|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on December 27, 2016|
Q: Russian President Putin said that the Russian, Turkish, Iranian and Syrian governments have agreed that the Kazakh capital Astana should be the venue for new Syrian peace negotiations. Putin also said that the next step for Syria would be a nationwide ceasefire. What expectations does China hold for the new Syrian peace talks?
A: Political peace negotiation is the only viable solution to the Syrian issue. This is a consensus shared by the international community, pointing out a direction for parties concerned of the Syrian issue. A nationwide ceasefire is the guarantee for the political settlement of the Syrian issue, and also an early harvest that all parties should work for in the peace talks. China welcomes all efforts that can lead to the early resumption of peace talks, and hopes that all parties can seek common ground while shelving differences, work in unison, and pursue a political solution that accommodates all parties' legitimate concerns through dialogue and consultation while taking into account the long-term interests of Syria and the well-being of its people.
Q: China's diplomacy has recently scored some major achievements: normalization of relations with Norway, Mongolia's commitment of no more Dalai's visits, Sao Tome and Principe's cutting ties with Taiwan and resuming relations with China yesterday. Bloomberg describes this as China's "diplomatic hat trick", and some US media say that China is making remarkable strides diplomatically using its economic power as a strategic weapon. How do you respond?
A: To start with, I'd like to thank relevant media for their interest in and acknowledgment of China's diplomacy. Speaking of economic power, as the largest developing country in the world, we are certainly not the most economically powerful yet. Thanks to our relations with other countries featuring mutual respect, equal treatment and win-win cooperation based on the five principles of peaceful coexistence, China's diplomacy is projecting a proactive and pioneering landscape. At the same time, China has the resolve and capability to safeguard its own core interests.
Q: The Japanese Prime Minister is on a visit to the Pearl Harbor. Do you think it is now time for him to come to Nanjing and apologize to the Chinese people?
A: I noticed that media from both China and the west are following closely Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Pearl Harbor. We have also taken note of reports saying that this visit is only about offering prayers to the victims and does not include an apology, and that the visit is highly likely to be a publicity stunt aimed at China. Also, over 50 historians from Japan and the US have reportedly sent an "inquiry letter" to Abe, stating that Abe needs to offer prayers to war victims from China, the ROK and other Asian countries and it is the Chinese people that Japan should apologize to first.
My colleague, Spokesperson Lu Kang, has already offered a helpful piece of advise about where to pay tributes to the deceased Chinese people in the war. Here is one more word from me: despite the ostentatious gestures, serious reflection holds the only key to reconciliation.
Q: According to Kyodo news report, "tolerance" and "historical reconciliation" will be highlighted in Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Pearl Harbor, who hopes to "settle accounts with the history of World War II" through this visit. Do you have any response to this?
A: I'm afraid that only Japan believes that it can settle accounts with the history of World War II by merely consoling the souls of victims in the Pearl Harbor. Do not forget that China was the major theater in the east of the global anti-Fascist war which saw huge national sacrifices made by the Chinese people. Without peace reconciliation with China and other victimized countries in Asia, Japan can never leave this part of history behind. Instead of keeping dodging the real question, Japanese leaders should hold a responsible attitude towards history and future, deeply reflect upon the past history of invasion and make a clean break with it.
Q: EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini issued a statement saying that the P5+1 will meet in Vienna for a joint commission meeting to review the implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement in January. Can you tell us more about it?
A: The comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has been implemented effectively to defuse the Iranian nuclear crisis and played an important role in upholding the international non-proliferation regime and Middle-East peace and stability for the past year. The P5+1 and Iran will hold a joint commission meeting in Vienna on January 10 to review the implementation of lifting sanctions and measures in the nuclear field. China hopes that all parties can make concerted efforts to preserve the positive momentum of fully implementing the agreement, seek constructive ways to discuss and resolve differences and ensure the sustained, full and effective implementation of the agreement. China has taken a positive part in propelling the settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue, and contributed substantially to the process. China is ready to have continuous cooperation with all parties to make this joint commission meeting a success and move forward the full implementation of the agreement.
Q: Taiwan said that the Liaoning aircraft carrier is heading to Hainan Island. Do you know the details of where it is heading?
A: You may ask the Chinese military for details.
Q: It is reported that China, Russia and Pakistan will hold a meeting on the Afghan issue today in Moscow. Please tell us more about this.
A: The Chinese Foreign Ministry's Special Envoy for Afghan Affairs Deng Xijun will travel to Russia for a China-Russia-Pakistan trilateral consultation on the Afghan issue on December 27. I am not sure if this is what you asked about. China consistently supports the Afghan peace reconciliation process led and owned by the Afghan people, and maintains that peace negotiation is the only way out of the Afghan issue. We stand ready to play a constructive role to this end as we always do.
Q: Further to India's successful test of a continental ballistic missile yesterday that can reach most part of Asia and Europe, I would like to have your reaction.
A: We have noted reports on India's test fire of Agni-V ballistic missile. The UN Security Council has explicit regulations on whether India can develop ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons. China always maintains that preserving the strategic balance and stability in South Asia is conducive to peace and prosperity of regional countries and beyond.
We also notice reports, including some from India and Japan, speculating whether India made this move to counter China. They need to ask the Indian side for their intention behind the move. On the Chinese part, China and India have reached an important consensus that the two countries are not rivals for competition but partners for cooperation as two significant developing countries and emerging economies. China is willing to work alongside regional countries including India to maintain the long-lasting peace, stability and prosperity of the region. We also hope that relevant media can report in an objective and sensible manner and do more things to contribute to the mutual trust between China and India and regional peace and stability.