|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on July 5, 2016|
Q: The arbitral tribunal is proceeding with the arbitration case on the South China Sea initiated by the Philippines. Meanwhile, we see more countries publicly supporting China on the South China Sea issue. What’s your take on this?
A: People can tell where justice lies. After the Philippines unilaterally initiated the South China Sea arbitration case, multiple countries and people with vision have endorsed China’s position to peacefully resolve relevant disputes in the South China Sea through negotiation and consultation, and believe that all parties should faithfully abide by provisions of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). They also express concerns about the exceeding and abuse of rights by the arbitral tribunal, which they believe will have severe impact on international law and order, do nothing good to peace and stability in the South China Sea, and impede cooperation under the framework of the DOC and consultations on the code of conduct in the South China Sea (COC). We highly commend these voices for fairness, objectiveness and justice in the world.
Q: We have noted that Midea’s offer to buy German company Kuka has made new headways. What’s your comment on Chinese companies’ engagement in overseas merger and acquisition?
A: Given the rapid development of China’s economy and the growing competitiveness of Chinese companies, overseas merger and acquisition has become a viable choice for Chinese companies to go global. It is also a symbol of China’s full integration into the global economic system. It is a market behavior for Chinese companies to acquire foreign companies overseas based on their independent choices. This will help Chinese and foreign companies develop hand in hand and complement each other, and will also contribute to the economic and social development of countries concerned.
We hope that all countries can look at overseas purchase by Chinese companies in an objective and unbiased perspective, level the playing field for this normal business conduct, and create a rational and transparent business environment. The Chinese government will also strive to set up sound rules and a good environment for Chinese companies’ overseas merger and acquisition through various multilateral and bilateral working mechanisms on investment and economic cooperation.
Q: It is reported that the Chinese military will conduct a military drill in the South China Sea from this week to July 11. What are the considerations behind this move? What’s your comment?
A: The relevant military drill is a routine exercise pursuant to the annual plan of the Chinese navy.
Q: First, an editorial from the Global Times said that China should be prepared for military confrontations in the South China Sea. What’s your comment? Do you believe in the possibility of such military confrontations given the rising tensions in the South China Sea? Second, a court from New Zealand asked the government to reconsider extraditing a murder suspect back to China. This is the first extradition request China has made to New Zealand. Do you have any response?
A: On your first question, China is resolute in safeguarding its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea. We maintain that relevant disputes be resolved through dialogue and consultation with countries directly concerned, and that peace and stability in the South China Sea be jointly upheld alongside ASEAN countries. On issues concerning territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, China does not accept any third party dispute settlement procedures nor any settlement solution imposed upon it. Non-regional countries should stick to the policy of not taking sides on relevant disputes in the South China Sea and be discreet in their words and deeds.
On your second question, Kim Kyung Yup is a suspect who fled to New Zealand after committing murder in China. China has asked New Zealand to extradite Kim in accordance with laws of the two countries in a bid to initiate criminal prosecution against him. At the request of New Zealand, China has also responded on safeguarding the rights and interests of Kim in China after the extradition within China’s legal remit, including a trial in conformity with law. By playing up the issue of a “just trial”, Kim and his lawyer scheme to get away with the legal punishment. China will continue to cooperate with New Zealand on this case and jointly crack down on crimes.
Q: Taiwan’s department dealing with foreign affairs said on July 4 that Taiwan has prepared for various scenarios of the South China Sea arbitration case and will look into the ruling after it comes out. But Taiwan will not make any compromise. What’s your response?
A: The Chinese people across the Taiwan Strait should make concerted efforts to uphold the common rights and interests of the Chinese nation.