|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on June 27, 2016|
Q: How do you comment on the state visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin? What is the outcome of the visit?
A: At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, Russian President Putin paid a state visit to China on June 25, as we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the signing of the China-Russia Treaty on Good-neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination this year.
During the visit, President Xi Jinping and President Putin held talks and reached important consensus on deepening comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. First, the two sides agreed to maintain close communication at the high level, so as to make top design of and guide the bilateral relationship and maintain its sound performance. Second, the two sides agreed to back each other on issues concerning their core interests, and continuously cement and deepen their political and strategic mutual trust. Third, the two sides agreed to intensify pragmatic cooperation and broaden converging interests, further align each other's development strategies and dovetail the Belt and Road initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union, so that the development of bilateral relations will bring benefits to people of the two countries and other countries in the region. Fourth, the two sides agreed to enhance coordination and cooperation on major international and regional hot-spot issues.
President Xi Jinping and President Putin signed and issued a joint statement, and two other statements on enhancing global strategic stability and on promoting development of cyberspace through coordination. They also witnessed the signing of over 30 cooperation documents in trade and other fields. Foreign ministers of the two countries issued a declaration on the promotion of international law.
The outcome of the visit speaks volumes of how close the two countries are and how much they have in common in their stances. It showcases their conviction in the spirit of strategic coordination and long-lasting friendship, as well as their commitment to and achievement in strengthening mutual support, building political and strategic mutual trust, and deepening comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination.
For years, China and Russia have been practicing the new type of relationship of non alignment, non confrontation and not targeting the third party, and developing the comprehensive strategic partnership of equality, mutual trust, mutual support, common prosperity and long-lasting friendship. It has brought real benefits to the two countries and their people, and set an example for the development of harmonious and constructive major-country relationship based on mutual trust and mutual benefit. China will join Russia to implement consensus reached by leaders of the two countries and work tirelessly for the long-lasting friendship and a brighter future of bilateral relations.
Q: During President Putin's visit, foreign ministers of the two sides signed and issued the Declaration of the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation on the Promotion of International Law. It is unusual for two countries to make a joint statement on international law. What is the consideration behind the statement? Is it related to the South China Sea arbitration case initiated by the Philippines?
A: The evolution of international order and changes to the system of global governance have made the pursuit of international rule of law, fairness and justice a trend of the world. As two permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia have common responsibility in upholding and promoting international law. The declaration on the promotion of international law issued by the two countries demonstrates their solemn commitment to international law, their actions in carrying forward and developing international law with creative ideas and their shared concerns in peacefully resolving disputes. It is of important and far-reaching significance.
On peacefully resolving disputes, the declaration stressed that "all dispute settlement means and mechanisms are based on consent and used in good faith and in the spirit of cooperation", "and their purposes shall not be undermined by abusive practices". On UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the declaration underlined that the integrity of the legal regime established by the Convention must not be compromised. All this help clarify and get down to the bottom of the issue. It will enable the international community to see through the "arbitration" show directed and acted by some country.
Q: The 3rd Sherpa Meeting for the 2016 G20 Summit was recently held in Xiamen. Could you give us more details? What was discussed during the meeting?
A: From June 23 to 25, the 3rd Sherpa Meeting for the 2016 G20 Summit was held in Xiamen.
The meeting is crucial as the preparation work for the Hangzhou Summit has reached its "home stretch" stage, and is of great significance in identifying the outcomes that have been agreed upon and ensuring the success of the Summit. The attendees were briefed about relevant arrangements for the framework agenda of the Hangzhou Summit, agreed in principle the basic outline and factors of the leaders' communiqué, had an in-depth exchange of views on the core outcomes of the Summit, and reaffirmed what has been achieved. This meeting reached its expected goals.
On the topic of innovative growth models, all attendees focused on enhancing the potential of the world economy to realize mid-to long-term growth and finding new growth drivers, and in principle approved a G20 blueprint for innovative growth, an action plan on innovation, an action plan on new industrial revolution and an initiative for digital economic development and cooperation.
