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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on September 19, 2016

2016-09-19

Q: On September 17, a US-led coalition launched air strikes against Syria, killing 62 Syrian government soldiers and injuring more than 100. What is your comment?

A: We have noted this and express regret over the casualties in the strike. Since the ceasefire agreement reached between the US and Russia did not come easy, China calls on relevant parties to step up coordination and cooperation, follow through the ceasefire agreement, and create favorable conditions for the early resumption of peace talks and humanitarian assistance.

Q: The Japanese Defense Minister visited Washington last week, pledging to participate in training exercises with the US in the South China Sea and saying that Japan would enhance cooperation with other countries surrounding the South China Sea. Do you have any response to this?

A: Japan has been acting abnormally on the South China Sea recently. As I said in a statement on July 28, we find Japan's refusal to acknowledge reality the most pathetic. We can see form the report you mentioned that the Japanese side still fails to acknowledge the irresistible trend of time, or shall we say that it is reluctant to do so.

Let's take a look at the development of the South China Sea issue for a period of time. The South China Sea had remained tranquil all along, but certain differences that were under effective control in this region were picked up and highlighted by some non-regional countries. After being sidetracked, regional countries finally realized where their fundamental interests lie, agreeing to come back to regional consensus and properly deal with the South China Sea issue with the dual-track approach, namely peacefully resolving disputes through negotiation and consultation by countries directly concerned and jointly upholding peace and stability in this region by China and ASEAN countries. Following this spirit, the China-ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting in July issued a joint declaration on fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), followed by an outcome document of the China-ASEAN leaders' meeting in September that pledges to fully and effectively implement the DOC and advance consultations in a substantive way so as to reach the code of conduct in the South China Sea (COC) based on consensus. These efforts reflect the common will of countries surrounding the South China Sea, and also represent the only viable path out of the South China Sea issue.

Meanwhile, let's take a look at what Japan has done with all means to disorder the region. To start with, Japan launched a negative publicity campaign to stir up troubles in the South China Sea while claiming to represent the "international community". Realizing that few countries were on its side, Japan enlisted another seven or eight countries to cheer for its actions. When being increasingly isolated, Japan did not hesitate to play tricks and impose on relevant countries its own opinions, which were proven to be wrong immediately.

I suggest Japan be mindful of two things. First, China is committed to safeguarding its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. Second, China and ASEAN countries are committed to properly handling the South China Sea issue through the dual-track approach.

Q: International Energy Agency voiced concerns in a report on the over-capacity of China's coal-fired power plants, the huge number of which is forcing China's renewable energy off grid. Do you have any response to this?

A: First of all, I haven't seen this report yet. I would like to say that China, as some countries in the world once did, is experiencing the process of industrialization and urbanization. As our economy and society develop, we are also upgrading concepts of development. China is now on a development path that is green and sustainable. In achieving this, China has made substantial and worldly recognized efforts to cut emissions, protect the environment and develop renewable energy in a sustainable way. To give you an example, China took the initiative to submit the document on ratifying the Paris Agreement alongside relevant countries during the G20 Summit. The international community has also acknowledged the demonstrative and leading role played by China in this regard. I can tell you that China is confident to follow through this green and sustainable path, which also conforms to China's self-development.

Q: It is reported that several visiting groups of the European Parliament to China are called off after its senior officials met with the Dalai Lama. Please confirm. Do you have any response?

A: President Martin Schulz of the European Parliament and Chair Elmar Brok of the Committee on Foreign Affairs met with the 14th Dalai Lama who is visiting the European Parliament in disregard of China's strong opposition and against the EU's commitment to China on Tibet-related issues. China is firmly opposed to this wrong doing of the European parliament, and can not be expected to do nothing about this.

Tibet-related issues bear on China's core interests and national feelings. The Chinese government is resolute in fighting national separatism. We oppose any anti-China or separatist action by the Dalai clique under any identity or excuse in any country or organization, as well as any official contact between any official from a country or organization and Dalai in any form.

China-EU relations have embarked on a new phase of rapid development, the legislative organs of the two sides maintaining sound exchanges as well. However, by obstinately clinging to a wrong path, leaders of the European Parliament sabotaged China's core interests and undermined the political foundation of bilateral parliamentary exchanges. It is hoped that the EU side and relevant people can correct their wrong doing, and take effective measures to eradicate the negative impact inflicted by their mistake.

Q: On September 18, Russia held an election for the lower house of its Parliament. What is your comment?

A: The election for the State Duma is a major event in Russia's national politics. As its comprehensive strategic partner for coordination, China firmly supports the development path independently chosen by the Russian people and strongly believes in Russia well managing its affairs. We believe that this Duma election fully reflects the aspirations of its people and will boost Russia's national development and economic and social development.

Q: On Japan's potential participation in the joint exercises with the US in the South China Sea, the Global Times yesterday said that if this happens, China might create an Air Defense Identification Zone in the South China Sea. Is this the intention of the Chinese government? Or could China take other measures if Japan participates in the joint patrols?

A: I have elaborated on China's stance in response to the remarks made by the Japanese side when answering the question raised by your colleague.

Q: A terrorist attack reportedly happened yesterday in the Kashmir region, killing 17 Indian soldiers. I would like to have your reaction on this.

A: We have noted relevant reports. We are shocked by this attack and express our deep sympathy and condolences to the bereaved families and the injured. China firmly opposes and strongly condemns all forms of terrorism. We are concerned about such rising temperature surrounding the Kashmir region, and hope that all relevant parties can resolve differences through dialogue and consultation, enhance counter-terrorism cooperation and jointly maintain peace and security of the region.

Q: It is known that a Hong Kong citizen was killed in a car accident in Ireland. How will the Foreign Ministry help his families to bring his body back to Hong Kong?

A: I need to get more information on this case. As a principle and what we have been doing over the years, you may also know that for any overseas Chinese citizen, including those from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, if they are caught in an emergency and are in need of consular protection, assistance and service from the central government, they can always count on China's diplomatic missions overseas to deliver timely assistance and honor due responsibilities.

Q: Nepal's new Prime Minister made a visit to India. He said that the visit was successful and established an environment of trust between the two countries. He also said that Nepal-India and Nepal-China relations are different and is looking forward to a visit by President Xi Jinping at the earliest date. How do you look at his visit to India?

A: Both Nepal and India are China's friendly neighbors. We are glad to see our neighbors developing friendly relations, as such development is conducive to regional peace, stability and development. As for Nepalese Prime Minister's remarks in India on high-level exchanges between China and Nepal, as two friendly countries, we have been in close touch with each other on bilateral high-level visits.

Q: What do you mean by saying earlier that China can't be expected to do nothing after the Dalai Lama visited the European Parliament?

A: As we have said, China-EU relations should be embracing a good momentum of development, so should exchanges between the legislative organs of the two sides. Yet as the wrong doing by the European Parliament has sabotaged the political foundation of bilateral exchange, China can't be expected to do nothing about this. We will make a policy choice based on our own judgment.

Q: China is committed to developing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Given the current strained relations between India and Pakistan and the frequent terrorist attacks and violent conflicts in this region, do you think the CPEC will be affected by such tension?

A: The goal of the CPEC is to serve the region by facilitating better development of regional countries. Naturally, relevant parties are required to make concerted efforts to ensure a safe, sound and favorable environment for the CPEC. As I said earlier, we have been following the tension in this region, including in Kashmir recently. The Chinese government holds a position that all relevant parties can join hands to resolve these issues through friendly consultation and uphold regional peace and security, as this is in the fundamental and common interests of all regional countries, China, Pakistan and India included.

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