|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on June 13, 2016|
At the invitation of President Tomislav Nikolic of the Republic of Serbia, President Andrzej Duda of the Republic of Poland and President Islam Karimov of the Republic of Uzbekistan, President Xi Jinping will pay state visits to the aforementioned three countries from June 17 to 22.
At the invitation of President Islam Karimov of the Republic of Uzbekistan, President Xi Jinping will attend the 16th Meeting of Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on June 23 and 24.
Q: The Special China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting will be held tomorrow in Yunnan. Why does China convene such a meeting? Will the South China Sea issue be discussed? What are China's expectations for the meeting?
A: This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relationship, and bears great significance on the development of China-ASEAN relationship. This meeting is a special arrangement on the sideline of the China-ASEAN annual regular meeting, and embodies great importance and expectation held by both sides on developing bilateral relations.
This meeting is convened to review and summarize the good practices in the development of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, map out future development of bilateral relations and prepare for the commemorative summit marking the 25th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations to be held in September. China looks forward to exchanging views with ASEAN countries on China-ASEAN relations and the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in this meeting, and having further discussions on upgrading China-ASEAN cooperation and jointly maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Q: Reports say that 15 Filipinos and one American planned to sail to Huangyan Dao last Sunday and plant the Philippine flag there. What is your comment?
A: As you know, we have repeatedly stated that Huangyan Dao is China's inherent territory. We urge the Philippines to respect China's territorial sovereignty and not take any provocative actions.
Q: According to the list of outcomes from the 8th China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), China and the US will hold the 2nd high-level dialogue on combating cyber crimes and relevant issues in Beijing on June 14. Please give us more details. US Secretary of State John Kerry said that this year's dialogue is the most fruitful one he has been part of. What is your response?
A: As you may have seen, the recently concluded 8th S&ED and the 7th Consultation on China-US People-to-People Exchange (CPE) delivered over 300 outcomes after heated and pragmatic discussions, 120 of which coming from the strategic track, over 60 from the economic track and 158 from the people-to-people exchange track. All these specific outcomes represent the continuous development of China-US relations.
As listed among the outcomes, China and the US decide to proceed with the implementation of the guiding principles on combating cyber crimes and relevant issues following last December's first China-US high-level joint dialogue against cyber crimes and relevant issues, and jointly crack down on vicious cyber acts including hacking. I believe that the two sides can work in unison and make the high-level dialogue a success.
You mentioned the comments made by Secretary Kerry and other US officials on this year's S&ED and CPE. We find such comments quite pertinent, and applaud what the US said about the dialogue. China and the US keep close communication on global hotspot issues and major events in bilateral relations. By forging consensus and then implementing them, the two countries are working together to push forward bilateral relations. This is in the fundamental interests of the two countries and the people, and also meets the common aspiration of the international community.
Q: Indian Prime Minister Modi concluded his visit to the US during which he held extensive talks with US President Obama. Unlike the past, the reference to the South China Sea was missing in the joint statement. What is your comment on that? Yesterday, there was a statement from the Foreign Ministry on the entry of new comers to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Do you think that in the next NSG plenary meeting on June 24, both India and Pakistan will be admitted to the NSG?
A: On your first question, our position on the South China Sea issue has been made very clear. In a word, the South China Sea issue is between China and a small part of coastal countries in the South China Sea. ASEAN countries put forward the dual-track approach to resolve this issue, stipulating that the relevant dispute in the South China Sea shall be peacefully resolved between China and parties directly concerned through direct negotiation on the basis of respecting historical facts and international law, and peace and stability in the South China Sea shall be jointly maintained by regional countries. This approach stands as a principle which we hope will also be observed by all countries that are not part of the dispute. This is our position on the South China Sea issue.
We have also noted that the US-India joint statement issued during Prime Minister Modi's visit to the US did not mention the South China Sea issue. You may know better than me that India has always been a country with an independent foreign policy. We believe this is an independent choice made by India in light of its own interests.
On your second question regarding the NSG, the Spokesperson has replied to Indian media. The just concluded NSG meeting had no discussion on the accession of any country. The NSG Chair also announced that there was no such agenda. Everyone just talked about one common concern, which is how to deal with the accession of non-NPT countries to the group. Extensive discussions on this issue are still going on within the group, and such discussions are quite necessary.
Q: It is reported that China is seeking membership of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Can you confirm this?
A: This morning, Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao met with IOM Director General William Lacy Swing who is currently visiting China, and submitted the application paper for China to join the IOM signed by Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Director General Swing welcomed and highly commended this move.
The IOM is the most important intergovernmental organization in the field of migration. Since China became an observer member of the IOM in 2001, the two sides have had extensive pragmatic cooperation on the capacity building of migration management and overseas consular protection. The IOM once extended help to Chinese citizens stranded in Syria and Micronesia. China is a populous country with large numbers of migrants. Once China joins the IOM, it will play a bigger role in international migration, and contribute Chinese wisdom to enhance international cooperation on migration.
Q: According to media reports, candidate Pedro Pablo Kuczynski from the Peruvians for Change Party won the Peruvian presidential election on June 9th. What is China's comment? What impacts will this exert on the Sino-Peruvian relations?
A: The Chinese side congratulates Mr. Kuczynski on winning the Peruvian presidential election.
Peru is a significant country in Latin America. Since China and Peru established diplomatic relations 45 years ago, bilateral relations have made tremendous progress. We have been conducting frequent high-level exchanges and fruitful pragmatic cooperation across the board. The two sides maintain sound communication and cooperation on international and regional affairs.
The Chinese side attaches great importance to developing relationship with Peru. We are willing to work with the Peruvian side to strengthen friendly communication and cooperation in various fields and push forward the Sino-Peruvian comprehensive strategic partnership.
Q: The SCO will hold a summit later this month. And there have been discussions on India and Pakistan's application to join the SCO. Will they acquire official membership in this meeting? India has officially joined the Missile and Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Does China have anything to say on this?
A: We will soon brief you on the 16th Meeting of the Heads of State Council of the SCO in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Regarding India and Pakistan's accession to the SCO, I cannot predict the outcome and final result of the meeting. But I can tell you that this will be an important item on the agenda of this meeting. Heads of states of SCO members will have in-depth discussions on this issue and move steadily forward the enlargement of the SCO.
On your second question, China always adopts a positive attitude on the improvement of the international non-proliferation export control regime. There is no question about this.
Q: A gunman attacked a nightclub in Orlando, Florida Saturday night and killed at least 50 people. What is your comment?
A: We are deeply shocked by the incident. We notice that the US government and authorities concerned are gathering facts and dealing with the incident, including determining the nature of the incident. Under any circumstance, the Chinese side remains consistent in condemning any violent terrorist attack against innocent civilians.
President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolences to President Obama on June 13th on the shooting in Orlando, Florida which caused heavy casualties. President Xi conveyed sincere sympathies to President Obama, the US government and the people, and expressed deep mourning over the victims on behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people. Premier Li Keqiang also extended condolences to the US side.
We stand with the American people at this difficult moment. According to China's diplomatic missions in the US, there hasn't been any report of Chinese citizens injured or killed in the attack yet.
After the press conference, the following question was raised: Japan has protested against China regarding the recent transit of China and Japanese warships into the contiguous zones of Diaoyu Dao. Did China also lodge protest with Japan?
Lu Kang said that China's position on the issue of Diaoyu Dao is consistent and clear. The Chinese side has lodged solemn protest with the Japanese side, urging Japan to stop all provocative words and actions that undermine China's territorial sovereignty and avoid inflicting new troubles for China-Japan relations.