On the topic of more efficient global economic and financial governance, all attendees approved the high-level principles on anti-corruption, fugitive repatriation and asset recovery, agreed to set up a research center on fugitive repatriation and asset recovery in China, and in principle approved the 2017-2018 anti-corruption action plan, entrepreneurship action plan, energy accessibility action plan, renewable energy action plan, and a guiding plan on energy efficiency.
On the topic of strong international trade and investment, all attendees agreed to strengthen G20 trade and investment mechanism building, determined the duties of the Trade and Investment Working Group, had an in-depth exchange of views on the G20 strategy for global growth in trade and the principles guiding international investment, and consented to revive the role of trade and investment as economic engines.
On the topic of inclusive and coordinated development, all attendees highlighted the issue of development and the needs of developing countries, and in principle approved the G20 action plan for the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the initiative to support the industrialization of Africa and the least developed countries.
Issues concerning climate change, public health, refugees and counter-terrorism financing were also discussed during the meeting.
Q: The People's Party emerged from Spain's repeat elections over the weekend with the biggest number of seats but short of an outright majority. What is your comment on that?
A: We have noted the elections in Spain. China-Spain relationship has been in a good state over recent years. The Chinese side sets great store by its relations with Spain and stands ready to work in concert with the Spanish side to deepen political mutual trust, strengthen pragmatic cooperation and make steady progress in developing the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Spain.
Q: The Tashkent Declaration dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) endorsed China's position on the South China Sea issue. And South Africa, one of the BRICS and a major African country, also made a public statement the other day supporting China's position on the South China Sea issue. What is your comment on that?
A: The Declaration approved at the SCO Tashkent Summit affirmed that the maritime legal order shall be guaranteed in keeping with principles of international law including UNCLOS. All disputes shall be peacefully resolved by parties concerned through friendly negotiation and consultation, instead of being internationalized and interfered by external forces. All SCO members call for commitment to the Tashkent Declaration, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and all clauses contained in the follow-up guideline on implementing the DOC. The Tashkent Declaration spells out the concern and stance shared by the SCO and its six members on the South China Sea issue.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa also stated on June 22 that South Africa supports the position that the sovereign states directly related to the South China Sea issue should resolve relevant disputes through direct negotiations and consultations on the basis of respecting historical facts and in accordance with international law, in a bid to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.
It is a strong proof that countries holding a just position and championing the international rule of law are far more than a few. What they said is a leading voice of the international community. It is hoped that all relevant parties will listen to the objective, fair and sensible opinions, and not deviate from the right track of resolving the South China Sea issue.
Q: India's Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that India is certain that only one country opposes its entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at the Group's Plenary Meeting in Seoul. Several countries raised questions on process-related issues, but only one country opposed India's entry. How do you comment on that?
A: What we have learnt is that quite some countries voiced their opinions on the entry of non-NPT countries at the NSG Plenary Meeting in Seoul. They believe that consensus must be forged based on consultation before any discussion on the entry application by any specific non-NPT country. That is what we have heard about the meeting.
China has been calling on the NSG, including at the Seoul meeting, to have full discussions on the entry of non-NPT countries so as to work out an agreement and make a decision based on that.
Q: It is reported that the NSG has appointed the Argentine ambassador as a facilitator to help with discussions on the entry of new members. What is your comment on that?
A: With regard to issues concerning how to deal with the entry of non-NPT countries, a statement was issued by the NSG Plenary Meeting, saying that the NSG had discussions on "Technical, Legal and Political Aspects of the Participation of non-NPT States in the NSG" and decided to continue with the discussion. We know not any other follow-up steps apart from that.
Q: Chinese and Russian journalists are on a mass reporting trip to border and port cities starting from June 25. What is your comment on that?
A: Chinese and Russian media play an important role in promoting relations between the two countries and friendship between the people. The reporting trip involving media of the two countries will exert a widespread influence on mutual understanding between the two countries, exchanges in the border areas, pragmatic cooperation in different fields, and amity between people from both sides. We wish the reporting trip a success so as to instill vitality to the friendship and relations between the two countries.