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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on October 27, 2016

2016-10-27

At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council, Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia will pay an official visit to China from October 31 to November 6.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and Chairman Zhang Dejiang will meet and hold talks with him respectively. Leaders of the two sides will have an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and issues of common interest and witness the signing of bilateral cooperation documents.

Malaysia is an important partner for cooperation in China's neighborhood. In recent years, China-Malaysia relations have maintained sound, steady and rapid development with frequent high-level visits, progress in cooperation in trade, investment and finance, and closer people-to-people exchanges.

Prime Minister Najib visited China many times. This will be his 3rd visit to China as Malaysia's prime minister. The two sides attach high importance to this visit, which we believe will enhance strategic mutual trust, consolidate the friendship, and elevate China-Malaysia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership to a new level.

Q: The Japanese media quoted a Japanese government official as saying that the Philippines and Japan have reached consensus on the ruling of the South China Sea arbitration case during Philippine President Duterte's stay in Japan. What is your comment?

A: We have said many times that when President Duterte was in China, the two sides reached consensus on a wide range of issues after thorough discussions, agreeing to focus on cooperation, shelve differences and jointly move the South China Sea issue back to the track of bilateral negotiation and consultation. This was also clearly and explicitly laid out in the press releases of bilateral meetings and the China-Philippine joint statement. The two sides also believe that such consensus serves the interests of the two countries and the two peoples as well as regional peace, stability and development. We have also noted that President Duterte's public remarks in Japan are generally in the same vein with the spirit of his statements in China. In order to truly grasp the position of the Philippine government, it is better to listen to the Philippine leader's own words, which I think will be more credible.

At present, thanks to the concerted efforts of relevant parties including China and the Philippines, the situation in the South China is showing positive signs of easing up. All relevant parties are endeavoring to resolve the South China Sea issue through dialogue and consultation. Such efforts meet the aspiration of a majority of countries in the region. Some country had better give up its illusions if they still cling to some.

Q: The US Coast Guard says it has suspended its search for Chinese sailor Guo Chuan after they boarded his boat and confirmed he was not there. What is your comment? Are you satisfied with the US rescue operation?

A: We have noted relevant reports. On October 25 local time, the shore team of Chinese professional sailor Guo Chuan lost contact with him when his boat sailed 500 nautical miles off the northwest of Hawaii. He was on a solo non-stop trans-Pacific cruise. Upon learning the news, the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles contacted the rescue center of the US Coast Guard and has been coordinating with their rescue efforts. The US has flied several sorties and sent two US naval vessels to the scene for search and rescue.

To date, we still haven't located the whereabouts of Guo Chuan. The Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles are keeping a close watch on the latest development and will continue with their coordinating role. We will let you know if we have more information.

Q: When meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Duterte reportedly said that on maritime issues, the Philippines will choose Japan's side. What is your comment?

A: I have talked about this when answering the first question. Relevant press releases and the China-Philippine joint statement recorded very clearly his statements made in China. What he said in Japan as far as we have learnt is generally in line with his statements in China.

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