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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on June 3, 2014

2014/06/03

At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of the People's Republic of Bangladesh will pay an official visit to China from June 6 to 11 and attend the opening ceremony of the 2nd China-South Asia Expo and also the 22nd Kunming Fair.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi, as the Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping, will visit India from June 8 to 9.

This visit made by Foreign Minister Wang Yi as the Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping is the first contact between Chinese and Indian governments after the Indian election. During his visit, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet with Indian leadership and hold talks with the new Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, sending important messages that China values bilateral relations with India and hopes to open up new prospects of Sino-Indian relations. He will also coordinate and talk with the Indian side on the future direction of bilateral relations.

With concerted efforts of both sides, the strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity between China and India has enjoyed sound and stable development in recent years. Exchanges and cooperation in various fields are continuously pushed forward, and the two countries maintain good coordination in international affairs. This year marks the Friendly Exchange Year between China and India as well as the 60th anniversary of the issuance of the five principles of peaceful coexistence co-advocated by China and India. Together with the setting up of the new Indian government, these all bring fresh and important development opportunities to Sino-Indian relations. China is willing to work with the Indian side, seize the opportunities, create enabling conditions and promote the strategic cooperative partnership between China and India to a new height.

Q: It is reported that on June 2, organizations from 7 countries including China, Japan and ROK held an international conference in Tokyo on the issue of "comfort women", urging the Japanese government to make a clear apology and make compensation to the victims. What is China's comment on this?

A: The forced recruitment of the "comfort women" is a gross crime against humanity committed by the Japanese militarism during the the Second World War against people of the victimized countries in Asia. The Japanese side should face up to and make a profound reflection on its history of aggression, respect the dignity of the "comfort women" victims and take a responsible attitude in properly dealing with relevant historical left-over issues including the "comfort women".

Q: On June 2, Palestine formed a national consensus government. What is China's comment on that?

A: China welcomes the national consensus government in Palestine. The realization of internal reconciliation in Palestine is conducive to both promoting solidarity of the Palestinian people and eventually building an independent State of Palestine as well as reaching peaceful coexistence of Palestine and Israel.

China always holds that peace talks are the only way towards peace between Palestine and Israel. It is our hope that the Israeli and Palestinian sides can proceed from the general picture of peace talks and the benefits of the two peoples, get over difficulties, march towards the same direction and resume peace talks and achieve concrete results at the earliest possible date. The international community should continue with their encouragement and support to this end.

Q: The International Workshop on Information and Cyber Security is to be held in Beijing from June 5 to 6. Please brief us on the major topics, agenda and China's expectations. Which countries will attend the workshop? Who will participate on behalf of China?

A: China, together with the United Nations (UN), will hold the International Workshop on Information and Cyber Security in Beijing from June 5 to 6. The workshop is themed as "Towards a Peaceful, Secure, Open and Cooperative Cyber Space", and will thoroughly discuss formulation of rules, Internet governance, the role of the UN, regional cooperation, capacity building, etc. Over 20 countries, the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs, the International Telecommunication Union and other UN agencies, as well as representatives from prestigious think tanks of foreign countries will also participate in the workshop. Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong will address the opening ceremony with a key-note speech, fully expounding on China's standpoints and practices on cyber security.

Cyber security is currently under the international spotlight. It bears on the common interests of the international community and is also a new pivot in global governance. China is the upholder and builder of cyber security, and consistently supports international cooperation and the formulation of international rules as soon as possible. China has made the proposal to the UN concerning the "International Code of Conduct for Information Security" back to 2011, which laid the groundwork for relevant international discussions. This is the first time for China and the UN side to co-host an international workshop on cyber issues, marking new steps made by China to promote the international process of enhancing cyber security. We hope that this meeting can enable all countries to conduct more policy exchanges on cyber security, enhance mutual trust, foster the formulation of international rules in cyber space and the process of Internet governance, and make contributions to building a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyber space in the world.

Q: Yesterday Spanish King Juan Carlos announced his abdication. Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Spain, asking for a referendum to decide whether to keep the monarchy or not. Does China believe that the Spanish government should listen to their opinions? After the Crown Prince Felipe succeeds the King, will the Chinese side invite him to visit China?

A: China and Spain have come a long way in developing bilateral relations in recent years. King Juan Carlos is an old friend of the Chinese people, and has made considerable contributions to promoting amicable relations between the two countries and enhancing friendship between the two peoples. We are highly appreciative of that. China believes that Spain will sustain its prosperity and development under the leadership of the new king, and we stand ready with the Spanish side to bring bilateral relations to a new level.

As for questions you mentioned related to the Spanish monarchy, this falls within the internal affairs of Spain and we have no comment on that.

Q: Not long ago, Crimean officials said in an interview with the Russian media that the Chinese side would cooperate with Russia to build a deep-water port in Crimea. Does China know any specifics? What is China's take on cooperation with Russia in Crimea?

