Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin's Regular Press Conference on April 26, 2012
On April 26, 2012, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin held a press conference.
Q: The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said that the country will submit the sovereignty issue of the Huangyan Island to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea. How does China comment?
A: The Huangyan Island is the inherent territory of China. It is not a problem for international arbitration. Any international organization's involvement on the issue of territorial sovereignty or maritime rights and interests should abide by relevant procedures and rules. Unilaterally playing this issue up can not help solve the issue at all.
Q: The Philippines claimed that it would open a school on the Zhongye Island. How does China comment? What is the latest development of the Huangyan Island incident? Separately, Vice Premier Li Keqiang starts his visit to Russia today, which coincides with the China-Russia joint naval exercise. Is there any special significance about his visit? What outcomes does China expect for this visit? Thirdly, an article published on a Chinese media website analyses the modernization and reform of the Russian economy, drawing foreign attention. How does China comment?
A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the Xisha Islands and their adjacent waters. China opposes any country's illegal activities that violate China's sovereignty. We hope the Philippines will uphold the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), refrain from any actions that will complicate or amplify the dispute and affect peace and stability of the South China Sea, and do not engage in petty actions any more.
The Huangyan Island issue is caused by the Philippines' infringement of China's sovereignty and harassment of Chinese fishing boats and fishermen. After the incident, China has been endeavouring to settle it through diplomatic means. Relevant officials of the Chinese Foreign Ministry made solemn representations with the Philippines many times in Beijing. The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines has also made unremitting efforts to properly solve the issue in order to maintain the sound and steady development of China-Philippines relations in Manila. The Philippines should provide due treatment and convenience to Chinese diplomats in the Philippines for them to fulfil their duties in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
China will continue to firmly defend its territorial sovereignty. We demand the Philippines to take China's concerns seriously, truly respect China's territorial sovereignty, refrain from any more actions that will complicate, amplify or internationlize the situation, do not draw other countries in or ask them to choose side, stop making false, legally unjustifiable and misleading remarks. The Philippines should make efforts to restore peace and security over the Huangyan Island as soon as possible.
On your second question, Vice Premier Li Keqiang starts his visit to Russia today. During his visit, Vice Premier Li Keqiang will have talks and meet with Russian leaders for in-depth discussion on China-Russia relations and major issues of mutual interest. He will also reach out to people from all sectors of the Russian society, make a speech in the Moscow University, attend the opening ceremony of China-Russia Trade and Investment Promotion Conference and meet with friendly personnel committed to China-Russia friendship, business leaders and representatives of Second World War veterans. Vice Premier Li Keqiang will also visit Kazan and attend the seminar with local leaders from the Volga Federal District.
As an important high-level exchange with Russia this year and the first visit to Russia by a major Chinese leader after the Russian presidential election, Vice Premier Li Keqiang's visit is of great significance to deepening China-Russia relations under the new circumstances. China looks forward to reaching the following outcomes: First, review the important progress made in China-Russia relations and further implement the development plan of China-Russia relations in the next ten years. Second, enhance bilateral strategic and political mutual trust and step up mutual political support on issues concerning each other's core interests. Third, promote practical cooperation in all fields with a focus on pushing for new progress in major strategic cooperation projects. Fourth, have in-depth exchange of views on the preparation for the Beijing Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and major international and regional issues of mutual interest to coordinate positions. During the visit, competent authorities and enterprises of the two countries will sign multiple cooperation agreements covering areas such as business, trade, energy, science and technology, finance, telecommunications, and local cooperation. We believe under the joint efforts of the two sides, Vice Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Russia will be a full success and help make new achievements in China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination.
On your third question, as far as I know, the article was written by a Chinese scholar and only represent his personal ideas. Relevant web site is not reflecting the full opinion of the scholar as well.
In recent years, Russia has witnessed social and political stability and made outstanding achievements in economic development. As Russia's friendly neighbour and comprehensive strategic partner of coordination, China is happy to see the achievements made by Russia. Russia enjoys solid industrial foundation, advanced science and technology and rich natural resources, and the Russian people are wise and hardworking. We believe the Russian people will make even greater achievements in its national development and revitalization.
Q: The US government transferred two Chinese Uigur suspects in the Guantanamo Bay to El Salvador. How does China comment?
A: China has made stern representations with the US. The Chinese Uigur suspects of terrorism detained in the Guantanamo Bay are members of the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement", a terrorist organization on the UN sanctions list. According to relevant UN Security Council resolution, all countries should deny safe haven to those who finance, plan or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens.
China is always firmly against the US's release or transfer of these suspects to a third country and is opposed to any country's reception of them in any name. China asks the US to correct its mistake. We hope El Salvador will bear in mind its responsibility in international counter-terrorism and its own security, fully recognize the danger posed by these suspects, take China's concerns seriously, honor its international obligations and refuse to receive these suspects.
Q: A Canadian magazine recently published an article saying that a Chinese company in Hubei Province sold missile transport vehicles to the DPRK which were diplayed in the country's military parade. Has China investigated the issue?
A: I have expounded on China's position on this issue many times. China is firmly against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery vehicles, and is always abiding strictly by relevant UN Security Council resolutions and its own laws and regulations on non-proliferation export control.
Q: US prosecutors recently sued two Taiwan citizens for smuggling US military equipments to the mainland of China. How does China comment?
A: I am not aware of relevant situation.
Q: The Philippines says that the Huangyan Island has long been its "territory", which has been recognized by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It also claims that China has not exercised effective jurisdiction over the Huangyan Island and has no legal documents to prove that the Island belongs to China. How does China comment?
A: The Huangyan Island is China's inherent territory. China was the first to discover and name the Huangyan Island and also the first to include it into China's territory and exercise sovereign jurisdiction over it. Prior to 1997, the Philippines had had no objection to the Chinese Government's exercise of sovereign administration, development and exploitation of the Huangyan Island, but instead, expressed on many occasions that the Island is outside the scope of Philippine territory. The Philippines' claim of its jurisdiction and even territorial sovereignty over the Huangyan Island based on the allegation that the Island is within its exclusive economic zone is not justified at all by international law, nor is it in line with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Philippines should earnestly respect China's territorial sovereignty over the Huangyan Island.
Q: French presidential candidate Hollande recently said that if elected, he hoped to meet with Chinese leaders first after taking office. How does China comment?
A: We are following closely the French presidential election and wish the election a success. We believe it is the consensus of both countries to develop China-France relations, which is in line with their interests. China is willing to continue its high-level exchanges and cooperation across the board with France.
Q: It is reported that the DPRK will hold a third nuclear test soon. How does China comment? Has China expressed opposition to the DPRK?
A: China is firmly committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We hope relevant parties will exercise calmness and restraint, do more things to uphold peace and stability of the Peninsula in stead of the contrary. On the issue of the Korean Peninsula, China has stayed in close communication with all parties concerned, including the DPRK.