|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on November 2, 2016|
Q: Chinese fishing boats were caught fishing illegally in the ROK waters yesterday, and they resisted the ROK coast guard's law enforcement operation. In response, the ROK coast guard fired an M60 machine gun. This is the first time for the ROK coast guard to use crew-served weapon against Chinese fishing boats engaged in illegal fishing. What is your comment on that?
A: We have seen the report. According to the information we have at the moment, no one has been hurt or killed. We are trying to get more details on that.
You just said that the ROK fired a machine gun at Chinese fishermen for the first time. The Chinese side is strongly dissatisfied with the use of force by the ROK side in its law enforcement operation. We have, more than once, made solemn representations with the ROK about its coast guard's use of force in law enforcement operations. The use of destructive weapons against fishing boats in the rough sea will highly likely cause casualties or property losses. The Chinese side once again requires the ROK side to exercise restraint, regulate their law enforcement activities, refrain from applying any extreme measures that may endanger the Chinese people and ensure their safety and lawful rights and interests. As we have already said, the competent Chinese authorities attach great importance to and are working hard to regulate and discipline operations by the Chinese fishermen. We hope that the ROK side can enhance communication and cooperation with us to properly deal with problems emerging in fishery cooperation between our two countries.
Q: It is reported that during Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's visit to China, the two countries came to an agreement on cooperation in law enforcement security and defence. Western media like the Reuters, the AFP, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, take this as a new move by China to counterbalance the influence of the US in the region and another setback of America's rebalance to the Asia-Pacific. What is your comment on that?
A: At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib is in China for an official visit. Premier Li Keqiang held talks with him yesterday. Among others, the two sides reached consensus on deepening political mutual trust, promoting pragmatic cooperation, and enhancing people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Mutually beneficial cooperation serves the interests of the two countries and regional peace and development.
Our policy and vision for neighborhood diplomacy is good-neighborliness, amity, sincerity, mutual benefits and inclusiveness. China never directs its normal diplomatic relations with other countries against any third party. The Chinese side will develop friendly relations with its neighbors including Malaysia in an open and inclusive manner, and work relentlessly to improve people's livelihood and realize countries' common growth.
Q: Vice German Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel wrote in a German newspaper that if China wants to get the market economy status, then it has to act accordingly. Ambassador of the European Union to China, Hans Dietmar Schweisgut said in an article published on the website of the EU delegation that the EU wants a China with significantly improved market access for foreign companies as well as a level playing field for fair competition and without discrimination against European commercial actors. What is your response to that?
A: You may have noted that Foreign Minister Wang Yi already responded to the unfounded comments on China's investment climate when meeting the press together with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on October 31. What I want to stress is that China has been endeavoring to liberalize and facilitate trade and investment. Developing country as China is, the speed and the extent to which China has opened up is remarkable. It is leading the developing economies in opening up. China will open wider to the world, and speed up the reform of the management regime of foreign capitals. It is hoped that relevant countries will create a fair and free business environment for investment by Chinese companies. We have seen a constant rise of European investment in China over these years, and the volume of European investment in China is far larger than the other way around. Germany has over 8,000 companies in China, while China less than 2,000 in Germany, and don't forget that China's population is 16 times that of Germany. Ambassador Schweisgut has been in China for years. It is hoped that he will make an unbiased comment on China's investment environment.
Speaking of the rules, we are highly concerned about whether the EU would fulfill its obligation provided in Article 15 of the Protocol on China's Accession to the WTO. On the part of China, the fulfillment of Article 15 means China will get back its rights in the WTO, and China is not asking for something extra. On the part of the EU and other WTO members, it is what they must do in accordance with the law and multilateral trade rules, and they are not asked for preferential treatment to China. The EU must be well aware of that as an important WTO member. We hope that the EU will act in good faith and abide by the law, and fulfill its obligation under Article 15 rather than beat around the bush, drag their feet, still less make a bargain or even attach strings to the fulfillment.
Q: Six-Party Talks negotiators from the ROK and the US reaffirmed in their recent meeting that more sanctions and pressure should be put on the DPRK and called on the UN Security Council to have mandatory limit on coal exports from the DPRK. What is China's comment on that?
A: The UN Security Council is discussing and deliberating on the Korean nuclear issue. We have made our point multiple times that mounting sanctions and pressure will not fundamentally resolve issues related to the Korean Peninsula. Resolution 2270 calls for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks and the alleviation of tension in Northeast Asia with political and diplomatic means, as these can show us the way out of the Korean nuclear issue. It is hoped that all parties will implement relevant Security Council resolutions in their entirety, play a positive role in restarting the Six-Party Talks and refrain from actions that may heighten the tension.
Q: UN investigators said that the UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan failed to respond to the deadly attack by government troops on civilians in July. What is your comment on that?
A: China stands firmly behind and takes an active part in UN peacekeeping operations. Despite the dangerous and complex situation caused by intensive exchanges of fire between the warring parties of South Sudan in July near the UN mission camp, Chinese peacekeepers risked their lives to perform duties on the front line, defending the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and delivering on their commitment to multilateralism and UN peacekeeping operations. With two Chinese peacekeepers laying down their lives and five others hurt, it is obvious to all that Chinese peacekeepers have contributed to and sacrificed for peace and stability of South Sudan. The UN and its members should have a thorough review of the new situation, new mission and new threat facing the peacekeeping operations, make systematic changes to the peacekeeping regime, and improve its capability in handling complex situation and protecting the peacekeepers.
Q: It is said that the visit by Czech's Agricultural Minister to China has been canceled. Is it because Czech government officials' previous meeting with the Dalai Lama?
A: I am not aware of the visit you mentioned. As for the Dalai Lama's visits to relevant countries and contact with their officials, our position has been repeated time and again. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to the official meeting between any country's government official with the Dalai Lama in any form. It is hoped that they can respect China's concerns and leave the Dalai Lama with no chance of conducting anti-China splitting activities.
Q: Germany's representative on the European Union's executive Guenther Oettinger said something disrespectful to the Chinese people at a business forum in Hamburg. What is your response to that?
A: We have noted the report and several German politicians' criticism on his remarks. I think the remarks reflect the deep-seated and inexplicable sense of superiority that exists among some western politicians all the time. It is hoped that these people can learn to be objective about themselves and others, respect and treat others as equals.
Q: Ex-Philippine leader Fidel Ramos resigned as special envoy to China on October 31 about three months after Philippine President Duterte appointed him to the post. What is your comment on that? Do you think Ramos has done his job?
A: I have noted the report. The Chinese side commends Mr. Ramos for his role in improving China-Philippines relations. The improvement and development of China-Philippines relations is credited to constructive efforts by people with insight from both sides. President Duterte's visit to China has ushered the bilateral relations to a brand new stage. As long as we march side by side towards the same goal, we will find an even brighter future lying ahead of us.