A: We have noted relevant reports. In recent years, some Chinese enterprises have established cooperative relations with companies in Crimea. These cooperation are formed in the course of history and we respect the choices of cooperation made by enterprises themselves.

Q: Has China stepped up its reclamation work in the Nansha Islands? How does China respond to the criticism made by the Philippines?

A: What I want to emphasize is that China exercises indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and the adjacent waters. China strictly abides by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and remains a staunch champion for regional peace and stability.

Q: It is reported that on June 2, the new president of Malawi Peter Mutharika said at the inauguration ceremony that he welcomed the traditional western donor countries to keep staying in Malawi, and meanwhile his country would look for "new friends" in emerging countries such as China, Russia, India, Brasil and South Africa for economic support. What is China's response to this?

A: China congratulates Malawi on successfully holding the new election and Mr. Mutharika on taking office as the Malawi President. The past 6 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Malawi have witnessed rapid development of amicable cooperative relations between the two countries, and the notable achievements have brought tangible benefits to peoples of the two countries.

China attaches great importance to the development of China-Malawi relations, and stands ready to carry out friendly cooperation in various fields based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits so as to boost economic and social development of Malawi. China is also happy to see that the international community has stepped up its assistance and support to Malawi and made joint efforts to help Malawi achieve new development.

Q: It is reported that American President Obama proposed cutting greenhouse-gas emissions from the existed power plants by an average of 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, and the EU believes that America should adopt more efficient emission reduction actions to achieve this goal. What is China's comment on America's emission reduction goal? Will China propose its own emission reduction plans?

A: China has taken note of the clean electricity plan proposed by the US side. China welcomes this move and hopes that this can pass through relevant hearings and procedures as early as possible. China is happy to see that America is playing a leading role in global actions on climate change.

As a responsible country, China has and will continue to make all-out efforts to conserve energy, reduce emission and build a sound ecological environment and a Beautiful China. The Chinese government has announced that the CO2 emission per-capita of GDP will be cut by 40% to 45% from the 2005 level by 2020, and the Chinese side will try hard to achieve the established goals. As for post-2020 goals, relevant departments and experts of China are conducting thorough study and discussion.

Q: Some western countries have recently noticed that China has become more involved in pursing political settlement of the South Sudan issue and they welcome this move. But is this inconsistent with China's diplomatic policy of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs? And can you explain why does China take different steps compared with what it used to do on this issue? What is the motivation for China to play a more proactive role in politically settling the South Sudan crisis?

A: China has always actively carried out peace promotion work between the South Sudan and Sudan in its own way, but it does not mean that China has changed its diplomatic principles. We are doing this for maintaining regional peace and creating enabling conditions for local development. We believe that the conflicting parties in South Sudan should join hands with the international community and work towards the same direction. What is pressing now is that the conflicting parties should first earnestly implement the signed agreements and make the ceasefire agreement effective and comprehensive for a long time to come. Second, the two parties concerned should continue with the inclusive negotiations, bridge the divergence and realize national reconciliation at an early date. Third, the international community should show firm confidence and stamina, stick to political settlement and proceed with the humanitarian assistance to South Sudan. China is willing to play a proactive and constructive role in this process.

Q: It is reported that in the G7 Summit to be held in Brussels, Belgium from June 4 to 5, Japan is about to push the summit to single out China for unilaterally changing the status quo by force as well as to require China to exercise self-restraint to avoid affecting regional stability in the joint declaration at the end of the summit for the first time. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant report. I want to point out that on the East China Sea issue, it is not China but Japan who changes the status quo. It is Japan who snatched the Diaoyu Islands away from China by force over 100 years ago. It is also Japan who attempted to unilaterally "nationalize" the Diaoyu Islands by violating the UN Charter, the Cairo Declaration, the Potsdam Declaration and other international laws. Therefore it is Japan who should clean up its acts and correct its mistakes. China is firm and resolute in safeguarding the sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the East China Sea and the South China Sea as well as national security. Meanwhile, we always hold the point that disputes should be managed and settled through dialogue and negotiation. We advise the Japanese side not to stir up troubles nor mislead the public opinion on international occasions.

Q: Will Foreign Minister Wang Yi meet with Indian new Prime Minister Modi during his visit to India?

A: Relevant schedule of Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to India is being closely communicated and negotiated between China and India.

Q: There are more reports today that Vietnamese vessels rammed into Chinese vessels around the Xisha Islands. How is the negotiation going between China and Vietnam?

A: Recently, China has been consistently asking the Vietnamese side to stop its intensive disruptions of the normal activities of China's oil rig in waters off the Xisha Islands, stop its infringement of Chinese sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction, and immediately withdraw its vessels and personnel. However, so far, the Vietnamese side is still ramming into Chinese vessels in relevant waters. It is the Vietnamese side that is creating tension and violating international laws and the basic norms governing international relations. We ask the Vietnamese side to immediately halt all these actions and pull out its vessels and personnel.

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