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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on July 4, 2016

2016-07-04

At the invitation of the Chinese government, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will visit China from July 6 to 10.

The Foreign Ministry and the People’s Government of Shan’xi Province will host a promotion activity under the theme of “an open China: Shan’xi embracing the world” at the Blue Room on 9 a.m. July 5. This will be the 3rd time that the Foreign Ministry promotes Chinese provinces and municipalities to the world. Foreign Minister Wang Yi will address the event, Party Secretary Lou Qinjian and Governor Hu Heping of Shan’xi will separately deliver speeches and make promotions, and delegates of foreign embassies in China as well as business representatives will speak and interact with the attendees. You are welcome to cover this event upon invitation.

Q: Please brief us on the arrangement and topics to be discussed of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to China. What are your expectations? How do you see China’s relations with the UN?

A: China attaches great importance to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to China. President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet and talk with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on separate occasions, and exchange views with him on China-UN cooperation, the current international situation and major hot-spot issues. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend the 10th commemorative meeting on the approval of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and visit the training base of the helicopter squad of China’s peacekeeping force and the Beijing 999 emergency rescue center. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will also travel to Hangzhou and Suzhou for visits.

China attaches great importance to the principal role the UN plays in international affairs, firmly upholds the international order and system with the principles and purposes of the UN Charter at its center, and remains committed to cooperating with the UN and delivering staunch support to the UN endeavors. While attending summits commemorating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the UN last year, President Xi Jinping announced a series of major pragmatic measures which display our strong commitment to supporting work of the UN and safeguarding world peace and development. This year marks the 45th anniversary of China’s restoration of its lawful seat in the UN. Taking Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit as an opportunity, we will further undergird and deepen bilateral cooperation and work alongside other member states to contribute to building a new model of international relations featuring win-win cooperation.

Q:The Philippines’ chief lawyer Paul Reichler in the South China Sea arbitration case took an interview with the Reuters on June 29, reportedly saying that China bases its South China Sea claim on a “Nine Dash line” covering hundreds of disputed islands and reefs, rich fishing grounds and oil and gas deposits. Reichler also said that the ruling against Beijing is expected to deprive China of any legal basis for its claim. What’s your response to this?

A: As a lawyer for the Philippines, Mr. Reichler is supposed to know what is on the mind of the Philippines. However, it seems dubious that he also knows the ruling of the arbitration even before the award comes out, and knows that the award will just be what he expects.

Mr. Reichler demonstrates in person that the so-called arbitral tribunal is only the proxy of certain force, and that the arbitration case initiated by the Aquino administration touches on sovereignty and maritime delimitation issues concerning relevant islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands. What he said lays bare the lie that the Aquino administration has been cooking up for over three years. The arbitral tribunal unilaterally set up at the request of the Philippines has no jurisdiction over this case, and the upcoming award, as an illegal product of extending and abusing right at will, will not have the force of law.

It is worth pointing out that China’s territorial sovereignty and relevant rights over the South China Sea, which are firmly grounded on historical and legal evidences, have been formed over the long course of history and upheld by successive Chinese governments. China’s sovereignty and rights and interests in the South China Sea are not subject to illegal rulings.

Q: It is reported that suicide bombs detonated at the center of Baghdad, Iraq on July 3, killing at least 119 and wounding around 200. What’s your comment on this?

A: China is against all forms of terrorism and strongly condemns the attacks. We express condolences to the victims and convey sympathies to their loved ones and the injured.

After the press conference, the following question was raised: the US State Department released the 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report on June 30, finding fault with China’s mainland, Hong Kong and Macao on their anti-human trafficking efforts and policies. What’s your response?

Hong Lei said that the Chinese government resolutely cracks down on human trafficking crimes and has achieved visible progress. China is strongly against the US making carping comments and grading other countries’ anti-trafficking efforts based on its domestic laws. China maintains that human trafficking is a common problem besetting all countries in the world. China is willing to step up cooperation with all countries to jointly crack down on human trafficking.

The governments of Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions have responded to the US report which makes groundless accusations against Hong Kong and Macao in defiance of facts. I would like to reiterate that Hong Kong and Macao affairs fall within China’s domestic affairs, and we are fiercely opposed to the US interference in whichever form.

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