|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on June 14, 2016|
Q: I have two questions on China-US relations. The Dalai Lama is on a visit in Washington. He said that he might meet with US President Barack Obama this week. Has China warned the US not to meet with him? Leader of the Taiwan region Tsai Ing-wen will be visiting the US on her way to and from Panama. We don't know whom she is meeting, but has the Chinese side warned the US government not to arrange any high-level meetings for her while she is in the US?
A: Your two questions all come down to the fundamental one-China policy. I can tell you for sure that the US government made serious commitments on sticking to the one-China policy.
On Taiwan-related issues, the US side made it clear that it would follow the one-China policy and the principles of the three joint communiqués between China and the US. So in response to your second question, we ask the US government to honor its commitments and deal with the relevant matters in accordance with the one-China policy, and not to offer any chance to any separatist forces that try to create "two Chinas", "one China, one Taiwan" or split China.
Back to your first question, the US government also made solemn commitments. It acknowledges that there is only one China, that Tibet is an inseparable part of China and will never recognize the so-called Tibetan government in exile. Under the cloak of religion, the 14th Dalai Lama peddles his political ambitions of dividing China all around the world. We ask all countries and governments not to give him any room to carry out such campaigns, even less risking arousing the firm opposition from the 1.3 billion Chinese people.
Q: Tomorrow MSCI will assess the incorporation of China's A-shares into its emerging market index. What are China's expectations for that?
A: I need to check with relevant authorities for more details. You may also ask China's competent authorities directly.
Q: According to Japanese media reports, Fukushima Prefecture lifted an evacuation advisory for the first time on a habitation-restricted area with relatively high radiation level on June 12, allowing people to return to their homes which were contaminated by nuclear leakage. However, they still have concerns over nuclear radiation and believe that the rash lifting of ban is part of the publicity campaign launched by the government for the Tokyo Olympics. What's your comment?
A: We have repeatedly stated our position on the Fukushima nuclear leakage, and asked the Japanese government to present a full and precise picture to the world in a timely and honest fashion and take all necessary measures to protect the marine environment. We notice that since the chief from the atomic energy division of the Tokyo Electric Power Company confessed to having hidden the Fukushima nuclear leakage for the past five years on May 30, the Japanese government has yet to make a response in a serious and responsible way to the international community.
You mentioned the Japanese people are concerned over the government's move, and I am not in a position to comment on that as it is Japan's domestic affair. However, the Fukushima nuclear leakage has inflicted damage on the environment, ecological system and food safety far beyond Japan. The Japanese government should better make a responsible explanation to its own people, the neighboring countries as well as the world as soon as possible.
Q: The Cambodian government arrested 27 Chinese from the mainland and Taiwan suspected of telecommunication fraud. Has the Chinese government been in touch with the Cambodian government? Did you ask them to repatriate the suspects to China?
A: This case involves the law enforcement cooperation between Cambodia and China. I will get more information on the specifics of this case. As you may know, there have been several cases of this kind recently. The Chinese government holds a very clear position on this issue, and always hopes to carry out law enforcement cooperation with relevant countries in compliance with international law and the one-China policy. We also highly commend the positive efforts by relevant countries on this issue.
Q: Just now my colleague asked about Fukushima, which we also follow very closely. We see more and more Chinese people traveling to Japan and the trade volume between China and Japan standing at a high level. Is China concerned about the safety of Chinese tourists and food given the lingering impact of the Fukushima nuclear leakage?
A: For the sake of the long-term development of China-Japan relations, we encourage friendly people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. Meanwhile, the Chinese government has the due responsibility to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens. Ever since the massive earthquake that hit Japan in 2011, the Foreign Ministry has immediately issued safety warnings, advising Chinese citizens and groups not to go to earthquake-hit areas like Fukushima for the time being. Those warnings still stand. We hope that Chinese citizens will pay attention to the safety warnings issued by the Foreign Ministry, properly plan their trips and ensure their own safety.
It is up to each Chinese citizen to make travel plans, but it is the responsibility of the Chinese government to issue necessary warnings in midst of uncertainties and risks. It is also the unshirkable obligation of the Japanese government to honestly enunciate the impact and truth of the Fukushima nuclear leakage as soon as possible.
Q: According to media reports, Russian President Putin will visit China in June. Can you tell us the specific time and agenda of his visit?
A: China and Russia have very close and frequent high-level exchanges, which is a natural result of the China-Russia Strategic Partnership of Coordination running at a high level. I have noted the reports you mentioned. We will release relevant information very soon.
Q: We notice that the governments of Sierra Leone and Kenya have recently joined in the chorus supporting China's South China Sea position. Nearly 60 countries have publicly endorsed China's stance, and more and more countries have shown their support to China. Is the Chinese government behind this? Is the Chinese government trying to extend its "circle of friends" on the South China Sea issue?
A: The South China Sea issue is supposed to be an issue between China and a few littoral countries of the South China Sea. We always oppose internationalizing this issue. Be it the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) signed in 2002 or the "dual track approach" recently proposed by ASEAN countries, it is affirmed that the sovereign disputes over relevant islands and reefs in the South China Sea shall be properly resolved through friendly negotiation by parties directly concerned on the basis of respecting historical facts and international law. In fact, thanks to this approach, disputes in the South China Sea have been properly managed for the past several decades, stability in this region has been maintained, and the freedom and safety of commercial navigation and overflight has never been impeded. This well-managed situation is supposed to be cherished by all regional and non-regional countries, and non-regional countries should respect efforts by regional countries.
However, particular countries insist on launching negative publicity campaigns or even creating tensions in this region for selfish gains and in disregard of the well-being of regional countries and people. They go all out to instigate certain country in the region to go back on its own words, break rules and undermine international rule of law under the excuse of ostensibly "upholding the rule", confound right and wrong and manipulate public opinions to smear China. In this case, some friendly countries that care about China come to seek truth from us. After knowing the merits and demerits of the relevant issue, many countries including Sierra Leone and Kenya you just mentioned and tens of countries as we told you before make their voices heard to uphold justice. We commend and appreciate their support. This also tells us that a just cause gains great support and people with a sense of justice can tell right from wrong. The handful of countries which attempt to sling mud at China should better quit labeling themselves as "the international community" in face of such facts. In a word, facts can never be covered up by manipulating pubic opinions, and the world is more than just seven or eight countries.
Q: First question, how many countries have publicly endorsed China's position on the South China Sea issue up to now? The previous press conference mentioned 40, but just now a journalist said nearly 60. Second, Foreign Minister Wang Yi is currently attending the Special China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting, and can you tell us more about that?
A: On your first question, a journalist just mentioned that nearly 60 countries support China. Compared with seven or eight countries that hold the opposite position, I think the figure itself speaks volumes.
On your second question, the Special China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting initiated by ASEAN countries is going on in Yuxi, Yunnan Province. Last night Foreign Minister Wang Yi threw a banquet for all participating delegation chiefs and delivered a speech. At a time when we are about to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relationship, Foreign Minister Wang Yi brought forward some good ideas by summarizing the good practices of the past 25 years and envisioning principles for future development. The press release has been made public, and you can refer to the Foreign Ministry website for details.
During the meeting, Foreign Minister Wang Yi met and talked with his counterparts from some other countries, including Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh as far as I know. We will release more information on the talks as the meeting proceeds.
Q: Did Foreign Minister Wang Yi meet with foreign ministers from other ASEAN countries or only his counterparts from Laos and Vietnam?
A: Only the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and the Lao Foreign Minister as we speak. But as far as I know, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet and talk with other foreign ministers attending the meeting, and we will release information when we have any.