|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on November 1, 2016|
Q: Robert Gallucci, former chief US negotiator on the Korean nuclear issue said in a recent interview that China's priorities on the issue of the Korean Peninsula are not the same as those of the US, Japan and the ROK, because they fear instability in their border with the DPRK more than they fear the DPRK nuclear weapons program. The sanctions regime based on cooperation with China against Pyongyang would not bite. What is your response to that?
A: Denuclearization, peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula are in the best interests of China and all relevant parties. To make that happen, the Chinese side has been working for the proper settlement of relevant issues through dialogue and negotiation.
As has been said, it is hoped that all parties will assume their due responsibilities, strive to bring the Korean nuclear issue back to the track of dialogue and consultation and explore ways to achieve lasting peace and order.
Q: China and India have had two rounds of discussions on the entry of India into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). There was one yesterday in Beijing, and you have issued a statement on that. Is there any progress in yesterday's consultation? Is there any change to where China stands on this issue?
A: On October 31, Director General Wang Qun of the Department of Arms Control of the Chinese Foreign Ministry met with Amandeep Singh Gill, Joint Secretary for Disarmament and International Security Affairs of India's Ministry of External Affairs for arms control consultation in Beijing. The two sides had constructive and substantive discussion on NSG expansion and other arms control issues of common interest.
As for India's entry into the NSG, China's position is clear and consistent. The Chinese side attaches great importance to non-NPT countries' accession to the group. We maintain that we should follow the mandate of the NPT plenary meeting in Seoul, follow through on open and transparent inter-governmental procedures and deal with relevant issues through the "two-step approach": We should find a non-discriminatory solution that applies to all non-NPT countries through impartial discussion, and on that basis, applications filed by specific non-NPT countries can be discussed. We will stay in communication with the Indian side on that.
Q: Reports say that the Chinese side summoned the German ambassador yesterday. Can you confirm that? Why did that happen?
A: What you said is not accurate. What I can tell you is that foreign departments of the two countries have regular communication on bilateral relations and issues where differences may occur so as to work out proper solutions. This is quite a common diplomatic practice.
Q: United Nations Special Envoy for Syria said in a statement on October 30 that he was appalled and shocked by the high number of rockets indiscriminately launched by the Syrian opposition forces killing and injuring civilians in western Aleppo. It is also said that opposition fighters used toxic gas in the assaults. What is your comment on that?
A: The Chinese side is strongly concerned about that. The situation in Aleppo is very grave. We urge parties in Syria to cease hostile activities, do away with military tools and stay committed to peacefully resolving disputes through dialogue. We also call on all parties concerned to exert their respective influence, reason conflicting parties in Syria into a ceasefire and cessation of violence, and support the mediation efforts by Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura for the purpose of restarting Geneva peace talks at an early date.
As for reports about the use of toxic gas in the assaults, China holds a consistent and clear position on that. We are opposed to the use of chemical weapons by any party with any aim under any circumstances.
Q: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak kicks off his visit to China today. Will the two sides sign agreements on national defence?
A: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib is in China for a visit. This afternoon, Premier Li Keqiang will hold a welcome ceremony for him. Leaders of the two countries will have talks and attend the signing ceremony. Chairman Zhang Dejiang will also meet with Prime Minister Najib.
With regard to military and defence cooperation between China and Malaysia, State Councilor and Defence Minister Chang Wanquan met with Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein yesterday. Chang Wanquan said that China-Malaysia relations have been developing well in recent years. The two sides are striving to increase political mutual trust, dovetail development strategies and expand pragmatic cooperation. Friendly exchanges and cooperation between the two military have yielded fruits. The Chinese side will forge ahead with the military-to-military relationship with the Malaysian side and make contribution to peace and stability of the region and beyond. Defence Minister Hishammuddin said that the Malaysian side expects to have more defence consultation, joint training and drills and warship visits with the Chinese side, conduct cooperation in defence industry and bring the military-to-military relations to a higher level.
Q: The US chief negotiator for the Six-Party Talks was in Beijing yesterday for talks with his Chinese counterpart. Can you give us more details?
A: I have no details on that. The Chinese side maintains close communication with all the other parties to the Six-Party Talks, and has been working to bring the Korean nuclear issue back to the track of dialogue and consultation. It is hoped that all the other parties can have constructive contact on that too. I also want to point out that the Chinese side and all relevant parties have stepped up their consultation at the UN Security Council. It is hoped that all parties will contribute their constructive efforts for the restart of talks and the proper settlement of the Korean nuclear issue.
Q: The Japanese government protested today against Chinese vessels' oil drilling in the East China Sea. How does China respond to that?
A: We have stated our position many times. Oil and gas exploration activities by China in the East China Sea all take place in waters under indisputable jurisdiction of China. We hope that Japan can respect China's sovereign and jurisdiction rights instead of making improper comments on China's legitimate activities.