Q: Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada visited the Yasukuni Shrine this morning after returning from a trip to the Pearl Harbor accompanying Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday, where "reconciliation"and "tolerance" were highlighted by the Japanese leader. How do you comment?
A: Regarding Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, China is firmly opposed to it and will lodge solemn representations with the Japanese side.
As a significant member of the Japanese cabinet, Tomomi Inada followed Prime Minister Abe to the Pearl Harbor yesterday. Their trumpeting of "reconciliation" and "tolerance" there still rings in our ears. Only one day later, she paid tribute to the Yasukuni Shrine which honors Class-A criminals and whitewashes Japan's history of aggression. This is another reflection of certain Japanese people's bigoted and wrong perception of history, and an irony of Japan's so-called "tour of reconciliation" to the Pearl Harbor, only putting us on higher alert on Japan's moves and true intentions.
Without credit, a man can not establish himself and a country can not prosper. We once again urge Japanese leaders to heed the call for justice both from Japan and the international community, look squarely at and deeply reflect upon its past history of invasion, abide by relevant statements and honor its promise, and properly handle relevant issues with a responsible attitude both to the history and the future.
Q: According to Manila Times, former US ambassador to Manila Philip Goldberg once submitted to the US State Department a report which included a blueprint for the overthrow or destabilization of President Rodrigo Duterte. Do you have any response to this?
A: We have seen this. We have no comment on what is in the report.
Mr. Duterte was elected the 16th president of the Philippines in last May's general election. Since taking office, President Duterte has won great support and respect from the Philippine people by launching social reforms, developing the economy, tackling crimes and improving people's livelihood, as what he does is in the interests of the country and the people. As a friendly neighbor to the Philippines, China supports President Duterte's policies and stands ready to help the Philippines speed up development by deepening bilateral cooperation of mutual benefit. We believe that President Duterte will lead the Philippines to achieve greater development and prosperity.
Q: Some foreign media reported that Zimbabwe has sent some baby elephants and lions to a Chinese wildlife park for free to pay for military uniforms for the Democratic Republic of Congo. Are you aware of this?
A: We have taken note of relevant reports. It is learned that several wildlife parks in Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou imported 35 African elephants through competent authorities of Zimbabwe. The payment will go to competent authorities of Zimbabwe for wildlife protection in the country. Before shipping the elephants, relevant departments, wildlife experts and conservation organizations in Zimbabwe had evaluated the wildlife parks and the situation of African elephants in China on the spot.
I need to emphasize that this is a normal commercial act that complies with relevant international conventions and domestic laws of China and Zimbabwe and involves no other country or individual. Relevant media reports are utterly groundless harboring ulterior motives. It is an international common practice for zoos to import wildlife from other countries. Equipped with techniques of international standard, relevant Chinese wildlife parks are capable of taking good care of African elephants and promoting the protection of African elephants. Under the scientific law of wildlife protection and trade, trading in an appropriate amount will help raise more funds and better preserve the wild species of African elephants and their habitats.
Q: According to Taiwan's "foreign ministry", Tsai Ing-wen will pass through the US when she visits Latin America. How do you comment on this?
A: The one-China policy is a consensus shared by the international community, and also a principle of how we handle Taiwan's engagement with foreign countries. We hope that relevant countries can carefully address Taiwan-related issues. As to the Taiwan leader's transit in the US, I believe her real intention is clear to all. We hope that the US side can follow the one-China policy and the three joint communiques, disallow the Taiwan leader's transit in the US, refrain from sending any wrong signal to the pro-independence force in Taiwan, and take concrete steps to uphold the overall interests of China-US relations and maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.