Ma Biao, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference will travel to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia for President Edgar Lungu's inauguration ceremony on September 13 as the special envoy of President Xi Jinping.
Q: When talking about the new round of nuclear test by the DPRK, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said on September 9 that "I'd single out the role of China. It's China's responsibility. China has and shares important responsibility for this development and has an important responsibility to reverse it." While the DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesperson was noted as saying yesterday that "the US is the very one which compelled the DPRK to develop nuclear warheads." What is your comment on that?
A: Mr. Carter was being unnecessarily modest. The cause and crux of the Korean nuclear issue rest with the US rather than China. The core of the issue is the conflict between the DPRK and the US. It is the US who should reflect upon how the situation has become what it is today, and search for an effective solution. It is better for the doer to undo what he has done. The US should shoulder its due responsibilities.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the close neighbor of the Korean Peninsula, China has made unremitting efforts for the proper settlement of the Korean nuclear issue for the purpose of safeguarding peace and stability of the Peninsula and the authority and effectiveness of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
As we have all seen, a vicious circle of forceful actions and reactions will make it even harder to untie the knot of the Korean nuclear issue, or drive the whole thing into a dead end. In order to fundamentally resolve all the Peninsula-related issues including the nuclear issue, all parties must assume their due roles. To fundamentally resolve this issue, the Chinese side believes that an approach that addresses all parties' security concerns and leads to enduring peace and stability of the Peninsula must be found through dialogue. Once again, we strongly urge all parties to focus on the overall interests, act with caution, avoid provoking each other, and make genuine efforts for denuclearization as well as peace and stability of the Peninsula.
Q: According to reports in Nepal, the Chinese leader will postpone or cancel his visit to Nepal scheduled for October. Can you confirm and give us more details? How does China view its relationship with Nepal after Prachanda took the helm as prime minister?
A: We have been in communication with the Nepali side through the diplomatic channel about high-level exchanges between the two countries. The Chinese side commends the new Nepali government for their continuous emphasis on relations with China. Guided by the concept of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, we will work with Nepal to strive for new progress in bilateral relations.
Q: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for a creative response to the situation on the Korean Peninsula. He said it may take more than additional sanctions to resolve the crisis, adding that it is too early to bury the Six-Party Talks, and all parties should look for ways to resume them. What is your response to that?
A: At the end of the day, the Korean nuclear issue must be resolved through dialogue and consultation. Years that have seen twists and turns in the development of the Korean nuclear issue are exactly when the Six-Party Talks have come to a standstill. It has been proved time and again that sanctions alone cannot solve the problem. Security concerns of parties on the Korean Peninsula must and can only be resolved in a way that serves all parties' interests. Any unilateral action based on one's self-interest will lead to a dead end. It will not help resolve one's security concerns but will only aggravate the tension, complicate the issue, and make it more difficult to achieve relevant goals. The latest development is testimony to the importance and urgency of resuming the Six-Party Talks. It is indeed difficult, but we must not stop trying. The Chinese side will stay in communication with all relevant parties and strive to bring Peninsula-related issues back to the right track of negotiation and consultation.
Q:The US Congressional-Executive Commission on China has recently released a statement on elections of the Hong Kong legislative council, saying that it will monitor the implementation of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong. How do you respond to this?
A: The so-called commission you mentioned always makes unwarranted charges against China in disregard of the facts but based on bias and prejudice. Now the commission pokes its nose into Hong Kong affairs. We are firmly opposed to that. I want to stress again that Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. The election of the Hong Kong legislative council falls within China's domestic affairs, and the US has no right to interfere.
Q: China and Russia are conducting the largest ever joint military dill in the South China Sea. Why now and why in the South China Sea? We have seen closer cooperation between China and Russia in international affairs these years. Strategically speaking, what is the significance of Russia to China?
A: Spokespersons of the Chinese Defense Ministry and the Chinese navy have already gone into details about the joint military drill. It is a routine exercise taking place to the east of Zhanjiang, China. The drill is not against any third party. If you want to learn more about it, I suggest that you read closely statements by the two spokespersons.
The strategic significance of China-Russia relations is self-evident. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the two sides and the guidance by leaders of the two countries in particular, the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia maintains a sound momentum of growth at a high level. There have been pragmatic cooperation on bilateral dimension and effective communication and coordination on international and strategic dimensions. It has been proved that China-Russia cooperation is a positive factor for peace and stability of the region. Both China and Russia are permanent members of the UN Security Council who will carry on with their international obligations, forge ahead with bilateral relations and continue with close strategic communication and collaboration on international and regional affairs. It will not only benefit people of the two countries, but also contribute to peace and stability of the region and beyond.
Q: Syria's government and opposition have approved a ceasefire deal brokered by Russia and the US for a cessation of hostilities in Aleppo. What is China's comment on that?
A: The Chinese side welcomes the agreement between Russia and the US on a ceasefire in Syria. A ceasefire and cessation of violence is an important precondition for the political settlement of the Syrian issue and the guarantee for an improved humanitarian situation in Syria and effective crackdown on terrorism. We urge all relevant parties in Syria to act in strict accordance with the ceasefire agreement, and improve the situation on the ground. The Chinese side also calls on the international community to render unanimous support to the ceasefire agreement and create favorable conditions for the restart of peace talks.
Q: It is said that China and Japan are going to hold the fifth high-level consultation on maritime affairs in Japan. Can you give us the time, spot and topic of the consultation?
A: As agreed by the two sides, China and Japan will hold the fifth high-level consultation on maritime affairs in Hiroshima, Japan on September 14 and 15. Both sides will send officials from the areas of diplomacy, defense, maritime law enforcement and ocean management to the consultation.
The mechanism of high-level consultation on maritime affairs is a comprehensive mechanism for communication and coordination between China and Japan on maritime affairs. The Chinese side looks forward to a thorough exchange of views with the Japanese side on maritime issues of common interest during the consultation, in a bid to build mutual trust and understanding.
Q: Koichi Kato, former secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party and former chairman of the Japan-China Friendship Association passed away. What is China's comment on him?
A: Mr. Koichi Kato was a famous Japanese statesman and an old friend of the Chinese people. He dedicated himself to promoting Sino-Japanese amity and made important contributions to the development of bilateral ties and friendly exchanges between people of the two countries. The Chinese side highly commends him for that. We deeply mourn his passing.