|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on September 7, 2016|
Q: First question, the Seoul Defense Dialogue opened today in the ROK, which gathered over 30 countries including the US. It is reported that the ROK Defense Ministry also invited China to the meeting, but China didn't show up. What is your response? Second, ROK and US leaders met in Laos yesterday, reaffirming once again their position on the deployment of the THAAD system and agreeing to remain in close contact with China as China's role is crucial. What is your comment?
A: On your first question, I am not aware of the situation. I would refer you to the Defense Ministry of China.
On your second question, we have talked about our position on the THAAD issue on many occasions. We believe that the deployment of the THAAD system by the US in the ROK will jeopardize regional strategic stability and aggravate tension. China is firmly opposed to the deployment. China's security interests must be respected.
Q: The Kyodo news cited Japanese government sources as saying that Japan and China are currently consulting with each other on the High-level Consultation on Maritime Affairs to be held in Hiroshima from September 14 to 15, which the Japanese side hopes would lay the ground work for the resumption of negotiations on joint oil and gas exploration in the East China Sea. Can you confirm that?
A: China and Japan are working on the time, place and topics with regard to the 5th round of the High-level Consultation on Maritime Affairs.
China's position on the implementation of the principled consensus on the East China Sea remains the same. Japan should meet China halfway and create conditions and atmosphere for the resumption of consultations on implementing relevant principled consensus.
Q: On September 5, President Xi Jinping met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Hangzhou, the first of this kind since last October. How will this affect Japan-China relationship?
A: China has released relevant information on President Xi Jinping's meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the G20 Hangzhou Summit. China and Japan are each other's important neighbors. The sound and stable development of bilateral relations over the long term serves the interests of the two sides and benefits regional peace and stability. At present, Sino-Japanese ties are constantly disrupted by various complex factors. China and Japan need to overcome such disruptions and reset bilateral relations on the right track. As President Xi said, China-Japan relations are making an uphill journey which is crucial because no marching forward means sliding backward. China and Japan should remain committed to the four political documents and the four-point principled agreement reached between the two sides, strengthen communication, and properly deal with relevant issues through dialogue and consultation. Japan should watch its words and actions on the South China Sea issue. Otherwise, it would only get in the way of Sino-Japanese relations.
Q: Regarding the terrorist attack on the Chinese Embassy in Kyrgyzstan, reports say it was carried out by members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM). Can you offer more details?
A: I believe that you have noticed what the Kyrgyz side said about the results of the investigation. China has expressed its strong condemnation against this heinous terrorist attack, and law enforcement departments on the Chinese side have been following the investigation made by the Kyrgyz side and cooperating as requested ever since the attack happened. We will continue to do so until the facts are discovered and perpetrators brought to justice. China opposes all forms of terrorism and violent acts against Chinese diplomatic missions and citizens. We will continue to work with the international community to fight against terrorism and safeguard the safety and interests of Chinese citizens and institutions.
I also want to stress that the East Turkestan terrorist forces represented by the ETIM have organized and carried out multiple terrorist attacks against China both in and outside Chinese territory, all bloody crimes. We are firm in fighting against the East Turkestan terrorist forces represented by the ETIM and protecting the life and property of our people. We will further enhance cooperation with the international community, including the Kyrgyz side to combat terrorism and safeguard peace and tranquility in China, in the region, and around the world.
Q: Can you confirm whether this terrorist attack was carried out by ETIM members as the Kyrgyz side said?
A: The relevant department on the Kyrgyz side has released the investigation result. The "ETIM" is a terrorist organization, which is recognized by the international community. In recent years, the "ETIM" has been active in Central Asia and Syria, posing grave security threats to many countries and regions in the world including China. To fight against the East Turkestan terrorist forces represented by the ETIM is China's core concern when carrying out counter-terrorism cooperation worldwide. It is also a key part of the global fight against terrorism. We will continue to engage and cooperate with the international community including Kyrgyzstan, step up cooperation, stem terrorism, and safeguard the security of China, Kyrgyzstan and other countries.
Q: There have been some Japanese media questioning the delay in the release of the G20 Communiqué. They are wondering why China failed to issue the full text immediately after the Summit concluded. What is your response?
A: These reports by some Japanese media did not tally with the facts. The truth is that on the afternoon of September 5, before the Summit came to the end, the final version of the G20 Leaders' Communiqué was already on the desks of all the participating leaders, including that of Japan. After passed with unanimous agreement, the Communiqué was immediately made public, including to the media. Therefore, there was no such a thing as a delay in the release.
What we feel odd is that some Japanese media somehow got their hand on quite a lot of the contents of the Communiqué even when the text was still in consultation. They were better informed than anybody else, and I would like to know who their informants were.
Q: The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a US-based think tank, published a report, saying that Chinese Coast Guard vessels have been involved in a series of clashes in the South China Sea since 2010, and such actions may destabilize the region. What is your comment?
A: The Chinese Coast Guard vessels are patrolling, carrying out law enforcement activities, and maintaining maritime orders in waters under China's jurisdiction, which is completely justified. We hope that the relevant party could stop playing up this issue, sowing discord and creating tension.