make publicly, and that is our consistent stance.
I also want to emphasize: we have a feeling that some media and countries are not particularly interested in what China’s position really is, as we see little our explicit positions reported by the press. What interests them more may be their own conjecture, that is the G7 declaration is very important and influential in the world and even imposes heavy pressures on China. I am not sure whether this is true for some countries. If it is, I would like to advise them not to indulge in their own imagination.
Q: We all notice that this morning Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin attended an international symposium on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Agreement on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions. Can you give us more details?
A: This year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Agreement on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions among China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. An international symposium on the good practices of enforcing the Agreement organized by the China Institute of International Studies and other institutions was held in Beijing this morning. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin and Vice Director Mu Mingbin of National Defense Mobilization Department under the Military Commission of the CPC Central Committee attended and addressed the opening ceremony.
Signing of the Treaty between China and relevant countries is a wise decision in terms of its political significance. Not only does the Agreement undermine the cold-war mentality, but also creates a brand-new model for security cooperation and makes significant contribution to upholding regional peace, security and stability. This is also a successful and strong example of China’s foreign policy and practice of peacefully resolving disputes between countries through negotiation and communication. We believe that this symposium will provide a good reference for the settlement of disputes in this region and other parts of the world.
Q: The trade figures for Q1 released by China today show that the trade volume in Q1 between China and the DPRK is actually growing. The UN has imposed sanctions on the DPRK, so why is this figure still going up if China has implemented these sanctions?
A: We have repeatedly expounded our position on this issue. China is a member of the UN, and also a permanent member of the Security Council. There is no doubt that China will implement all the UN resolutions fully and strictly. There is also no problem for China to maintain normal relations with the DPRK and other countries beyond the UN resolutions and sanctions.
Q: The US and India have agreed to sign relevant agreement, allowing them to share each other’s logistics bases, but no troops will be deployed at these bases. Does China have any comment?
A: We have noticed some media reports on the US Defense Minister’s visit to India. I want to point out that India is also a country of major significance in the world. It is known to all that India has been upholding an independent foreign policy in international affairs. Like other countries, India makes its foreign policies based on its own interests. This reminds me of the question you raised yesterday, and I want to say that Indian Defense Minister will also visit China in the near future.
Q: During President Xi Jinping’s meeting with the Nigerian President yesterday, the two countries signed a series of agreements and said that security issue was one of their focuses. Has China put forward any proposals?
A: As for the meeting between President Xi Jinping and Nigerian President Buhari, detailed information has been released yesterday. Director-General Lin Songtian of the Department of African Affairs of China’s Foreign Ministry also briefed journalists on the specifics.
Regarding your question, while meeting with President Buhari, President Xi Jinping said that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Nigeria. Thanks to joint efforts by the two countries, great achievement has been scored in various areas including political mutual trust, economic and trade cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and security field. There is great potential for the development of China-Nigeria relations, and the two countries have strong political willingness. During President Buhari’s visit to China, the two sides did discuss how to deepen cooperation across a spectrum of areas under the new circumstances.
Q: The Director-General of the Department of African Affairs said that security issue was on the top of the agenda of bilateral discussions, but did not provide any details. Can you tell us what did they talk about concerning security?
A: The two sides did talk about how to deepen cooperation. As you know, we might not be able to offer you details about certain things if they are still being discussed between countries. You may have noticed that yesterday, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Foreign Ministry, the National Development Bank and the Nigerian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment co-hosted the China-Nigeria forum on capacity and investment cooperation in Beijing, which brought forward further cooperation ideas in economy and trade between the two countries. The two sides also discussed how to boost cooperation in people-to-people and security fields. We will release information at certain time once ripe results are produced.
Q: At a press briefing with Chinese, Japanese and Mongolian journalists on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Asia, Foreign Minister Lavrov said that all countries directly concerned in the South China Sea issue should continue to seek a political and diplomatic approach of settlement that is acceptable to all parties. Countries not directly concerned should stop any attempt to meddle with or internationalize the issue. Hyping up of the South China Sea issue and moves to internationalize it will serve no good at all. What is your comment?
A: China speaks highly of Russia’s remarks. Any person, organization and country that is truly concerned about peace and stability in the South China Sea should support China and relevant countries in this region, or countries directly involved to be specific, in resoling possible disputes through negotiation and coordination in accordance with international laws, bilateral agreements and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). It is not constructive for any country or organization outside the region to hype up the South China Sea issue, play up or provoke tensions and drive a wedge between regional countries. What they do might derail the settlement of the South China Sea issue from the right track.
Q: Is China concerned that the South China Sea issue will dominate the G7 summit at the end of May?
A: You must be very clear of our position on the South China Sea issue as we have talked about it on many occasions. We always acknowledge that tit is not a day or two since the dispute came up in the 1970s, however, regional countries are committed to resolving the dispute through friendly consultation. This general trend remains unchanged. Under the current circumstance, regional countries are still aspiring for promoting regional peace and stability in the South China Sea or the region as a whole and ensuring the status of this region as a major driving force for global vitality. Such aspiration also remains unchanged. If some countries insist on creating troubles and disturbance and disrupting regional countries’ efforts to maintain peace, stability and common prosperity, which we certainly hope they will not, we may not be able to stop them from doing that. But at the end of the day, they should be clear that their actions are not conducive to regional peace, stability and development and will in no way promote their long-term interests.
Q: Regarding the Taiwanese that have been deported from Kenya to China, China’s Ministry of Public Security also issued a statement. These Taiwanese have been acquitted by the Kenyan court of fraud, then why did China still want them back to the mainland?
A: Maybe you need to look further into this. Not only did China’s Ministry of Public Security make a statement this morning, senior officials from Kenya’s Interior Ministry also made statements on this case. It is not right to say that these people are not guilty at all. They are real suspects.