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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on November 4, 2016

2016-11-04

Q: The Paris Agreement on climate change officially entered into force today. What is China's comment on that? What contribution has China made to the entry into force of the Agreement?

A: The United Nations Conference on Climate Change held in Paris last December passed the Paris Agreement, which is a milestone charting the course and setting a target for global cooperation against climate change. Less than one year on, the Agreement comes into force today and becomes one of most quickly validated multilateral international treaties. The Agreement enriches and improves the global climate governance regime based on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Its entry into force is a new starting point for the multilateral process of global climate governance, leading the world onto a new stage of green and low-carbon development. China hereby expresses its heartfelt congratulations.

As a responsible and major developing country, China made positive contribution to the conclusion and entry into force of the Agreement with concrete actions against climate change and active participation in global climate governance. On November 30 last year, President Xi Jinping attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the Paris climate conference, adding political impetus to the homestretch of the negotiation on the Agreement. On April 22, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli signed the Agreement on behalf of China as the Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping at the UN headquarters in New York. On September 3, prior to his attendance at the G20 Hangzhou Summit, President Xi Jinping deposited the instrument of ratification for the Agreement with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, giving a strong push to the entry into force of the Agreement. The international community all commends China for its leading role in the process.

The Chinese side will continue to enhance cooperation with the international community on the issue of climate change, push for the effective implementation of the Agreement on the basis of equity and in accordance with our common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, press ahead with follow-up negotiations and promote green, low-carbon and sustainable growth around the world.

Q: The US Forces Korea Commander Vincent Brooks reportedly said on November 4 that the US would deploy the THAAD system in the ROK within eight to ten months, and that the size of the THAAD battery would be bigger than the one deployed in Guam. How do you respond?

A: The US deployment of the THAAD system in the ROK disturbs the strategic balance in the region, jeopardizes the strategic and security interests of relevant countries in the region including China, and runs counter to the efforts to safeguard peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula. China has repeatedly expressed its concerns and firm opposition on this issue, and will take resolute and necessary steps to protect its security interests. We urge relevant countries to address China's justifiable concerns and put an immediate end to the deployment process.

I'd also like to point out that the current situation on the Korean Peninsula is rather fragile, sensitive and complex. We hope that the US and the ROK can do more things conducive to peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and stop inciting conflicts or escalating tension.

Q: The ROK Foreign Ministry spokesperson reportedly said that the ROK side only used force in its law enforcement because the Chinese fishing vessels engaged in illegal fishing. What is your response to that?

A: Yesterday afternoon, the official in charge of consular affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry met with the Minister of the ROK Embassy in China for representations and restated China's position.

China holds a consistent and clear position on the use of weapons by the ROK in their law enforcement operations. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to any extreme move that may threaten people's security. Violations by the Chinese fishermen must not be used as an excuse for the resort to firearms by the ROK coast guard or other public power authorities.

It needs to be pointed out that the fishery issue between China and the ROK has been there for long and cannot be resolved at one stroke. Both time and wisdom are needed for its settlement. The Chinese side has been taking effective measures and working hard to educate and discipline its fishermen and fishing boats. The number of rule-breaking fishing boats this year has declined sharply compared with last year. It is hoped that the ROK will work with China to properly view and deal with the relevant issue from a scientific and long-term perspective, keep calm and exercise restraint in law enforcement, ensure the safety of Chinese fishermen and their properties and safeguard the overall interests of bilateral relations.

Q: Speaker of the UK House of Commons John Bercow gave Lobsang Sangay a relatively high-profile welcome with a meeting. What is China's comment on that? Will that hurt the relationship between China and the UK?

A: The head of the UK House of Commons acted in disregard of China's firm opposition and the British government's commitment on the Tibet-related issue, causing severe damage to China's core interests. The Chinese side hereby expresses its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition.

As is known to all, the so-called "Tibetan government in exile" was formed abroad by a group of separatists after their foiled armed rebellion in 1959. It is illicit and has never been recognized by any country in the world. The Chinese government is resolutely against the splitting activities conducted by Lobsang Sangay and other leaders of the Dalai clique in any capacity or name in any country, and is against their contact with government officials of any country in any form. We urge the British side and the people related to faithfully honor their promise on the Tibet-related issue, change the course, and eradicate the fallout so as not to cause disturbance and damage to the bilateral relations.

Q: China and Russia blocked a move by the UN to welcome a UN inquiry report on UN peacekeepers' response in South Sudan, which said the response was chaotic and ineffective. Why did China oppose that?

A: We have noted the abstract of the report on peacekeeping operations in South Sudan published on the website of the UN Secretariat. The report contains groundless accusation against the performance of the staff and troops of the UN mission in South Sudan. It is regrettable that the report casts a shadow over the peacekeeping cause. The Chinese side believes that the UN should enhance communication and coordination with countries involved, and contributors of troops and capital in a constructive and responsible attitude, in a bid to improve peacekeeping operations with the international community. As for what you said about China and Russia blocking the report, I don't think it is true.

We have two Chinese soldiers who laid down their lives when serving on the UN peacekeeping troops in South Sudan during the conflict in July. Chinese peacekeeping troops faithfully perform their duties under the command of the UN mission, stick to their posts in the dangerous situation, make all out efforts to prevent the conflict from getting worse and effectively protect tens of thousands of civilians, including the UN staff. It is hoped that the UN will consult with its members to make systematic changes to the peacekeeping regime, and improve its capability in handling complex situations and protecting the peacekeepers.

After the press conference, the following question was asked: The ROK side released the result of the investigation into the death of three Chinese crew members in a fire on a Chinese fishing boat. What is your response to that?

Hua Chunying: The Chinese side does not accept the unilateral conclusion made by the ROK side on the investigation without the presence of China. The Chinese side is definitely relevant to the case as those involved in the case were Chinese citizens and Chinese fishing boat. As the flag country and in accordance with international practices, the Chinese side has the right to participate in the investigation. The Chinese side once again urges the ROK side to carry out a joint investigation with China in a comprehensive, objective, just and professional way, and provide reasonable compensation and offer assistance to families of the deceased with a sense of responsibility and in the spirit of humanitarianism.

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